The Real Hornblower

The Life of Admiral Sir James Alexander Gordon, GCB

  • Format:
    Hardcover
  • Pages:
    pages
  • Published:
    February 13, 1998
  • ISBN-10:
    1557506973
  • ISBN-13:
    9781557506979
  • Product Dimensions:
    9.5 × 6.5 × 1 in
  • Product Weight:
    16 oz
Hardcover $29.95
Member Price $23.96 Save 20%
Book: Cover Type

Overview

First published in 1997, this timely release offers a comprehensive and engaging account of the life and times of this great naval Admiral. Ever since C.S. Forester's fictional hero Horatio Hornblower began to delight and enthrall readers, there has been speculation as to whether his adventures were based on the career of a real naval officer. Several names were suggested; the general conclusion was that Hornblower was a composite character.

However, while researching the campaign that resulted in the burning of Washington's public buildings, Bryan Perret consulted Forester's Naval War of 1812 and was surprised to discover that the author had been deliberately reticent regarding a Captain James Alexander Gordon, RN, who had led his squadron up the Potomac. Further inspection of naval records revealed a startling number of parallels between the careers of Gordon and Hornblower. Subsequent research spanning a period of ten years uncovered yet more similarities – too many, in fact, to be a matter of simple coincidence. It became apparent that, while Forester certainly included other episodes in the Hornblower cycle, he was aware of Gordon when the first of his books were written, and that when he decided to expand the series he chose Gordon's career as the framework on which his hero's life would be based.

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