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The Sharpe Series (2) - Sharpe's Triumph: The Battle of Assaye, September 1803 Paperback – 4 Jun 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; (Reissue) edition (4 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006510302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006510307
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.6 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 277,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bernard Cornwell was born in London, raised in Essex, and now lives mainly in the USA with his wife. In addition to the hugely successful Sharpe novels, Bernard Cornwell is the author of the Starbuck Chronicles, the Warlord trilogy, the Grail Quest series and the Alfred series.

Product Description

Review

‘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

From the Back Cover

India, 1803. It is four years since Richard Sharpe earned his sergeant's stripes at the siege of Seringapatam, and four years in which Sharpe seems to have discovered the easiest billet in the British army. But that comfort is rudely shattered when he witnesses a murderous act of treachery by an English officer who has defected from the East India Company to join the mercenary army of the Mahratta Confederation commanded by the flamboyant Hanoverian, Anthony Pohlmann.

Sharpe is ordered to join the hunt for the renegade Englishman, a hunt that will take him deep into the enemy's territory where he will face temptations more subtle than he has ever dreamed of. And behind him, relentlessly stalking him, comes his worst enemy, the baleful, twitching Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill who is determined to break Sharpe once and for all.

The paths of treachery all lead to the small village of Assaye where Sir Arthur Wellesley, with a tiny British army, faces the Mahratta horde. Outnumbered and outgunned, Wellesley decides to fight, and Sergeant Richard Sharpe is plunged into the white heat of a battle that will make Wellesley's reputation. It will make Sharpe's name to, but only if he can survive the carnage and killing frenzy, for it is at Assaye that he at last realizes his ambition and has a chance to seize it.

'Sharpe's Triumph' is a magnificent novel of the British in India, and of the battle which Arthur Wellesley, after he had become the Duke of Wellington, reckoned to be his greatest achievement. It will delight the millions of readers who have enjoyed Sharpe's later adventures in the Peninsular War and at Waterloo.

Bernard Cornwell worked for BBC TV for seven years, mostly as producer on the 'Nationwid' 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.

Twelve of Bernard Cornwell's bestselling Sharpe novels have been made into highly acclaimed films.

Videos of the 'Sharpe' television series are now available

Bernard Cornwell is also the author of the bestselling Starbuck chronicles, a series of novels that portray the American Civil War.

"A rollicking treat for Cornwell's many fans"
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Dec 1999
Format: Paperback
Having marched and fought with Richard Sharpe from the Peninsula to Waterloo and beyond, it was with great interest that I journeyed back in time with him, and indeed Wellesley, to India. "Tiger," in all honesty, I found difficult to get into, although by the end I was once more with Sharpe in the thick of the action. "Triumph," on the other hand, had me hooked from the very start, and I would say to the new Sharpe reader - start with "Tiger" and persevere. "Triumph" fills in a lot of gaps in the Sharpe story as a whole, and after that, "Fortress" awaits you - and how! By the time you have fought at Assaye, won through at Ahmednuggur, and conquered Gawilghur, you deserve a rest, and a leisurely sea-voyage back home to England. But by then the year is 1805, and you will have to sail close to the South-West tip of Spain, the cape of Trafalgar. Who knows what will happen?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alexis Paladin on 4 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
Apparently, when asked towards the end of his life which battle he was most proud of, Wellington, without hesitation, named Assaye in 1803. Given the overwhelmingly poor odds he faced at the start of the battle and how quickly those odds were turned on their head, this seems entirely reasonable. It is presumably in honour of this achievement that Cornwell chose to focus this novel on Wellington rather than Sharpe who spends most of the novel following his General along dutifully and only getting involved in the fighting towards the end. This is not really a criticism. The book ably and engagingly relates firstly the breathtaking story of the audacious escalade at Ahmednuggur and then the great battle at Assaye.

As with Sharpe's Tiger Cornwell's research and ability to render extremely complex and confused battles both comprehensible and compelling is faultless. When Wellesley's Army first encounters its vast enemy across the River Kaitna I was reminded of the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan. Carefully and with meticulous attention to detail Cornwell describes the movements of each side which lead ultimately to a veritable David versus Goliath style victory. Military tactics such as how and when Artillery, Infantry and Cavalry are most effectively deployed and when they are virtually useless are explained clearly without any let up in drama or excitement. If you have any interest in how battles were fought in the early nineteenth century you could do a lot worse than read this.

Perhaps inevitably, I have few criticisms; firstly Hakeswill is no less ridiculous than he was in Sharpe's Tiger, secondly I struggled a bit with Wellesley's determination to ford the river at a point where no one believed it could be done.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul J. Tayler on 21 May 2007
Format: Paperback
Like otehr readers, I was a little wary of delving back into the 'Sharpe' prequels; I woudl say that they are every bit as good as the original series.

Whilst it may be true that some of the characters are a little wooden, they all contribute to Sharpe's development as a soldier and a potential officer.

The battle scenes are brutal and detailed as ever, most particularly the battle of Assaye - which sees Sharpe defending Wellesley (Wellington) - a relationship that lasts until teh Battle of Waterloo. We also see a continuation of Hakeswill's malicious intent against Sharpe.

In all, we see Sharpe's frustrations and motivations, becoming teh officer that we know and love. I look forward to the next installment and intend on re-reading the entire series again. I am sure that these prequels will enhance the enjoyment - the commuppance of Hakeswill, Sharpe's acceptance as an officer etc.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Aug 1999
Format: Paperback
This book has many similarities with Star Wars Episode one : it fills in the gaps in Richard Sharpes early life. Sergeant Hakeswill is still hot on his trail, and it is at the Battle of Assaye that Richard Sharpe saves the life of General Wellesley. This event leads to his promotion to Ensign, the first step away from the ranks of enlisted men. If you have read previous Sharpe books you will know exactly what to expect. As with the Star Wars film, you know the final outcome, after all, the main characters all appear in later (chronologically) books, but this does not spoil the enjoyment of a rattling good read, particularly when on holiday.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Nov 2008
Format: Paperback
If you haven't yet read Sharpe's Tiger, I recommend that you begin your reading of this exciting series with that book. The characters and story in Sharpe's Triumph will make more sense that way.

If you liked Sharpe's Tiger, you will probably enjoy Sharpe's Triumph even more. The story here is more historically accurate, the various battles are brilliantly described, and readers will find it easier to identify with Sharpe as the hero of the story.

As the book opens, Sergeant Sharpe has been sent to pick up some ammunition . . . a seemingly dull assignment that soon becomes quite meaningful. There's a rogue lieutenant from the British East India Company who has a bounty on his head, and Sharpe is soon drawn into the search for Lieutenant Dodd and the sepoys he took with him.

In the background, Sharpe has been enjoying a leisurely four years since he earned his sergeant's stripes in Sharpe's Tiger. The cushion that his wealth has brought is about to become a curse, however.

In the search for Dodd, Sharpe is presented with the opportunity to better his station in life, meets a new love interest, and has some hard choices to make.

The high point of the story comes in the detailed recounting of the Battle of Assaye which was important to defeating the Indian forces and helped establish the reputation of Sir Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington).

Those who don't want to read about the bloody side of war would do well to avoid this book.
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