Onehandled adulterer

Stephen's label for the statue of Horatio Nelson, "the onehandled adulterer," refers to two details of the great British admiral's biography: Nelson lost his right arm in battle, and he conducted a very public affair with a married woman. The second detail contributes to Stephen's curiously sexualized story of two old maids gazing up at the statue, and the first may play a part as well.

John Hunt 2023

The statue atop Nelson's Pillar, in a photograph of unknown date.

1800 pastel on paper portrait of Lady Emma Hamilton, said to be Nelson's favorite portrait of her. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun's ca. 1790-92 oil portrait of Lady Hamilton as either Ariadne or a bacchante, which Nelson bought and hung over his bed for the rest of his life. Source: Wikimedia Commons.