Sharpe Books

I began writing Sharpe in 1980 and he’s still going strong. I never thought there would be this many books – I imagined there might be ten or eleven – but then along came Sean Bean and the television programmes and I virtually began a whole new Sharpe series.

Read more about Sharpe and the timeline of the books here.

Read more about the Sharpe films here.

Read about the Sharpe’s Children Foundation here.

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Sharpe’s Skirmish (2002)

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It is the summer of 1812 and Richard Sharpe, newly recovered from the wound he received in the fighting at Salamanca, is given an easy duty; to guard a Commissary Officer posted to an obscure Spanish fort where there are some captured French muskets to repair. But unknown to the British, the French are planning a raid and Sharpe is in for a fight!

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Sharpe’s Prey (2001)

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This tells the tale of one of the most obscure campaigns of the whole of the Napoleonic wars. The Danes had a huge merchant fleet, second only in size to Great Britain’s, and to protect it they possessed a formidable navy. But Denmark was a very small country and when, in 1807, the French decide they will invade Denmark and take the fleet for themselves, Britain has to act swiftly. Swiftly, but not particularly justly. Sharpe is inside Copenhagen when the dreadful and fateful bombardment begins.

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Sharpe’s Trafalgar (2000)

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Sharpe has to go home from India, and he would have left in 1805 and Cape Trafalgar lies on his way home, so why should he not be there at the right time? The greatest difficulty in writing this book was engineering the plot so that Sharpe could be on board a fighting ship of the Royal Navy (he would have sailed home in an East Indiaman, a merchant ship), but once that was solved Sharpe could give a capable hand in this, the greatest of all sea battles fought under sail.

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Sharpe’s Fortress (1999)

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Sharpe’s first story as an officer takes him to the daunting fort of Gawilghur. This is also the last of his Indian adventures. Sir Arthur Wellesley (the future Duke of Wellington) was never at his shining best when he had to lay siege to great fortresses, and few are greater than Gawilghur up on its vast cliff over the Deccan Plain. In the end the fortress fell to the extraordinary gallantry of some Scottish soldiers and I fear Sharpe muscles in on their achievement.

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Sharpe’s Triumph (1998)

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Sharpe, now a Sergeant, finds himself alongside Sir Arthur Wellesley at the terrifying Battle of Assaye. In later life Sir Arthur (who became, of course, the first Duke of Wellington), always reckoned Assaye was his finest achievement. During the battle he very nearly died, or certainly had his closest escape in a fight, and Sharpe, naturally, is there. The ‘villain’ in this book (apart from Hakeswill) is Anthony Pohlmann, a cheerful Hanoverian rogue who began life as a mercenary ranker and became one of India’s most successful generals.

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