Horatio Hornblower
Overview
 
Horatio Hornblower is a fictional Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 officer who is the protagonist of a series of novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

s by C. S. Forester
C. S. Forester
Cecil Scott "C.S." Forester was the pen name of Cecil Louis Troughton Smith , an English novelist who rose to fame with tales of naval warfare. His most notable works were the 11-book Horatio Hornblower series, depicting a Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic era, and The African Queen...

. He was later the subject of film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

s and television
Hornblower (TV series)
Hornblower is the umbrella title of a series of television drama programmes based on C. S. Forester's novels about the fictional character Horatio Hornblower, a Royal Naval officer during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars....

 programs.

The original Hornblower tales began with the 1937 novel The Happy Return
The Happy Return
The Happy Return was the first of the Horatio Hornblower novels published by C. S. Forester. It appeared in 1937. The American name derives from the expression "beat to quarters", which was the signal to prepare for combat...

(U.S. title Beat to Quarters) with the appearance of a junior Royal Navy captain on independent duty on a secret mission to Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

, though later stories would fill out his earlier years, starting with an unpromising beginning as a seasick midshipman
Midshipman
A midshipman is an officer cadet, or a commissioned officer of the lowest rank, in the Royal Navy, United States Navy, and many Commonwealth navies. Commonwealth countries which use the rank include Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Kenya...

.
Encyclopedia
Horatio Hornblower is a fictional Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 officer who is the protagonist of a series of novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

s by C. S. Forester
C. S. Forester
Cecil Scott "C.S." Forester was the pen name of Cecil Louis Troughton Smith , an English novelist who rose to fame with tales of naval warfare. His most notable works were the 11-book Horatio Hornblower series, depicting a Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic era, and The African Queen...

. He was later the subject of film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

s and television
Hornblower (TV series)
Hornblower is the umbrella title of a series of television drama programmes based on C. S. Forester's novels about the fictional character Horatio Hornblower, a Royal Naval officer during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars....

 programs.

The original Hornblower tales began with the 1937 novel The Happy Return
The Happy Return
The Happy Return was the first of the Horatio Hornblower novels published by C. S. Forester. It appeared in 1937. The American name derives from the expression "beat to quarters", which was the signal to prepare for combat...

(U.S. title Beat to Quarters) with the appearance of a junior Royal Navy captain on independent duty on a secret mission to Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

, though later stories would fill out his earlier years, starting with an unpromising beginning as a seasick midshipman
Midshipman
A midshipman is an officer cadet, or a commissioned officer of the lowest rank, in the Royal Navy, United States Navy, and many Commonwealth navies. Commonwealth countries which use the rank include Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Kenya...

. As the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 progress, he gains promotion steadily as a result of his skill and daring, despite his initial poverty and lack of influential friends. Eventually, after surviving many adventures in a wide variety of locales, he rises to the pinnacle of his profession, promoted to Admiral of the Fleet, knighted as a Knight
Knight
A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....

 Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

, and named the 1st Baron Hornblower.

Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

 is quoted as saying, "I recommend Forester to everyone literate I know," and Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 stated, "I find Hornblower admirable."

Inspirations

There are many parallels between Hornblower and real naval officers of the period, among them Sir George Cockburn
George Cockburn
Admiral of the Fleet Sir George Cockburn, 10th Baronet GCB was a British naval commander of the late 18th through the mid-19th centuries. He held important commands during the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812 and eventually rose to become Admiral of the Fleet and First Sea Lord.-Naval...

, Lord Cochrane
Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald
Admiral Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, 1st Marquess of Maranhão, GCB, ODM , styled Lord Cochrane between 1778 and 1831, was a senior British naval flag officer and radical politician....

, Sir James Gordon, Sir William Hoste
William Hoste
Captain Sir William Hoste, 1st Baronet KCB RN , Royal Navy captain, was the son of Dixon Hoste, rector of Godwick and Tittleshall in Norfolk...

 and many others. The actions of the Royal Navy at the time, documented in official reports, gave much material for Hornblower's fictional adventures.

The name "Horatio" was inspired by the character
Horatio (character)
Horatio is a character from William Shakespeare's play Hamlet. A friend of Prince Hamlet from Wittenberg University, Horatio's origins are unknown, though he is evidently poor and was present on the battlefield when Hamlet's father defeated 'the ambitious Norway'...

 in William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

's Hamlet
Hamlet
The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601...

and chosen also because of its association with contemporary figures such as Nelson. The name Hornblower was probably derived from the American film producer Arthur Hornblow, Jr.
Arthur Hornblow, Jr.
Arthur Hornblow, Jr. was an American film producer. His father, Arthur Hornblow , was a noted playwright.-Biography:...

, with whom C. S. Forester had been working prior to writing the first Hornblower novel.

Forester's original inspiration was an old copy of the Naval Chronicle, which described the effective dates of the Treaty of Ghent
Treaty of Ghent
The Treaty of Ghent , signed on 24 December 1814, in Ghent , was the peace treaty that ended the War of 1812 between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

. Because of the time required to communicate around the world, it was possible for two countries to still be at war in one part of the world after a peace was obtained months before in another. The burdens that this placed on captains far from home led him to a character struggling with the stresses of a "man alone". At the same time, Forester wrote the body of the works carefully to avoid entanglements with real world history, so Hornblower is always off on another mission when a great naval victory occurs during the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

.

Characteristics

Described as "unhappy and lonely", Hornblower's chief characteristics are not so much his courage and skilled seamanship as his intense reserve, introspection and self-doubt.

Despite numerous personal feats of extraordinary skill and cunning, he belittles his achievements by numerous rationalizations, remembering only his fears. He consistently ignores or is unaware of the admiration with which he is held by his fellow sailors.

He regards himself as cowardly, dishonest, and, at times, disloyal — never crediting his ability to persevere, think rapidly, organize, or cut to the heart of a matter. His sense of duty, hard work, and drive to succeed make these imagined negative characteristics undetectable by everyone but him, and being introspective, he obsesses over petty failures to reinforce his poor self image. His introverted nature continually isolates him from the people around him, including his closest friend, William Bush
William Bush (Hornblower)
Captain William Bush RN is a fictional character in C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower series. He is Hornblower's best friend, and serves with Hornblower in the Royal Navy prior to the Peace of Amiens and again during the Napoleonic Wars.-Character sketch:...

, and his wives never fully understand him. He is guarded with nearly everyone and reticent to the point of giving offense, unless the matter is the business of discharging his duty as a King's officer, in which case he is clear, decisive, and almost loquacious.

He suffers from chronic seasickness, especially at the start of his voyages. As a midshipman, he was once sick at the sheltered roadstead of Spithead
Spithead
Spithead is an area of the Solent and a roadstead off Gilkicker Point in Hampshire, England. It is protected from all winds, except those from the southeast...

, the embarrassing rumour of which follows him throughout his career. A voracious reader, he can discourse on both contemporary and classical literature. His skill at mathematics makes him both an adept navigator
Celestial navigation
Celestial navigation, also known as astronavigation, is a position fixing technique that has evolved over several thousand years to help sailors cross oceans without having to rely on estimated calculations, or dead reckoning, to know their position...

 and an extremely talented whist
Whist
Whist is a classic English trick-taking card game which was played widely in the 18th and 19th centuries. It derives from the 16th century game of Trump or Ruff, via Ruff and Honours...

 player. He uses his ability at whist to supplement his income during periods of inactivity in the naval service.

He is tone-deaf
Tone deafness
Tone deafness is the lack of relative pitch, or the inability to distinguish between musical notes that is not due to the lack of musical training or education...

 and finds music an incomprehensible irritant (in a scene in Hotspur he is unable to recognize the British national anthem
National anthem
A national anthem is a generally patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation's government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people.- History :Anthems rose to prominence...

). He is philosophically opposed to flogging and capital punishment
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

, in many cases when called for by the Articles of War
Articles of War
The Articles of War are a set of regulations drawn up to govern the conduct of a country's military and naval forces. The phrase was first used in 1637 in Robert Monro's His expedition with the worthy Scots regiment called Mac-keyes regiment etc. and can be used to refer to military law in general...

, yet as Captain and Lieutenant had to call men to account knowing that such harshness would be the result. Hornblower possesses a hyper-developed sense of duty
Duty
Duty is a term that conveys a sense of moral commitment to someone or something. The moral commitment is the sort that results in action and it is not a matter of passive feeling or mere recognition...

