Cecil Scott Forester and his character Horatio Hornblower

Cecil Scott Forester was the pen name of Cecil Louis Troughton Smith (August 27, 1899 – April 2, 1966), an English novelist who rose to fame with tales of adventure with military themes. His most notable works were the 11-book Horatio Hornblower series, about naval warfare during the Napoleonic era. The popularity of the Hornblower series, built around a central character who was heroic but not too heroic, has continued to grow over time. The subject was used for a television series in 2001 and the Star Trek character James T. Kirk was originally also supposedly modeled after Hornblower. As in the novels of Frederick Marryat and Patrick O’Brian, many of Hornblower’s exploits are based upon those of Horatio Nelson and Thomas Cochrane. Forester wrote many other novels, among them The African Queen (1935) filmed in the 1951 by John Huston, two crime novels and two children’s books. According to Forester, Hornblower joined the British Royal Navy at age seventeen, suffering from severe seasickness at the beginning of his voyages. Described as “unhappy and lonely”, Hornblower is chiefly characterized by his reserve and self-doubt. He regards himself as cowardly, dishonest, and, at times, disloyal. His sense of duty and a drive to succeed make these characteristics undetectable by everyone but him.

Hornblower (TV series)

Hornblower (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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