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And we have a second amazing Admiral Collingwood doll! 24 May, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Art, Bounce, Cuthbert Collingwood, Online articles, Royal Navy, things you don't need but probably want.
Tags: , , , , ,

And I received the report of this artwork just in time, having read and reviewed yet another book which managed to reduce Collingwood’s career and achievements down to three sentences. I really don’t think “Collingwood rushed into battle too fast” does the man justice, and it’s not like giving Collingwood credit where credit is due would diminish Nelson’s achievements.
Yes, I’m looking at you, Brian Lavery and Dan Snow.

Anyway, Nana shares her home with the most fantastic Admiral Collingwood doll, and it would be a crime not to share her report and pictures with you! “Beating Nelsonmania, one souvenir at a time…” ;-)


Just click the link or the picture below to get to The Nanascript and read all about it. As you can tell from the many pictures, Mini-Collingwood comes with letters, washingstand and – Bounce!

Please also have a look at the artist’s website here (warning for those at work: automatic background music on the start page). I’m absolutely in love with the German 1950ies kitchen and Oberon’s Secretary (and Grim Reaper Rat, but that goes without saying!)

Admin. note: WordPress is playing up; if some articles on this blog don’t seem to load, or you should get a “missing page” error and feeds shouldn’t load, I’m very sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong, I only know it’s nothing I could fix on my part. Thanks for your understanding.



1. Artswebshow - 24 May, 2010

that is really cool.

Molly Joyful - 25 May, 2010

I wish I had that talent. I never got further than sticking playdoo in my hair as a child…

2. ShipRat - 24 May, 2010

*relieved sigh*
You have no idea, none at all, how much I needed to see something like this just now. Thank You.

(having an insane day of international stress, missed connections, life and death [for animals])

Molly Joyful - 25 May, 2010

I’m very sorry to hear life’s not treating you well at the moment. Good to know the post cheered you up.

ShipRat - 26 May, 2010

Thanks – things are looking up, diplomacy has made considerable inroads on the problem. (It wasn’t me being treated badly, it was some other vertebrates)

3. Nana - 24 May, 2010

“Rushed into battle too fast”? WTF? I´m assuming we´re talking Trafalgar here? So who was it that had the Royal Sovereign recoppered? And who was it that admired the “noble fellow” for the way he took his ship into action? HELLO?!?

Apart from that, I´m glad you like your Cuddly´s little twin! :)

Molly Joyful - 25 May, 2010

We’re getting quite a collection of Collingwoodses here, don’t we?

The quote was just a tiny detail in an otherwise good book, but still – if there’s such bias there, I wonder if it’s hidden elsewhere. I’m neither a historian nor a naval expert, so I wouldn’t know.

ShipRat - 26 May, 2010

This surprises me because in his “Nelson’s Fleet at Trafalgar” Prof. Lavery’s assessment of Collingwood is measured.
He doesn’t see a supremely confident Collingwood stepping calmly into N’s shoes after Trafalgar. Rather an all too human Collingwood who, when handed an overwhelming burden with almost no one to assist him, “did not rise to the occasion” at once: his initial decision-making could have been better. (specifically the 4 or 5 hour delay in the anchor order)
Lavery’s argument is carefully made, and partly based on primary research. I think I referred to it in an earlier comment a while back.
His picture of C. left me wanting to know more.
As an amateur I’m not qualified to critique “Nelson’s Fleet”, but I recommend it to all who want a book full of fresh vivid detail and unfamiliar personal accounts by officers and men. Clear, matter-of-fact, scholarly, meticulously annotated the way I like it, understated but moving at times.
Can you possibly post the lines from “Empire” that left a bad taste in your mouth? I’m intrigued.

Molly Joyful - 26 May, 2010

As an amateur I’m not qualified to critique “Nelson’s Fleet”

I’m an amateur as well. I don’t know about every naval battle ever and who said what when and where. This won’t keep me from reviewing books, though, because there are more amateurs reading books than experts.

