The war with France has been over for a year and Horatio Hornblower finds himself on land. With his ship, the Retribution, laid up and his promotion to Commander rescinded as a result, he finds himself a poor Lieutenant in a peace time navy. He has taken to playing cards to make a living. Luck presents itself in the form Sir Edward Pellew, his mentor and former commanding officer. Horatio soon finds himself again promoted to Commander and in charge of a sloop, the HMS Hotspur. He recruits his old shipmate Lt. Bush as his first officer, along with Matthews and Stiles. His task is to transport a French officer to the coast but once ashore, Horatio discovers the French amassing an invasion force. Once again at war, the men of the Hotspur are tasked to lead an advance force against a shore battery ahead of the British fleet. Hornblower soon realizes he has a traitor among his crew. In his personal life, he has to deal with the lovely Maria, his landlady's daughter who has taken quite a ... Written by
Did You Know?
When Hornblower, with his men, is locked in the stocks, he urges them to break free by saying "Two, six, heave". This is a British Royal Navy phrase used to coordinate seamen's pulling. See more
Admiral Pellew reminds Hornblower that; "In time of war a captain may not sleep out of his ship". The statement is only partially correct. This rule applied only to the Channel Fleet (of which Pellew is the commander in the story). See more
Commander Horatio Hornblower
For a long time now no one ashore cared much whether I lived or died.
I care, Horatio. My heart leaps when I hear your footsteps on the stairs and when I hear your voice.
God Save the King
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