, yet on occasion he is able to set it aside for his more humane concerns, to the extent that, in Hornblower and the Hotspur, he contrives an escape for his personal steward who would otherwise have been hanged for striking a superior officer.

Youth

Hornblower is born in Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, the son of a doctor. He has no inherited wealth or influential connections who can advance his career. In The Happy Return
The Happy Return
The Happy Return was the first of the Horatio Hornblower novels published by C. S. Forester. It appeared in 1937. The American name derives from the expression "beat to quarters", which was the signal to prepare for combat...

, the first novel by order of publication, it is implied that Hornblower was born in 1771. His age is given as 37, and the events of the novel take place during 1808, in which year Spain was first at war with Great Britain but then changed sides. However, when Forester decided to write about Hornblower's early career in the sixth novel Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower is a Horatio Hornblower novel written by C. S. Forester. Although it may be considered as the first episode in the Hornblower saga, it was written as a prequel; the first Hornblower novel, The Happy Return, was published in 1937.-Plot introduction:Horatio Hornblower...

, he made his hero about five years younger, giving his birthdate as July 4, 1776 (the date of the adoption of the United States Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

). This adjustment allows Hornblower to begin his career in wartime. He is given a classical education
Classics
Classics is the branch of the Humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and other culture of the ancient Mediterranean world ; especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity Classics (sometimes encompassing Classical Studies or...

, and by the time he joins the Royal Navy at age seventeen, he is well-versed in Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 and Latin. He is tutored in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 by a penniless French émigré and has an aptitude for mathematics, which serves him well as a navigator
Navigator
A navigator is the person on board a ship or aircraft responsible for its navigation. The navigator's primary responsibility is to be aware of ship or aircraft position at all times. Responsibilities include planning the journey, advising the Captain or aircraft Commander of estimated timing to...

.

Early career

Hornblower's early exploits are many and varied. Joining the Royal Navy as a midshipman
Midshipman
A midshipman is an officer cadet, or a commissioned officer of the lowest rank, in the Royal Navy, United States Navy, and many Commonwealth navies. Commonwealth countries which use the rank include Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Kenya...

, he fends off fire ship
Fire ship
A fire ship, used in the days of wooden rowed or sailing ships, was a ship filled with combustibles, deliberately set on fire and steered into an enemy fleet, in order to destroy ships, or to create panic and make the enemy break formation. Ships used as fire ships were usually old and worn out or...

s which interrupt his first (disastrous) examination for promotion to lieutenant
Lieutenant
A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

. Still only an acting lieutenant, he is given command of the sloop Le Rêve, which blunders into a Spanish fleet in the fog, resulting in Hornblower's capture and imprisonment in Ferrol. During his captivity, he acquires a fluent knowledge of Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

, which proves highly useful in several further adventures, and is finally confirmed as a commissioned lieutenant. His daring rescue of sailors from a shipwreck under extremely hazardous conditions, and his honourable adherence to the parole he had given, is rewarded by his Spanish captors by his release.

As a junior lieutenant, he serves under Captain Sawyer, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia on a trip to the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

. It is on this voyage that he begins his long friendship with William Bush
William Bush (Hornblower)
Captain William Bush RN is a fictional character in C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower series. He is Hornblower's best friend, and serves with Hornblower in the Royal Navy prior to the Peace of Amiens and again during the Napoleonic Wars.-Character sketch:...

, at the time his senior. Returning to England, Hornblower is demobilised after the peace of Amiens, causing him great financial distress — he resorts to making a living as a professional gambler, playing whist
Whist
Whist is a classic English trick-taking card game which was played widely in the 18th and 19th centuries. It derives from the 16th century game of Trump or Ruff, via Ruff and Honours...

 with admirals and other senior figures for a modest income.

In 1803, he is reactivated and confirmed as commander
Commander
Commander is a naval rank which is also sometimes used as a military title depending on the individual customs of a given military service. Commander is also used as a rank or title in some organizations outside of the armed forces, particularly in police and law enforcement.-Commander as a naval...

 of HMS Hotspur
HMS Hotspur
Four ships of the British Royal Navy have been named HMS Hotspur after the nickname of Sir Henry Percy:* The first Hotspur was a 36-gun fifth-rate in service from 1810 to 1821....

 when hostilities resume against Napoleon. Following his appointment to this command, he marries Maria, the daughter of his landlady while living on half-pay in Portsmouth
Portsmouth
Portsmouth is the second largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire on the south coast of England. Portsmouth is notable for being the United Kingdom's only island city; it is located mainly on Portsea Island...

. After gruelling service during the blockade of Brest
Brest, France
Brest is a city in the Finistère department in Brittany in northwestern France. Located in a sheltered position not far from the western tip of the Breton peninsula, and the western extremity of metropolitan France, Brest is an important harbour and the second French military port after Toulon...

, he finally is promoted to captain
Captain (Royal Navy)
Captain is a senior officer rank of the Royal Navy. It ranks above Commander and below Commodore and has a NATO ranking code of OF-5. The rank is equivalent to a Colonel in the British Army or Royal Marines and to a Group Captain in the Royal Air Force. The rank of Group Captain is based on the...

 and recalled to England. Once there, he meets the secretary of the Admiralty and post rank is conferred immediately when Hornblower agrees to take part in a clandestine operation that eventually leads to the resounding British victory at the Battle of Trafalgar
Battle of Trafalgar
The Battle of Trafalgar was a sea battle fought between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French Navy and Spanish Navy, during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars ....

 that costs Nelson his life.

Hornblower then organises Nelson's funeral procession along the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 and has to deal with the near-sinking of the barge conveying the hero's coffin. Later, he secretly recovers gold and silver from a sunken ship on the bottom of Marmorice Bay within the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 with the aid of pearl diver
Pearl Diver
Pearl Diver was a French Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career which lasted from 1946 and 1948 he ran thirteen times and won four races...

s from Ceylon, narrowly escaping a Turkish warship at the end. Upon unloading the treasure and refitting, his ship, HMS Atropos, is given to the King of the Two Sicilies
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, commonly known as the Two Sicilies even before formally coming into being, was the largest and wealthiest of the Italian states before Italian unification...

 for diplomatic reasons, much to his disappointment. On his return to England, he finds his two young children dying of smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

.

Later (in the time line, but written of in the first novel), he makes a long, difficult voyage in command of the frigate
Frigate
A frigate is any of several types of warship, the term having been used for ships of various sizes and roles over the last few centuries.In the 17th century, the term was used for any warship built for speed and maneuverability, the description often used being "frigate-built"...

 HMS Lydia round the Horn
Cape Horn
Cape Horn is the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile, and is located on the small Hornos Island...

 to the Pacific, where he supports a madman, El Supremo
El Supremo
El Supremo or il Supremo may refer to:*José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia , Paraguayan dictator*Pasquale Condello , leader of the Italian 'Ndrangheta crime organization...

, in his rebellion against the Spanish. He captures the Natividad, a much more powerful Spanish ship (Bush refers to it as a "ship of the line
Ship of the line
A ship of the line was a type of naval warship constructed from the 17th through the mid-19th century to take part in the naval tactic known as the line of battle, in which two columns of opposing warships would manoeuvre to bring the greatest weight of broadside guns to bear...

", but Hornblower believes this is stretching a point) but then has to reluctantly cede it to El Supremo to placate him. When he finds that the Spanish have switched sides in the interim, he is forced to find and sink the ship he had captured—adding injury to insult, as he had given up a fortune in prize money to maintain the uneasy alliance with the megalomaniac
Megalomania
Megalomania is a psycho-pathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of power, relevance, or omnipotence. 'Megalomania is characterized by an inflated sense of self-esteem and overestimation by persons of their powers and beliefs'...

.

On his return voyage, he and his well-connected passenger, Lady Barbara Wellesley, the fictional younger sister of Arthur Wellesley
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS , was an Irish-born British soldier and statesman, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century...

 (later to become the Duke of Wellington) become dangerously attracted to each other. This results in a kiss that is interrupted by Lady Barbara's maid Hebe—when she is sent away, the spell is broken, and Hornblower has second thoughts. Perceiving herself rejected, Lady Barbara leaves the Lydia two days later when they rendezvous with other British ships. Hornblower fears for his career, having offended the daughter of an earl and sister of a marquis.

