By Sanford V. Sternlicht

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Forester was delighted to accommodate since the Napoleonic period had been one of his favorite areas of study. The book, of which Forester was also not proud later on, was entitled Napoleon and His Court (1924) and was written in the style of Thomas Babington Macaulay, somewhat verbose and NeoGothic. , were happy with the first 10,000 words and a synopsis, and they miraculously (for Forester) produced an advance of twenty-five pounds. The author immediately went out and bought a new pair of shoes.

Forester's next important novel, The African Queen (1935) is the one he currently is most famous for, in large part due to the successful film version. Although born in Egypt, Forester had never set foot in Equatorial Africa. His geographical and historical research once more stood him in good stead. The book is incredibly believable and rings with authenticity. The General (1936), Forester's finest novel, brought him most fame before the Hornblower series. It is a study, perhaps exaggerated, of the peculiarities and ineptitudes of the professional British military mind in World War I.

It had to be a life of literature. IV The Writer Emerges Forester had associated himself with some writers, artists, dancers, actors, and hangers-on living in Chelsea, London's Greenwich Village of the time. But these contacts were of little use to him. The writers particularly did not impress him. They were generally poets who had a poem or two occasionally printed in obscure little magazines and spent many hours talking about their theory of literature. Forester was never arty. His approach to literature was from the beginning pragmatic, perhaps even bourgeois, reflecting his very strong middle-class background.

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