“Empire of the Seas” is a good book and I’d recommend it to everybody interested in the matter, but all information on Collingwood given in the book is: a) he was a friend of Nelson and b) probably rushed into battle too early. With all due respect to Prof. Lavery and his merits: Collingwood was more and achieved more. Far more.

I’ll post the two or three sentences this evening, I don’t have the book with me at the moment.

ShipRat - 26 May, 2010

just to clarify – I wrote
“His picture of C. left me wanting to know more.”
What I meant was, I felt curiosity, not a sense of unfairness.

ShipRat - 27 May, 2010

molly said:
“I’m an amateur as well. I don’t know about every naval battle ever and who said what when and where. This won’t keep me from reviewing books, though, because there are more amateurs reading books than experts.”

Oh, absolutely, amateurs should weigh in with reviews – indeed I reviewed it myself in a sense, I said how much I enjoyed reading it. :-)

I only meant I can’t “critique” in the sense of being able to dispute his conclusions about Collingwood (or anything else) on an academic level. No can do.

Nana - 26 May, 2010

The more, the merrier. :)

4. ShipRat - 25 May, 2010

A while ago I read an old (1950s?) novel about Nelson, “The Sleeping Sword”. (skimmed the Emma sections – not a fan of Lady H)
Collingwood was made to look positively sinister at the very end. He’s been depicted as boring, thickheaded and/or generally inferior, but this goes a step further.
His decision not to anchor is made purely because he is now, at last, in charge. He contradicts Nelson’s order just because he can.
The author employs the word “twisted”.
I think I shall call her an “authoress”.

Molly Joyful - 25 May, 2010

Looking at the excerpts you posted, I’m having a wild guess here: there’s lots of urple prose, Emma’s eyes are violet and change colour when she’s happy/sad/forgot to buy cabbage and there are lots of single tears… oh, and Collingwood is twisting his moustache while plotting to steal Nelson’s thunder.

“Authoress” – heh! Insult of insults. Let’s hope you won’t be challenged to a duel now…

ShipRat - 26 May, 2010

“there’s lots of urple prose”

Actually it’s not that bad. Her writing is colourful, oldfashioned and highly detailed, not everyone’s dish, and I didn’t read it cover to cover. But it’s entertaining and has many really vivid passages – *IF* you can accept the underlying absurd paradigm that Nelson-is-perfectly-wonderful-and-everyone-else-is-there-to-reflect-him. She didn’t invent that, after all.

(Really, the way Collingwood’s true self springs forth after Nelson’s angelic influence is removed, you must admit that was entertaining, though I don’t think astonished laughter was the effect the author aimed at.)

At times she makes a real effort to get into the subjective world of the protagonist and some other characters – I always like to read historical novels with this approach, if it’s done reasonably well.

5. ShipRat - 25 May, 2010

(dug it out of Google Books)

“As Hardy gave Nelson’s posthumous order, and while tears ran down Coll’s cheeks, something twisted in Coll as it had in Nelson, when Hardy told him Coll commanded. As Acting Chief, Vice Admiral Collingwood reared back snorting, ‘Anchor! why that is the last thing I should have done!'”

and the hurricane was divine retribution for his presumption, y’know

Nana - 25 May, 2010


Molly Joyful - 26 May, 2010

*offers cushion*

Nana - 26 May, 2010

Thanks, luv. :)

6. ShipRat - 25 May, 2010

Today I recalled I’d kept a copy of the last few pages, because they’re such a choice example of Collingwood As Antichrist, ermm I mean AntiNelson.
Closing paragraphs of “The Sleeping Sword’ by Pearl Frye – sorry. lengthy to set the scene:

