Ha - H'm. The Hornblower Pages

In the Order

Updated Jan 2006 (Moved Servers)

This page is devoted to Horatio Hornblower, the hero of eleven novels and some five short stories by C.S.Forester.

I am a great fan of Hornblower and have been reading CSF's books since I was 10 years old when an English teacher put Flying Colours on our reading list. He clearly was not a HH fan: Flying Colours must be far and away the least suitable introduction for a ten year old: part three in a trilogy, the only book to be set (almost!) entirely on land, and with a central theme being the morals of marriage and adultery. I guess he chose it because it was the shortest. Still, I enjoyed the book and became a devoted fan, rereading them since many times.

This page is by way of advertising Hornblower to new readers - and for the amusement of existing fans.

Reading Hornblower

If you haven't read the books yourself I would recommend you start immediately. I would suggest that you tackle them roughly in the order they were written (which is not chronological order) and start with The Happy Return (US Beat to Quarters) and continue with Ship of the Line and Flying Colours.

Starting here is better than starting chronologically, in my opinion, for several reasons

bullet The Happy Return is written as a first book with an emphasis on introduction.
bulletIt's also one of the best of the books
bullet Mr Midshipman Hornblower, the first chronological book, is not as good as The Happy Return
bulletReading them in this order you see how the characters develop in CSF's mind and
bulletyou don't notice chronological errors that Forester made (!)

On other pages:

bulletthe Hornblower Quiz: test your knowledge with this multi-question quiz
bulletthumbnail reviews of the books
bulletnow that the site has been around for a while - time for a FAQ.
bulletsee locations from the HH books in Google Earth


Here are some links.

bulletThe Hornblower-L discussion group is active and a good place for discussing all things Hornblower related. The group is on Yahoo, but you can subscribe to the mailing list without the fuss of creating a yahoo id by following this link Hornblower-L Subscribe.
bulletHornblower on the Wikipedia
bullet..and there are lots of HH fan sites devoted to the TV Series: for instance ScaryFanGirl


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Comments welcome - email me