I’ve recently finished reading the Horatio Hornblower books by C.S.Forester. 11 books indispersed around all the other books I’ve read over the last 6 months. After a while I realised I was addicted to a finite resource so I spread them amongst other reading. The series following the life of a Royal Naval officer from the late 1700’s to the erly 1800’s – around the time Nepoleon was making a nuisance of himself. Never before has a series of literature captured me like this.
The story as a whole tracked Hornblower from his first appointment as a Midshipman through the ranks of Lieutenant, Commander, Captain, Commodore, Admiral and and Sea Lord. An inspirational character who’s battles with the French, the elements and himself wrapped up toether in an amazing tale of adventure, anthropology, geography and science. Hornblower and The Atropos was my favourite book but each book had its own special parts, each had its own character.
The questions cropped up recently, in a psychological profile course I was on “Which person do you admire, and why” I chose Michael Palin as it happens but Hornblower was a very close second mainly due to his granite constitution and his problem solving logic.
I was really pleased to hear, during an interview on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show that Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope who is The First Sealord and Equerry to The Queen was a big Hornblower fan. I’ll sleep well in my bed knowing that he’s in charge of the Royal Navy. In the same interview Mark went on to describe how he went on to read all the Jack Aubrey novels (by Patrick O’Brian – known most famously for the ‘Master and Commander’ title) which I’ve just started. So far, so good. Quite odd getting my head round this different character in the same ‘shoes’ as Hornblower. Aubrey likes music for a start – Hornblower’s Achilles heel was his utter tone deafness.
I’ll miss Hornblower. He was a great chap to have around over the last 6 months. A candidate for a DragonDrop Adventure T-Shirt if ever the chance should arise.