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From her humble beginnings as the daughter of a countryside blacksmith, Emy Lyon went on to claim the undying love of naval hero Admiral Nelson, England’s most famous native son. She served as model and muse to eighteenth-century Europe’s most renowned artists, and consorted with kings and queens at the royal court of Naples. Yet she would end her life in disgraced exile, penniless and alone.
In this richly drawn portrait, Flora Fraser maps the spectacular rise and fall of legendary eighteenth-century beauty Emma, Lady Hamilton—as she came to be called—a woman of abundant affection and overwhelming charm, whose eye for opportunity was rivaled only by her propensity for overindulgence and scandal. Wonderfully intimate and lavishly detailed, Beloved Emma brings to life the incomparable Lady Hamilton and the politics, passions, and enchantments of her day.
“A deeply moving biography of one of the most enigmatic and tragic figures of the late eighteenth century. During her lifetime, Lady Hamilton was the subject of countless portraits, after her death the victim of harsh caricatures. At last, in Flora Fraser she has a biographer able to capture both the woman and her times. Beloved Emma deserves to become a classic.” —Amanda Foreman, author of the bestselling Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire
“A most appealing book. . . . Succeeds in rescuing Emma from her myth and restoring her to her substance.” —The Washington Post Book World
“Bewitchingly readable, authoritative.” —The Times (London)
“[Fraser] achieves fully realized portraits of great conviction.” —Vogue
“Excellent reading. . . . There can be little left to say after a biography of this length and thoroughness.” —Sunday Telegraph
“Fraser [has a] gift for penetrating analysis.” —The New York Times Book Review