3 vols., Oxford University Press, 1st.eds., 1935, 1937 & 1940. Vol. I : Xvi + 376 pp., frontis + 6 other plates, some drawings, & 2 maps (fldg.). Vol. II : Xx + 274 pp., frontis + 8 other plates, some drawings, & 1 map (fldg.). Vol. III : Xxvii + 428 pp., frontis + 8 other plates, some drawings, & 2 battle-plans (fldg.). All 3 Vols handsomely re-bound in cherry red superior cloth ; gilt. 23 x 15cm. FINE. A delightful mixture of social gossip and naval anecdote, being of considerable interest concerning the lives of Lord Nelson, Sir William and Lady Hamilton and the naval and domestic events surrounding the Fremantle family during the Napoleonic Wars. The editor of these pre-war diaries, Anne Fremantle, married into the family during the late 1920s and was shown "great grandmamma's diary" which ran to 25 volumes of all shapes and sizes ; the first dated 1789 and the last 1857. The diaries had been kept by Elizabeth Fremantle, n'e Wynne, and her sister. Their record of everyday events are now of great historical significance. Elizabeth married Captain (later Admiral Sir) Thomas Fremantle, one of Nelson's young, brave and dashing captains who was to fight alongside Nelson at Santa Cruz, Copenhagen, and Trafalgar. Elizabeth was at the former action herself, and it was to spare her feelings that Nelson, severely wounded, insisted on being rowed back to his own ship rather than to Fremantle's nearer vessel, as Nelson, clutching his shattered arm, had no news of her husband who was still fighting ashore. The Wynne diaries kept by Elizabeth (Betsy) and Eugenia, provide intimate and personal insights into the characters and events at Naples, London, and in other places in Europe and around the Mediterranean during the 1790s and early part of the 19th century. Following Nelson's last fight, Elizabeth records the family's reaction to the news of the great victory off Cape Trafalgar and the loss of their dear friend at the height of his fame. She expresses their concern for Fremantle's safety until news of him reaches home. These and many other fascinating events unfold in these amazing and highly entertaining diaries which, at times, read like one of Jane Austen's novels.