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|Title||:||Captain Horatio Hornblower|
|Format Type||:||eBook PDF / e-Pub|
|Category||:||Historical, Books, Fiction & Literature, Action & Adventure, Classics|
Beat to Quarters: (The Happy Return in the U.K.)
In June 1808, Captain Hornblower is assigned command of the 36-gun frigate HMS Lydia with orders to sail to the Pacific coast of Nicaragua on a secret mission to deliver armaments and form an alliance against England’s military enemy — Spain. Hornblower quickly discovers that his contact, the revolutionary leader, Alvarado, is a deranged man who imagines himself to be the descendant of gods and who has been killing all who oppose him. However, Hornblower does exactly as ordered and delivers the arms in order to beat to quarters, or prepare for combat. In the midst of this struggle, Hornblower must also provide safe passage for an aristocratic English noblewoman, Lady Barbara Wellesley, whose political connections must not be slighted. There is another desperate single-ship action, another glimpse of the madman, Alvarado, more Spanish intrigue, and romance held back by political caution before Hornblower can manage to turn his ship for the voyage home.
Ship of the Line:
It’s now May 1810. Hornblower’s success on the HMS Lydia earned him fame, but no fortune, and as a reward he is assigned command of his first ship-of-the-line, the seventy-four gun HMS Sutherland. Ugly and undesirable, the Sutherland is also 250 men short of a full crew. Undaunted, Hornblower uses his wits and meager financial resources to find the men he needs (i.e. kidnaps thieves and impresses a few convicts), purchase armaments, and prepare his ship to join a prolonged blockade along the Spanish coast. Shaken about a tragedy at home and conflicted about his relationship with is wife, Hornblower must stay true to his duty. He and his crew face capture and defeat as they are forced to fight a fleet of French ships with daring but crippling results. With many of his men killed or wounded and his ship in ruins, Hornblower must lower his flag and do the unthinkable — surrender his ship to the French.
A disgraced and shipless Hornblower, his first lieutenant, Bush, and his coxswain, Brown, are held prisoner in a French-occupied Spanish fortress on the Mediterranean Sea. Napoleon is keen to make an example of a British subject and sends one of his personal aides to accompany Hornblower and his two crew members to Paris for trial and probable execution. During transport in a snowstorm, they succeed in overthrowing their escort and escape in a small boat down the Loire River. The three find refuge with a nobleman and remain in hiding for the rest of the winter. Hornblower has an intense but brief affair with the nobleman’s widowed daughter-in-law, but when Spring arrives, he and Bush and Brown make their way to the sea and escape to England.
Unlike previous Hornblower adventures, naval action is not key to this rousing and splendidly detailed story. Flying Colours departs momentarily from scenes of sea battle to engage the reader in Napoleonic era history and a deeper examination of Hornblower’s imperfect but ever captivating character.