SERVICE ALERT: Blommer Science Library will be closed on Monday, December 22.

or browse databases: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

You are here

Search

Research

Services

Libraries & Spaces

About

Information for:

You are here

C.S. Forester & Horatio Hornblower: A Centenary Exhibit

Howard W. Gunlocke Rare Book and Special Collections Room
June 1, 1999
September 30, 1999

 

Introduction:

The creator of Horatio Hornblower was born Cecil Lewis Troughton Smith on August 27, 1899, the son of a minor English official in the Egyptian Ministry of Education. After his death on April 2, 1966, the obituary of C. S. Forester (who started his literary career as Cecil Scott Forester in 1921) began on the front page of The New York Times, and some 8,000,000 copies of his works had been published.

Before Hornblower, Forester's career was that of a good, if not particularly successful, novelist and miscellaneous writer. Payment Deferred (1926), his first book to achieve multiple printings, also brought him his first sale of film rights; The African Queen (1935), later to be, because of the film starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn, the best-known of his non-Hornblower novels, began its published life as a five-part newspaper cliffhanger serial. The General (1936), one of his best-written books, achieved far greater fame (and made its author far more money) in Hitler's Germany than it did in Britain or America. Indeed, the dust jackets of two of the first three books he saw published in America gave his initials incorrectly, the first as "B. S." and another as "C. E."

In 1937 came the great invention: the introverted, self-doubting English sea captain who would make Forester's name in the world of popular literature, Horatio Hornblower. But sales of the first three Hornblower titles were modest by the standards Forester would later reach, and even though the second and third were serialized in American pulps prior to publication, they failed to reach a true mass audience. The publication of a boxed three-volume set of the Hornblower books by the Book of the Month Club in 1940 "made" Hornblower in America, and from the publication of Commodore Hornblower (or as it was titled in England, The Commodore) at the end of World War II, with prior serialization in The Saturday Evening Post, the appearance of each Hornblower novel or book of stories was the result of a carefully orchestrated and highly remunerative publishing campaign, with both prior and secondary serial rights sold, book club publication assured.

This exhibit presents, with only a few additions, the first British and American editions of all of Forester's books, including those published posthumously. It deliberately ignores the Canadian editions, the Australian editions, the Indian editions, the English-language editions published in Sweden and Germany, and the translations into foreign languages, all of which helped bring many a quid into the author's coffers. No formal bibliography of Forester's works exists, though many are the collectors who would welcome one; a century after his birth, perhaps the time for one has come. All books displayed are drawn from the Georgetown collection of his works.

George M. Barringer

 

 

A Pawn Among Kings

London: Methuen & Co. Ltd. [1924] First edition; inscribed on front pastedown "With the compliments of C. S. Forester." There was no American edition of this title.

Toronto: The Macmillan Company, 1924. First edition, Canadian issue, one of approximately 260 copies.

Napoleon and His Court

London: Methuen & Co. Ltd. [1924] First edition, in dust jacket.

New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1924. First American edition, in dust jacket. On this copy of the jacket Forester's initials are given as "B. S."

The Paid Piper

London: Methuen & Co. Ltd. [1924] First edition. There was no American edition of this title.

Josephine Napoleon's Empress

London: Methuen & Co. Ltd. [1925] First edition.

New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1925. First American edition.

Payment Deferred

London: John Lane The Bodley Head Limited [1926] First edition.

London: John Lane The Bodley Head Limited [1941] Reprint edition, the dust jacket showing Charles Laughton in his first great movie role.

Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1942. First American edition, in dust jacket.

Love Lies Dreaming

London: John Lane The Bodley Head Limited [1927] First edition.

Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company [1927] First American edition, in dust jacket. On both the binding and the dust jacket Forester's initials are given as "C. E."

Victor Emmanuel II and the Union of Italy

London: Methuen & Co. Ltd. [1927] First edition.

New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1927. First American edition.