Later career

After these exploits, he is given command of HMS Sutherland, a seventy four gun
Seventy-four (ship)
The "seventy-four" was a type of two-decked sailing ship of the line nominally carrying 74 guns. Originally developed by the French Navy in the mid-18th century, the design proved to be a good balance between firepower and sailing qualities, and was adopted by the British Royal Navy , as well as...

 ship of the line
Ship of the line
A ship of the line was a type of naval warship constructed from the 17th through the mid-19th century to take part in the naval tactic known as the line of battle, in which two columns of opposing warships would manoeuvre to bring the greatest weight of broadside guns to bear...

. While waiting at his Mediterranean rendezvous point for the rest of his squadron—and its commander—to arrive, he carries out a series of raids against the French along the south coast of Spain. He learns that a French squadron of four ships of the line is loose, having slipped the blockade. He decides that his duty requires that he fight at one-to-four odds to prevent them from entering a well-protected harbour. In the process, his ship is crippled and, with two-thirds of the crew incapacitated, he surrenders to the French.

He is sent with his coxswain, Brown, and his injured first lieutenant, Bush, to Paris for a show trial and execution. During the journey, Hornblower and his companions escape. After a winter sojourn at the chateau of the Comte de Graçay, during which he has an affair with the nobleman's widowed daughter-in-law, the escapees travel down the Loire river to the coastal city of Nantes
Nantes
Nantes is a city in western France, located on the Loire River, from the Atlantic coast. The city is the 6th largest in France, while its metropolitan area ranks 8th with over 800,000 inhabitants....

. There, he recaptures a Royal Navy cutter, the Witch of Endor, mans the vessel with a gang of slave labourers and escapes to the Channel Fleet
Channel Fleet
The Channel Fleet was the Royal Navy formation of warships that defended the waters of the English Channel from 1690 to 1909.-History:The Channel Fleet dates back at least to 1690 when its role was to defend England against the French threat under the leadership of Edward Russell, 1st Earl of...

.

Hornblower faces a mandatory court-martial
Court-martial
A court-martial is a military court. A court-martial is empowered to determine the guilt of members of the armed forces subject to military law, and, if the defendant is found guilty, to decide upon punishment.Most militaries maintain a court-martial system to try cases in which a breach of...

 for the loss of the Sutherland, but is "most honourably acquitted." A national hero in the eyes of the public, he is awarded a knighthood and made a Colonel of Marines (a sinecure
Sinecure
A sinecure means an office that requires or involves little or no responsibility, labour, or active service...

 which confers a second salary without any additional duties). When he arrives home, he discovers that his first wife Maria has died in childbirth and that his infant son has been adopted and cared for by Lady Barbara. As she has been widowed by the death of her husband, Hornblower's former commander, Admiral Leighton, they are free (after a decent interval) to marry. Thereafter, he lives as a country squire in the fictional village of Smallbridge, Kent, largely satisfied but longing for the sea.

A return to duty comes when he is promoted to commodore and sent on a mission to the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

, where he must be a diplomat as much as an officer. He foils an assassination attempt on Tsar
Tsar
Tsar is a title used to designate certain European Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, or Tsarism...

 Alexander I of Russia
Alexander I of Russia
Alexander I of Russia , served as Emperor of Russia from 23 March 1801 to 1 December 1825 and the first Russian King of Poland from 1815 to 1825. He was also the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland and Lithuania....

 and is influential in the monarch's decision to resist the French invasion of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

. He provides invaluable assistance in the defence of Riga
Riga
Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 702,891 inhabitants Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states, one of the largest cities in Northern Europe and home to more than one third of Latvia's population. The city is an important seaport and a major industrial, commercial,...

 against the French army, where he meets General Carl von Clausewitz
Carl von Clausewitz
Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz was a Prussian soldier and German military theorist who stressed the moral and political aspects of war...

 of the Prussian Army
Prussian Army
The Royal Prussian Army was the army of the Kingdom of Prussia. It was vital to the development of Brandenburg-Prussia as a European power.The Prussian Army had its roots in the meager mercenary forces of Brandenburg during the Thirty Years' War...

.

He returns ill with typhus
Typhus
Epidemic typhus is a form of typhus so named because the disease often causes epidemics following wars and natural disasters...

 to England. Soon after his recovery, he is given the difficult task of dealing with mutineers off the coast of France. After provoking the French by trickery into attacking the mutinous ship, he rounds up the rebels, personally shooting their ringleader as he tries to escape. When he is approached by a French official willing to negotiate the surrender of a major port, he seizes the opportunity and engineers the return of the Bourbons
House of Bourbon
The House of Bourbon is a European royal house, a branch of the Capetian dynasty . Bourbon kings first ruled Navarre and France in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Bourbon dynasty also held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma...

 to France. He is rewarded by being created a peer
Hereditary peer
Hereditary peers form part of the Peerage in the United Kingdom. There are over seven hundred peers who hold titles that may be inherited. Formerly, most of them were entitled to sit in the House of Lords, but since the House of Lords Act 1999 only ninety-two are permitted to do so...

 as Baron Hornblower of Smallbridge in the County of Kent. However, his satisfaction is marred by the death of his longtime friend, Bush.

When Napoleon returns from exile at the start of the Hundred Days
Hundred Days
The Hundred Days, sometimes known as the Hundred Days of Napoleon or Napoleon's Hundred Days for specificity, marked the period between Emperor Napoleon I of France's return from exile on Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815...

, Hornblower is staying at the estate of the Comte de Graçay. He leads a Royalist guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 force; after capture by the French, he is about to be shot under an earlier warrant for his execution when he is saved by news of Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo
The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...

.

After several years ashore, he is promoted to rear admiral and appointed naval Commander-in-Chief of the West Indies. He foils an attempt by veterans of Napoleon's Imperial Guard to free Napoleon from his captivity on Saint Helena
Saint Helena
Saint Helena , named after St Helena of Constantinople, is an island of volcanic origin in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha which also includes Ascension Island and the islands of Tristan da Cunha...

, captures a slave ship
Slave ship
Slave ships were large cargo ships specially converted for the purpose of transporting slaves, especially newly purchased African slaves to Americas....

, and encounters Simón Bolívar
Simón Bolívar
Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios Ponte y Yeiter, commonly known as Simón Bolívar was a Venezuelan military and political leader...

's army. He retires to Kent and eventually becomes Admiral of the Fleet.

His final, improbable achievement occurs at his home, when he assists a seemingly mad man claiming to be Napoleon to travel to France. That person turns out to be Napoleon III, the nephew of Hornblower's great nemesis and the future President (and later Emperor in his own right) of France. For his assistance, Lord Hornblower is created a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. At the end of his long and heroic career, he is wealthy, famous, and contented; a loving and indulgent husband and father; and finally free of the insecurities and self-loathing that had driven him throughout his life.

Forester provides two different brief summaries of Hornblower's career. The first was in the first chapter of The Happy Return, which was the first Hornblower novel written. The second occurs mid-way through The Commodore, when Czar Alexander asks him to describe his career. The two accounts are incompatible. The first account would have made Hornblower about five years older than the second. The second account is more nearly compatible with the rest of Hornblower's career, but it omits the time he spent as a commander in Hornblower and the Hotspur. There are other discrepancies as well; in one account of his defeat of a Spanish frigate in the Mediterranean, he distinguished himself as lieutenant and in another he is a post-captain with less than three years seniority. It appears that these discrepancies arose as the series matured and accounts needed to be modified to coincide with his age and career.

Non-canonical biography

C. Northcote Parkinson
C. Northcote Parkinson
Cyril Northcote Parkinson was a British naval historian and author of some sixty books, the most famous of which was his bestseller Parkinson's Law, which led him to be also considered as an important scholar within the field of public administration.-Early life and education:The youngest son of...

, more famous for his invention of Parkinson's Law
Parkinson's law
Parkinson's law is the adage first articulated by Cyril Northcote Parkinson as the first sentence of a humorous essay published in The Economist in 1955:...

, has written a 'biography' of Hornblower, detailing his career as well as personal information. The biography sheds light upon what 'really' happened to Captain Sawyer on HMS Renown (including a confession that Hornblower pushed Captain Sawyer down the hatchway), as well as subsequent careers of Lord Hornblower's descendants, ending with the present Lord Hornblower's emigration to Apartheid South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 in the late 1960s. According to Parkinson, Hornblower in later life became a director of P&O
Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company
The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, which is usually known as P&O, is a British shipping and logistics company which dated from the early 19th century. Following its sale in March 2006 to Dubai Ports World for £3.9 billion, it became a subsidiary of DP World; however, the P&O...

