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Mr. Midshipman Hornblower / Lieutenant Hornblower / Hornblower and the Hotspur

by C. S. Forester

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Horatio Hornblower: Chronological Order (Omnibus 1,2,3), Horatio Hornblower (1-3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
406562,910 (4.06)6
A joyous creation, a perfection in words. Young Hornblower is, simply, one of the most complete creations of character in fiction' Conn Iggulden, The Independent Follow the thrilling and exciting adventures of Horatio Hornblower's life at sea in the Royal Navy - now a major TV series. The seventeen-year-old Hornblower became notorious as soon as he stepped on board a ship - as the midshipman who was seasick in Spithead. But he was soon to gain his sea legs. Amid battle, action and adventure he proves himself time and time again - courageous in danger, resourceful in moments of difficulty and decisive in times of trouble. The reader stands right beside him as he prepares to fight his first duel, feels the heat as he battles to control a blazing ship and shares his horror as he experiences for the first time the panic of the Plague. This omnibus edition contains: · Mr Midshipman Hornblower · Lieutenant Hornblower · Hornblower and the 'Hotspur'… (more)
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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
It's a long time since I read these Hornblower stories from early in his naval career - when I was a teenager. I've read some but not all of the later ones in the series.

I've also bought from the Folio Society quite a few of the Patrick O'Brian Aubrey-Maturin series and seen the excellent film with Russell Crowe as "lucky" Jack Aubrey (Master and Commander - an amalgam of more than one O'Brian novel)

So I wondered if I would find C S Forester more childish than O'Brian: not a bit of it!

In fact while O'Brian can be heavy going in parts of his novels this is definitely not the case for Lieutenant Hornblower that I have just read.

This book is unusual in that it is written from the pov of Lt Bush who was usually subordinate to Hornblower but here starts as a more senior lieutenant on a large (740 crew!) ship of the line.

I won't go into the plot which is quite a page turner. The key to this novel is the developing friendship of the two men and the describing of their quite different but complementary characters.
Bush is the more experienced practical seaman who takes raising a heavy cannon up a steep cliff in his stride -one suspects Hornblower would have struggled with this technical task. On the other hand, Hornblower has learned how to handle senior ranks diplomatically and is quick to recognise tactical opportunities and devise effective plans of action. Bush has no sympathy for the enemy (Spanish "dagoes") whereas Hornblower speaks Spanish and is pained when a Spanish ship founders under British fire.

Hornblower leapfrogs Bush to get his first command as a commander (not captain) at the end of the book but Bush is in no way upset or jealous.

Forester's descriptions of a sailing ship at sea can be quite lyrical e.g.
"It was Sunday morning. The Renown had caught the north-east trades and was plunging across the Atlantic at her best speed, with studding sails set on both sides, the roaring trades driving her along with a steady pitch and heave, her bluff bows now and then rising a smother of spray that supported momentary rainbows. The rigging was piping loud and clear, the treble and the tenor to the baritone and bass of the noises of the ship's fabric as she pitched – a symphony of the sea.." ( )
  Joe_Gargery | Sep 3, 2020 |
A handsome new Folio series introduces Horatio Hornblower, C. S. Forester’s brilliant Royal Navy hero of the Napoleonic Wars, lavishly illustrated by Joe McLaren and introduced by longtime admirer Bernard Cornwell.
  DeTlane | Jun 23, 2020 |
Hornblower is an old friend of mine who I have a long-standing affection for, and my rating reflects this, even though I admit they are hardly works of first class literature. Except, perhaps, for 'Lieutenant Hornblower'; the only book written not from Hornblower's point of view, but from that of Bush, it is on a higher literary plane than all the others, and a much more interesting and satisfying read. ( )
  sloopjonb | Jun 7, 2014 |
After reading this book, I discovered that therse three books are not sequential. There are two books chronologically between Lieutenant Hornblower and Hornblower and the Atropos. This was my first experience with the Hornblower series. I recommend it as a good starting place, as long as you are aware that there is a subtantial time gap beween the second and third book in this omnibus
Individual reviews:
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower: http://www.librarything.com/work/7683/reviews/63837087
Lieutenant Hornblower: http://www.librarything.com/work/7639/reviews/63837097
Hornblower and the Atropos: http://www.librarything.com/work/7574/reviews/63837109 ( )
  ASBiskey | Aug 25, 2010 |
bought today 1 of 12 books for $10 the lot.
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. S. Foresterprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cornwell, BernardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McLaren, JoeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There are at least THREE different collections called "Young Hornblower" - please be extremely careful when combining. This one is "Mr Midshipman Hornblower", "Lieutenant Hornblower" and "Hornblower and the Hotspur".
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A joyous creation, a perfection in words. Young Hornblower is, simply, one of the most complete creations of character in fiction' Conn Iggulden, The Independent Follow the thrilling and exciting adventures of Horatio Hornblower's life at sea in the Royal Navy - now a major TV series. The seventeen-year-old Hornblower became notorious as soon as he stepped on board a ship - as the midshipman who was seasick in Spithead. But he was soon to gain his sea legs. Amid battle, action and adventure he proves himself time and time again - courageous in danger, resourceful in moments of difficulty and decisive in times of trouble. The reader stands right beside him as he prepares to fight his first duel, feels the heat as he battles to control a blazing ship and shares his horror as he experiences for the first time the panic of the Plague. This omnibus edition contains: · Mr Midshipman Hornblower · Lieutenant Hornblower · Hornblower and the 'Hotspur'

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Omnibus edition of the first three Hornblower novels in order of Hornblower's age (actually published later in the series): Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, Lieutenant Hornblower, and Hornblower and the Hotspur.
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