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Mr Midshipman Hornblower (book 1 of the Hornblower series)

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Mr Midshipman Hornblower (book 1 of the Hornblower series)

Post by TRDG on Fri 26 Aug 2011, 17:20

The book that started it all for me in Age of Fighting sail novels and series.

I saw the mini series on TV, just after catching all of the Sharpe ones, and I knew I just had to get this book series after finishing with Sharpes from Cornwall.

It did seem a bit strange at first as I had no clue (and still don't for the most part Embarassed) about sailing a ship with all those terms. And the writing was quite different than what I'm used to reading, but I did in fact fall in love with the stories this first book told.

From Hornblowers beginnings at Spithead to his first command in his "rice ship". As well as collecting friends and enemies while at sea. A duel and being a prisoner of Spain took me all over the world of the British Royal Navy in one book.

It really took me into the life of a sailor in that age and I was just could'nt wait to get the next book in the series!!

Link to the site review

http://www.historicnavalfiction.com/index.php/book-title-index/m/326


Cheers, spolier icon please for the few, if any members who hav'nt read this classic already!!

Tom
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Re: Mr Midshipman Hornblower (book 1 of the Hornblower series)

Post by Joefirefighter on Sat 31 Dec 2011, 15:06

I had actually started HNF with O'Brian so Forester was my second excursion to the world of the Georgian navy. For me, it was something of a letdown after reading about Lucky Jack and his adventures. Still it was a great character and a fun read; enough so that I completed the series.

I've said this before, but the chief issue I had with these books was the episodic feel of the stories. The book almost seemed to be a collection of short stories with only a vague plot line to hold them together.

I think this got better with some of the later books.
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Re: Mr Midshipman Hornblower (book 1 of the Hornblower series)

Post by TRDG on Sat 31 Dec 2011, 19:36

Thanks for the post joe! For me it was the opposite and started with this, then Aubrey as the shows on HB drew me into this in the first place. I like both for different reasons and I think it would be a shame if we had only the one or the other.

Cheers, almost done with my reread of another series and I think I'll start where I first cam in, more posts and threads soonish!!

Tom
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Re: Mr Midshipman Hornblower (book 1 of the Hornblower series)

Post by Joefirefighter on Sun 01 Jan 2012, 02:51

First, congratulations on your recent promotion to First Lieutenant.
Second, I absolutely agree that the world is better for having both Forester's Hornblower and O'Brian's Jack Aubrey. Never would I wish to see a world without one or the other, nor without Lambdin's Lewrie. I doubt I have time to read all of the HNF that's out there already, but the more the merrier.
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Re: Mr Midshipman Hornblower (book 1 of the Hornblower series)

Post by TRDG on Sun 01 Jan 2012, 13:22

Thanks, you know if all of the same personalities then I don't think this era and subject would have as much of a following as it does.

Each character has its place and I love the selection one can choose to read, or not read, some get it and others just don't, as you know.LOL

Cheers, where would our "world" (Age of Fighting Sail books) be without each and almost every character written so far, one has to wonder. Yes there can be to much of a good thing but for me I will always have a soft spot for my first intro books/series to Age of Fighting Sail. Could be easy to get "a bit jaded" after reading so many different ones. But we have fellow members here who sort that right out, as well as the writers who are here on the forum as well.

Sorry for the ramble

Tom
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Re: Mr Midshipman Hornblower (book 1 of the Hornblower series)

Post by reb01501 on Sun 01 Jan 2012, 16:06

Joefirefighter wrote:I had actually started HNF with O'Brian so Forester was my second excursion to the world of the Georgian navy. For me, it was something of a letdown after reading about Lucky Jack and his adventures. Still it was a great character and a fun read; enough so that I completed the series.

I've said this before, but the chief issue I had with these books was the episodic feel of the stories. The book almost seemed to be a collection of short stories with only a vague plot line to hold them together.

I think this got better with some of the later books.
Same here, but I didn't feel let down at all. I started looking for more after finishing Hornblower, and came upon Ramage, then Bolitho (or was it the other way around?).

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Re: Mr Midshipman Hornblower (book 1 of the Hornblower series)

Post by TRDG on Mon 02 Jan 2012, 10:56

I don't think I did either, more interested in different perspectives from very different Characters. All can't and should historically be all "cut" from the same cloth.

Cheers, thanks for taking an interest reb!!

Tom
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Re: Mr Midshipman Hornblower (book 1 of the Hornblower series)

Post by Joolz on Mon 02 Jan 2012, 12:39

This was the 6th book written in the series, around 1950, quite some years after the first books were released. I think it, and subsequent volumes, benefits from the author's deeper understanding of his subject. I also believe Forester was by then a better writer.

Forester himself made an interesting point about this book's episodic nature. He claimed the stories presented themselves to him as separate episodes while convalescing from a heart attack. Which was convenient because it enabled a sick man to write the book in small chunks without over-taxing himself.
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Re: Mr Midshipman Hornblower (book 1 of the Hornblower series)

Post by TRDG on Sun 08 Jan 2012, 09:50

Thanks for the interesting info, that might just explain a lot of the style throughout the series.

Cheers

Tom
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Re: Mr Midshipman Hornblower (book 1 of the Hornblower series)

Post by Joefirefighter on Sun 08 Jan 2012, 13:27

I've said before on these boards, my favorite Hornblower novel is Hotspur, which was the last of Forester's completed novels. Again, almost certainly due to his expanding view of his character.
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