Horatio Hornblower is the protagonist in a series of naval adventure novels by English novelist C.S. Forester. The series is set during the Napoleonic Wars. Horatio begins the series as a junior captain with the Royal Navy on a secret mission to Central America. As the series goes on, he moves up the ranks of the Royal Navy. Winston Churchill once said that he found the character “admirable.”

C.S. Forester began the Horatio Hornblower series in 1937 with the novel The Happy Return. The series lasted 12 novels until Hornblower and the Crisis, published in 1967. Below is a list of C.S. Forester’s Horiatio Hornblower books in order of when they were originally released:

Publication Order of Horatio Hornblower Books

The Happy Return(1937) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Ship of the Line(1938) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Flying Colours(1938) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Commodore(1945) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Lord Hornblower(1946) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower(1950) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Lieutenant Hornblower(1952) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Hornblower and the Atropos(1953) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies(1957) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Hornblower and the Hotspur(1962) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Hornblower and the Crisis(1967) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price

Chronological Order of Horatio Hornblower Books

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower(1950) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Lieutenant Hornblower(1952) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Hornblower and the Atropos(1953) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Hornblower and the Hotspur(1962) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Happy Return(1937) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Ship of the Line(1938) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Flying Colours(1938) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Commodore(1945) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Lord Hornblower(1946) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Hornblower and the Crisis(1967) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies(1957) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price

Publication Order of Horatio Hornblower Collections

Captain Hornblower RN(1964) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Hornblower Companion(1964) Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price

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Order of Books » Characters » Order of Horatio Hornblower Books
  • TipOfTheSpear

    The Hornblower book titled The Happy Return is published in the US under the title Beat to Quarters.

  • Under the author information in “Hornblower and the Atropos” which I read according to this chronological order before “Hornblower and the Hotspur” (finding out Hornblower was married and had two children – to read about the marriage in Hotspur) – I believe the correct order in which to read the books should be:-

    Mr.
    Midshipman Hornblower

    Lieutenant
    Hornblower

    Hornblower
    and the Hotspur

    Hornblower
    and the Crisis

    Hornblower
    and the Atropos

    The
    Happy Return

    Ship of
    the Line

    Flying
    Colours

    The
    Commodore

    Lord
    Hornblower

    Admiral
    Hornblower in the West Indies