, Governor of Malta (1829–1831), Commander in Chief at Chatham (1832–1835) a Viscount
Viscount
A viscount or viscountess is a member of the European nobility whose comital title ranks usually, as in the British peerage, above a baron, below an earl or a count .-Etymology:...

 (in 1850), and an Admiral of the Fleet
Admiral of the Fleet
An admiral of the fleet is a military naval officer of the highest rank. In many nations the rank is reserved for wartime or ceremonial appointments...

, dying aged 80 on 12 January 1858.
This fictional biography of a fictional character has confused some readers, who have taken it as a factual work.

Novels

The novels, in the order in which they were written:
  1. The Happy Return
    The Happy Return
    The Happy Return was the first of the Horatio Hornblower novels published by C. S. Forester. It appeared in 1937. The American name derives from the expression "beat to quarters", which was the signal to prepare for combat...

    (1937, called Beat to Quarters in the U.S.)
  2. A Ship of the Line
    A Ship of the Line
    A Ship of the Line is an historical seafaring novel by C. S. Forester. It follows his fictional hero Horatio Hornblower during his tour as captain of a ship of the line. By internal chronology, A Ship of the Line, which follows The Happy Return, is the seventh book in the series...

    (1938, called simply Ship of the Line in the U.S.)
  3. Flying Colours (1938, spelled Flying Colors in some U.S. editions)
  4. The Commodore
    The Commodore
    The Commodore is a Horatio Hornblower novel written by C. S. Forester. It was published in the United States under the title Commodore Hornblower.-Plot summary:...

    (1945, called Commodore Hornblower in the U.S.)
  5. Lord Hornblower
    Lord Hornblower
    Lord Hornblower is a Horatio Hornblower novel written by C. S. Forester.In 1814, Hornblower is delegated to deal with the Flame, a brig full of mutineers off the French coast, near the mouth of the Seine...

    (1946)
  6. Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
    Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
    Mr. Midshipman Hornblower is a Horatio Hornblower novel written by C. S. Forester. Although it may be considered as the first episode in the Hornblower saga, it was written as a prequel; the first Hornblower novel, The Happy Return, was published in 1937.-Plot introduction:Horatio Hornblower...

    (1950)
  7. Lieutenant Hornblower
    Lieutenant Hornblower
    Lieutenant Hornblower is a Horatio Hornblower novel written by C. S. Forester, ISBN 1-85998-976-4.It is the second book in the series chronologically, but the seventh by order of publication....

    (1952)
  8. Hornblower and the Atropos
    Hornblower and the Atropos
    Hornblower and the Atropos is a 1953 historical novel by C.S. Forester.In this novel, Horatio Hornblower is posted to HMS Atropos, the smallest vessel in the Royal Navy that merits command by a post-Captain, as he hunts for treasure in the Mediterranean Sea.-Plot summary:On a December day in 1805,...

    (1953)
  9. Hornblower in the West Indies
    Hornblower in the West Indies
    Hornblower in the West Indies, or alternately Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies is one of the novels in the series CS Forester wrote about fictional Royal Navy officer Horatio Hornblower....

    (1958, Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies in some U.S. editions)
  10. Hornblower and the Hotspur
    Hornblower and the Hotspur
    Hornblower and the Hotspur is a Horatio Hornblower novel written by C. S. Forester.It is the third book in the series chronologically, but the tenth by order of publication.-Plot summary:...

    (1962)
  11. Hornblower and the Crisis
    Hornblower and the Crisis
    Hornblower and the Crisis is a 1967 historical novel by C. S. Forester. It forms part of the Horatio Hornblower series, and as a result of C.S. Forester's death in 1966, it was left unfinished. There is a one-page summary of the last several chapters of the book found on the final page, taken from...

    (1967, unfinished novel and short stories, Hornblower During the Crisis in some U.S. editions)


In chronological order (including short stories):
  1. Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
    Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
    Mr. Midshipman Hornblower is a Horatio Hornblower novel written by C. S. Forester. Although it may be considered as the first episode in the Hornblower saga, it was written as a prequel; the first Hornblower novel, The Happy Return, was published in 1937.-Plot introduction:Horatio Hornblower...

    (1950)
  2. "Hornblower and the Widow McCool
    Hornblower and the Widow McCool
    "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"...

    " (1967, short story, a.k.a. "Hornblower's Temptation")
  3. Lieutenant Hornblower
    Lieutenant Hornblower
    Lieutenant Hornblower is a Horatio Hornblower novel written by C. S. Forester, ISBN 1-85998-976-4.It is the second book in the series chronologically, but the seventh by order of publication....

    (1952)
  4. Hornblower and the Hotspur
    Hornblower and the Hotspur
    Hornblower and the Hotspur is a Horatio Hornblower novel written by C. S. Forester.It is the third book in the series chronologically, but the tenth by order of publication.-Plot summary:...

    (1962)
  5. Hornblower and the Crisis
    Hornblower and the Crisis
    Hornblower and the Crisis is a 1967 historical novel by C. S. Forester. It forms part of the Horatio Hornblower series, and as a result of C.S. Forester's death in 1966, it was left unfinished. There is a one-page summary of the last several chapters of the book found on the final page, taken from...

    (1967, unfinished novel and short stories, a.k.a. Hornblower During the Crisis)
  6. Hornblower and the Atropos
    Hornblower and the Atropos
    Hornblower and the Atropos is a 1953 historical novel by C.S. Forester.In this novel, Horatio Hornblower is posted to HMS Atropos, the smallest vessel in the Royal Navy that merits command by a post-Captain, as he hunts for treasure in the Mediterranean Sea.-Plot summary:On a December day in 1805,...

    (1953)
  7. The Happy Return
    The Happy Return
    The Happy Return was the first of the Horatio Hornblower novels published by C. S. Forester. It appeared in 1937. The American name derives from the expression "beat to quarters", which was the signal to prepare for combat...

    (1937, a.k.a. Beat to Quarters)
  8. A Ship of the Line
    A Ship of the Line
    A Ship of the Line is an historical seafaring novel by C. S. Forester. It follows his fictional hero Horatio Hornblower during his tour as captain of a ship of the line. By internal chronology, A Ship of the Line, which follows The Happy Return, is the seventh book in the series...

    (1938)
  9. Flying Colours (1938)
  10. The Commodore
    The Commodore
    The Commodore is a Horatio Hornblower novel written by C. S. Forester. It was published in the United States under the title Commodore Hornblower.-Plot summary:...

    (1945, a.k.a. Commodore Hornblower)
  11. Lord Hornblower
    Lord Hornblower
    Lord Hornblower is a Horatio Hornblower novel written by C. S. Forester.In 1814, Hornblower is delegated to deal with the Flame, a brig full of mutineers off the French coast, near the mouth of the Seine...

    (1946)
  12. Hornblower in the West Indies
    Hornblower in the West Indies
    Hornblower in the West Indies, or alternately Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies is one of the novels in the series CS Forester wrote about fictional Royal Navy officer Horatio Hornblower....

    (1958, a.k.a. Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies)
  13. "The Last Encounter
    The Last Encounter
    "The Last Encounter" is a short story by C. S. Forester, the final chapter in the life of his fictional naval hero, Horatio Hornblower. It was published together with the unfinished novel Hornblower and the Crisis and another short story, "Hornblower and the Widow McCool".-Plot summary:In 1848,...

    " (1967, short story)

Omnibus releases

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, Lieutenant Hornblower, and Hornblower and the Atropos were compiled in one book, variously titled Hornblower's Early Years, Horatio Hornblower Goes to Sea, or The Young Hornblower. Hornblower and the Atropos was replaced by Hornblower and the Hotspur in later UK editions of The Young Hornblower.

Hornblower and the Atropos, The Happy Return, and A Ship of the Line were compiled into one omnibus edition, called Captain Hornblower.

In the U.S.,
Beat to Quarters, A Ship of the Line, and Flying Colours were compiled into one book, called Captain Horatio Hornblower.

Flying Colours, The Commodore, Lord Hornblower, and Hornblower in the West Indies were presented as a third omnibus edition called Admiral Hornblower to fill out the series.

