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Scandalous love letter from Nelson to his mistress on sale at Bonhams
In the letter, Nelson documents the turbulent love life between himself and his mistress. Photo: Bonhams.
LONDON.- A lasting piece of evidence of the affair between Nelson and Lady Emma Hamilton is for sale with Bonhams in Knightsbridge, on 13th November.

In the letter, Nelson documents the turbulent love life between himself and his mistress, referring to a disagreement from the previous evening. He takes care to note his devotion to her and vows to defend her integrity amidst the scandal.

At the time the letter has been roughly dated, Emma had given birth to their child and their affair was public. Despite Nelson’s wife’s demands, he refused to relinquish Emma as his mistress and eventually he left his wife. In the 19th Century, this was an unthinkable social affront and he aggravated the scandal further by choosing to live with Emma and their daughter upon his return from sea.

During the scandal, Nelson urged Emma to destroy the letters sent between them, as he largely did. Emma, however, chose to keep her letters which were eventually published in 1814 contributing to her eventual downfall.

Plagued by politics and social disgrace, their affair lasted only six years before Nelson’s death in 1805. After this tragic event, Emma was catapulted into a downward spiral and this letter is a delicate reminder of their love at the height of its devotion and is a rare living testament to their affair.

In June this year a marble chimneypiece from Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton’s home sold for £25,000 at New Bond Street and this note is a further glimpse into the private world behind the public façade of one of Britain’s great naval leaders.





Today's News

November 2, 2012

Archaeologists in Bulgaria unearth the oldest prehistoric town ever found in Europe

Exhibition of wood reliefs and collages by Jean Arp opens at Blain/Di Donna in New York

More than 400 important Russian works of art to be offered at Christie's London on 26 November

Former Jewish owners want return of Monet masterpiece from the Swiss Buehlre collection

Missing Matisse thieves, a Cuban American man and a Mexican woman, plead guilty in Miami

Hugo Boss and the Guggenheim Museum announce artist Danh Vo winner of the Hugo Boss Prize 2012

The Schirn sheds light on the radical dissolution of the private sphere and the path into a post-private society

Gift of $10 million to Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago committed by Helen and Sam Zell

Exhibition of works by first-generation abstract expressionist painter Adolph Gottlieb opens at the Akron Art Museum

Norton Museum of Art highlights British fashion and design during World War II

Italian architect Gae Aulenti, who transformed Musee d'Orsay in Paris, dies

Dallas Museum of Art appoints Sabiha Al Khemir as first Senior Advisor for Islamic Art

Fitzwilliam Museum set to acquire masterpiece as joint £3.9m fundraising campaign with the Art Fund

Contemporary Chinese seals by Li Lanqing on view at the British Museum

Christie's Hong Kong announces Magnificent Jewels Autumn 2012 Auction on November 27

A satirical archaeology of the Royal Academy Collections and Library by Mark Hampson

Scandalous love letter from Nelson to his mistress on sale at Bonhams

Maritime paintings and ship models bring $1.4+ million in Heritage Auctions Annapolis event

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers to sell Andy Warhol's Cartier wristwatch

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4.- Getty Foundation and partners launch free of charge online art collection catalogues

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7.- O'Keeffe painting sells for more than three times the previous world auction record for any female artist

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