C. S. Forester Biography


Birthday: August 27, 1899 (Virgo)

Born In: Cairo, Egypt

C.S. Forester was one of the greatest authors of his time, who outshone and transcended many of his counterparts. He is particularly known for his works pertaining to naval warfare. His most iconic creation, ‘Horatio Hornblower’, the Royal Navy officer from the Napoleonic era, continues to inspire modern-day literati and has gone down in history as one of the most illustrious fictional characters. Apart from the 12-part Horatio Hornblower series, he has written other novels such as ‘A Ship of the Line’ and ‘Flying Colours’ that are a small part of his large repertoire of thirty five novels, two plays, three children’s books and five biographies. After spending a small part of his childhood in Cairo, Egypt, he moved with his mother to London and began writing a sequence of short stories during this time under a pseudonym. He then worked as a reporter with ‘The Times’ in London for a brief period of time and was only fully financially independent by the age of 27. At the onset of World War II, he wrote propaganda to convince the United States to join the Allied Forces. If you would like to learn more interesting information about this personality, scroll further.
Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In August

Also Known As: Cecil Louis Troughton Smith

Died At Age: 66


Spouse/Ex-: Kathleen Belcher (m. 1926–1945)

children: George Forester, John Forester

Quotes By C. S. Forester Novelists

Died on: April 2, 1966

place of death: Fullerton, California, United States

City: Cairo, Egypt

More Facts

education: King's College London

awards: 1938 - James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction

Childhood & Early Life
Cecil Scott Forester was born to George Foster Smith, an English teacher and Sarah Medhurst Troughton in Cairo, Egypt. He was the youngest of the five children born to the couple.
When he was 3-years-old, the family broke up and young Forester returned to London with his mother, where he studied at Alleyn’s School, Dulwich College and Guy’s Hospital.
He started writing a number of short stories from a very young age and later, tried to enlist in the army. However, he was refused a place because of his frail build.
In 1921, he quit studying medicine and started to chase writing seriously under a penname. He wrote his first story, ‘A Pawn among Kings’, in 1924. The same year, he also penned, ‘The Paid Piper’ and ‘Napolean and his Court’.
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In 1926, he authored ‘Payment Deferred’, which was a crime novel that garnered widespread success. He then began writing a series of novels with naval and military themes.
In 1930, he authored, ‘Plain Murder’ another crime novel. The same year, ‘The Annie Marble in Germany’ was also published. The following year, two famous books, ‘Two-and-Twenty’ and ‘U 97, a Play in 3 Acts’ were published.
In 1935, one of his most influential works, ‘The African Queen’ was published. The book is considered one of his most illustrious works. The following year, ‘The General’ was published.
In 1937, he published the first of the Horatio Hornblower novels, ‘The Happy Return’. This was followed by a second book in the series, ‘A Ship of the Line’ the next year.
He authored, ‘Flying Colours’, another book of the ‘Hornblower’ series, which was published in 1938. The other novels that he published in the next one decade that were not related to the ‘Hornblower’ series include, ‘The Captain of Connecticut’, ‘The Ship’ and ‘Hunting the Bismarck’.
In 1942, he tried his hand at writing a children’s book titled ‘Poo-Poo and the Dragons’, which he exclusively dedicated to his son in order to encourage him to eat.
In 1953, he wrote the second of his two children’s books, ‘The Barbary Pirates’ which is a book on 19th century pirates. During World War II, he wrote a series of short stories that were based on the war. ‘The Nightmare’, published the following year, was a famous novel that was based on the events in Nazi Germany.
In 1956, he authored ‘The Age of Fighting Sail’, which gave details about sea battles between the United States and Great Britain during the 19th century war. The same year, he also appeared as a contestant on the American quiz show, ‘You Bet Your Life’, where he spoke about the book.
Towards the end of his life, he returned to write the remaining installments of the ‘Hornblower’ series including, ‘Hornblower and the Hotspur’. He had started working on ‘Hornblower and the Crisis’, but could not complete it as a result of his sudden death.
Major Works
C.S. Forester’s magnum opus is the ‘Horatio Hornblower’ series. It chronicles the story about a British naval officer as he rises in status and battles competitors during the Napoleonic era. Even though ‘The Happy Return’ was the first ‘Hornblower’ creation by C.S. Forester in the series, it was not considered the first in chronology. The first installment starts with ‘Mr. Midshipman Hornblower’ and ends with ‘C.S. Forester’s Hornblower One More Time’.
The books became critically acclaimed and even anthologies were printed including, ‘Young Hornblower: Three Complete Novels’ and ‘The Young Hornblower Omnibus’. These books were also adapted for a series of television drama shows which ran from 1998 to 2003.
Awards & Achievements
He was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction for two of his ‘Hornblower’ novels; ‘A Ship of the Line’ and ‘Flying Colours’.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1926, he married Kathleen Belcher with whom he had two sons. He divorced her in 1945. He then married Dorothy Ellen Foster in 1946.
He passed away in Fullerton, California. The cause of his death remains unspecified.
This famous English novelist is the author of the ‘Horatio Hornblower’ series which made him popular worldwide and even won him James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

See the events in life of C. S. Forester in Chronological Order

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