Commodore Hornblower, Lord Hornblower, and Hornblower in the West Indies were also compiled into one book, called The Indomitable Hornblower.

Short stories

Three short stories by C. S. Forester about Hornblower were published in 1940 and 1941. The stories are:
  • "Hornblower's Charitable Offering" (a.k.a. "The Bad Samaritan"), published in Argosy
    Argosy (magazine)
    Argosy was an American pulp magazine, published by Frank Munsey. It is generally considered to be the first American pulp magazine. The magazine began as a general information periodical entitled The Golden Argosy, targeted at the boys adventure market.-Launch of Argosy:In late September 1882,...

    , May 1941, and was originally intended as a chapter for A Ship of the Line (Captain Hornblower encounters marooned prisoners of war).
  • "Hornblower and His Majesty", in Collier's
    Collier's Weekly
    Collier's Weekly was an American magazine founded by Peter Fenelon Collier and published from 1888 to 1957. With the passage of decades, the title was shortened to Collier's....

    , March 1940, and in Argosy, March 1941.
  • "The Hand of Destiny", in Collier's, November 1940 (Lieutenant Hornblower negotiates a mutiny).


Another short story "The Point And The Edge" is included as an outline only in Forester's
The Hornblower Companion (1964).

Two final stories "Hornblower and the Widow McCool" (a.k.a. "Hornblower's Temptation") (1967) and "The Last Encounter" (1967), are often included with the unfinished novel
Hornblower and the Crisis.

Royal Navy figures

  • Vice-Admiral The Hon. Sir Henry Blackwood, 1st Baronet
    Henry Blackwood
    Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Blackwood, 1st Baronet, GCH, KCB , whose memorial is in the St. John's Church, Killyleagh, was a British sailor....

     (
    Hornblower and the Atropos)
  • Admiral Prince William Henry, Duke of Clarence (later King William IV) (Flying Colours)
  • Admiral Lord Collingwood
    Cuthbert Collingwood, 1st Baron Collingwood
    Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, 1st Baron Collingwood was an admiral of the Royal Navy, notable as a partner with Lord Nelson in several of the British victories of the Napoleonic Wars, and frequently as Nelson's successor in commands.-Early years:Collingwood was born in Newcastle upon Tyne...

     (
    Hornblower and the Atropos)
  • Admiral The Hon. Sir William Cornwallis
    William Cornwallis
    Admiral the Honourable Sir William Cornwallis GCB was a Royal Navy officer who fought in the Napoleonic Wars. He was the brother of Charles Cornwallis, the 1st Marquess Cornwallis, governor-general of India...

     (
    Hornblower and the Widow McCool, Hornblower and the Hotspur, Hornblower and the Atropos)
  • Admiral Lord Gambier (Flying Colours)
  • Rear-Admiral Lord Gardner
    Baron Gardner
    Baron Gardner, of Uttoxeter, is a dormant title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created in 1800 for Sir Alan Gardner, an Admiral of the Blue and former Member of Parliament for Plymouth and Westminster. In 1806 he was also created Baron Gardner, of Uttoxeter in the County of Stafford, in the...

    , second in command to Admiral Cornwallis (
    Hornblower and the Hotspur)
  • Captain Richard Bowen
    Richard Bowen
    Richard Bowen was an officer of the Royal Navy who served during the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary Wars...

     — HMS
    Terpsichore, but called Captain Sir Richard Bowen, killed at Teneriffe
  • Admiral Sir John Gore — HMS Medusa (Hornblower and the Hotspur)
  • Admiral Sir Richard Grindall
    Richard Grindall
    Vice Admiral Sir Richard Grindall KCB was an officer in the British Royal Navy whose distinguished career during the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars was highlighted by his presence at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805, when despite being cursed with...

     — HMS
    Prince (Hornblower and the Hotspur)
  • Admiral Sir Graham Eden Hamond, 2nd Baronet — HMS Lively, but called Hammond (Hornblower and the Hotspur)
  • Captain Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy
    Thomas Hardy (naval officer)
    Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, 1st Baronet GCB was an officer of the Royal Navy. He served as flag captain to Admiral Lord Nelson, and commanded HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar...

      — HMS Triumph
    (Flying Colours)
  • Admiral John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent
    John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent
    Admiral of the Fleet John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent GCB, PC was an admiral in the Royal Navy and Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom...

     (Hornblower and the Atropos, Lord Hornblower)
  • Captain Charles John Moore Mansfield — HMS Minotaur, but called Marsfield (Hornblower and the Hotspur)
  • Admiral Sir Graham Moore
    Graham Moore
    Admiral Sir Graham Moore, GCB, GCMG was a British sailor and a career officer in the Royal Navy. He was the younger brother of General Sir John Moore.-Naval career:...

     — HMS Indefatigable (Hornblower and the Hotspur)
  • Admiral of the Fleet Sir Peter Parker, 1st Baronet
    Sir Peter Parker, 1st Baronet
    Admiral of the Fleet Sir Peter Parker, 1st Baronet was a British naval officer.-Naval career:Peter Parker was born probably in Ireland. He became a lieutenant in the Royal Navy in 1743 and captain in 1747. In 1761, he took command of HMS Buckingham and helped cover operations on Belle Île...

     (Hornblower and the Atropos)
  • Rear-Admiral Sir William Parker, 1st Baronet, of Harburn (Hornblower and the Hotspur)
  • Captain Lord Henry Paulet
    Henry Paulet
    Lord Henry "Harry" Paulet KCB was an officer in the Royal Navy who saw service in the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Born into the British nobility as a younger son of the Marquess of Winchester, he rose through the ranks and had gained his own command...

     — HMS Terrible (Hornblower and the Hotspur)
  • Admiral Pellew, Viscount Exmouth
    Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth
    Admiral Sir Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth, GCB was a British naval officer. He fought during the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary, and the Napoleonic Wars...

     — HMS Indefatigable (Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, Hornblower and the Hotspur, Lord Hornblower)
  • Rear-Admiral Sir James Saumarez
    James Saumarez, 1st Baron de Saumarez
    Admiral James Saumarez, 1st Baron de Saumarez , GCB was an admiral of the British Royal Navy, notable for his victory at the Battle of Algeciras.-Early life:...

    , later Lord de Saumarez, — HMS Temeraire (The Happy Return)
  • Captain Samuel Sutton
    Samuel Sutton
    Samuel Sutton was an officer in the Royal Navy. He entered the service shortly after the start of the American War of Independence, and spent most of his early career serving with Captain and later Admiral Joshua Rowley. He saw action at several engagements with the French fleets in the West...

     — HMS Amphion (Hornblower and the Hotspur)

Other historical figures

  • Aleksandr Pavlovich Romanov, Tsar Alexander I of Russia
    Alexander I of Russia
    Alexander I of Russia , served as Emperor of Russia from 23 March 1801 to 1 December 1825 and the first Russian King of Poland from 1815 to 1825. He was also the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland and Lithuania....

     (The Commodore)
  • Sir John Barrow
    Sir John Barrow, 1st Baronet
    Sir John Barrow, 1st Baronet, FRS, FRGS was an English statesman.-Career:He was born the son of Roger Barrow in the village of Dragley Beck, in the parish of Ulverston then in Lancashire, now in Cumbria...

     — Second Secretary to the Admiralty (Hornblower and the Crisis)
  • Lord William Cavendish-Bentinck
    Lord William Bentinck
    Lieutenant-General Lord William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck GCB, GCH, PC , known as Lord William Bentinck, was a British soldier and statesman...

     (Hornblower and the Atropos)
  • Prince Karl XIV Johan of Sweden (The Commodore)
  • Napoleon III of France
    Napoleon III of France
    Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte was the President of the French Second Republic and as Napoleon III, the ruler of the Second French Empire. He was the nephew and heir of Napoleon I, christened as Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte...

      (The Last Encounter)
  • General Count Pierre Jacques Etienne Cambronne
    Cambronne
    Pierre Jacques Étienne Cambronne, later Pierre, Viscount Cambronne , was a General of the French Empire. He fought during the wars of the Revolution and the Napoleonic Era. He was wounded at the Battle of Waterloo....

     (erstwhile commander of the Imperial Guard) (Hornblower In The West Indies)
  • Colonel Karl Philip Gottlieb von Clausewitz
    Carl von Clausewitz
    Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz was a Prussian soldier and German military theorist who stressed the moral and political aspects of war...

