History Literature / HoratioHornblower

15th Jul '17 9:40:26 PM Eoppen
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* ProfessionalGambler: During a temporary peace with France, Hornblower is in financial straits due to a mixup over prize money. To keep himself alive, he hires out to an innkeeper to play whist with the other guests.
15th Jul '17 8:25:22 PM maxwellsilver
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* WarIsHell: Forester goes out of his way to describe what happens to men who are hit by cannonballs, then what happens to them when they visit the surgeon, and then the funeral. Not to mention the [[{{Squick}} weevils and bad water]].

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* WarIsHell: Forester goes out of his way to describe what happens to men who are hit by cannonballs, then what happens to them when they visit the surgeon, and then the funeral. Not to mention the [[{{Squick}} weevils and bad water]].water.



* WritersCannotDoMath: In ''Hornblower in the West Indies'', Hornblower meets a colleague he not seen since the defense of Riga in 1812, chronicled in ''Commodore'', which the narration states occurred twenty years prior. ''West Indies'' takes place in 1821-23 and crucially involves Napoleon's death in 1821, only a decade after Napoleon's invasion of Russia.



* YourCheatingHeart: Hornblower is not faithful to either of his wives, under different circumstances. He doesn't love his first wife, Maria, marrying her from a sense of obligation and pretending to love her so as to keep her happy, but finds a genuine match with Lady Barbara in ''Happy Return''. Later he consummates an affair with Marie Ladon in ''Flying Colours'' due to cabin fever while hiding on her father-in-law's French estate. However, he's not faithful to Lady Barbara when he does marry her: in ''Commodore'' he has an (implied) one-night-stand with a Russian countess after a stressful evening of averting an assassination attempt, and in ''Lord'' he starts thinking of Marie well before actually visiting the Ladons (and restarting the old affair).

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* YourCheatingHeart: Hornblower is not faithful to either of his wives, under different circumstances. He doesn't love his first wife, Maria, marrying her from a sense of obligation and pretending to love her so as to keep her happy, but finds a genuine match with Lady Barbara in ''Happy Return''. Later he consummates an affair with Marie Ladon in ''Flying Colours'' due to cabin fever while hiding on her father-in-law's French estate.estate ([[spoiler:Maria had died of childbirth by that point, but he -- and the reader -- doesn't find out until the end of the book]]). However, he's not faithful to Lady Barbara when he does marry her: in ''Commodore'' he has an (implied) one-night-stand with a Russian countess after a stressful evening of averting an assassination attempt, and in ''Lord'' he starts thinking of Marie well before actually visiting the Ladons (and restarting the old affair).
3rd Jul '17 12:32:18 AM maxwellsilver
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** ''Ship of the Line'' ends with [[spoiler:Horatio and his crew forced to abandon the sinking ''Sutherland'' and surrender to the French.]]

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** ''Ship of the Line'' ends with [[spoiler:Horatio and his crew forced to abandon surrender the sinking ''Sutherland'' and surrender to the French.French, who run it aground on a nearby beach to stop the sinking.]]
1st Jul '17 4:18:42 PM nombretomado
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* HistoricalDomainCharacter: A number of real captains (and other officers) from the Royal Navy appear in the novels--mostly cameos, but some of them have a more significant role. Some of the more prominent examples are Admiral Cornwallis and ''George III''. TheOtherWiki has a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horatio_Hornblower#Historical_figures_in_the_novels comprehensive list]].

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* HistoricalDomainCharacter: A number of real captains (and other officers) from the Royal Navy appear in the novels--mostly cameos, but some of them have a more significant role. Some of the more prominent examples are Admiral Cornwallis and ''George III''. TheOtherWiki Wiki/TheOtherWiki has a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horatio_Hornblower#Historical_figures_in_the_novels comprehensive list]].
18th May '17 9:35:21 PM eowynjedi
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* MusicForCourage: While catching up to and taking fire from the larger, more powerful, and captained-by-a-ruthless-killered ''Natividad'', Hornblower stages a hornpipe contest among the crew so they don't lose heart from being under fire long before they can fire back.


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* TheNavigator: Hornblower's facility with math usually allows him to claim a greater skill in navigation than the ''actual'' navigators on his ships. The first book written opens with his success at not only taking his ship safely around Cape Horn (a very difficult feat) but then sailing it from there to Central America and making his exact intended landfall without ''once'' sighting coast (a damn near impossible feat).


