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Lieutenant Hornblower (1951)

by C. S. Forester

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Horatio Hornblower (2)

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2,068395,948 (4.11)70
In this gripping tale of turmoil and triumph on the high seas, Horatio Hornblower emerges from his apprenticeship as midshipman to face new responsibilities thrust upon him by the fortunes of war between Napoleon and Spain. Enduring near-mutiny, bloody hand-to-hand combat with Spanish seamen, deck-splintering sea battles, and the violence and horror of life on the fighting ships of the Napoleonic Wars, the young lieutenant distinguishes himself in his first independent command. He also faces an adventure unique in his experience: Maria.… (more)
  1. 00
    The '44 Vintage by Anthony Price (Stepn)
    Stepn: Another period thriller with a similar viewpoint.
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» See also 70 mentions

English (37)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
The 2nd adventure of Horatio Hornblower as he travels the seas in service of The Crown. In this installment Horatio has moved from midshipman up to Lieutenant under a new Captain and onto a new ship. Traveling to the Caribbean Sea on a secret mission, through a series of mis-adventures he moves from 5th lowest officer to 3rd in command. Although I did not enjoy this saga as much as the first, I still find Hornblower endearing, and will continue to read the series when I can scrounge up a copy of the next in line.

I did start wondering why I was liking this story so much. What came to mind is that Hornblower reminds me of Captain Will Laurence from[b:His Majesty's Dragon|28876|His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1)|Naomi Novik|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1376392909l/28876._SY75_.jpg|726205] It occurred to me that [a:Naomi Novik|8730|Naomi Novik|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1206646770p2/8730.jpg] could have been inspired by this story. I just may drop her an email and ask! ( )
  JBroda | Sep 24, 2021 |
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. 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 explodes 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 6, 2020 |
The actions of Hornblower as seen through the eyes of a fellow lieutenant on a ship with an insane captain. "How did the Captain fall?" is never answered. Book ends with disappointment as war ends. ( )
  ritaer | Jul 15, 2020 |
This story was fascinating to me, the main character was Mr. Bush, that was a shock. It is an action filled character building story. ( )
  Wanda-Gambling | May 9, 2020 |
Serialized in the Saturday Evening Post, Sept-Nov 1951. ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 20, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. S. Foresterprimary authorall editionscalculated
Biro, ValIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cornwell, BernardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coster, NicolasPerformersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gruffuddd, IaonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howard, GeoffreyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rodska, ChristianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Lieutenant William Bush came on board H.M.S. Renown as she lay at anchor in the Hamoaze and reported himself to the officer of the watch, who was a tall and rather gangling individual with hollow cheeks and a melancholy cast of countenance, whose uniform looked as if it had been put on in the dark and not readjusted since.
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In this gripping tale of turmoil and triumph on the high seas, Horatio Hornblower emerges from his apprenticeship as midshipman to face new responsibilities thrust upon him by the fortunes of war between Napoleon and Spain. Enduring near-mutiny, bloody hand-to-hand combat with Spanish seamen, deck-splintering sea battles, and the violence and horror of life on the fighting ships of the Napoleonic Wars, the young lieutenant distinguishes himself in his first independent command. He also faces an adventure unique in his experience: Maria.

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