Monday, August 18, 2008

Getting into Horatio Hornblower All Over Again !!

Note: Obtained from Wikipedia. See below for fair use clause.

Decades ago, as a kid I read a Horatio Hornblower novel and really liked it. Then about 20 years ago, I stumbled across a motion picture starring Gregory Peck and Virginia Mayo which combined three Hornblower novels. Hornblower's saga starts out with him as a midshipman in the Royal Navy.

About two years ago, I discovered that HH was on Public Television and bought the series. It made me realize that there were a lot more books about him out there than I originally thought. So I went on a quest and bought all 11 novels by C.S. Forester and the Horatio Hornblower compendium also by the original author as well. I was doing very well reading the novels in their proper order until I recently went on Vacation to Rosehaven, Maryland. I had three novels to go and somehow picked the wrong one so I'm reading three Hornblowers simultaneously because they are scattered hither and yon. So right now, I'm reading Commodore Hornblower, Lord Hornblower and Admiral Hornblower depending on what section of the house I'm in at the time.

They really are great books. C.S. Forester is terrific at describing life at sea. He really knows his stuff. The nomenclature, navigational and sailing terms are right on. The photograph above is Gregory Peck as Horatio Hornblower in a 1951 Movie of the same name which I am using under the fair use doctrine as an aide in describing the film. It is primarily from the book "Beat To Quarters" but there are elements of two other books in the movie as well. I highly recommend it for a good yarn. This film most certainly can be credited with increasing my interest in this really great fictional character.

By the way, C.S. Forester wrote a book entitled "The Captain From Connecticut" which is also very good. Its from the American perspective during the same time period. The story revolves around a fictional 44 gun fast frigate; hint, hint....just like the USS Constitution that evades a Britsh Blockade squadron off the coast of Long Island. I found it very entertaining. Too bad, he only wrote one from the U.S. perspective.

No comments: