- Paperback: 380 pages
- Publisher: Simon Pubns (Feb. 1 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1931541698
- ISBN-13: 978-1931541695
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 599 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,683,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Lord Nelson Paperback – Dec 17 2001
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About the Author
Cecil Scott C.S. Forester was the pen name of Cecil Louis Troughton Smith (27 August 1899 2 April 1966), an English novelist who rose to fame with tales of naval warfare. His most notable works were the 12-book Horatio Hornblower series, depicting a Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic era, and "The African Queen" (1935; filmed in 1951 by John Huston). His novels "A Ship of the Line" and "Flying Colours" were jointly awarded the 1938 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
C. S. Forester is a very talented author for both fiction and non-fiction.
Chief among what might be called its flaws are the demands placed on the reader's attention. It is not written in an overly simple style, in other words--there are some long sentences and formal phrasing, etc. These are probably a result of the author's enthusiasm for his material and writing in general, though. Still, all is clear if, ocassionally, an extra moment is taken to digest what is written.
A second flaw are the sometimes suspect conclusions the author makes. In the author's opinion, people are often clueless about things you would not expect them to be clueless about. Enemies of England also, according to the author, spend more time cowering and as incompetents than you might realistically expect. These biases seem to be the result of a desire to prevent Nelson and the English Navy from having to share the spotlight with other characters or traditions. Little needs to be said about them if they are so quickly, erroneously and superficially understood, in other words.
With all that said, the author's biases are clear enough to be easily dispensed with by readers with minimal maturity. Such readers can go on to appreciate the mastery the author displays in combining knowledge of politics, military history and psychological insight. All of these are interwoven in an entertaining, compelling way as you might expect from the creator of Hornblower.
To sum up, if you want a book to slowly read out of interest in Forester or British naval history or, even, Nelson, this is a good one. You can share in the writer's zest for his material, certainly. If you don't already have an interest, though, this book is probably too much effort. Published in 1929 about a life lived over a hundred years before, the subject matter of the book can seem too distant, even irrelevant, which is not helped by its somewhat formal style.
However, the reader or Forester scholar looking into his famous fictional creation, Horatio Hornblower, will find much of great interest in this work, which predates the first of the HH novels by seven years. From the first name to the tendency toward sea sickness, there's much to see of the imagined naval hero in the real one.