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The Hornblower Companion by C. S. Forester
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I've been a fan of C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower series since pointed to them as a teen by a classmate. They're wonderful yarns about the days of sail focusing on a character akin to Horatio Nelson and the inspiration for Captain Kirk of Star Trek, Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe, Weber's Honor Harrington and more. So I think this should be in every fans collection--particularly those interested in the writing process. In it Forester gives you a peak at such things as the reason Lieutenant Hornblower is told from Lt. Bush's point of view or the origins of tales such as "The Even Chance" in Midshipman Hornblower. And Forester is a warm and engaging presence--not always the case in memoirs were the writer can be inadvertently self-revealings in off-putting ways. And I loved the maps. :-) ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Sep 8, 2013 |
This is of interest chiefly to a Hornblower completist, but I am one in a small way. My father had most of the Hornblower books and I slao read them in the Bowling Green OH pubic library when young. ( )
  antiquary | Jan 31, 2013 |
Except for an article Forester wrote for a UK drug company magazine (We remember his paragraphs on the British navy's use of whitewash to combat bedbugs!) these may be the last of his written words.

If you like handmade maps, you'll appreciate Bryant's designs as well as his mastery of the chisel pen. ( )
  joan_jes | Apr 21, 2011 |
Reading this companion makes me want to go back and read the entire series for the third time! I love looking at the maps to see where each and every battle or encounter took place and I wish I had this book when I first read the books.

I haven't read the personal notes yet, but I'm very much looking forward to it. So far, an excellent companion to a wonderful classic series! ( )
  korepersephone | Mar 27, 2011 |
C.S. Forester, The Hornblower Companion (1964). The first edition I have in front of me has become very collectible and pricey. Fortunately, it has been reprinted in paperback, a used copy of which can be had for a few dollars (or pounds).

This is a wonderful book. No, actually two wonderful books. The subtitle says it all: An Atlas and Personal Commentary on the Writing of the Hornblower Saga, with Illustrations and Maps by Samuel Bryant.

The first part of the book consists of thirty detailed maps covering HH's entire naval career, with a paragraph or two of commentary and analysis. The maps and the margins of their facing pages are adorned with Bryant's exquisite pen-and-ink drawings. He does a masterful job illustrating both ships and people. The pleasure of examining these little gems never seems to fail. (I have the privilege to own the original ink drawings of three of the maps -- numbers 17, 22, and 27 -- each with all the drawings that grace the facing page of the book. They also have corrections and annotations in CSF's handwriting.)

Forester modestly entitles the remainder of the book, some 90 pages, Some Personal Notes. Forester opens his mind to us and describes the writing process in real depth, discussing how he gets ideas, how they come together in to books, his writing regimen, and the writing/publishing history of the Hornblower books. Absolutely fascinating. And, I should think, required reading for all contemporary writers of Historic Naval Fiction. This book is a must for both readers and writers of HNF. ( )
1 vote pipester | Mar 6, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. S. Foresterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Forester, C. S.main authorall editionsconfirmed
Bryant, Samuel H.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Perhaps it is significant that there was no need to include the Orient in this map; perhaps it is significant that, except for a single foray into the Pacific, Hornblower's activities were confined, during the thirty years 1793 to 1823, to the Atlantic Ocean and its accessory seas, the Baltic, the Mediterranean, and the Caribbean.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0523004400, Mass Market Paperback)

The fascinating story behind the greatest naval adventures of all times, the saga of Horatio Hornblower. The complete and indispensable guide is fully illustrated with maps, charts, and drawings by Samuel H. Bryant. For the millions of readers who have thrilled to the exploits of the indomitable Horatio Hornblower this book will add new insight and excitement to the masterful naval adventures that have become classics. Here is the author's personal story of the literary birth of the heroic Hornblower and the development of the world famous eleven-volume series.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:23 -0400)

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A collection of maps illustrating Hornblower's adventures and a description of how the novels were written.

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