It was four-thirty. All firing had ceased. Hardy was on Victory’s deck. One of Euryalus’s boats rowed alongside cheering. Blackwood came running aboard, shouting, “Bravo! It is the most complete victory in all history! Nineteen have struck and the twentieth-” he was staring at the deserted shambles of the quarter-deck, at Hardy walking toward him – “the twentieth – is afire.”
“Blackwood, will you take me to Collingwood? Nelson’s last orders.”
The sky grew stormier as the wind blew with the long shoreward swell. Thunder from above promised worse battles to come. There were only hulks rolling where the Combined Fleets of France and Spain had met England. To northward were a few fleeing sails: the remains of Napoleon’s permanently blasted hope to conquer England making their shaken way into Cadiz; some would sink in the harbor. Far to southward four enemy sails under Dumanoir were fleeing. Over the wreckage, the burning French Achille glowed, deserted. She had burned to the water’s edge. From afar it looked as if the last day of the Wrath of the Lamb were upon them, and even the ocean flamed.
Blackwood and Hardy surveyed it, tired, shocked, silent. Their boat pushed through the floating wreckage that would litter the coast from Portugal to Gibraltar with timber and dead, countless thousands of bodies the sea must disgorge. They rowed on seeking Euryalus, already towing Royal Sovereign. Blackwood scowled.
“Hardy, this was a victory I never wished to witness. We paid too great a price — they got our Chief – the one man they feared! Who will lead us tomorrow?”
Hardy was slow to answer. “Blackwood, you will most likely carry the dispatches -tell Lady Hamilton [. . .]
[Emma stuff snipped]

7. ShipRat - 25 May, 2010

The wind was moaning and the edges of the sea growing dim, the light of Achille brightening when they came alongside Royal Sovereign. Tears streaked Coll’s blackened face. “For thirty years – my best friend! Oh, had Nelson only lived…”
Hardy took a deep breath. “Sir, it was Lord Nelson’s last thought that the fleet should come to anchor immediately firing ceased, to forestall the wrath of the gale on all crippled ships.”
As Hardy gave Nelson’s posthumous order, and while tears ran down Coll’s cheeks, something twisted in Coll as it had in Nelson, when Hardy told him Coll commanded. As Acting Chief, Vice Admiral Collingwood reared back snorting, “Anchor! That is the last thing I would have thought of!”
When they left him, Blackwood shook his head at Hardy. “He’s a hard man to understand, isn’t he? Yet he wept – and he fought like an angel!”
“And what with mourning Nelson and some expensive pigs and a chair all shot to hell…” Hardy nodded good-by and rowed alone back to Victory.
It was nearly night when a flash made the scene blinding bright, shak¬ing with a roar that drowned thunder. It was dark again when men got their bearings. The French Achille was gone.
When the gale struck full force and ships were already blowing away, Santa Ana escaped in the dark, making the score: nineteen ships burnt, sunk, taken or otherwise destroyed as their wreckage piled high on the rocks of Trafalgar.
While the gale rose, English captains looked for Nelson to rally them as they drove before the wind, casting off burning prizes, scattering in the night. The captains ordered their lookouts to watch for Nelson’s signals, and the lookouts scanning the black, rolling ocean reported:
“Commander in Chief making signal: Anchor! The Commander in Chief’s lights burn aboard Euryalus, Vice Admiral Collingwood towing the Royal Sovereign.” And the weary lookouts cried down, “The Victory, sir, is dark!”

[The End. Of everything, it would seem!]

Molly Joyful - 25 May, 2010

“The Victory, sir, is dark!”

“The stars are veiled, blood will be spilled tonight!”

8. ShipRat - 25 May, 2010

Pearl Frye’s dramatics aside…

Molly, I’m guessing the book mentioned in your post is “Empire of the Seas”

Could you post your review here?

