Hornblower and the Atropos Themes

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Military Adventure on the Sea

The novel's overarching setting is the Mediterranean Sea during a time of war; Napoleon Bonaparte's military adventures threaten the British Empire, and only a strong naval response keeps the combined French and Spanish aggression at bay and ensures the survival of the empire. As a post captain of the Royal Navy, Hornblower's sworn and obvious duty is to engage the enemy at every opportunity. He carries out this duty with HMS Atropos.

The novel relates a series of sea voyages from December, 1805, to January, 1808; although, the voyages are fictional they contain references to many historical elements, and the maritime combats described are partially derived from several historical accounts. The ships mentioned represent fictionalized ships of historically-appropriate type, though the crews are entirely fictional. The aptly-named Atropos is exactly the type of smaller ship of war used to perform the duties Hornblower executes. All aspects...

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This section contains 955 words
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Buy the Hornblower and the Atropos Study Guide
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