(1899 - 1966)
"novel writing is far and away the most exhausting work i know" 

Cecil Scott Forester was the pen name of Cecil Louis Troughton Smith, an English novelist who rose to fame writing adventure stories and tales of naval warfare.  He was born on 27 August, 1899 in Cairo where his father was a school teacher, but returned to England with his mother when he was only 3. He was an avid and precocious reader, and had devoured Jane Austen, H.G. Wells and Henry James by the time he was only 10.  Having failed his physical when he tried to enlist in the army, he turned to studying medicine, but was an indifferent student giving it up to follow writing as a full time career in 1921.  His first book, A Pawn Among Kings was published in 1924 under his new pen name. For the next forty years, at a rate of nearly one a year, he produced stirring adventure stories such as Brown on Resolution (1929) and The African Queen (1935), and in 1937 he published The Happy Return in which he introduced his most enduring hero, Captain Horatio Hornblower, about whom he wrote a further eleven novels.  In 1938 one of his Hornblower stories, A Ship of the Line (also published in an omnibus with Flying Colours ) won the prestigious James Tate Memorial Prize. His final Hornblower adventure, Hornblower and the Crisis, was published posthumously.

 He died in California in 1966, but his naval hero of the Napoleonic era continues to be as popular today as he was at his inception.

Please scroll down to see our current stock of first editions by Forester and of original manuscripts relating to his life.

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Books by this author

Brown on Resolution