Hornblower to the Rescue!

CS Forester is the author of the 12 book Hornblower series. Btw, t is often forgotten that he also penned “The African Queen”, that Bogart, Bacall, and Houston made famous.  Indeed, he was a prolific writer.

His real name was Smith.  Forester was his pen name., And he had poor eyesight, which disqualified him from serving in the armed forces. Perhaps this accounted for his intense interest in things military.

This anecdote is ripe for development as a story

During World War II, Forester moved to the United States where he worked for the British Information Service and wrote propaganda to encourage the US to join the Allies. He eventually settled in Berkeley, California. While living in Washington, D.C., he met a young British intelligence officer named Roald Dahl in early 1942, whose experiences in the RAF he had heard about, and encouraged him to write about them.[1] According to Dahl’s autobiographical Lucky Break, Forester asked Dahl about his experiences as a fighter pilot. This prompted Dahl to write his first story, “A Piece of Cake”.[1]

Bravo!  Even if Forester had written nothing of great merit, this would commend him. but Hornblower is quite an amazing achievement for the writer. It combines accurate depictions of naval life during the Napoleonic wars, as well as the inspirational figure that Hornblower is.

Starting in 1998, BBC began filming an 8 part series that is based on the Hornblower books. It is indeed a tour de force.Hornblower is played brilliantly by Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd.

One of my favorite episodes is called “The Frogs and the Lobsters” and treats with a mission to land royalist French forces to attempt to restore the monarchy.

You can see it via Youtube here



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