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* SteppingOutForAQuickCupOfCoffee: At the end of ''Hotspur'', Hornblower decides to let his steward Doughty, under arrest for striking a bullying superior, escape to an American ship that happens to be in the same port. Hornblower arranges a series of perfectly harmless coincidences so that Doughty is unrestrained (because an official is coming aboard and the new steward can't handle it), unguarded (Hornblower has to deal with said official), and makes sure the watch's attention is directed forward. When Bush notices Doughty's absence, Hornblower puts him off until it's certain that Doughty is irretrievable and only then does he take himself to task for his "carelessness." (He is also considerably stressed out during and after this that someone will realize what he's up to, along with the moral implications for the flagrant breach of duty.)


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* ThatsAnOrder: Lieutenant Bush does this to his then-junior Hornblower several times in ''Lieutenant'' so that Hornblower will pause his incessant activity long enough to drink and eat, and later asks Acting-Captain Buckland to make "get some sleep" an order too
6th May '17 10:15:58 AM eowynjedi
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* HatesSmallTalk: Played with. Hornblower hates unnecessary words, is somewhat shy, and confines his remarks to "ha, h'm" whenever possible. However, he does this because he is inclined to be chatty and doesn't trust himself with any small talk lest he go too far.
5th May '17 10:17:01 PM eowynjedi
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* NoPartyLikeADonnerParty: In "The Bad Semeritan," two French prisoners escape from an island that the Spanish are using as a [=POW=] camp and are picked up by the ''Sutherland.'' Both are utterly emaciated because the Spaniards are cruelly apathetic about actually feeding them, but one says that there is one kind of food which is ''always'' available and that there are much fewer of them now than started out. Hornblower has to take a moment to be horrified at the idea of this happening in the enlightened 19th century.


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* SherlockScan: Bush, surprisingly, does one in "The Bad Semeritan" when he points out all of the strange aspects of the French escapees picked up by the ''Sutherland''--their clothes are much too ragged, they're far too thin, and their sunburn too deep for men coming from ''normal'' prison conditions.
30th Apr '17 5:42:43 PM eowynjedi
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* DieForOurShip: Maria and Lady Barbara's husband. [[spoiler:In-universe.]]



** Not Hornblower, Sir Edward Pellew.

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** Not Hornblower, Sir Edward Pellew.Pellew. He generally leaves Midshipman Hornblower to do what he will because it has excellent results, and when Commander Hornblower is under his command again Pellew writes a very warm letter addressed to "my dear Hornblower" with an invitation to submit plans and suggestions--a high mark of esteem. He also makes sure to put Bush under Hornblower's command again in ''Lord Hornblower'' because he knows they're friends of long service.



** Hornblower shows this to a much lesser degree, but as he gets older he becomes more and more aware of the youth of his junior officers and frequently considers that they're at the right age to be his sons. As such the burden of ordering them into perilous situations weighs more heavily and he realizes that commodores he'd considered pompous when ''he'' was a young officer were probably hiding their worry too.



** Done deliberately in ''Hotspur'' when Hornblower considers the "nice" calculations required for a tricky bit of navigation. In Hornblower's time, the word meant "precise" (though the word was already shifting to its modern meaning of "pleasant," as readers of ''Literature/NorthangerAbbey'' know).

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** Done deliberately in ''Hotspur'' a couple of times when Hornblower considers the "nice" calculations required for a tricky bit of navigation. In Hornblower's time, the word meant "precise" (though the word was already shifting to its modern meaning of "pleasant," as readers of ''Literature/NorthangerAbbey'' know).



* PutOnABus: This happens a lot by necessity given the nature of paying off and switching commands, but prominent especially after ''Ship of the Line'', where the rest of Hornblower's crew

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* PutOnABus: This happens a lot by necessity given the nature of paying off and switching commands, but prominent noticeable especially after ''Ship of the Line'', where the rest of Hornblower's crew besides Bush and Brown remain in the prison at Rosas, including semi-prominent characters like Gerard and Polwheal. (Although Gerard's name does get mentioned again when Bush takes his nephew into the ''Nonsuch'' as a midshipman.)



