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C.S. Forester Books In Order

Publication Order of Horatio Hornblower Books

The Happy Return (1937) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ship of the Line (1938) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Flying Colours (1938) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Commodore (1945) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lord Hornblower (1946) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower (1950) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lieutenant Hornblower (1952) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hornblower and the Atropos (1953) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies (1957) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hornblower and the Hotspur (1962) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hornblower and the Crisis (1967) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Chronological Order of Horatio Hornblower Books

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower (1950) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lieutenant Hornblower (1952) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hornblower and the Atropos (1953) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hornblower and the Hotspur (1962) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Happy Return (1937) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ship of the Line (1938) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Flying Colours (1938) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Commodore (1945) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lord Hornblower (1946) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hornblower and the Crisis (1967) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies (1957) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Horatio Hornblower Collections

Captain Hornblower RN (1964) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Horatio Hornblower Non-Fiction Books

The Hornblower Companion (1964) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Paid Piper (1924) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Pawn Among Kings (1924) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Payment Deferred (1926) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Victor Emmanuel II (1927) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Wonderful Week (1927) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Love Lies Dreaming (1927) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Shadow of the Hawk (1928) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Brown on Resolution (1929) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Plain Murder (1930) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Two-and-Twenty (1931) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death to the French (1932) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Gun (1933) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Peacemaker (1934) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The African Queen (1935) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Marionettes at Home (1936) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The General (1936) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Earthly Paradise (1940) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Captain from Connecticut (1941) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Ship (1943) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Sky and the Forest (1948) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Randall and the River Time (1950) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Good Shepherd (1955) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Barbary Pirates (1956) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hunting the Bismarck (1959) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

The Nightmare (1954) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Man in the Yellow Raft (1969) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Gold From Crete (1970) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Children's Books

Poo-Poo and the Dragons (1942) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Plays

U 97 (1931) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Napoleon and His Court (1924) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Josephine, Napoleon's Empress (1925) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Louis XIV: King of France and Navarre (1928) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Nelson (1929) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Voyage of the Annie Marble (1929) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Annie Marble in Germany (1930) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Adventures of John Wetherell (1954) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Naval War of 1812 (1957) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Age of Fighting Sail (1957) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


The assumed pseudonym of one Cecil Louis Troughton Smith, C.S. Forester, or ‘Cecil Scott’ Forester, was a British novelist of much acclaim during his time. Chiefly known for his ‘Hornblower’ series of novels, he was a well-regarded novelist mounting up around thirty-five novels during his sixty-six years.

Early and Personal Life

Born on the 27th of August 1899, Cecil Scott Forester originally came from Cairo before moving to Britain at an early age due to a break-up of his family. Growing up in London with his mother, he was taught at Alleyn’s School then Dulwich College followed by Guy’s Hospital. After some time he made an ill-fated attempt to enlist himself in the army, but it wasn’t to be as he was turned away after not being able to complete his physical. It was in 1921 that he then turned to writing after putting his initial career in medicine and academia behind him. Following this he married Kathleen Belcher in 1926 and they had two sons; John and George.

Divorcing from his wife Kathleen in 1945, he spent the duration of World War Two in America as he attempted to urge them to join the war through his various propaganda efforts. It was during this time that he met the well renowned author Roald Dahl who he also encouraged to write. Later on he met the woman who was to be his second wife, Dorothy Foster, in 1947. At the end he settled himself down in Berkeley, Californa after moving on there from Washington D.C.

Writing Career

Originally publishing a book of short stories in 1924 called ‘The Pied Piper’, he quickly followed this up with his first novel titled ‘A Pawn Among Kings’, which was published in the same year. Later in 1935 he was to write ‘The African Queen’ which became the basis of an extremely well-received screenplay and film starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn and directed by John Huston. He was to later receive the Hollywood treatment again with the 1960 film ‘Sink The Bismark!’

In addition to his mostly seafaring novels and nautical tales, C.S. Forester also wrote two crime based novels called ‘Payment Deferred’ in 1926 along with ‘Plain Murder’ in 1930. Not only this, he penned a few children’s books too; ‘Poo-Poo and the Dragons’ in 1942 and ‘The Barbary Pirates’ in 1953, which were written with the sole intention of keeping his younger son George well behaved. There was even a TV appearance on the game-show ‘You Bet Your Life’ in 1956, whereby he spoke of his book ‘The Age of Fighting Sail’. His last novel, ‘The Pursued’, was to be published posthumously in 2011 after its discovery in 2003.

Most famous though was his ‘Hornblower’ series of novels, which charted the life-story of fictional officer Horatio Hornblower during the Napoleonic era within a set of twelve books. It was this that was to be most enduring saga as it followed the career of a highly distinctive character leaving behind a strong legacy for other authors to add to, thus creating a rich and vibrant history. There was also to be a 1951 film starring Gregory Peck and a long-running British television series from 1998 to 2003 following his various adventures. This was just one of the works he was going to be warmly remembered for though.

The African Queen

Opening in the year of 1914, this particular C.S. Forester story is set Central Africa. Telling the tale of Rose Sayer, an English lady of 33 years of age, it depicts her being left in an African village as an Anglican missionary during the outbreak of World War One. After her brother Samuel dies it appears that she’s all alone there. It is then that Allnutt, a Cockney mechanic, arrives with the boat ‘The African Queen’, which is the property of a mining company based in Belgium. Without any crew himself as they’ve all deserted him, he also finds himself alone. Helping Rose bury her brother they then proceed to embark on a journey together as they attempt to avenge her brother’s death at the hands of the Germans and make it home.

Embarking on a plan to attack the German gunboat Konigin Luise, they aim to weaken the German defenses of the fictional setting of Lake Wittelsbach. Doing this the English will then be able to attack by water far more easily as it will leave the German occupied town vulnerable to their advances. The main problems facing them are Allnutt’s initial reluctance to do the mission which he must be persuaded into completing by the fiercely patriotic Rose, and the defenses awaiting them as they travel up the river. Will they make it overcoming their differences and defeat the enemy? Are they going to get home safely and unharmed as they rescue the town from the German troops holding it?

The Happy Return

Originally published in 1937, this was to be the first novel depicting Horatio Hornblower. Commencing in the month of June in the year 1808, we’re first introduced by C.S. Forester to Horatio as he’s commanding a 36 gun Frigate called HMS Lydia. They are to set a course for the Pacific coast of Nicaragua where they have been ordered to supply Don Julian Alvarado, a landowner local based there, with powder as well as muskets. Once Horatio gets there though he soon discovers that Alvarado is completely mad with megalomania, declaring himself a god going by the title of ‘El Supremo’, a descendant of the Aztec god Moctezuma. Anybody that happens to dispute this is painfully dispatched by being tied to the stake and being left to die of thirst in the sun.

Once Horatio gives Alvarado the supplies he needs it is then up to him to capture the incoming Spanish ship, the ‘Natividad’. Reluctantly handing the captured vessel over to Alvarado, whilst setting its crew free beforehand, he quickly sets sail south. It is then that he meets up with a boat who tell him that the English and Spanish are allies now against Napoleon’s forces. It is then that it dawns on him that he must go back to prevent Alvarado from destroying the coast with the use of the ‘Natividad’. Can he do it and save the day? Where will this lead for Horatio Hornblower in the future? The first in a series of exciting novels, this sets up who he is along with the morals and virtues he holds dear.

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