|The Adventures of
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
orld 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)