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 Horatio Hornblower (C.S. Forester) 
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Post Horatio Hornblower (C.S. Forester)
(This one's for you, uHf.)

Chronically grumpy or just misunderstood?
:lol:

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Last edited by susan on Wed Oct 26, 2005 1:56 am, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Jul 29, 2005 8:48 pm
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If it's Chronically grumpy it's his own d*** fault, although his officers and men seem to admire him despite this personality quirk.
As to the Just Misunderstood, that would mean the hyper-self evaluations he conducts are all based upon flawed information within HH's own brain. :wink:
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Sat Jul 30, 2005 10:14 pm
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Thanks, Susan! :lol:

I think Hornblower's main problem is the perspective from which the books are written. With the omniscient narrator, his every doubt, his every mistake, his every "bad" thought, his every worry is exposed to the reader's scrutiny. The person he presents to the rest of the world, however, is quite different from that self-critical, self-loathing man of whom we are given a glimpse. It's made very plain in the books that his men adore him--I seriously doubt that a person who openly displayed the temperament that Hornblower has would have been loved in any way.

The delightful thing about Hornblower is that the negative characteristics which make him easy to dislike are the very qualities which mold him into the admirable person he can be. His intelligence could make him arrogant and cocky, but his low self-esteem tempers it to the point that he has to pretend to be confident. He is ambitious, but his pessimistic outlook doesn't lead him to expect his superiors to help him up the chain of command--and his nearly obscene modesty prohibits him from even going so far as to attempt to ingratiate himself with his commanding officers. His almost obsessive-compulsive attention to detail, while giving him many sleepless nights with somewhat ridiculous worries, provides him with victory after victory. He's a jumble of diametrically opposed characteristics which combine to allow him to present a very balanced and 'together' self to the world, however much that picture might be skewed when an audience is granted access to his inner dialogue.

-uHf

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Sun Jul 31, 2005 3:31 pm
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usHHfan wrote:
His intelligence could make him arrogant and cocky, but his low self-esteem tempers it to the point that he has to pretend to be confident.

That's a good point.

While the cockiness may not appear on the surface, it does affect his decisions though. He puts himself down, but he knows that he is the right man for the job or that no one, not even Bush, can be trusted to do certain things even though they may be more than capable.

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Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:32 am
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susan wrote:
While the cockiness may not appear on the surface, it does affect his decisions though. He puts himself down, but he knows that he is the right man for the job or that no one, not even Bush, can be trusted to do certain things even though they may be more than capable.[/size]
Now isn't that the ultimate in arrogance? That someone else can't be trusted even though they are more than capable?
There are times where Hornblower makes sense in that regard, such as not allowing Bush to land and burn the army's supply train in Ship of the Line, knowing that Bush and his party would be set upon by the army survivors, a fact Bush did not imagine.
Equally, there are times where Hornblower insists on carrying out an action personally to prove his capabilities - to himself! That is almost Bolitho-ish in nature.
Charity


Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:24 am
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HMS Charity wrote:
Now isn't that the ultimate in arrogance? That someone else can't be trusted even though they are more than capable?

It's the dilemma of the self-loathing control freak. Knowing that you will not be satisfied with standing by and watching helplessly from the sidelines as someone else does something that you are ultimately responsible for while still being perfectly capable of driving yourself mad with the doubts you have regarding your own abilities.

-uHf

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"Enthusiasts had talked or written of pleasures innumerable, of gardens or women, wine or fishing; it was strange that no one had ever told of the pleasure of walking a quarterdeck."

~Commodore Hornblower


Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:30 pm
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Not really book related but I wasn't sure where else to post this. I found the following link on the same site as the Nelson doll in my Nelson memorabilia thread.

Hornblower

He actually looks like a pretty content chap there! Must be thinking of Lady Barbara. :lol:

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Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:14 am
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susan wrote:
Not really book related but I wasn't sure where else to post this. I found the following link on the same site as the Nelson doll in my Nelson memorabilia thread.

Hornblower

He actually looks like a pretty content chap there! Must be thinking of Lady Barbara. :lol:

Judging by the red sash he's wearing, it is after his knighthood and the commencement of his life with Lady B, so I'm sure he's thinking of her.
Charity


Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:00 am
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Hornblower prototype?

From William Kempthorne's obituary in The Annual Biography and Obituary (1835):

"He entered the navy in 1795, and served the whole of his time as Midshipman under the active and chivalrous command of Sir Edward Pellew, the late Viscount Exmouth. At the age of sixteen, he was carried prisoner into Rochelle, whence, however, after six weeks' captivity, he had the good fortune to escape, in company with Mr. Henry Gilbert, another Cornish youth, and in a few days more was again on board the Indefatigable."

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Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:30 pm
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Some general Forester/Hornblower information here: C.S. Forester

The link "Catalog of the Exhibit" at the bottom of the page takes you to a page with a listing of his books and some pictures.

I found this page while I was looking for information about The Barbary Pirates. I got a first edition (in nice condition with dust jacket) of this at the Friends of the Library sale today. Only cost me $2.00. :D You can see the cover art if you scroll down.

The image on the first ed. cover of The Commodore is scary. LOL. Looks like he could be Nelson's brother.

Also picked up a first ed. of the Parkinson HH "bio." With dust jacket but not as nice condition. That was $1.20...I couldn't resist.

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Sun Jul 09, 2006 7:09 am
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usHHfan wrote:
He's a jumble of diametrically opposed characteristics which combine to allow him to present a very balanced and 'together' self to the world, however much that picture might be skewed when an audience is granted access to his inner dialogue.

-uHf


Yes, I agree with this. For me, it is what makes the Hornblower books so compelling (well to be honest, consuming at present might be a better term for me).

In my opinion, Hornblower thinks that he needs to be always rational and logical yet he also has a strong emotional side of deep feeling that he keeps repressed. The result of conflict between these two sides is the real source of his genius.


Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:09 am
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Welcome to SN forum, Lady Burgundy! :)

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Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:58 pm
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Thank you for the kind welcome. :)


Fri Jan 26, 2007 11:07 pm
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