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Hornblower and the Hotspur (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order #3)

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  4,668 ratings  ·  143 reviews
April 1803 – July 1805

April 1803. The Peace of Amiens is breaking down. Napoleon is building ships and amassing an army just across the Channel. Horatio Hornblower - who, at age twenty-seven, has already distinguished himself as one of the most daring and resourceful officers in the Royal Navy - commands the three-masted Hotspur on a dangerous reconnaissance mission that e
Published June 10th 1976 by Amereon Limited (first published 1962)
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Mr. Matt
This book picks up right on the heels of the last. Hornblower finds himself attached to a young woman, Maria. In the last book he developed some sort of relationship with her while staying at her mother's boarding house. In fact, the book starts at the alter with Hornblower getting married. Fortunately, Hornblower is now Commander of the Hotspur. It's a tiny ship - a Sloop of War - but it is his. He's the Captain and therefore only one step from God when at sea. And he's one step away from his n ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I recommend these books highly. As the story continues Hornblower marries quickly (more from pity for his bride than love though he goes to lengths not to let her see this) and goes to sea in command of the Hotspur.

I won't synopsize more than that. I'll only say the adventures here are worth the read. This is another step in the life and career of one of the more iconic characters of literature. The book carries us through to see Hornblower promoted to Post Captain.

K.M. Weiland
The Hornblower books get better with every installment. Hornblower is a wonderful character, flawed, nuanced, introspective, and dynamic. Forester's obvious knowledge of his subject brings a compelling and even instructive verisimilitude to the historical setting. Hornblower's little domestic troubles add a nice rounding touch the otherwise stalwart naval scenes.
Will Todd
This review is for the complete 11-book series of THE HORNBLOWER SAGA by C.S. Forester, which I just finished reading last night.

[Note: Individual books have individual star ratings (mostly 5-star, a few 4-star), but the descriptive review will be the same for each, and encompass the entire series, as follows.]

Actually, I just finished reading the complete series for the second time, the first being as a teenager some 30 years ago.

It's remarkable to me that I have only just this moment realized
This book gives us Hornblower's first outing as a full Master & Commander of his own vessel, as a commander assigned to a sloop of war in the channel blockade.

The novel takes place after the peace between England and France has broken down and Napoleon is preparing for an invasion of England. The book does a great job of showing not only the hopelessness of this prospect (there was no way to get an army across the channel in the face of England's naval superiority) but also the precariousnes
Hornblower marries and sets off on his first independent command, participating in the blockade of Brest. As the most junior commander in the English fleet, he hugs the French coast and bribes fishermen for insights on policy ashore. His observation of France suggests tactical opportunities to Hornblower, which he then needs to diplomatically suggest to his superior officers. These combined challenges bring out the best in the young commander.

An interesting aspect of the Hornblower books is watc
What I liked about the book:

The character of hornblower: is quite interesting as adventure heroes go. I found myself reflecting from time to time on his extreme and sometimes bipolar characteristics.

Naval manuevers: to the extent a land lubber like me could appreciate this sort of thing I found his descriptions of naval manuevers and Hornblowers ingenuity to be very engaging, page-turny sort of stuff. I recently read "The Perfect Storm" and some of the maritime concepts seemed to carry over (w
Gordon Francisco
Finished. Truly a fun read. Forrester captures the essence of Hornblower - I am a bit miffed why he took the tack he did with Hornblower's wife? However, it is interesting to see him seemingly becoming more receptive and warmer to her affections; he appears tolerant to someone wholeheartedly dedicated to him...I am wondering why etc? And, is Hornblower going to imitiate the great Lord Nelson later in life? Time will tell I suppose.

Interesting continuation of Hornblower's life...he's growing in
Earl Grey Tea
In the chronological continuation of the Hornblower series, we find Horatio Hornblower commanding his first ship ever, named the HMS Hotspur. Installment number three of the series has a narrative style that takes different parts the first two books. This book is told from the point of view of Hornblower and consists of a series of events that are all connected to each other in a clear overall story arc.

