online great books

#92- C. S. Forester’s Mr. Midshipman Hornblower

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This week, Scott and Karl read Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C. S. Forester. Published in 1950, this novel is considered the first episode in the 11 volume set about the career of the young British Naval officer, Horatio Hornblower.

Hornblower commences his career in the Royal Navy as an inexperienced midshipman in January 1794. Through a series of adventures and hardships, Hornblower discovers he is actually talented as both seaman and a leader.

At the young age of 17, Hornblower is already an Aristotelian hero. Scott says, “He exibits the nuts and bolts way of how to become Aristotle’s great-souled man.”

Karl adds, “This is the poetic image of virtue you would want your kids to have.”

The duo talks about the virtue of courage, ultimately being what allowed Hornblower to see the whole picture and do the right thing, according to the right measure, at the right time. Scott adds, “His fears put him right where he needed to be over and over again.”

Scott and Karl agree: Horatio Hornblower is a character that always lives in the back of their minds. Tune in to hear more about one of the most renowned sailors in contemporary fiction.

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