And so, without further ado, here is my list.
Horatio Hornblower of Horatio Hornblower
I believe I can accurately say that Horatio Hornblower is beyond a doubt my absolute favourite hero ever. There is simply no question about it. However, it wasn't always this way, believe it or not! A year ago, I likely would have said Edward Ferrars or Nicholas Nickleby was my favourite. In other words, it was not love at first sight. When Horatio first entered our house, I had absolutely no interest in this unkown series full of ships and officers in uniform which lacked dancing and pretty costumes (which I must have thought imperative in those days) and which I hastily concluded was not my cup of tea. Needless to say, I was very foolish to have thought so. It wasn't until around two years ago that I actually realized how very foolish I had been, and since then I have completely fallen in love with Horatio and his heroic, selfless nature. He is honourable, courageous, noble, selfless- the epitome of a hero. But he's not perfect. He has his faults, as we all do, and he makes mistakes- rarely, but all the same, he does. But if he didn't, the character wouldn't be nearly as believable, and that's one of the reasons he is the hero that he is. It's difficult to explain- if you haven't seen the series, I would highly recommend that you do and then you will understand!
However, the Horatio of the C.S. Forester novels is not the same. I read the first book in the series for the first time this spring, and I am quite sorry to say that I was not at all impressed- which must sound terrible because, after all, the books were here first! But Horatio was so much different from the way he is in the movies- he was awkward, incapable and had a very bad temper. It was a bitter disappointment to find that the original character C.S. Forester created was not the Horatio I know and love, but he did still had a few good qualities and it wasn't as if I strongly disliked the character- it just wasn't Horatio. Also, since Archie was such an insignificant character and he had no other friends, Horatio seemed to be extremely lonely and unhappy, which I didn't like a bit. But even so, not even my disappointment at the literary character of Horatio could make me change my opinion of this courageous, dashing hero. He may not be very impressive in the book series, but in the movies he is the perfect example of a gentleman in every way. He is still my favourite and always will be!
Archie Kennedy of Horatio Hornblower
Archie is Horatio's loyal friend and fellow officer, and although as I mentioned before he is a hardly mentioned in the book, in the series he really is a secondary hero and is just as dear as Horatio himself. By nature he is more of a melancholy person, and at first is rather timid and unsure of himself, but as the series progresses it becomes quite clear that he really is incredibly brave and selfless, a true hero indeed. The friendship between him and Horatio is so adorable and he has such an endearing personality, and he really becomes a better officer, leader, and man as the series progresses.
Edward Ferrars of Sense and Sensibility
Nicholas Nickleby of Nicholas Nickleby
William Bush of Horatio Hornblower
(Most commonly known as Mr. Bush.)
Sir Percival Blakeney of The Scarlet Pimpernel
those people who can gush on and on about him, which I like to say is because I still have yet to read the books and don't yet know him very well, having only seen the movie twice as of yet. But still, it didn't take long to decide he was one of my new favourites! Sir Percy is the epitome of a hero- he doesn't care what people may think of him, as long as he knows he is doing the right thing and for the right reasons, which shows a remarkable kind of conscience that is very admirable. Also, he's very handsome, but that's beside the point. : )
Daniel Deronda of Daniel Deronda
John Geyser of The Blue and the Gray
|This was honestly the only picture I could find of him.|
This is one of my favourite stories ever, and even though the John Geyser of the novel (if it can be called one- more on that in a minute,) is not the same as in the miniseries- it was kind of the same situation as Hornblower- John Geyser is still one of my favourite literary characters. The book was incredibly disappointing mostly because it was so ill-written- it was very short and to the point and not epic at all, as if the writer wasn't really a writer at all, but a dull historian with no concept of the way classic literature is supposed to be. Also, the characters were not well-developed at all- some of them were even left out, such as John's love interest, Kathy (whom I don't care for a bit, so maybe that part was just as well!) John was supposed to be older too, I think, and since he was very young in the miniseries I had a hard time picturing that. Also, like C.S. Forester's Horatio, he seemed lonely- maybe it was because there was no Kathy, but somehow he just wasn't the same. However, in the miniseries he is a perfect gentleman and I have grown quite fond of him. As evident by the title, the story takes place during the Civil War. John doesn't want to fight for the Confederacy with his brothers, but neither does he want to take up arms against his own family and fight for the Union. So, he uses his gift for drawing to become an "artist correspondent" and gets a job covering the war for his uncle's newspaper in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. John is gentlemanly and kind and a very endearing hero. I think perhaps the reason why I loved him from the very first is because he reminds me so much of John-Boy Walton! I must admit, John Geyser does not quite hold the position John-Boy does, but he is a very noble hero and one of my favourite literary characters.
George Knightley of Emma
(Most commonly known as Mr. Knightley.)