The Wonderful Week

London: John Lane The Bodley Head Limited [1927] First edition.

Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company [1927] First American edition, published under the title One Wonderful Week.

Louis XIV King of France and Navarre

London: Methuen & Co. Ltd. [1928] First edition.

New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1928. First American edition.

The Shadow of the Hawk

London: John Lane The Bodley Head Limited [1928] First edition.

Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company [1928] First American edition, in dust jacket; published under the title The Daughter of the Hawk.

Brown on Resolution

London: John Lane The Bodley Head Limited [1929] "Advance Proof" copy, as stamped on the binding.

London: John Lane The Bodley Head Limited [1929] First edition.

New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1929. First American edition, published under the title Single-Handed.

The Voyage of the Annie Marble

London: John Lane The Bodley Head Limited [1929] First edition. There was no American edition of this title.

Nelson

London: John Lane The Bodley Head Limited [1929] First edition.

Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company [1929] First American edition, in dust jacket; published under the title Lord Nelson.

The Annie Marble in Germany

London: John Lane The Bodley Head Limited [1930] First edition, in dust jacket. There was no American edition of this title.

Plain Murder

London: John Lane The Bodley Head Limited [1931] First edition, in dust jacket.

[New York: Dell Publishing Company, Inc., 1954] First American edition, in original paper wrappers.

U 97 A Play in Three Acts

London: John Lane The Bodley Head Limited [1931] First edition, in dust jacket. There was no American edition of this title.

Two-and-Twenty

London: John Lane The Bodley Head Limited [1931] First edition, in dust jacket.

New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1931. First American edition.

Death to the French

London: John Lane The Bodley Head Limited [1932] First edition.

New York: The Press of the Readers Club [1942] First American edition, in dust jacket; published under the title Rifleman Dodd in a volume published as Rifleman Dodd and The Gun: Two Novels of the Peninsular Wars.

Barbosa. Original ink and watercolor drawing for the dust jacket of the English edition.

Nurse Cavell A Play in Three Acts

London: John Lane The Bodley Head Limited [1933] First edition, in the original wrappers. There was no American edition of this title. Written in collaboration with C. E. Bechhofer Roberts.

The Gun

London: John Lane The Bodley Head Limited [1933] First edition.

Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1933. First American edition, in dust jacket.

New York: Dell [1957] Dell Movie Classic no. 824, an adaptation published under the title of the movie version, The Pride and the Passion.

The Peacemaker

London: William Heinemann Ltd [1934] First edition.

Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1934. First American edition, in dust jacket.

The African Queen

London and Toronto: William Heinemann Ltd [1935] "Proof Copy," as printed on the upper wrapper.

London and Toronto: William Heinemann Ltd [1935] First edition.

Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1935. First American edition, with truncated text.

New York: The Modern Library [1940] First complete American edition, in dust jacket.

The General

Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1936. First edition, in dust jacket. Signed by Forester on the half-title. The first of Forester's books to be published first in the United States.

London: Michael Joseph Ltd. [1936] First English edition, in dust jacket. Signed on the title page: "C. S. Forester. July 1936."

Marionettes at Home

London: Michael Joseph Ltd. [1936] First edition. A purported American "edition" of this title, consisting possibly only of unsold sheets of this edition with a printed slip pasted on the title page, has not been located.

London: Michael Joseph Ltd. [1936] First edition, in a later binding, in dust jacket. Inscribed by Forester on the front free endpaper: "Elizabeth Brown secretary & barber & good at both, with grateful good wishes from C. S. Forester." Elizabeth ("Betty") Brown served as Forester's secretary for a number of years.

The Happy Return

London: Michael Joseph Ltd. [1937] First edition, in dust jacket. Signed by Forester on the half-title. The first Hornblower novel.

Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1937. First American edition, in dust jacket, published under the title Beat to Quarters.

New York: Grosset & Dunlap [1948] Reprint, in dust jacket. Inscribed by Forester on the half-title: "Harry C. Losey [Forester's Hollywood agent] best wishes from C. S. Forester. Jan 1949."