The third book of the story continues with the development of the protagonist Horatio Hornblo
David Balmer
I had looked forward to listening to this - one of my favorite historical fiction items. But after only 5 minutes of enduring the reader's over-the-top reading style, I had to stop. Mr. Coster, the reader, has an affected approach that just grates on the ears. His voice is old, tiresome and often effeminate. As such it is completely unsuitable for such a swashbuckling tale as Horatio Hornblower. I might have persevered if Mr. Coster could have toned it down a bit and just read the story but no, ...more
Robert French
Hornblower and the Hotspur is another excellent Hornblower novel. I enjoyed it more than the first two I read (in chronological order). It dealt primarily with the blockade of France by the Channel fleet in 1803 and 1804. I have read a few books about the larger than life skirmishes and battles, but about the drudgery and difficulty of the blockade. C.S. Foresters description of the sailing battle between the Loire and the Hotspur was excellent. Few are able convey the handling of the ships and ...more
The adventures and battles are incredibly told. I just wished they would leave out his moralizing. In fact, just cut is wife out of the plot altogether.
Jim Puskas
Continuing immediately following "Lieutenant Hornblower", this book includes the start of Horatio's ill-fated first marriage and tells the story of his first independent command. It also shows him now as essentially a mature man with the emergence of the conflicted yet iron-willed, resourceful commander of the later stories.
In many ways, the arc of Hornblower's career, from raw teenaged Midshipman to Admiral is reflected in the quality of the writing, beginning with a series of modest adventure
Mark Wilson
I keep churning through these books. Compulsive reading, and a fascinating character. I find myself wondering where he will end up, not in the world, but within himself. Hornblower is so full of doubt and assuredness, cold logic and warm compassion, one never knows how things will finally resolve. Or _if_ they will. Often I find such conflicted characters seem complex for the sake of complexity, completely unconvincing. Not Hornblower. It will be interesting, once done, to re-read the books in p ...more
Mike Franklin
Another excellent Napoleonic ‘age of sail’ story from Forester; the reader can’t help but feel the sway of the deck and the creak of the rigging whilst enjoying these books, though I confess I do need the frequent assistance of Google, both for the maps and searching nautical terminology, even after three previous books… but I am learning!

Never boring his readers, Forester conveys the subtleties of the politics of the Napoleonic wars, the rigours of life aboard a warship, the rules of honour and
russell barnes
Okay let's take it as read I love the Hornblower books, partly because they are one of my happy memories growing up and partly because they're such ripping yarns. What I really like about them is how different each is in tone and characterisation, which is quite brave - or odd - when you think about it.

In this particular instalment our previously wide-eyed hero has become a brooding, taciturn figure struggling with his new command at sea and marital state at home. It doesn't stop him, unable to
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 23, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Historical Fiction
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Kenji
Hornblower was the inspiration for Star Trek's Captain James Kirk, as well as Cornwell's Sharpe. Hornblower is more cerebral and socially awkward than Kirk, more educated and refined than Sharpe. In his own right, Hornblower is certainly an engaging and complex character and the series is an interesting study in leadership, and a fascinating portrait of life at sea in the age of sail.

The friend who recommended these as a teen--we were both in high school--told me to at start with this novel, st
HH is overly overconscientious of proper behavior. We do not know what his exact background is but his utter observance of a Gentleman's conduct implies he is not born to the class or was just well born enough to rate as a gentleman, so must eternally prove to himself his right to belong. Men born to the position are more sure of it, even when not behaving as honorably.
HH appears to have little real knowledge of courage as many learn it, at school, rather his seems idealized as if from books. H
Greg Deane
Hornblower and the Hotspur by C.S. Forester begins in April 1803, as the Peace of Amiens is coming to an end. Napoleon has had the opportunity to prepare to cross the English Channel and invade Britain. Horatio Hornblower-who, now 27, has gained the rank of Master and Commander and captain the three-masted Hotspur on a dangerous reconnaissance mission that evolves, in his first permanent command. He is relieved to escape his clinging new bride and his pretentious mother-in-law. At least he is no ...more
While all the seafaring enterprises in the Hornblower series are given very close study and written in depth, the sudden realization that Horatio is marrying Maria is a surprise. The love story, which is a peculiar one if it can even be called a love story, is abrupt and given short shrift. That Hornblower feels a certain sympathy for Maria is evident, that he also feels a certain unease being married to her is even more evident. There is no reason given for the marriage and there is definitely ...more
I want very much to like the Hornblower novels. And I almost do. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to not compare any author's naval fiction to O'Brian's opus; and while it can certainly be said that Forester paved the road O'Brian traveled down, I find that Hornblower himself is just not as compelling a hero as Jack Aubrey. And Forester's writing style is not quite as elegant (some have said literate, but I avoid the description) as O'Brian's.

