Mr Midshipman Hornblower by C.S. Forester

Published March 24, 2020

Mr Midshipman Hornblower by C.S. Forester

Book info

  • Title Mr Midshipman Hornblower
  • Author C.S. Forester
  • Year 1950
  • Genres Historical, Adventure, War

1793, the eve of the Napoleonic Wars, and Midshipman Horatio Hornblower receives his first command. As a seventeen-year-old with a touch of sea sickness, young Horatio Hornblower hardly cuts a dash in His Majesty's navy. Yet from the moment he is ordered to board a French merchant ship in the Bay of Biscay and take command of crew and cargo, he proves his seafaring mettle on the waves. With a character-forming duel, several chases and some strange tavern encounters, the young Hornblower is soon forged into a formidable man of the sea.


I’ve tried to read this a few times, I know the first few pages almost off by heart. Naturally, as a fan of Ioan Gruffudd, I loved the TV show but it’s taken a while for the books to grab me as well. This time, I listened to the audiobook as read by Christian Rodska, and it was really good. I like that it doesn’t shy away from the nautical terminology but equally is easy enough to follow.

The story follows Hornblower through a variety of adventures, all of which I recognised from the TV show although some of them didn’t quite happen in the same way. I really enjoyed it, and can’t wait to listen and/or read the next one.

Rating: 4 / 5

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