Based on the novels by C. S. Forester. Transcribed in England for the BBC from 1952-1953; aired in U.S. on CBS, then again on ABC in
1954 and Mutual in 1957. Starring Michael Redgrave as Horatio Hornblower. The series was produced by Harry Towers and his Towers of
London syndicate and was not broadcast over BBC. The Hornblower series, like the other Tower Productions, The Black Museum, The
Scarlet Pimpernal, and The Third Man, was broadcastover Radio Luxenburg. The BBC was not interested in doing the Hornblower series.
There was a 1968-1969 Series only 20 shows. The story of Haratio Hornblower. It starred Nigel Anthony as Haratio Hornblower.
Cecil Scott Forester is the pen name of Cecil Smith born August 27, 1899 and died April 2, 1966), an English novelist who rose to fame
with tales of adventure with military themes, notably the 11-book Horatio Hornblower series about naval warfare during the Napoleonic
era, and The African Queen (1935; filmed in 1951 by John Huston).
Born in Cairo, Forester had a complicated early life, including imaginary parents and a secret marriage. During World War II he moved to
the United States where he wrote propaganda to help get that country to enter the war on the Allied side, and eventually settled in Berkeley,
California. He married Kathleen Belcher, had two sons, and divorced in 1945. The eldest son, John Forester is a noted cycling activist and
wrote a biography of his father. He secretly married Dorothy Foster in 1947.
The popularity of the Hornblower series, built around a central character who was heroic but not too heroic, has continued to grow over
time. It is perhaps rivalled only by the much later Aubrey/Maturin series of seafaring novels by Patrick O'Brian. Interestingly, both
Hornblower and Aubrey are based in part on the historical figure, Admiral Lord Dundonald of Great Britain (known as Lord Cochrane during
the period when the novels are set).
The original conception of the popular American television series Star Trek was based in large measure on the Hornblower books, and was
pitched as such to NBC television by creator Gene Roddenberry. Forester also had a life outside the Hornblower series, writing many other
novels, among them The African Queen (1935) and The General (1936); Peninsular War novels in Death to the French and The Gun;
detective novels like Payment Deferred (1926) and Plain Murder (1930); and seafaring stories that did not involve Hornblower, such as
Brown on Resolution (1929), The Ship (1943) and Sink the Bismarck! (1959).
(Cecil Scott Forester)