Ship of the Line

Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1938. First edition, in dust jacket. Review copy, with publisher's slip and publicity blurb laid in.

London: Michael Joseph Ltd. [1938] First English edition, published under the title A Ship of the Line.

Flying Colours

London: Michael Joseph Ltd. [1938] First edition; published in a single volume in conjunction with the Book Society with a reprint of A Ship of the Line.

London: Michael Joseph Ltd. [1938] First separate edition, in dust jacket.

Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1939. First American edition, in dust jacket.

To the Indies

Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1940. First edition, in dust jacket.

London: Michael Joseph Ltd. [1940] "Uncorrected Proof Copy," as printed on the upper wrapper; published under the title The Earthly Paradise.

London: Michael Joseph Ltd. [1940] First English edition, in dust jacket.

The Captain from Connecticut

Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1941. First edition, in dust jacket.

London: Michael Joseph Ltd. [1941] First English edition, in dust jacket.

Poo-Poo and the Dragons

Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1942. Illustrated by Robert Lawson. First edition, in dust jacket. Inscribed by Forester on the half-title: "Betty & Lennie Brown with best wishes from C. S. Forester."

London: Michael Joseph Ltd. [1942] First English edition.

The Ship

Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1943. First edition, in dust jacket (designed by Tom Lea). Inscribed before publication by Forester on the front free endpaper: "Betty Brown, with much gratitude, because without her help I don't think I could have written this any faster. C. S. Forester. April 1943."

London: Michael Joseph Ltd. [1943] First English edition, in dust jacket.

The Bedchamber Mystery

Toronto: S. J. Reginald Saunders [1944] First edition, in dust jacket. Inscribed by Forester on the front free endpaper: "To Betty Brown, Maybe she still wears the scar, but I'm not sure C. S. Forester." "The scar" refers to the principal incident in the title story. This collection was never published in England or the United States.

The Commodore

London: Michael Joseph Ltd. [1944] "Uncorrected proof copy," as printed on the upper wrapper.

London: Michael Joseph Ltd. [1945] First edition, in dust jacket.

Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1945. Long galley proofs of the first American edition, published under the title Commodore Hornblower.

Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1945. Advance proof copy of the first American edition, in original wrappers (lower wrapper missing).

Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1945. First American edition, in dust jacket. Inscribed by Forester before publication on the front free endpaper: "To Betty, very gratefully. She only made one mistake, & that was taking the job on. From C. S. Forester. April 1945."

Lord Hornblower

Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1946. First edition, in dust jacket. Inscribed by Forester before publication on the front free endpaper: "To Betty to whom I shall always be grateful for help that cannot be measured from C. S. Forester May 17th 1946."

London: Michael Joseph Ltd. [1946] First English edition, in dust jacket.

The Sky and the Forest

Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1948. First edition, in dust jacket. Inscribed by Forester before publication on the front free endpaper: "To Betty without a kurbash from C. S. Forester with much love & gratitude July 8th 1948."

London: Michael Joseph [1948] First English edition, in dust jacket.

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower

Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1950. First edition, in dust jacket. Inscribed by Forester on the front free endpaper: "To Betty after eight long years with love from C. S. Forester."

London: Michael Joseph [1950] First edition, in dust jacket.

Randall and the River of Time

Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1950. First edition, in dust jacket. Inscribed by Forester on the front free endpaper: "For Betty, who took all the trouble & did really all the work, gratefully, from C. S. Forester. Oct 12th 1950"

London: Michael Joseph [1951] First English edition, in dust jacket.

Lieutenant Hornblower

London: Michael Joseph [1952] First edition, in dust jacket. Inscribed by Forester on the front free endpaper: "To Betty The most long suffering of secretaries with gratitude and thanks from the most long suffering of bosses C. S. Forester. March 1952."

Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1952. First American edition, in dust jacket.

