April 1803, and the Peace of Amiens is failing as Horatio Hornblower takes a three-master on a vital reconnaissance mission ...On the day of his marriage to Maria, Hornblower is ordered to take the Hotspur and head for Brest - war is coming and Napoleon will t catch His Majesty's navy with its britches round its ankles. With thoughts of his new life as a husband intruding on his duties, Hornblower must prove himself to be t only the most capable commander in the fleet, but also its most daring if he is to stop the French gaining the upper hand. This is the third of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C. S. Forester's inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower.
C. S. Forester was born in Cairo in 1899, where his father was stationed as a government official. He studied medicine at Guy's Hospital, and after leaving Guy's without a degree he turned to writing as a career. On the outbreak of war he entered the Ministry of Information and later he sailed with the Royal Navy to collect material for The Ship. He made a voyage to the Bering Sea to gather material for a similar book on the United States Navy, and it was during this trip that he was stricken with arteriosclerosis, a disease which left him crippled. However, he continued to write and in the Hornblower novels created the most renowned sailor in contemporary fiction. He died in 1966.