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Barry Unsworth:
Losing Nelson
Barry Unsworth
  Losing Nelson  
Barry Unsworth    
essay

excerpt

past feature: After Hannibal



  The protagonist of Losing Nelson, Charles Cleasby, lives his life in the shadow of British naval hero Horatio Nelson. For many years, he has occupied his days re-enacting Nelson's sea battles on a table in the basement, imagining himself in Nelson's place, sharing the Admiral's courage and even his love affairs. However, even from within this life of scripted anniversaries, Cleasby finds himself plagued by anxieties: the possibility that he will fail to vindicate Nelson in the eyes of posterity, the possibility that Nelson was nothing more than a serial killer, and the possibility that the psychotic episodes of his youth will revisit him if he cannot find the answers he seeks.

In this issue of Bold Type, read a conversation with Barry Unsworth from his home in Italy, and an excerpt from Losing Nelson.
 
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