Molly Joyful - 25 May, 2010

Yes, it’s “Empire of the Seas”. The review will be posted on Joyful Molly, as it’s navy in general, not specific Collingwood. Actually, one could argue that it’s specific not Collingwood! Of course I can understand that it’s impossible to cover every person who ever did something in the RN. But Collingwood would have deserved better. He wasn’t even mentioned in the TV series! Thirty seconds less of Dan Snow posing in a manly manner aboard yet another ship, and there’d be enough time for some sort of recognition.

9. ShipRat - 26 May, 2010

“David Snow posing in a manly manner aboard yet another ship”
Now, I haven’t seen the series and don’t know whether the host looks impressive or faintly ridiculous. But your phrase made me snortle with uncontrollable giggles. I flashedback to a cruelly hilarious review of an over-the-top documentarian from past decades….
* * * * * *
From: Ross Howard (gguiri@yadonkeyhoo.com)
Subject: Re: Classics for the masses
Newsgroups: alt.usage.english
Date: 2003-05-06 08:29:48 PST
>On Tue, 6 May 2003 15:44:27 +0100, “Matti Lamprhey”
>>Sir Huw Weldon? Wynford Vaughan-Thomas?
>No, no. He was portly. Had a Bobby Charlton ear parting that detached
>itself from his skull in all the gusts on those winswept battlefields.
>Come on, you know who I mean. Very Welsh and very Ack-taw-like. Used
>to do “arts” documentaries ad “historical re-creations” that were
>conceived, written, presented and produced by his good self and palmed
>off on the BBC because of God-only-knows what pull he had there.
>He was a bit like James Burke meets Max Boyce, only even worse.
>It’ll come to me. If not, Frances and Laura are on form today.


The full flavour of the horror of his one man extravaganzas is
captured brilliantly in Clive James’s contemporary review of Kenneth Griffith on the trail of — wait for it — Jesus Christ (forgive any typos; no cut and paste here — I’m typing it in from a proper buke):

“Ruins of ancient cities trembled in the heat. A stage Welshman
darting abruptly out of doorways, Kenneth blended obtrusively into the scenery. He has a high visibility factor, mainly because he is incapable of either just standing there when he is standing there or just walking when he is walking. Standing there, he drops into a crouch, feet splayed, arms loosely gesticulating, eyes popping, teeth bared in a vulpine snarl. Walking, he makes sudden appearances over the tops of small hills.
“Kenneth can ask you the time in a way that makes you wonder how he would play Richard III, so it can be imagined that when discussing Jesus he was seldom guilty of underplaying a ene. “Jesus,” he wimpered, ramming his hands deep into his pockets and staring sideways into the camera, “was . . . a Jew.” In possession of this and much similar knowledge that the Establishment would like to ban, Kenneth kept moving through the desert, aiming an occasional low karate chop
at a rock. […]
“Kenneth’s version of the Sermon on the Mount was delivered to all points of the compass. Spinning, jerking, ducking and weaving, he made you realize just how it was that Jesus attracted so much attention. As the son of a Nazarene carpenter Jesus would have remained unknown. It was by carrying on like a balding Taff actor with St Vitus’s dance that he got his message across. “Blessed are the MEEK!” shrieked
Kenneth, climaxing a programme to which I unhesitatingly award, for the second time in the history of this column, that most rarely conferred of all television trophies, the Tin Bum of Rangoon.”

— Clive James, *The Observer*, 23 December 1979.

10. Molly Joyful - 26 May, 2010

Kenneth Griffith is one of the last people I’d expected to be mentioned here! This blog never ceases to amaze me… :-D

Dan Snow did a great job with EOTS, but we cracked many jokes about “yet another scene which shows Dan Snow sailing and doing manly things”. Plus you don’t get to see somewhat decently looking historians everyday. Not my type, but not a bullfrog with a micro, either. ;-)

Dan Snow, history boy.

11. ShipRat - 27 May, 2010

but can he type?

ShipRat - 27 May, 2010

Oops that was supposed to be a reply to Comment 10. Note to self: do not post hastily to comment boards shortly after swallowing a relaxing tipple.

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