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In this episode taken from the BBC Radio 4 series, Melvyn Bragg travels to the historic dockyard of Chatham to explore the life of a seaman in Nelson’s navy. Our popular image of the 18th century sailor below decks is one of a downtrodden, press-ganged man who was a victim of regular beatings. While Bragg finds some evidence to support this view, he also discovers that for many working-class men a career on board ship was an opportunity for a better life.
©2003 AudioGO Ltd (P)2011 Melvyn Bragg