Hornblower and the Atropos

Boston: Little, Brown and Company [1953] First edition, in dust jacket. Inscribed by Forester on the front free endpaper: "To Betty without whose kind assistance ---- with best wishes from C. S. Forester. July 1953."

London: Michael Joseph [1953] First English edition, in dust jacket.

The Barbary Pirates

New York: Random House [1953] First edition, in dust jacket.

London: Macdonald [1956] First English edition.

The Adventures of John Wetherell

Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1953. First edition, in dust jacket (designed by Edward Gorey).

London: Michael Joseph [1954] "Uncorrected proof" of the first English edition, in original wrappers; the publisher's file copy (so stamped on upper cover).

London: Michael Joseph [1954] First English edition, in dust jacket.

The Nightmare

Boston: Little, Brown and Company [1954] First edition, in dust jacket. Inscribed by Forester on the front free endpaper: "To Betty on the morning after from C. S. Forester. July 7th 1954."

London: Michael Joseph [1954] First English edition, in dust jacket.

The Good Shepherd

[New York: Life] 1955. "Advance Galley Proofs" of the novel as it was condensed to some 35,000 words to appear in consecutive issues of Life on March 14 and March 21, 1955, in the same manner as had Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea a few years previously.

Boston: Little, Brown and Company [1955] First edition, in dust jacket. Inscribed by Forester on the front free endpaper: "Betty The only person I can be sure read every single word with every good wish from C. S. Forester."

London: Michael Joseph [1955] First English edition, in dust jacket.

The Age of Fighting Sail

Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1956. First edition, in dust jacket.

London: Michael Joseph [1957] First English edition, in dust jacket, published under the title The Naval War of 1812.

Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies

Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown and Company [1958] First edition, in dust jacket.

London: Michael Joseph [1958] First English edition, in dust jacket, published under the title Hornblower in the West Indies.

The Last Nine Days of the Bismarck

Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown and Company [1959] First edition, in dust jacket.

London: Michael Joseph [1959] First English edition, in dust jacket, published under the title Hunting the Bismarck.

Hornblower and the Hotspur

London: Michael Joseph [1962] First edition, in dust jacket.

Boston: Little, Brown and Company [1962] "Uncorrected Proofs," as printed on the wrapper of the spiral binding; no formal title page.

Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown and Company [1962] First American edition, in dust jacket.

The Hornblower Companion

Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown and Company [1964] First edition, in dust jacket.

London: Michael Joseph [1964] First English edition, in dust jacket.

Hornblower and the Crisis

London: Michael Joseph [1967] First edition, in dust jacket.

Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown and Company [1967] Uncorrected proofs, spiral-bound; published under the title Hornblower During the Crisis.

Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown and Company [1967] First American edition, in dust jacket.

Long Before Forty

London: Michael Joseph [1967] "Uncorrected Proof Copy," as printed on the upper wrapper.

London: Michael Joseph [1967] First edition, in dust jacket. Signed on the dust jacket by its designer, Michael Harvey.

Boston: Little, Brown and Company [1967] First American edition, in dust jacket.

The Man in the Yellow Raft

London: Michael Joseph [1969] "Uncorrected Proof Copy," as printed on the upper wrapper, but sent out in dust jacket.

London: Michael Joseph [1969] First edition, in dust jacket.

Boston: Little, Brown and Company [1969] First American edition, in dust jacket.

Gold from Crete

Boston: Little, Brown and Company [1970] First edition, in dust jacket. Review copy, with publisher's slip laid in.

London: Michael Joseph [1971] First English edition, in dust jacket. Omits one story that appeared in the American edition, "You Are Welcome!"

Hornblower - One More Time

Tacoma: Published for the Richard Bolitho Association by the Non-Profit Press [1976] First edition, in dust jacket. Copy #21 of 25 (of a total edition of 350) printed on special paper and signed by Alexander Kent. With a copy of the special keepsake (#21) prepared for the publication party in 50 copies. With copy #53 of the "regular" edition.