Showing posts from September, 2012

Hornblower and Aubrey

How much did C. S. Forester's successful Horatio Hornblower series have to do with the launching of Patrick O'Brien's even more successful Aubrey/Maturin series? Back in the late 1980s a friend introduced me to Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey/Maturin novels. I started Master and Commander but did not get excited about the story and abandoned the book after a chapter or two. Some years later in an airport about to board a plane and desperate for something to read I picked up a copy of The Surgeon's Mate . This time I was hooked. I devoured the first seventeen novels over the next few years, and then hung around the bookstore door impatiently as the rest were published, snatching first editions of the final three novels practically from the hands of the bookbinders. After O'Brien's death in 2000 I despaired. No more stories of life aboard wooden ships. Finally, I decided to try C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower stories. I had rejected the recommenda