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Subsequent skeletal excavations act as the starting point for naval historian Dr Sam Willis, who takes an hour to slowly describe the grim predicament of sailors like Nelson as they guzzled lead-poisoned grog, floated in a sea full of sewage and wilted in heat that would turn fresh fruit rancid. While the title is a little misleading (Nelson is not the sole focus at all), Willis is an engaging host, who’s able to unpick this little-known corner of colonial history with aplomb.
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