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Hornblower and the "Hotspur" (Hornblower Series) Paperback – November 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0316290463 ISBN-10: 9780316290463 Edition: Reprint

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Hornblower and the "Hotspur" (Hornblower Series) + Hornblower During the Crisis (Hornblower Saga)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (November 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316290463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316290463
  • ASIN: 0316290467
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

MacNee (The Avengers and A View to a Kill) is a superb choice to read this ripping yarn—the third in Forester's expert and exciting series about a young naval officer who rises rapidly through the ranks to become one of England's heroes in the battles against Napoleon's huge fleet of fast and formidably armed frigates. MacNee is perfect as the young Horatio Hornblower, who listeners meet on his wedding day in 1803. The couple's romance succumbs to history as the dastardly French prepare to attack. With the possible exception of Patrick O'Brian, nobody else writes about sea battles with the perfect control of Forester, and MacNee uses all his acting skills to keep the action moving. A few sound effects might have been in order during the fighting scenes, but one can't have everything. A Back Bay paperback. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Library Journal

This trio offer more of the salty adventures of the title character, who sailed the ocean blue during the Napoleonic Wars.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

C. S. Forester (1899-1966) wrote several novels with military and naval themes, including The African Queen, The Barbary Pirates, The General, The Good Shepherd, The Gun, The Last Nine Days of the "Bismarck," and Rifleman Dodd. But Forester is best known as the creator of Horatio Hornblower, a British naval genius of the Napoleonic era, whose exploits and adventures on the high seas Forester chronicled in a series of eleven acclaimed historical novels. Over the years Hornblower has proved to be one of the most beloved and enduring fictional heroes in English literature, his popularity rivaled only by Sherlock Holmes.

Born Cecil Louis Troughton Smith in Cairo, Egypt, Forester grew up in London. At the start of World War II he traveled on behalf of the British government to America, where he produced propaganda encouraging the United States to remain on Britain's side. After the War, Forester remained in America and made Berkeley, California, his home.

The character of Horatio Hornblower was born after Forester was called to Hollywood to write a pirate film. While the script was being drafted, another studio released Captain Blood, starring Errol Flynn, based on the same historical incidents about which Forester was writing. Rather than seek another movie project, and to avoid an impending paternity suit, Forester jumped aboard a freighter bound for England. By the end of the voyage he had outlined Beat to the Quarters, which introduced the now legendary character Hornblower, Bush, and Lady Barbara.

Forester died in 1966 while working on Hornblower During the Crisis.

Back Bay's editions of the Hornblower novels are numbered according to the chronology of Hornblower's life and career, not according to the sequence in which they were written. The series is comprised of the following titles:

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
Lieutenant Hornblower
Hornblower and the Hotspur
Hornblower During the Crisis
Hornblower and the Atropos
Beat to Quarters
Ship of the Line
Flying Colours
Commodore Hornblower
Lord Hornblower
Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies

