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Art Marine

Trouble Off Elsinore - Geoff Hunt

Trouble Off Elsinore - Geoff Hunt

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HMS Nonsuch takes the dismasted Harvey in tow.

A scene from CS Forester's The Commodore:- Hornblower accepts with alacrity when the Admiralty puts him in command of a squadron and sends him on a diplomatic and military mission to the Baltic.

His primary aim is to bring Russia into the war against Napoleon.

The squadron uses naval mortars (carried on special ships known as bomb vessels), one of which is the Harvey.

After Russia enters the war, Hornblower's squadron takes an important role in the defence of Riga, which is besieged by French forces. The bomb vessels take an important role, and so do amphibious operations under the protection of the squadron.

Off Elsinore, Harvey is hit: "...Nonsuch heaved over; her backed topsail caught the wind and checked her way as she recovered. She hovered with the battered Harvey close alongside. Hornblower could see Mound, her captain, directing the efforts of her crew from his station at the foot of her mizzenmast. Hornblower put his speaking-trumpet to his lips.
"Cut that wreckage away, smartly, now."
"Stand by for the line!" shouted Hurst.
The heaving-line, well thrown, dropped across her mizzen shrouds, and Mound himself seized it; Hurst dashed below to superintend the passing across of the towline, which lay on the lower gun-deck all ready to be passed out of an after gun-port. A splintering crash forward told that one shot at least from Amager had struck home on Nonsuch. Axes were cutting furiously at the tangle of shrouds over the Harvey's side; a group of seamen were furiously hauling in the three-inch line from Nonsuch which had been bent on the heaving-line. Another crash forward; Hornblower swung round to see that a couple of foremast shrouds had parted at the chains. With the Nonsuch lying nearly head to wind neither port-side nor starboard-side guns bore to make reply, but Carlin had a couple of guns' crews hard at work with hand-spikes heaving the two foremost guns round — it would be as well to keep the batteries under fire so as not to allow them to indulge in mere target practice. Hornblower turned back; Nonsuch's stern was almost against Harvey's quarter, but some capable officer already had two spars out from the stern gallery to boom her off. The big cable itself was on its way over now; as Hornblower watched he saw Harvey's men reach and grasp it...."

The siege is finally broken, and Hornblower joins the pursuit of the French armies on horseback, only to fall seriously ill with typhus.

Signed and numbered -
Edition of 750 on paper (including 75 remarques)
and 195 on canvas.

On Paper:
Image Size 14.25 x 20 inches (36cm x 50cm)
Paper Size 19 1/4 x 24 inches (49cm x 61cm)

On Canvas, varnished:
Image size 18 x 22.5 inches (46cm x 57cm)

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