     (The Commodore)
  • Lord Conyngham
    Henry Conyngham, 1st Marquess Conyngham
    Henry Conyngham, 1st Marquess Conyngham KP, GCH, PC, FSA , known as The Lord Conyngham between 1787 and 1789, as The Viscount Conyngham between 1789 and 1797 and as The Earl Conyngham between 1797 and 1815, was an Anglo-Irish courtier and politician of the Regency period...

     (Flying Colours)
  • General Sir Hew Whitefoord Dalrymple
    Sir Hew Dalrymple, 1st Baronet, of High Mark
    General Sir Hew Whitefoord Dalrymple, 1st Baronet was a British Army general and Governor of Gibraltar.-Military career:...

     (governor of Gibraltar - although Dalrymple did not in fact become governor until a later date than that at which the novel is set) (Mr. Midshipman Hornblower)

  • Lady Frances Dalrymple (wife of Sir Hew) (Mr. Midshipman Hornblower)
  • Duke d'Angoulême (the future French pretender Louis XIX) (Lord Hornblower)
  • Duchess d'Angoulême, (the daughter of King Louis XVI) (Lord Hornblower)
  • General Hans Karl von Diebitsch
    Hans Karl von Diebitsch
    Count Hans Karl Friedrich Anton von Diebitsch und Narden was a German-born soldier serving as Russian Field Marshal....

     (Commodore Hornblower)
  • John Hookham Frere
    John Hookham Frere
    John Hookham Frere PC was an English diplomat and author.Frere was born in London. His father, John Frere, the member of a Suffolk family, had been educated at Caius College, Cambridge, and would have been senior wrangler in 1763 but for the competition of William Paley; his mother, Jane,...

     (Flying Colours)
  • General-Lieutenant Ivan Nikolaevich Essen (The Commodore)
  • King George III of the United Kingdom
    George III of the United Kingdom
    George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death...

     of Great Britain and Ireland (Hornblower and the Atropos)
  • George Augustus Frederick, The Prince Regent (later King George IV
    George IV of the United Kingdom
    George IV was the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and also of Hanover from the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later...

    ) (Flying Colours)
  • William Marsden — Secretary to the Lords of the Admiralty (Hornblower and the Crisis)
  • General Count Sebastian Francisco de Miranda
    Francisco de Miranda
    Sebastián Francisco de Miranda Ravelo y Rodríguez de Espinoza , commonly known as Francisco de Miranda , was a Venezuelan revolutionary...

     (Hornblower and the Crisis)
  • General Count Louis Marie Jacques Alamaric Narbonne-Lara
    Louis, comte de Narbonne-Lara
    Louis Marie Jacques Amalric, comte de Narbonne-Lara was a French nobleman, soldier and diplomat.-Birth and early life:He was born at Colorno, in the Duchy of Parma, as the son of Françoise de Châlus Louis Marie Jacques Amalric, comte de Narbonne-Lara (17, 23 or 24 August 1755 – 17 November...

     (The Commodore)
  • Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
    Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
    Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, KG, GCB, PC , known popularly as Lord Palmerston, was a British statesman who served twice as Prime Minister in the mid-19th century...

     (Flying Colours)
  • Spencer Perceval
    Spencer Perceval
    Spencer Perceval, KC was a British statesman and First Lord of the Treasury, making him de facto Prime Minister. He is the only British Prime Minister to have been assassinated...

     — Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (Flying Colours)
  • Edward Preble
    Edward Preble
    Edward Preble was a United States naval officer.-Early life and Revolutionary War:Preble was born at Falmouth, Eastern Massachusetts, now Portland, Maine, 15 August 1761, the son of Gen. Jedidiah Preble. As a boy, his home was destroyed in the burning of Falmouth by British Naval Commander Henry...

     — Commodore of the American naval squadron during the Barbary War {Hornblower and the Hotspur)
  • Richard Colley Wellesley
    Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley
    Richard Colley Wesley, later Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley, KG, PC, PC , styled Viscount Wellesley from birth until 1781, was an Anglo-Irish politician and colonial administrator....

    , 2nd Earl of Mornington, Marquis Wellesley (A brother of Hornblower's fictional wife, Lady Barbara Wellesley) (The Commodore)
  • General Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg (The Commodore)

Ships featured

Name of ship Rate of ship Guns Main armament Hornblower's rank Novel or short story title End of commission
HMS Justinian 3rd rate 74 32 lb Midshipman Mr. Midshipman Hornblower Is transferred to Indefatigable by Justinians well-meaning captain to get him away from a bully of a senior midshipman.
HMS Indefatigable 5th rate 44 18 lb Midshipman, later acting lieutenant Mr. Midshipman Hornblower Is made prize master
Prize crew
Prize crew is a term used to indicate a number of crew members of a ship chosen to take over the operations of a captured ship.In the early days of sailing and up into the American Civil War, capturing enemy ships was quite common...

 of Marie Galante, seized as a prize by Indefatigable.
Marie Galante Captured merchant brig
Brig
A brig is a sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. During the Age of Sail, brigs were seen as fast and manoeuvrable and were used as both naval warships and merchant vessels. They were especially popular in the 18th and early 19th centuries...

none Midshipman Mr. Midshipman Hornblower Ship sinks when a leak causes the cargo of rice to expand disastrously.
HM transport Caroline Transport brig none Acting lieutenant Mr. Midshipman Hornblower Returns to Indefatigable after a medical quarantine ends without incident.
Le Reve Sloop 4 4 lb Acting lieutenant Mr. Midshipman Hornblower Is captured by the Spanish.
HMS Marguerite 5th rate 36 18 lb 1st lieutenant "The Hand of Destiny" Is paid off.
HMS Renown 3rd rate 74 24 lb Lieutenant Lieutenant Hornblower Is paid off.
HMS Retribution Sloop-of-war 18 9 lb Acting commander Lieutenant Hornblower Is paid off, as the Peace of Amiens begins.
HMS Hotspur Sloop-of-war 20 9 lb Commander Hornblower and the Hotspur Is promoted to post-captain
Post-Captain
Post-captain is an obsolete alternative form of the rank of captain in the Royal Navy.The term served to distinguish those who were captains by rank from:...

 (and becomes too high ranking to command such a small ship).
HMS Atropos 6th rate 22 9 lb Junior post-captain Hornblower and the Atropos Ship is given to the King of the two Sicilies to maintain his support against Napoleon.
HMS Lydia 5th rate 36 18 lb Senior post-captain The Happy Return and Beat to Quarters Is paid off. He and the crew are transferred to HMS Sutherland.
HMS Sutherland 3rd rate 74 24lb Post-captain A Ship of the Line Severely damaged in battle while single-handedly disabling three French ships of the line, forcing them to seek refuge in Rosas Bay. Burned to the waterline to prevent its reuse by the enemy in 'Flying Colours' during an attack by the Mediterranean fleet which destroys the three French ships.
Witch of Endor Cutter 10 6lb Post-captain Flying Colours Liberates the Witch in order to escape from France and is sent to Portsmouth to await court martial for surrendering the Sutherland.
Augusta Yacht 6 Post-captain "Hornblower and his Majesty"
HMS Nonsuch 3rd rate 74 32 lb Commodore of the first class The Commodore and Lord Hornblower Contracts typhus and returns to England from the Baltic Sea on the Clam.
Lotus and Raven Sloops Commodore of the first class The Commodore
Clam Cutter Commodore of the first class The Commodore
Harvey and Moth Bomb-ketches Mortars Commodore of the first class The Commodore
Porta Coeli Brig 18 6 lb Commodore Lord Hornblower After suppressing a mutiny on Porta Coelis sister ship Flame, he transfers to Flame.
Flame Brig 18 6 lb Commodore Lord Hornblower Is made Governor of Le Havre.
Crab Schooner 2 Rear-Admiral, Commander-in-Chief Hornblower in the West Indies Transfers his flag back to Clorinda.
HMS Phoebe 5th rate 36 18 lb Rear-Admiral, Commander-in-Chief Hornblower in the West Indies Assignment as Commander-in-Chief ends.
HMS Clorinda 5th rate 36 18 lb Rear-Admiral and Commander-in-Chief Hornblower in the West Indies Assignment as Commander-in-Chief ends.
HMS Roebuck 5th rate 36 18 lb Rear-Admiral and Commander-in-Chief Hornblower in the West Indies Assignment as Commander-in-Chief ends.

