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Journalist’s book explores lives of sea captains

A former daily news editor turned freelance journalist has written a book about the links between two famous sea captains.

Mark Nicholls, who has worked at the Norfolk-based Eastern Daily Press and several other regional titles, explores the lives of Admiral Lord Nelson and his protege Sir William Hoste who were closely connected with The Hoste Arms in Burnham Market, North Norfolk.

The Hoste was a regular place of visit for Nelson to read his dispatches during his period of unemployment from 1788 to 1793 and the hotel was named in honour of Sir William Hoste after he won a notable victory at the Battle of Lissa in March 1811.

Mark, who is still a regular contributor to the EDP, helps uncover and describes a clearer picture of the 18th century world, which existed around the two famous sea captains and The Hoste.

The book explores the relationship between Admiral Lord Nelson and Sir William Hoste

“This was an interesting book to work on because of the important role The Hoste has played in the community and the history of Norfolk over the years, and continues to do so to this day,” he said.

“Nelson had such an influential and interesting life and there are so many aspects of it to analyse. He was a complete one-off and that’s why people are still fascinated by him.”

The Hoste was built in around 1551 and was a well-known coaching inn as the first stop from Wells-next-the-Sea on the way to London.

It housed the livestock auction market and later the Assizes, where the famous ‘Burnham housewife murderers’ had their preliminary trials before being sentenced to death at Norwich prison.

“It was fascinating to dig into the history of the building and the wider community in which it stands, as well as highlighting the strong maritime connections to the hotel,” he added.

Mark, who lives in Norfolk and is also author of the book Norfolk Maritime Heroes & Legends, won a feature writer of the year award at the 2012 British Travel Press Awards and is shortlisted again for the 2013 event

The new book also includes 40 beautifully illustrated recipes compiled by The Hoste’s head chef James O’Connor.

A History of the Hoste and its association with Admiral Lord Nelson and Captain Sir William Hoste costs £15 and is available exclusively from The Hoste reception or by ordering it through The Hoste website