Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - BEST WEBSITES -

age­ofnel­ MichaelPhillips. The Age of Nelson web­site is run by Pa­trick Mar­i­oné, who res­cued this A-Z cat­a­logue of ships of the Royal Navy (1650s to 1840s), fear­ing it would be­come lost af­ter the death of its orig­i­na­tor, Michael Phillips. The in­for­ma­tion is vari­able, some­times de­tailed, some­times scanty, but it can set you on the right track and save much time. Jane Austen was fa­mil­iar with the navy and in 1808 vis­ited a war­ship be­ing built at the Northam yard on the River Itchen. This web­site en­abled us to work out that the ship she vis­ited was the third-rate war­ship of 74 guns HMS Con­ques­ta­dor, launched two years later. By then, Jane Austen was liv­ing at Chaw­ton, Hamp­shire, where she wrote her ‘naval novel’ Mans­field Park. In it, she de­scribes sev­eral war­ships that are moored at Portsmouth, close to the fic­tional HMS Thrush. This web­site helped us dis­cover that they were war­ships in which her two naval brothers, Fran­cis and Charles, had served – the Cano­pus, Ele­phant, Endymion and Cleopa­tra. She had gath­ered to­gether their ships as a fam­ily joke.”

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