Screen adaptations

  • The 1951 film Captain Horatio Hornblower
    Captain Horatio Hornblower
    Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. is a 1951 naval adventure film. It was directed by Raoul Walsh and stars Gregory Peck, Virginia Mayo, Robert Beatty and Terence Morgan.It was based upon three of C. S...

    starred Gregory Peck
    Gregory Peck
    Eldred Gregory Peck was an American actor.One of 20th Century Fox's most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s, Peck continued to play important roles well into the 1980s. His notable performances include that of Atticus Finch in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird, for which he won an...

     in the title role, encompassing the events in The Happy Return
    The Happy Return
    The Happy Return was the first of the Horatio Hornblower novels published by C. S. Forester. It appeared in 1937. The American name derives from the expression "beat to quarters", which was the signal to prepare for combat...

    , A Ship of the Line
    A Ship of the Line
    A Ship of the Line is an historical seafaring novel by C. S. Forester. It follows his fictional hero Horatio Hornblower during his tour as captain of a ship of the line. By internal chronology, A Ship of the Line, which follows The Happy Return, is the seventh book in the series...

    , and Flying Colours, with C. S. Forester sharing writing credits. Peck and co-star Virginia Mayo
    Virginia Mayo
    Virginia Mayo was an American film actress.After a short career in vaudeville, Mayo progressed to films and during the 1940s established herself as a supporting player in such films as The Best Years of Our Lives and White Heat .Mayo remained an A-list actress into the mid-'50s, but then went...

     would recreate their roles on a one-hour Lux Radio Theater
    Lux Radio Theater
    Lux Radio Theater, a long-run classic radio anthology series, was broadcast on the NBC Blue Network ; CBS and NBC . Initially, the series adapted Broadway plays during its first two seasons before it began adapting films. These hour-long radio programs were performed live before studio audiences...

    program broadcast on January 21, 1952, which is included as an audio-only feature in the film's DVD release.
  • The ITV
    ITV1
    ITV1 is a generic brand that is used by twelve franchises of the British ITV Network in the English regions, Wales, southern Scotland , the Isle of Man and the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey. The ITV1 brand was introduced by Carlton and Granada in 2001, alongside the regional identities of their...

     and A&E
    A&E Television Networks
    A&E Television Networks is a U.S. media company that owns a group of television channels available via cable & satellite in the US and abroad...

     television series Hornblower
    Hornblower (TV series)
    Hornblower is the umbrella title of a series of television drama programmes based on C. S. Forester's novels about the fictional character Horatio Hornblower, a Royal Naval officer during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars....

    (1998–2003) starred Ioan Gruffudd
    Ioan Gruffudd
    Ioan Gruffudd is a Welsh actor.Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he started off in Welsh language film productions, then came to international attention as Fifth Officer Harold Lowe in the film Titanic , and as Lt. John Beales in Black Hawk Down...

     as Hornblower, and included stories from Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
    Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
    Mr. Midshipman Hornblower is a Horatio Hornblower novel written by C. S. Forester. Although it may be considered as the first episode in the Hornblower saga, it was written as a prequel; the first Hornblower novel, The Happy Return, was published in 1937.-Plot introduction:Horatio Hornblower...

    up to Hornblower and the Hotspur
    Hornblower and the Hotspur
    Hornblower and the Hotspur is a Horatio Hornblower novel written by C. S. Forester.It is the third book in the series chronologically, but the tenth by order of publication.-Plot summary:...

    .
  • Michael Redgrave
    Michael Redgrave
    Sir Michael Scudamore Redgrave, CBE was an English stage and film actor, director, manager and author.-Youth and education:...

     played Hornblower in a radio series of the same name between 1952 and 1953.

Literary appearances

  • Hornblower makes an appearance in the Jay Worrall Napoleonic naval war novel, Sails on the Horizon.
  • In the fictional setting of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
    The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
    The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a comic book series written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Kevin O'Neill, publication of which began in 1999. The series spans two six-issue limited series and a graphic novel from the America's Best Comics imprint of Wildstorm/DC, and a third miniseries...

    , Hornblower is the equivalent of Lord Nelson, with The Black Dossier
    The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier
    The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier is an original graphic novel in the comic book series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Kevin O'Neill. It was the last volume of the series to be published by DC Comics. Although the third book to be...

    depicting Hornblower's Column
    Nelson's Column
    Nelson's Column is a monument in Trafalgar Square in central London built to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The monument was constructed between 1840 and 1843 to a design by William Railton at a cost of £47,000. It is a column of the Corinthian...

     as one of London's most popular landmarks.
  • A biography of Hornblower, called The life and times of Horatio Hornblower ISBN 0-7509-3439-5 was published in 1970 by C. Northcote Parkinson
    C. Northcote Parkinson
    Cyril Northcote Parkinson was a British naval historian and author of some sixty books, the most famous of which was his bestseller Parkinson's Law, which led him to be also considered as an important scholar within the field of public administration.-Early life and education:The youngest son of...

     which gives various scholarly "corrections" to the stories told by Hornblower's creator.
  • In Ellis K. Meacham's The East Indiaman, the protagonist, an East India Company Naval Service captain going to his ship, sees "a tall figure, in a uniform trimmed with gold lace," boarding a Royal Navy ship, and his boatman tells him that the ship is "Atropos, twenty-two."
  • In Dudley Pope
    Dudley Pope
    Dudley Bernard Egerton Pope was a British writer of both nautical fiction and history, most notable for his Lord Ramage series of historical novels. Greatly inspired by C.S. Forester, Pope was one of the most successful authors to explore the genre of nautical fiction, often compared to Patrick...

    's Ramage
    Ramage (novel)
    Ramage is the first novel in the Lord Ramage novels by Dudley Pope. It isset during the French Revolutionary Wars and later in the series during the Napoleonic wars.-Plot summary:...

    , Hornblower is mentioned in passing as a former shipmate of the title character, Lord Ramage, when both were midshipmen.
  • Sten Nadolny
    Sten Nadolny
    Sten Nadolny, is a German novelist. His parents, Burkhard and Isabella Nadolny, were also both writers.-Life:...

    's novel The Discovery of Slowness
    The Discovery of Slowness
    The Discovery of Slowness is a novel by Sten Nadolny, written under a double conceit: first, as a novelization of the life of British Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin, and second as a hymn of praise to "slowness," a quality which Nadolny's fictional Franklin possesses in abundance...

    , contains allusions to the Hornblower cycle. For instance, the Lydia is written among other vessels in a sailor's bar in Plymouth. Lieutenant Gerard who appears in The Happy Return and A Ship of the Line is mentioned several times.

Napoleonic War series

  • The popular Sharpe
    Richard Sharpe (fictional character)
    Sharpe is a series of historical fiction stories by Bernard Cornwell centred on the character of Richard Sharpe. The stories formed the basis for an ITV television series wherein the eponymous character was played by Sean Bean....

     novels by Bernard Cornwell were inspired by C. S. Forester's Hornblower series.
  • Patrick O'Brian
    Patrick O'Brian
    Patrick O'Brian, CBE , born Richard Patrick Russ, was an English novelist and translator, best known for his Aubrey–Maturin series of novels set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars and centred on the friendship of English Naval Captain Jack Aubrey and the Irish–Catalan physician Stephen...

    's Aubrey/Maturin
    Aubrey–Maturin series
    The Aubrey–Maturin series is a sequence of nautical historical novels—20 completed and one unfinished—by Patrick O'Brian, set during the Napoleonic Wars and centering on the friendship between Captain Jack Aubrey of the Royal Navy and his ship's surgeon Stephen Maturin, who is also a physician,...

     novels were likely influenced by the Hornblower tales.
  • Douglas Reeman
    Douglas Reeman
    Douglas Edward Reeman, born at Thames Ditton, is a British author who has written many historical fiction books on the Royal Navy, mainly set during either World War II or the Napoleonic Wars....

