Born Cecil Louis Troughton Smith on August 27, 1899, in Cairo, Egypt, where his father was a government official, C. S. Forester grew up mainly in England. He was educated at Dulwich College, studying medicine briefly before decidint to become a writer. Forester moved to the United States before the start of World War II, and lived in Berkeley, California, until his death in 1966. Although Forester was a journalist, a novelist and a Hollywood scriptwriter, he is probably best known for his historical fiction, particularly the series of novels that feature Horatio Hornblower. The eleven-book series begins with Mr. Midshipmen Hornblower, in which the seventeen-year old Hornblower joins the British navy in 1793, just as the Napoleonic Wars are about to begin. Hornblower's continuing adventures, as well as his advancement to the highest ranks of the navy, are chronicled in further books, including Beat to Quarters, Flying Colours, Commodore Hornblower, Lord Hornblower, The Happy Return, and A Ship of the Line, for which Forester recived the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1939. Several of Forester's novels were made into films, most notably Payment Deferred (his first novel published in 1926), Eagle Squadron, The Commandos (the movie title was The Commandos Strike at Dawn), Captain Horatio Hornblower, Sink the Bismarck!, and The African Queen, starring Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. Forester's nonfiction includes The Age of Fighting Sail: The Story of the Naval War of 1812, as well as biographies of Lord Nelson, Napoleon, Josephine, and King Louis XIV. He also wrote an autobiography, Long Before Forty.