The Hornblower series is based on C.S. Forester's classic maritime adventures - the story of one young man's struggle to become a leader of men. Set against the back drop of the 18th century Anglo-French wars, the bloodiest time in British naval history. Spithead, Portsmouth, 1794. Under thundery skies and in lashing rain, a 17 year old midshipman takes the first tentative steps of his naval career.