* ReducedToRatburgers: One midshipman in ''Happy Return'' appreciates the invitation to Hornblower's table because the ratmongers of the lower decks have been pricegouging lately, and is promptly mortified to have made such a remark to his captain. Hornblower simply expresses surprise at how high rats are going for compared to when he was a midshipman. (Hornblower was actually lucky enough to avoid having rat in his youth, but he's familiar enough to feign it as a ploy to make himself more human in their eyes.)

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* ReducedToRatburgers: One midshipman in ''Happy Return'' appreciates the invitation to Hornblower's table because the ratmongers of the lower decks have been pricegouging lately, and is promptly mortified to have made such a remark to his captain. Hornblower simply expresses surprise at how high rats are going for compared to when he was a midshipman. (Hornblower was (Midshipman Hornblower could never actually lucky enough bring himself to avoid having rat in his youth, eat rat, but he's familiar enough to feign it as a ploy to make himself more human in their eyes.)



** When the leader of the mutineers tries to swim for it in ''Lord Hornblower'', Hornblower makes the cold-blooded decision to shoot him because the danger that the man will escape and raise another mutiny outweighs the objection to shooting someone unarmed and fleeing.



* TitleDrop: ''Flying Colours'' is one of the few books not named after Hornblower's ship or rank, but the phrase is still worked in when Hornblower, fearing that he will faint in front of a firing squad hopes that he can remain standing and die "with colours flying." Later, when he has escaped and faces the prospect of a mandatory court-martial for losing his ship, he decides to "fly his colours to the last" and responds to an English ship's inquiry in an entirely routine, yet fantastically unbelievable, manner. (That is, he gives the ship's name--in French hands for a year--and his own, knowing full well he's been reported dead.)

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* TitleDrop: ''Flying Colours'' is one of the few books not named after Hornblower's ship or rank, but the phrase is still worked in when Hornblower, fearing that he will faint in front of a firing squad squad, hopes that he can remain standing and die "with colours flying." Later, when he has escaped and faces the prospect of a mandatory court-martial for losing his ship, he decides to "fly his colours to the last" and responds to an English ship's inquiry in an entirely routine, yet fantastically unbelievable, manner. (That is, he gives the ship's name--in French hands for a year--and his own, knowing full well he's been reported dead.)
28th Mar '17 12:18:13 PM eowynjedi
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* GeniusBonus: In-universe, Hornblower first recognizes his new ship, the ''Atropos'', by the figurehead of a lady holding a pair of shears.[[note]]Atropos was one of the Greek Fates and was responsible for cutting the life-threads of mortals when their time was up.[[/note]]


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* TitleDrop: ''Flying Colours'' is one of the few books not named after Hornblower's ship or rank, but the phrase is still worked in when Hornblower, fearing that he will faint in front of a firing squad hopes that he can remain standing and die "with colours flying." Later, when he has escaped and faces the prospect of a mandatory court-martial for losing his ship, he decides to "fly his colours to the last" and responds to an English ship's inquiry in an entirely routine, yet fantastically unbelievable, manner. (That is, he gives the ship's name--in French hands for a year--and his own, knowing full well he's been reported dead.)
21st Mar '17 7:16:55 PM eowynjedi
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* AfraidOfBlood: When not keyed up and busy in the heat of battle, Hornblower doesn't do well with blood. When he's forced to watch his men dying long before his own ship can return fire, he has to fight not to throw up in front of everyone. He nearly faints when watching a surgeon treat an amputated limb, and just imagining the slaughter of a ration bullock ruins his appetite for beef.


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* TheBore: One way Hornblower copes with the stress of impending action is to make his junior officers play whist with him and then treat them all to exacting and long-winded criticisms of their play.


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* ContinuityNod: ''Atropos'' in particular contains frequent references to events from ''Mr. Midshipman Hornblower'' and ''Lieutenant Hornblower'', the books written immediately prior. It's almost as though it's making up for references that would have been spread out through ''The Happy Return'' through ''Lord Hornblower'' had the books been written in chronological order.


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* KavorkaMan: Hornblower has no opinion of his looks--he thinks his first child will be getting a bad deal if it has his looks or his personality, he's rather skinny and ungainly when young, and as he gets older he ruefully contemplates his increasingly thin hair and decreasingly thin figure. Still, women fall in love with him with astonishing rapidity. The first description of him is with a face "neither handsome nor ugly," however, and Lady Barbara considers him to be good-looking, so it's possible he's as bad at evaluating his looks as much as any other aspect of himself.
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