Hornblower's constant self-effacement and inner in
This is the ultimate adventure novel! Horation Hornblower is the consumate heroic ship captain and C.S. Forester's description of life on board these sailing ships is second to none.
At times it's easy to get lost in the nautical terms but Forester describes just enough to make it make sense with out spending too much time trying to write an instruction manual on sailing. I've spent some time researching some of the terms and ships and it's a much richer experience. But the beauty of the writing
I have all eleven books in this edition captioned as the "Hornblower Saga", as well as every version of the edition pictured in my review of Mr. Midshipman Hornblower. The artwork in this edition is more atmospheric and doesn't depict Hornblower himself, but rather features the ship from each story.

I recorded all of C.S. Forester's Hornblower books in 50-55 minute episodes for Golden Hours, my local radio service for blind and reading-impaired listeners. Too bad I didn't make CD copies for mysel
Another 'Hornblower,' another masterpiece. If folks who have trained naval officers in qualities beneficial to command over the past two centuries have not used these books as required reading, I would be very surprised. Likewise, folks training aspiring authors of historical fiction would do well to use these books as a model.

In the past two books (chronologically speaking) Horatio Hornblower has been rising through the ranks on a couple of British Navy ships in the years leading up to the war
Vickey Foggin
Hornblower has his own command and he is charged with the observation and blockade of Brest in the buildup to war. There are some great side characters in this story--Admiral Cornwallis, the doughty steward Doughty. I enjoyed Hornblower's quick wit and bold adventuring...this only gets 4 stars because there is too much pity and disgust surrounding his pathetic, stupid, clingy wife Maria. Maria is the worst and Hornblower is at his worst dealing with her.
Hornblower's first command. A nice continuation of the Young Hornblower arc, providing scenes of daily life in the Navy, and some very well-written accounts of land adventures, as Hornblower leads coastal raids. Also the book wherein he marries Maria. Sigh. I wish Forester had worked his issues out before hand, because it's so cringe-worthy seeing him setting up Maria as this kind and loving but basically stupid and unattractive lump that Hornblower unaccountably joins with. I understand that th ...more
In this third novel about Hornblower (by the timeline order), we finally follow Hornblower himself for the entirety of one of his adventures. More than in the previous installments, it becomes clear just how torn and uncompromising he is with himself, and how much this informs his character and his actions. With the backdrop of the British navy in the Napoleonic wars, many crises give Hornblower an opportunity to excel - in the eyes of his colleagues - but also to fail, in his own estimation. An ...more
Geoff Ridgeley
The perfect blend of fiction, history, romance, sea and land battles - just my cup of tea. A wonderful insight into the life and times of old naval traditions, naval speak, with skilfully blended trueisms from people to places.

Excellent from start to finish. Wonderfully correct use of the English language throughout. Can't wait to download my next chapters. Love the intrigue, sounds, gun powder and characterisation. Love them, cherish them!
Hornblower is a pessimistic sentimentalist, constantly reproaching himself for any dereliction of duty measured against an almost unattainable bar. Once again we see how success in the navy is that combination of luck, birthright as well as outstanding seamanship. Promotion often comes with three, but extremely difficult without friends in high places. When peacetime approaches, the life of a every naval officer but the very few highly placed admirals relegates them to abject poverty on half pay ...more
This, being the 3rd book in the series and the third I've read so far, is a really good book. I'm at the last few chapters and the story telling and fleshing out of the Horblower character really make this a fine addition to the series.

I do have one caveat, and that is due to the heavy use of nautical terms. I do find myself lost at times when Forester describes in accurate and minute detail how a sloop ship is navigated with the use of sails, winds, sheets, tacking, et cet. Since I'm no sailor,
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Cecil Scott Forester was the pen name of Cecil Louis Troughton Smith, an English novelist who rose to fame with tales of adventure and military crusades. His most notable works were the 11-book Horatio Hornblower series, about naval warfare during the Napoleonic era, and The African Queen (1935; filmed in 1951 by John Huston). His novels A Ship of the Line and Flying Colours were jointly awarded t ...more
More about C.S. Forester...
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order, #1) Lieutenant Hornblower (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order, #2) Beat to Quarters (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order, #6) The African Queen Hornblower and the Atropos (Hornblower Saga: Chronological Order, #5)

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