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Captain Hornblower R.N.: Hornblower and the 'Atropos', The Happy Return, A Ship of the Line Paperback – 28 May 1987

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Frequently Bought Together

Captain Hornblower R.N.: Hornblower and the 'Atropos', The Happy Return, A Ship of the Line + Admiral Hornblower: Flying Colours, The Commodore, Lord Hornblower, Hornblower in the West Indies + The Young Hornblower Omnibus: "Mr.Midshipman Hornblower", "Lieutenant Hornblower", "Hornblower and the "Hotspur""
Price For All Three: £34.77

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (28 May 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140081771
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140081770
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

C. S. Forester was born in Cairo in 1899, where his father was stationed as a government official. He studied medicine at Guy's Hospital and, after leaving Guy's without a degree, he turned to writing as a career.

His first success was Payment Deferred, a novel written at the age of twenty-four and later dramatized and filmed with Charles Laughton in the leading role. In 1932 Forester was offered a Hollywood contract, and from then until 1939 he spent thirteen weeks of every year in America.

On the outbreak of war he entered the Ministry of Information and later he sailed with the Royal Navy to collect the material for The Ship. He made a voyage to the Bering Sea to gather material for a similar book on the United States Navy, and it was during this trip that he was stricken with arteriosclerosis, a disease which left him crippled. However, he continued to write and in the Hornblower novels created the most renowned sailor in contemporary fiction. He died in 1966.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Frankie on 30 Sept. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I very much wanted to read these stories is sequence and had great difficulty working out in which order they came so I have added the list here.

I have now read them all and thoroughly enjoyed each one.

I started with 'The young Hornblower Omnibus', this contains 'Mr Midshipman Hornblower' 'Lieutenant Hornblower' and 'Hornblower and the Hotspur'.

'Captain Hornblower RN' follows on and again has three stories in sequence - 'Hornblower and the Antropos', The Happy return' and 'A Ship of the line'.

'Flying Colours' is next and is one book followed in order by 'The Commodore' and 'Lord Hornblower'.

'Hornblower in the West Indies' is next and again is a collection of stories which fit so well together that they read like one book.

The last is 'Hornblower and the Crisis and consists of three stories, each one highly entertaining, and ending in a rather satisfacory way. The first entitled 'The Crisis' is actually unfinished as the author died while writing it but there is enough to enable the reader to see where it was going.

The whole series is a joy from beginning to end.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Dec. 1998
Format: Paperback
This is the second omnibus of three charting Hornblowers rise through the royal Navy, each book itself comprising of three books. After reading the first Omnibus and enjoying it I continued to follow Hornblowers with the Captain Hornblower RN omnibus. Now Hornblower can be seen in charge of a ship where all his great qualities come to the fore. Some parts of the book are a little lacking in action but this is all made up for in the third book of the three A Ship of the Line, which leaves Hornblower situation which is going to force me to read the next of the three omnibuses...
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I loved the Hornblower books as a teenager. Nearly 40 years later, I noticed the omnibus editions for sale on Amazon and decided to reacquaint myself with Forester's near-legendary naval hero.

Re-reading the books as an adult gave me just as much pleasure as they had all those years ago. I was almost punching the air with delight as Hornblower effected his brilliant escape from Marmorice Bay. I desperately wished I could have been there to share the glory as the Lydia was towed into action, hornpipes being danced on her main deck, at the end of her gruelling fight with the Natividad. I wanted to beg Hornblower not to steer the Sutherland, badly battered but still seaworthy and with her crew largely unharmed, towards those two French ships-of-the-line.

However, as an adult I found there was much more to these books than I had first noticed. The sections dealing with Hornblower's relationship with the two women in his life are both true to life and heart-breaking. It's fascinating to read how Hornblower sees himself; we all know he's a hero and the best damned officer in the Service, he thinks he's a charlatan just one small slip-up away from being court martialled and disgraced. I now have a (minor) managerial job and realise just how good these books are on leadership and motivation - better than most management textbooks.

I have just one quibble about the omnibus edition - the cover illustration. Hornblower was only 29 when he took command of the Atropos and 34 when patrolling the coast of Catalonia in the Sutherland (although Forester got himself a little confused on the subject of his hero's age...) and would have looked nothing like the stern elderly man pictured.
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By Lionel S on 12 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Those new to the Hornblower series of novels are in for a treat especially now that they are now easily available in electronic form. This particular omnibus is a good introduction although purists will want to read the series in chronological order. C.S. Forester is, for me, the original and best in this genre. Others coming afterwards such as Patrick O'Brien and Alexander Kent may have added more humour and love interest in their writing but Forester handles the action in a gripping way seen here, for instance, in 'The Happy Return' where the 'Lydia' engages the more heavily gunned 'Natividad' and destroys her at enormous cost.

I still remember the pleasure of borrowing this particular omnibus from the local library nearly fifty years ago, and becoming enthralled from the first page. Then came the discovery that the standard was maintained right through the three books in the omnibus, and then the realisation that there was a whole series covering Hornblower's life and career awaiting me. Be aware also that Forester's in depth knowledge of the Peninsula wars spawns superb non Hornblower books such as 'Death to the French' and 'The Gun'. I think that it is great that the Hornblower series has become available to Kindle users and I now propose to get them all in digital form and re-read them.

Those who become really hooked will appreciate 'The Life and Times of Horatio Hornblower' by C. Northcote Parkinson, copies of which can be easily obtained.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Forget the dodgy cover, the contents are nothing like the stylised nonsense in the picture. I read these as a boy and they were hard going, lots of nautical terms and language that for a young teenager seemed a bit flowery.
Unable to find anything at the time to take my fancy, I thought I'd revisit these as a filler until I found something new that I liked. I'm hooked! The beauty of having such a long series is that CS Forester takes the time to develop the very complex character of Hornblower and even some of the other constant characters.
It's beautifully written, exciting, gripping, moving, at times frustrating (will he ever take any credit) but always dare I say it, charming. Hornblower is by no means a black and white Boys Own hero. He's deeply flawed and in fact comes across regularly as a bit of an arse - but if you don't see some of yourself in him you must be the Dalai Lama.
It's not trendy but it stands the test of time and is better written even than anything you'll read today. Even the great Bernard Cornwell is exposed in comparison.
If ever there was an example of not judging a book by its cover, this is it. Publishers, fix this daft image - even if it is the original. Bring it up to date and you'll delight a whole new market of discerning readers.
Outstanding.
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