BOOK REVIEW: Emma Hamilton Seduction & Celebrity

Emma Hamilton

Seduction & Celebrity

(In association with the Royal Museums Greenwich)

Edited by Quintin Colville with Kate Williams
ISBN 9780500252208


It would have been totally wrong for me to have mentioned this beautifully illustrated book when I reviewed the marvellous exhibition ‘Emma Hamilton Seduction & Celebrity’ at the National Maritime Museum (6th January, 2017) since this book is equally as enjoyable and while complementing the exhibition it very definitely stands alone too.  It takes us into the world of Emma Hamilton (1765–1815) and reassesses her life and role and shows her cultural and social achievements.  I have always thought that if Emma could have gained the confidence and friendship of Naples’s Queen Maria Carolina, daughter of Maria Theresa, then there was obviously something more substantial than being just a temptress about her.

The contributors which also include Vic Gatrell, Hannah Greig, Jason Kelly, Margarette Lincoln, Christine Riding and Gillian Russell bring a fresh understanding of a woman who not only captured the heart of a great naval hero but has beguiled us ever since.

Porcelain lovers will also be interested to see the series of pictures of Emma’s beloved Merton Place done by Thomas Baxter who is also well known for the decoration of porcelain.

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