When Nan Prunty's mother kept an alehouse in Portsmouth she renamed it The Duchess of Prunty, the title she claimed would have been hers had Lord Nelson lived. He was her lover. She saw him die at Trafalgar, or so she says. The details vary according to the amount of drink she's taken. Nan makes her own determined way in life, but always haunted by the wish to know the truth about her father. From the aging seamen at the Greenwich Hospital to the battlefields of the Crimea, Nan discovers the world is full of people with a story about Nelson. There are questions we can never hope to answer. It doesn't stop us asking.