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The Happy Return [Paperback]

C S Forester
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Sep 2011

June, 1808 - and off the Coast of Nicaragua Captain Horatio Hornblower has his hands full . . .

Now in command of HMS Lydia, a thirty-six-gun frigate, Hornblower has instructions to form an alliance against the Spanish colonies with a mad and messianic revolutionary, El Supremo; to find a water route across the Central American isthmus; and 'to take, sink, burn or destroy' the fifty-gun Spanish ship of the line Natividad - or face court-martial. And as if that wasn't hard enough, Hornblower must also contend with the charms of an unwanted passenger: Lady Barbara Wellesley . . .

This is the fifth of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C. S. Forester's inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower.

Frequently Bought Together

The Happy Return + A Ship of the Line + Hornblower and the Atropos
Price For All Three: 18.87

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue edition (1 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 024195553X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241955536
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 127,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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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. On the outbreak of war he entered the Ministry of Information and later he sailed with the Royal Navy to collect 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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
It was not long after dawn that Captain Hornblower came up on the quarterdeck of the Lydia. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good start 16 Nov 2006
Forester's Hornblower novels were a favourite of my father, so when I found one lying around the house a couple of months ago (it happened to be 'The Happy Return') I picked it up and idly started to flip through it.

3 months later, I now own all the Hornblower series.

The Happy Return was the first Horatio Hornblower book that Forester wrote. As such, the character is not as well developed or easy to understand as in some of the others. In addition to this, it is a book that fits into the middle of the series (the Hornblower character is a Captain in this book, whereas his career starts as a midshipman and ends - well, I won't spoil it for you). The first novel of the series, `Mr Midshipman Hornblower' was actually written several years later than `The Happy Return'.

If you want to start with `The Happy Return' rather than the first of the series, you should also try and pick up 'A Ship of the Line' and 'Flying Colours'. The 3 were written at the same time (1937 - 38), were the first 3 released and go very easily together.

Over the last 3 months, I've had a great time following in my father's footsteps. For me, every book is hard to put down, the descriptions are vivid and the characters are always engaging. In addition, I now understand what a leadsman does, the difference between 'beating to quarters' and 'clearing for action' and the dangers of a lee shore, plus I have a much greater appreciation of how close the world was to real disaster under Napoleon in the early 1800's.

If you enjoyed the TV series and movies like `Master and Commander' (Russell Crowe) then you'll love the Hornblower series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hornblower 2 Dec 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Amazon and Kindle have made it so easy for me to catch up with all the books on the Napoleonic age of the Royal Navy and its war with France. Every book is fresh and a joy to read and 'The Happy Return' is no exception. A fine read.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
C.S Forester's seies of naval adventures featuring Horatio Hornblower are hugely successful and remain popular today - interest is indicated by the recent television series. They deal with warfare in the age of Naopleon and Nelson, and are remarkably lucid. They do not demand too much of the reader and are a pleasure to read. 'The Happy Return' shows Hornblower as captain of HMS Lydia, his mission taking him to South American waters where he is instructed to assist rebels in fighting Spanish rule and to hunt down a Spanish vessel, the 'Natividad'. Along the way Hornblower finds a romance of sorts.
Unfortunately, this is not one of the better Hornblower novels. It acts as more of an introduction to the series, with excellent character portrayals of Hornblower and el Supremo; but lacks the adventure of 'The Commodore' and the desperation of 'A Ship of the Line'. Nevertheless, it is a fine piece of writing, combining naval battles with character explorations, and effectively recreating the atmosphere aboard a fighting ship in those years. Very readable, "The Happy Return' is a good option to while away the hours.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another great story from C S Forester 30 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read Hornblower since I was about 10 years old. Now, thanks to Kindle, I am re-reading him, from start to finish and it never loses its excitement. The author's ability to put you on the deck of a 19th century frigate, being fought to the death by the much bigger Spanish two-decker never ceases to impress. At the end of the battle you feel you are Hornblower, bitter powder smoke filling your nostrils, streaked with sweat, physically and mentally shattered!
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5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD READ 12 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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