Customer Reviews

In all, I really enjoyed Hornblower and look forward to reading more.
John G. Bergin
Hornblower is one of the very best literary characters ever and all of his stories are compelling with lots of gritty action.
N. Burt
Horatio Hornblower in this book is ranked commander and serving as the captain of the Hotspur.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Roger J. Buffington TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is the third Hornblower novel by way of continuity, following "Mr. Midshipman Hornblower" and "Lieutenent Hornblower" and it is one of the very best Hornblower novels. Horatio Hornblower has been promoted to Commander, and is now captain (not a Post-Captain) of HMS Sloop Hotspur, which is given the important duty of monitoring the French port of Brest. Captain Hornblower and First Lieutenant Bush are now fully developed as characters, and their long association together takes form in this novel. Here, Hornblower is now gaining a reputation as an unusually competent and resourceful officer, as the storied Admiral Cornwallis takes Hornblower under his wing as mentor. Nonetheless, this is a time of great stress and danger for Hornblower. The British Navy is exerting every ounce of Britain's strength against Napoleon, and the British fleet is all that stands between the Corsican tyrant and world domination. Hotspur, commanded by Hornblower, is responsible for monitoring Brest, which is where Napoleon's next move against Britain is expected to first come from. Hornblower is truly "the tip of the spear." This is a great story.
"Hotspur" is one of the key Hornblower novels and I highly recommend it to Hornblower afficianados and anyone who just likes a good novel of the days of "wooden ships and iron men." By the way, it makes for a nice sequence of reading if you follow "Hotspur" with "Hornblower During the Crisis." You'll see why when you read the latter.
The Hornblower novels are in my opinion the best naval adventure series in all of literature and "Hotspur" is one of the very best of the series. What more can one say?
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By John G. Bergin on February 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read the Hornblower books when I was in my early teens, read them all and than forgot them. Years later, a friend started me on the Patrick O'Brian books. Once again I got caught up in the Royal Navy and the wars with France. When I finished the last volume in November, I thought I would try the Forester books again and what a nice suprise! They were better this time. A lot of the major players (pardon the pun)are of course the same. There seems to be more action in the Hornblower books and I guess because of that the characters do not appear to be as well developed. The details that are such a big part of the Aubrey/Maturin books are not there in the Hornblower books. But after sailing with O'Brian for the last five or six years, I think I know a lot about shipboard life and because of that, it took very little imagination to fill in the parts missing in the Forester books. In all, I really enjoyed Hornblower and look forward to reading more.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Bill Mac on January 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
Although Hornblower and the Hotspur is the third installment chronologically in the Hornblower series, it was one of the last written. Paradoxically, perhaps it might have the least harmony with modern readers. Hornblower stands for values that many people have rejected or would at least find quaint. Hornblower and the Hotspur is a first rate naval action story that worked on many levels when it was written. Unfortunately, some of these levels no longer strike a chord with modern readers.
Hornblower and the Hotspur begins with Hornblower's wedding. It is obvious from the beginning that Hornblower did not want to get married. The fearless Hornblower is too soft hearted to break a woman's heart. He realizes that he could have taken advantage of her and left her broken hearted but has married her and made her deliriously happy instead. Unfortunately, most modern readers would not find this chivalry believable. Much has changed since Forester first published this novel nearly 40 years ago. Modern heroes are expected to sleep with the women and then sail away ignoring heartbreak and possible progeny. Many modern readers would see Hornblower as a sap.
For the majority of Hornblower and the Hotspur, Hornblower is at sea. It is 1803 and the brief peace is ending. France and England are set to engage in yet another war. France is amassing a huge army to invade England. The parallels to World War II would have been obvious to the readers of 1962. England has a small army and would be unable to stay free if the huge army from the continent were ever able to cross the English Channel.
Another parallel is in the mention of the soldiers who were drafted to serve a tyrant.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
Hornblower and the Hotspur is just the sort of book to inspire youngsters to want to do the right thing. The temptations of doing the wrong thing, of looking the other way, or of chasing the golden fleece are all present. You see Commander Hornblower dealing with these temptations, and enjoying the rewards and pains of pursuing the right course. Also, he is often rewarded for taking the time to do his homework (such as his never-ending charting of the coastal inlets in Brittany). Few modern novels create some upright and forthright heroes for young people to model themselves after.
Older fans of C.S. Forester and the Hornblower series will also be rewarded by the fascinating details of how a small sloop can successfully challenge frigates, shore batteries, and even the French army itself! If you are a sailor or have some interest in the subject, you will be richly rewarded by the many fine details that Mr. Forester provides about the special challenges of storms, the European coast, and running a long-term blockade of Europe after the Peace of Amiens breaks down in 1803.
Those who have been waiting for Hornblower to "get a life" will be pleased to see that his attachments to shore, family, and to those nearest to him increase greatly in this book. As a result, he has to think about the consequences more carefully as he faces death . . . and what will happen to others if he fails.
In a fascinating series of "almost asides" Hornblower has great problems with his personal servants in this novel. By novel's end, he has had three of them . . . each of whom has presented him with great challenges and frustrations.
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