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Horatio Hornblower -historical background
by javierd,
Sat Apr 11 23:17:01 1998
This is one of my favorite caracters in literature, and since it's the base of Captain Kirk, make it more interesting to me.

But i wonder how acurate are the novels?, since C.S.Forester was writing pro British propaganda in WWII , i would guess that he take some literary licence with historical facts, so what are they?
Horatio Hornblower -historical background
by wellingtonian,
Mon Apr 13 20:28:51 1998
A very wide question!!!

Much of what was written in the HH series is relatively 'realistic', but rather one-dimensional. There are some excellent web sites for HH, so do a quick search, and you will hit them.

I do not believe that there is any one historical figure that HH is modeled on, excepting Nelson of course.

If you enjoyed that series, you could have a go at the Aubrey/Maturin series of Patrick O'Brian. These now total 18 books, and have quite huge amounts of www space devoted to them. Go to the WW Norton Web site for P'OB. You can be sure that these scholarly adventure stories (A reviewer in the NY Times called them the "best historical novels ever written") are based on reality - Aubrey seems based on the amazing career of Earl Cochrane, and the erudition displayed is staggering (To paraphrase another reviewer).

You could say that the HH novels are accurate, but don't go where the reader may not like (Slums, the pschology of the poor, conditions, discipline, sex). What they do cover is pretty much on track though. Great read huh?

Now, really screw up your social life, and get the first in the Aubrey/ Maturin series called 'Master and Commander', and be prepared for some sleepless nights, Internet relay chats, and discussion forums until you are sick of it!!

Horatio Hornblower -historical background
by javierd,
Tue Apr 14 22:52:19 1998
mmmh. it's clear you are not a trekkie :-))))

well thanks i will try to get them, it will be a little dificult to get them from Mexico, but it seems it's worhtwhile.

And if you are as entusiastics as you name suggest, i yould recomend to you:

Trafalgar by Benito Perez Galdos, it's the other side of the coin, the story of a Spanish boy it the war, you will love it.

Horatio Hornblower -historical background
by waz,
Sat Apr 18 06:41:59 1998
I have all the Hornblower books, and have these two further authors for you enthusiasts.

Alexander Kent

Dudley Pope

I'm not going to list all their books! As in the Hornblower, each of these authors follows their particular hero's career in the British Royal Navy. Regards Waz
Horatio Hornblower -historical background
by asherman,
Sat Apr 18 07:46:26 1998
Try Melvilles' short novel, "Billy Budd". The setting is a British Man 'o War. The story is about the moral dilema that occurs when duty dictates a different course of action than one's scruples. If you are just looking for historical accuracy, "Billy Budd" is still pretty good. Melville knew 19th century seafaring very well, and of course wrote extensively on the subject. His first book, "Two Years Before the Mast" was inspired, I'm told, by the death of his brother during just such a voyage.

You may also like David Howarth's "Trafalgar" which is a non-fiction account of the famous battle and Nelson's part in it. I'd like to have suggested some other non-fiction history on the subject, but my library is currently in more dissarray than usual. We hope to start painting this room today, so the furniture is pushed into the middle of the room and cases of books moved out. Everything is upside down and nothing is where I left it. Yesterday I lost a new tape measure as big as a double fist and day-glo green within a radius of 6 feet. Found it this morning looking for history on 19th century naval matters, so thanks for motivating me.

Didn't mean to be so chatty, but its that or get to work.

Horatio Hornblower -historical background
by wellingtonian,
Sun Apr 19 21:53:03 1998
Hello Asherman - you pop up all over the place!! I quite agree that Melville is a great source. In the same vein, you could also mention Captain Marrayat who was actually in the 19th C. Navy, and is quite an easy read. I would agree that Howarth is a good source as well. Over the years I have accumulated a few books on maritime matters with his name on the spine, and found him readable, and as far as I can tell, accurate.

I will have a look for the book that Javierd mentioned as well. I can only reccomend the Kent (Another handle for Douglas Reeman I believe?) and Pope books for a quick read, as they are not up to the standard of the Hornblower stories, and come no-where near the brilliance of the Aubrey/Maturin series. Here are 2 superb links for maritime stories:

for Patrick O'Brian, and

for CS Forester. They both contain enough info. and links to keep the enthusiast busy for a long long time.

By the way Javierd, the Wellingtonian handle refers to my geographic locale, on the other side of the Pacific ocean from you, and I am not sure what you meant with the 'Trekkie' statement, but I hope you enjoy the rich pickings from these sites.
Horatio Hornblower -historical background
by javierd,
Thu Apr 23 21:46:48 1998
wow , i seems i have a couple of months worth of reading, i love all this.

It seems i need to check my geography mmh, this is really internet :-)) I say it again, you are definitvaly (sorry for my spelling) a trekkie, although they prefer now to be called trekkers. That means all the fans of Star Trek. Where you wwill find the story from captain to Admiral of certain James Tiberius Kirk, from the star fleet.

In his last novel, his best friend gives him a copy of Captain Hornblower.

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