Best 1938 Adventures (1)

By: Joshua Glenn
May 9, 2018

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1938 adventure novels. Happy 80th anniversary!

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C.S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower historical sea-going adventure Flying Colours (serialized 1938; as a book,1939).

In this unusual Horatio Hornblower adventure, Hornblower has surrendered his ship, the Sutherland (after the Battle of Rosas Bay, recounted in the previous series installment, A Ship of the Line), and is now a prisoner in a French fortress. He and his first lieutenant, Bush, who lost a foot in the battle, are to be taken to Paris and executed on charges of piracy; even if he did make it back to England, Hornblower will face a mandatory court-martial for surrendering his ship. His wife, whom he doesn’t love, is pregnant. Along with the Sutherland‘s coxswain, Brown, Hornblower and Bush escape from their captors and find harbor with a sympathetic French nobleman… and his beautiful daughter-in-law. Will they ever make it back to England? Although there is some thrilling action along the way, this is a story about Hornblower’s character — his keen awareness of his own shortcomings, his dissatisfaction with glory.

Fun facts: Published as the third installment in the Horatio Hornblower series, Flying Colours is eighth by internal chronology. It is one of three Hornblower novels adapted into the 1951 film Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N., starring Gregory Peck.

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JOSH GLENN’S *BEST ADVENTURES* LISTS: BEST 250 ADVENTURES OF THE 20TH CENTURY | 100 BEST OUGHTS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST RADIUM AGE (PROTO-)SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TEENS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TWENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST THIRTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST GOLDEN AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FORTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FIFTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SIXTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST NEW WAVE SCI FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SEVENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST EIGHTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST DIAMOND AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST NINETIES ADVENTURES (in progress) | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | NOTES ON 21st-CENTURY ADVENTURES.

Categories

Adventure, Lit Lists

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