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What's in a name

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What's in a name

Post by 80 Winters on Sun 19 Feb 2017, 03:45

Actually, it might be better stated: What is the name?

As I was reading Hornblower and the Hotspur today (for the 5th or 6th time). I noticed that in his 'farewell note' to Hornblower as he left his position as Commodore of the fleet blockading Brest, Captain Pellew  mentions his fondness for a certain young and promising officer with the initials H.R.H.. Obviously, his reference is to Hornblower (and not 'his royal highness'), but I'm unable to recall 'where' Hornblower's middle name is mentioned previously in the series and what is that name?

A little 'help' shipmates, please.
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Re: What's in a name

Post by Doctor Fred on Sun 19 Feb 2017, 07:40

In my copy of the book it reads H.H., so I think the H.R.H. was most likely a mistake in typesetting.
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Re: What's in a name

Post by 80 Winters on Sun 19 Feb 2017, 17:40

Thank you Doctor Fred.
I was 'listening' to the audiobook version and possibly 'misheard' what the narrator was saying. I'll go back and listen to that passage again.
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Re: What's in a name

Post by 80 Winters on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 00:21

I do love 'a good mystery'.

I 're-listened' to the passage again and without a doubt, the narrator clearly states Capt. Pellew's reference to Hornblower as "with the initials H.R.H..

I corroborated this with 'my Premier' (who's hearing far exceeds mine) and while she confirmed what was spoken by the narrator, she predictably added: 'however, the written word takes precedence'.

Interestingly, I found a blurb on Wiki Talk that, for me, continues the question because, as described by the person posing the question, they read it in paperback form not just 'heard it' on an audiobook:


I noticed, while rereading Hornblower and the Hotspur, that Sir Edward Pellew referred to him in a letter to him (p. 226 of the paperback) as "HRH". Is there any other reference anywhere to his middle name? Clarityfiend (talk) 03:29, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

I've just checked the Little Brown (US) and Michael Joseph (UK) first editions and both say "I have indulged myself in a favourite whose initials are H. H.!" in chapter 11. Of course, "HRH" commonly stands for "His Royal Highness" and perhaps a copy editor made a typo here. What paperback edition are you referring to? I've never seen any indication of a middle initial in the whole canon by Forester. The first paragraph of the very story you're reading would seem fairly conclusive: "I, Horatio, take thee, Maria Ellen".--Jaa101 (talk) 04:27, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

All I can say is an extra tot to the shipmate that can identify the paperback in question

I've already checked my copy of Forester's Hornblower Companion and will check my copy of Parkinson's The Life and Times of Horatio Hornblower (as soon as I can find it in my library). I know it's here somewhere !!
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Re: What's in a name

Post by Doctor Fred on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 04:59

Mine is the Pinnicle edition, mass market paperback, 2nd printing, 1975.
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Re: What's in a name

Post by Astrodene on Tue 21 Feb 2017, 17:05

it's HH in my 1962 edition

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Re: What's in a name

Post by 80 Winters on Tue 21 Feb 2017, 17:36

I decided that 'we should take this one to the mountain'. Therefore, I've contacted Lawrie Brewer, Home Editor of the C.S. Forester Society and asked their 'opinion'.
Lawrie has responded that he will 'investigate' and get back to us.

I am still 'in the hunt' for that as yet unfound paperback of Hornblower and the Hotspur, so please continue to check your paperback copy for that passage in Chapter 11.
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Re: what's in a name

Post by pauljm on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 15:35

My Penguin 1968 paperback has HH
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Re: What's in a name

Post by 80 Winters on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 23:49

Thank you shipmates for assisting in the search for a possible paperback with the 'HRH'. Now, I wonder just how many  'editions' of Hornblower have been published (and just those in English)?

My paperback edition (Back Bay Books, 1998) says "H.H." as well.
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Re: What's in a name

Post by 80 Winters on Fri 24 Feb 2017, 18:15

I have received a response from Lawrie Brewer, Home Editor of the C.S. Forester Society:


I have checked the English first edition Michael Joseph 1962; the US first Little, Brown 1962; the Penguin UK first paperback 1968.  

There was also a Bantam US paperback published in 1962 but my collection doesn't stretch that far, so I can't verify an errant R there.

The ones I have, all read : -"H.H."

So while I do not have the Rodska audiobook where you observed it, your 'HRH' is most likely an error. Indeed, a typographical error as you suggest, probably prompted by the similarity to HRH (His/ Her Royal Highness). Maybe the typesetter (does that term still exist?) was thinking in English terms, as he/ she wrote about our quintessentially English hero - and thus had the royal family in the back of his mind. Or could it be spellcheck (I tried, but it didn't work for me)?


I'll still 'keep an eye out' for the paperback in question and my offer 'of a tot' still stands.
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Re: What's in a name

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