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Sharpe's eagle: Richard Sharpe and the Talavera Campaign, July 1809

Sharpe's eagle: Richard Sharpe and the Talavera Campaign, July 1809

Cornwell, Bernard

The men of Britain's army in 1809 were criminals and drunks, brutalised and diseased, and the finest infantry in the world. Sharpe is one of then. Honourable in his own way, utterly ruthless, he is a soldier who never acknowledges defeat

Book. English. War stories.
Published London: Harper, 2008
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Statement of responsibility: Bernard Cornwell
ISBN: 0007276249, 9780007276240
Note: Originally published: London: Collins, 1981.
Physical Description: 327 p. ; 20 cm.
Subject: Sharpe, Richard (Fictitious character) Fiction.; Soldiers Fiction.; Talavera, Battle of, Talavera de la Reina, Spain, 1809 Fiction.

Author note

Bernard Cornwell worked for BBC TV for seven years, mostly as producer on the Nationwide programme, before taking charge of the Current Affairs department in Northern Ireland. In 1978 he became editor of Thames Television's Thames at Six. Married to an American, he now lives in the United States.


Bold, professional, ruthless - hero and man of action

"Sharpe asked three things of his men. That they fought as he did with a ruthless professionalism.That they stole only from the enemy and the dead unless they were starving. And they never got drunk without his permission."

Richard Sharpe is having a difficult war. Excluded from promotion because he is always on the battlefield, up against pompous, incompetent colonels, and worst, suddenly finding himself at the head of an inexperienced company who use all twenty five drill book approved movements to load and fire their muskets.

A soldier like Sharpe can't be kept down though and his promotion to Captain, when it comes, makes a dangerous enemy in the upper ranks. As Sharpe approaches bloody battle in Talavera, he knows he is fighting for his own honour and that of his men.

Soldier, hero, rogue - Sharpe is the man you always want on your side. Born in poverty, he joined the army to escape jail and climbed the ranks by sheer brutal courage. He knows no other family than the regiment of the 95th Rifles whose green jacket he proudly wears.


'Sharpe and his creator are national treasures.' Sunday Telegraph

'Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation.' Daily Mail

'Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched.' Observer
'The best battle scenes of any writer I've ever read, past or present. Cornwell really makes history come alive.' George R.R. Martin