The Books

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Wildtrack (1988)

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In which a crippled veteran of the Falkland’s War sails into the north Atlantic to discover whether a famous television presenter is a murderer.

Sharpe’s Rifles (1988)

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The beginning of the Peninsular War (the battles between 1808 and 1814 to expel the French from Portugal and Spain). The Peninsular Campaign occupies most of the Sharpe series and this book begins during the infamous retreat to Corunna, but ends in a purely fictional battle.

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Redcoat (1987)

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Redcoat is the story of the Valley Forge winter during the American Revolution – told from the redcoat’s point of view. I was very aware of trespassing on the sacred ground of American legend so was scrupulously careful to keep to the facts (even the story about General Washington and Sir William Howe’s dog is true). I was attacked afterwards, not because of any historical untruths, but because I have some characters using the efficacious ‘f’ word. Alas, they did, all the time.

Sharpe’s Siege (1987)

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This is another of my favourites, and it’s also another of the books where the action is entirely fictional. It describes a ‘commando’ raid on a French coastal fort. There were many such raids in the Napoleonic Wars, and somehow Sharpe missed out on them so I invented this attack on the fort in the Bay of Arcachon, an attack that goes disastrously wrong because of Pierre Ducos’s intervention. Sharpe finds himself stranded, surrounded and with only one very unlikely ally – Captain Cornelius Killick from Marblehead, Massachusetts.

Sharpe’s Regiment (1986)

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Most of Sharpe’s books describe actions abroad (Britain’s military, very sensibly, doesn’t believe in playing home games), but in Sharpe’s Regiment our hero is sent home to raise soldiers for his regiment, the South Essex, and once in England he runs into an old enemy – Sir Henry Simmerson, once a Colonel of the South Essex and now, what else, a taxman.

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