Beat to Quarters Topics for Discussion

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Would you rather be a seaman aboard H.M.S. Lydia or Natividad? Why?

Do you consider Hornblower to be the epitome of what a Royal Navy captain should embody? Why or why not?

The novel presents several minor facts and situations which are significantly altered in other novels in the series. For example, Lieutenant Bush is characterized as only recently acquainted with Captain Hornblower. Yet, in other novels, it is established they are long-time friends. Discuss how the gradual addition of chronologically-previous novels poses difficulties in the Hornblower saga.

After reading the novel, does the life of a common seaman seem appealing to you? In your opinion, which class of sailors has the best situation—seamen, midshipmen, officers or the captain?

Upon first seeing Lady Barbara, Hornblower judges her as horse-faced, mannish, nonsexual, irritating and undesirable. Yet, a few months later, his mind is wracked...

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This section contains 403 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Beat to Quarters Study Guide
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