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Forester, C(ecil) S(cott)

hornblower film novels napoleonic

(British, 1899–1966)

Born in Cairo, C. S. Forester grew up in London and studied medicine before becoming a writer in the mid-1920s. Begin with Mr Midshipman Hornblower (1950), dealing with the start of Horatio Hornblower's naval career during the Napoleonic wars. In the course of eleven novels, the conscientious and resourceful Hornblower rises to the rank of Admiral. The books are notable for their historical accuracy, Forester having also published non-fiction studies of the Napoleonic era. In The Happy Return (1937) Hornblower distinguishes himself on the Spanish Main as captain of the Lydia, his finest fighting ship, before falling in love with his future bride. Forester's other novels include The African Queen (1935), about a dissolute engineer and a woman missionary forced to make a perilous river journey in Africa during the Second World War; it was made into a wonderful film starring Bogart and Hepburn.

Bernard Cornwell, Patrick O'Brian, Nicholas Monsarrat.


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