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 With his ship, the Retribution, laid up and his promotion to Commander rescinded as a result, he finds himself a poor Lieutenant in a peace time navy.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 ...
Did You Know?
When discussing the threat of a French invasion on board the flagship, captain Hammonds makes a mocking remark about Napoleon issuing orders from Windsor Castle instead of Versailles. However, Napoleon never lived in Versailles: the imperial residence was Tuileries Palace, in Paris. By the time the action is set, the Palace of Versailles had been abandoned for over a decade, having been looted by the French revolutionaries, and would not be restored until 1870, and never used again as official residence. See more
C'mon, lads! Explosives are nothing to worry about - unless you're careless. Then your worries are over.
Followed by Hornblower: Duty
God Save the King
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