The early career of Horatio Hornblower of the British Royal Navy is traced in a series of adventurous episodes. They illustrate the quick thinking, brilliant intuition, and decisiveness characteristic of our hero and leave him with the rank of lieutenant.
"Hornblower and the Widow McCool" is a short story by C. S. Forester, featuring his fictional naval hero, Horatio Hornblower. It was published together with the unfinished novel Hornblower and the Crisis and another short story, "The Last Encounter". It is titled "Hornblower's Temptation" in certain US editions.
The story is set very early in Hornblower's career, in 1799 or 1800, after Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, but before Lieutenant Hornblower.
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.
MacNee (The Avengers and A View to a Kill) is a superb choice to read this ripping yarn—the third in Forester's expert and exciting series about a young naval officer who rises rapidly through the ranks to become one of England's heroes in the battles against Napoleon's huge fleet of fast and formidably armed frigates. MacNee is perfect as the young Horatio Hornblower, who listeners meet on his wedding day in 1803. The couple's romance succumbs to history as the dastardly French prepare to attack. With the possible exception of Patrick O'Brian, nobody else writes about sea battles with the perfect control of Forester, and MacNee uses all his acting skills to keep the action moving. A few sound effects might have been in order during the fighting scenes, but one can't have everything.
Captain Hornblower, after two hard years on blockade at Brest, has relinquished the helm of the Hotspur. He has no ship, only the promise of one. Meanwhile there are battles to be fought.
In the wake of a humbling incident aboard a canal boat in the Cotswolds, young Captain Horatio Hornblower arrives in London to take command of the Atropos, a 22-gun sloop barely large enough to require a captain. Her first assignment under Hornblower's command is as flagship for the funeral procession of Lord Nelson. Soon Atropos is part of the Mediterranean Fleet's harassment of Napoleon, recovering treasure that lies deep in Turkish waters and boldly challenging a Spanish frigate several times her size. At the center of each adventure is Hornblower, Forester's most inspired creation, whose blend of cautious preparation and spirited execution dazzles friend and foe alike.
May 1810, seventeen years deep into the Napoleonic Wars. Captain Horatio Hornblower is newly in command of his first ship of the line, the seventy-four-gun HMS Sutherland, which he deems “the ugliest and least desirable two-decker in the Navy List.” Moreover, she is 250 men short of a full crew, so Hornblower must enlist and train “poachers, bigamists, sheepstealers,” and other landlubbers. By the time the Sutherland reaches the blockaded Catalonian coast of Spain, the crew is capable of staging five astonishing solo raids against the French. But the grisly prospect of defeat and capture looms for both captain and crew as the Sutherland single-handedly takes on four French ships.
Flying Colours describes the adventures of Horatio Hornblower and his companions escaping from imprisonment in Napoleonic France and returning to England.
It was originally published in 1938 as the third in the series, but is ninth by internal chronology.
In this ninth installment in the Hornblower series, the incomparable Horatio Hornblower, recently knighted and settled in as squire of the village of Smallbridge, has been designated commodore of his own squadron of ships, led by the two-decker Nonsuch and bound for the Baltic. It is 1812, and Hornblower has been ordered to do anything and everything possible, diplomatically and militarily, to protect the Baltic trade and to stop the spread of Napoleon's empire into Sweden and Russia. Though he has set sail a hero, one misstep may ruin his chances of ever becoming an admiral. Hostile armies, seductive Russian royalty, nautical perils such as ice-bound bays, assassins in the imperial palace—Hornblower must conquer all before he can return home to his beloved new wife and son, as his instructions are to sacrifice every man and ship under his command rather than surrender ground to Napoleon.
In this, the tenth volume in C.S. Forester's series of classic naval adventure tales, Horatio Hornblower must rescue a man he knows to be a tyrant from the mutiny of his crew—a dubious chore, but one that leads Hornblower, with the aid of his old love, Marie, to the glorious conclusion of his own battle with Napoleon.
The eleventh tale of naval adventure in C.S. Forester's Hornblower series finds Horatio Hornblower an admiral struggling to impose order in the chaotic aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. As commander-in-chief of His Majesty's ships and vessels in the West Indies, he must take on pirates, revolutionaries, and a blistering hurricane. The war is over, but peaceful it is not.