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Posted by Mike Field on October 19, 2020 at 04:02:50 user mikefield.

In Reply to: Re: Searching TarBoard posted by Bill Dashfield on October 18, 2020 at 16:53:28:

John's clip was from 'Yes, Prime Minister' -- full version of the clip at the link below.

Yes, Parkinson made a lot of astute comment on bureaucracy and bureaucrats (and bureaucretins), much of it satirical but with that biting kernel of truth that good satire has. Although an army officer and amateur naval historian, he was primarily an academic, functioning chiefly in academic and literary circles.

Having written a biography of Edward Pellew (Horatio Hornblower's mentor in C S Forester's historical naval novels) he also himself tried his hand at writing novels in the same genre -- albeit without Forester's degree of success. One book he did write though in this vein was another naval biography, this time of Horatio Hornblower himself. He drew on all the biographical details that Forester had invented for his hero, and produced a perfectly lucid, perfectly coherent, and perfectly believable biography. It's hard to tell, reading it, that Hornblower was not actually a real naval officer, just as Pellew was, whose life you were only now reading about properly.

(If I've whetted anyone's appetite with this, keep an eye out for the 'Life and Times of Horatio Hornblower' by C Northcote Parkinson.)



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