Horatio Hornblower Series by C. S. Forester (1937 – 1962)

A dozen years ago my nephew broke his leg in several places and was on bedrest for a few weeks.  Among other quiet activities, he spent those weeks reading the Horatio Hornblower books.  I decided I’d better look into them if they could entertain a 13-year-old boy for that long!  They have become some of our family favorites, and supposedly Winston Churchill and Ernest Hemingway were big fans too!

hornblower.jpgHoratio Hornblower is a fictitious British naval officer serving during the Napoleonic Wars (1803 – 1815).  Through the 12-book series, you’ll follow his career from seasick midshipman to Admiral of the Fleet (although the books are not written in chronological order).

Horatio is a clever, brave and honest man who makes you proud to belong to the human race.  He confronts one dangerous and impossible situation after another including tyranny, execution, mutiny and even an unwanted girlfriend/wife.  Even though you won’t see a possible solution or escape, Horatio eventually finds one and you’ll be cheering in your family room as you follow his many adventures!

The BBC made a fantastic mini-series based on some of the books back in 2000.  They star Ioan Gruffudd who, in my opinion, was born for this role.  Treat yourself to this film series after you’ve read a couple of the books.  It’s truly outstanding.  This might be one of those rare time when the movie is better than the book — but don’t tell anyone I said that.

A last little tidbit, C.S. Forester is also the author of The African Queen, the book on which the Humphrey Bogart and Kathryn Hepburn movie was based.

The Horatio Hornblower Series: 

Beat to Quarters (1937)

Ship of the Line (1938)

Flying Colors (1939)

Commodore Hornblower (1945)

Lord Hornblower (1946)

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower (1950)

Lieutenant Hornblower (1952)

Hornblower and the Atropos (1953)

Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies (1958)

Hornblower and the Hotspur (1962)

The Hornblower Companion (1964)

Hornblower During the Crisis — unfinished novel (1967)

High School Reading Level, 300+ pages each, Napoleonic Wars, Military, England, Published from 1937 – 1967.

 

 

About kidsbooksworthreading

Are you looking for Children’s and Young Adult books that have stood the test of time? I have a master of list of over 600 titles to share. I’m an English major, mother of five and homeschooler for 15 years. My purpose with this blog is to share forgotten favorites that most parents today have never heard of, but are so worth reading! I hope you’ll join with me as I share the best that Youth Literature has to offer.
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