    's Richard Bolitho
    Richard Bolitho
    The Bolitho novels are a series of nautical war novels written by Douglas Reeman . They focus on the military careers of Richard Bolitho and Adam Bolitho in the Royal Navy, from the time of the American Revolution past the Napoleonic Era.-Richard Bolitho:Richard Bolitho is a fictional Royal Navy...

     series was inspired by Hornblower and was described in publicity as 'the best of Hornblower's successors'.
  • Dudley Pope
    Dudley Pope
    Dudley Bernard Egerton Pope was a British writer of both nautical fiction and history, most notable for his Lord Ramage series of historical novels. Greatly inspired by C.S. Forester, Pope was one of the most successful authors to explore the genre of nautical fiction, often compared to Patrick...

     was encouraged by C. S. Forester to create his Lord Ramage
    Lord Ramage
    Nicholas, Lord Ramage was the fictional character at the centre of a series of sea novels written by Dudley Pope. Ramage was an officer in the British Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars.-Early life:...

     series of novels set around the same period.

Science fiction series

  • Gene Roddenberry
    Gene Roddenberry
    Eugene Wesley "Gene" Roddenberry was an American television screenwriter, producer and futurist, best known for creating the American science fiction series Star Trek. Born in El Paso, Texas, Roddenberry grew up in Los Angeles, California where his father worked as a police officer...

     was influenced by the Hornblower character while creating the Star Trek
    Star Trek
    Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The core of Star Trek is its six television series: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise...

    characters James T. Kirk
    James T. Kirk
    James Tiberius "Jim" Kirk is a character in the Star Trek media franchise. Kirk was first played by William Shatner as the principal lead character in the original Star Trek series. Shatner voiced Kirk in the animated Star Trek series and appeared in the first seven Star Trek movies...

     and Jean-Luc Picard
    Jean-Luc Picard
    Captain Jean-Luc Picard is a Star Trek character portrayed by Patrick Stewart. He appears in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and the feature films Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek Nemesis...

    . Nicholas Meyer
    Nicholas Meyer
    Nicholas Meyer is an American screenwriter, producer, director and novelist, known best for his best-selling novel The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, and for directing the films Time After Time, two of the Star Trek feature film series, and the 1983 television movie The Day After.Meyer graduated from...

    , director of some of the Star Trek films, frequently cites Horatio Hornblower as one of his primary influences.
  • The science fiction characters of John Grimes (created by A. Bertram Chandler
    A. Bertram Chandler
    Arthur Bertram Chandler was a British-Australian science fiction author. He also wrote under the pseudonyms George Whitley, George Whitely, Andrew Dunstan, and S.H.M....

    ) and Nicholas Seafort
    Nicholas Seafort
    Nicholas Ewing "Nick" Seafort is a fictional character and the protagonist of David Feintuch's Seafort Saga series of novels. All the books of the series with the exception of Voices of Hope and Children of Hope are written in the first person from Seafort's point of view, and give a detailed...

     (created by David Feintuch
    David Feintuch
    David Feintuch was a science fiction and fantasy author and attorney. He was the 1996 winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction...

    ) are heavily inspired by the Hornblower series.
  • David Weber
    David Weber
    David Mark Weber is an American science fiction and fantasy author. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Weber and his wife Sharon live in Greenville, South Carolina with their three children and "a passel of dogs"....

    's character Honor Harrington
    Honor Harrington
    Honor Stephanie Alexander-Harrington is a fictional character, the heroine of a series of military science fiction books set in the "Honorverse", written by David Weber and published by Baen Books....

     closely parallels Hornblower and he deliberately gave her the same initials. In one of the novels, the character is described reading a Hornblower novel. The first Honor novel is dedicated to C. S. Forester.
  • Poul Anderson
    Poul Anderson
    Poul William Anderson was an American science fiction author who began his career during one of the Golden Ages of the genre and continued to write and remain popular into the 21st century. Anderson also authored several works of fantasy, historical novels, and a prodigious number of short stories...

    's Dominic Flandry
    Dominic Flandry
    Dominic Flandry is the central character in the second half of Poul Anderson's Technic History science fiction. He first appeared in 1951.The space opera series is set in the 31st century, during the waning days of the Terran Empire...

     (featured in the Terran Empire series) also parallels the Hornblower series.
  • The fifth novel in the Jackelian series of Stephen Hunt
    Stephen Hunt
    Stephen Hunt is a British writer now living in Spain. He is best known for a series of fantasy novels with Steampunk elements known as the Jackalian series, whose central setting is a nation somewhat resembling Victorian England named the Kingdom of Jackals....

    , Jack Cloudie, has the Hornblower series as a major influence (fighting with airships, rather than sailing craft). The title, Jack Cloudie, is itself derived from Jack Tar
    Jack Tar
    Jack Tar was a common English term used to refer to seamen of the Merchant or Royal Navy, particularly during the period of the British Empire. Both members of the public, and seafarers themselves, made use of the name in identifying those who went to sea...

    , as is the series name.
  • Lois McMaster Bujold
    Lois McMaster Bujold
    Lois McMaster Bujold is an American author of science fiction and fantasy works. Bujold is one of the most acclaimed writers in her field, having won the prestigious Hugo Award for best novel four times, matching Robert A. Heinlein's record. Her novella The Mountains of Mourning won both the Hugo...

    's Vorkosigan Saga
    Vorkosigan Saga
    The Vorkosigan Saga is a series of science fiction novels and short stories set in a common fictional universe by American author Lois McMaster Bujold. Most of these were published between 1986 and 2002, with the exceptions being “Winterfair Gifts” and Cryoburn...

     uses the Hornblower series as a structural model.

Other references

  • Captain Horario Harpplayer, R.N. is a short story parody written by the science fiction author Harry Harrison
    Harry Harrison
    Harry Harrison is an American science fiction author best known for his character the Stainless Steel Rat and the novel Make Room! Make Room! , the basis for the film Soylent Green...

    . While Hornblower is tone-deaf, Harpplayer is one of the rare people who are completely colour-blind, with the result that he cannot recognize a little green man as an alien from outer space. Harpplayer reflects on the "imaginary colors" that other people claim to see, and refers to the alien as "Mr. Greene".
  • The British comedy film Carry On Jack
    Carry On Jack
    Carry on Jack is the eighth movie in the Carry On film series and was released in 1963. Most of the usual Carry On team are missing from this film: only Kenneth Williams and Charles Hawtrey appear throughout. Bernard Cribbins makes the first of his three appearances in a Carry On...

    featured a character named Midshipman Poopdecker, played by Bernard Cribbins
    Bernard Cribbins
    Bernard Cribbins, OBE is an English character actor, voice-over artist and musical comedian with a career spanning over half a century who came to prominence in films in the 1960s, has been in work consistently since his professional debut in the mid 1950s, and as of 2010 is still an active...

    , who was intended as a parody of Hornblower.
  • President Jimmy Carter
    Jimmy Carter
    James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

     accidentally called the late Senator Hubert Horatio Humphrey "Hubert Horatio Hornblower" during his acceptance speech after he was nominated for re-election in 1980.
  • The video game 'Age of Pirates 2 : City of Abandoned Ships' features a character named Horatio Hornblower who can be found in a tavern on the pirate island of Bermuda and offers his services to the player if the right questions are asked.
  • In the episode "Smile Time" of the television series Angel
    Angel (TV series)
    Angel is an American television series, a spin-off of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The series was created by Buffys creator, Joss Whedon, in collaboration with David Greenwalt, and first aired on October 5, 1999...

    , one of the demon-possessed puppets is named Ratio Hornblower. The same character also appears in the limited comic book series "Spike: Shadow Puppets
    Spike: Shadow Puppets
    Spike: Shadow Puppets is a limited series comic book based on the Angel television series. The Spike centric comic was released by IDW Publishing from June 2007 through October 2007. The four issues were collected together in a single trade paperback in December, 2007.-Continuity:* The continuity...

    ".
  • In the episode "A Night to Remember" of the television series Mad Men
    Mad Men
    Mad Men is an American dramatic television series created and produced by Matthew Weiner. The series premiered on Sunday evenings on the American cable network AMC and are produced by Lionsgate Television. It premiered on July 19, 2007, and completed its fourth season on October 17, 2010. Each...

    , the character Peggy Olson
    Peggy Olson
    Margaret "Peggy" Olson is a fictional character in the AMC television series Mad Men, and is portrayed by actress Elisabeth Moss. Initially, Peggy is secretary to Don Draper , creative director of the advertising agency Sterling Cooper. Later, she is promoted to copywriter, the first female writer...

    checks out a Horatio Hornblower book from the library.

External links

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