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The Sharpe Series (4) - Sharpe's Trafalgar: The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 [Paperback]

Bernard Cornwell
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Nov 2000

The seventeenth Sharpe novel sees Sharpe returning from India to London to join the newly formed Green jackets.

In this adventure, Sharpe is on his way home from India. He is sailing with the Royal Navy, who are hunting a formidable French warship, the ‘Revenant’, carrying a secret treaty that may prove lethal to the British.

The ‘Revenant’ makes it to the safety of the French and Spanish fleets off Cadiz, and it seems Sharpe’s enemies have found safety. Yet over the horizon is another fleet, led by Nelson, and Sharpe’s revenge will come in a savage climax when the two armadas meet on a calm October day off Cape Trafalgar.

Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New edition edition (6 Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006513093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006513094
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 10.9 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 508,804 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

Amazon Review

Ensign Richard Sharpe is back in Sharpe's Trafalgar, the 17th in Bernard Cornwell's remarkable series of Sharpe novels. Sharpe is at the thick of things again, but this time not on the battlefield, but on the high seas.

The year is 1805 and Sharpe is stuck in Bombay, waiting passage back to England on the Calliope. He soon discovers that his fellow passengers include the aged patrician Lord William Hale and his "breathtakingly, achingly, untouchably beautiful" young wife, Lady Grace. The scene is set for a romantic but eventful passage, which becomes even more entangled as the Calliope is surprised by the rogue French warship the Revenant. The ensuing maritime adventures sail Sharpe right into one of the most momentous naval battles of all time, off Cape Trafalgar, on the 21st of October 1805, as the massed fleets of Spain and France face the might of Admiral Horatio Nelson's English navy.

Sharpe's Trafalgar is one of Cornwell's most ambitious Sharpe novels to date. Filled with the Cornwell trademarks of heroism, graphic violence, romance and vivid evocation of the period, its portrayal of Sharpe at sea is convincingly done and Sharpe's encounter with Nelson himself, alongside his previous encounters with historical figures such as Wellington, is particularly effective--the frail Admiral characterised as asking "nothing from life except to be seated with his good friends Chase, Blackwood and Richard Sharpe". Sharpe's Trafalgar finds Bernard Cornwell on top form; Sharpe fans will not be disappointed. --Jerry Brotton


‘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

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
A HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN RUPEES, Ensign Richard Sharpe said, counting the money onto the table. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where is the Sharpe of old? 9 Jun 2000
By A Customer
Most of us reading this page have a lot of time and enthusiam invested in Richard Sharpe's brilliant career. On finishing the Sharpe series, I reluctantly launched off into O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin saga - very sorry to leave the dashing Sharpe behind. Now, with the 20 volumes of O'Brian's wonderful work just behind, I looked forward to Cornwell's "Trafalgar" as a way to keep the magic of the Royal Navy with me. O'Brian is probably an impossibly high standard by which to measure this book, but what has struck me painfully on reading "Trafalgar", was how cartoonish Richard Sharpe has become. Sharpe was always "pulled up from the gutter" not only by his own bootstraps, but also from the strength of his character. His always seeminly sullied integrity that would come shining through, alongside his almost always James Bondian heroics, was the essence of the Sharpe books. Here, he's not even at war and he commits a murder. Why? We're told it's because the victim had "made an enemy" of Richard Sharpe. In sum, this is not the Richard Sharpe of the other 16 books. The characters here, including Richard, are all thin - to the point of being two dimensional. "Trafalgar" unfortuately is not an integral part of the Sharpe sequence and could just as well be left off the list. If the Royal Navy of the Peninsular War sparks your interest, read O'Brian.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The highlight of the series so far 21 July 2013
This book covers Sharpe's voyage home to England from India, as the title implies via the Battle of Trafalgar. The book has real pace from start to finish with an interesting sub plot in the form of Sharpe's romantic involvement. The historical backdrop is interesting and full of detail. Overall an excellent read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharpe kicking arse yet again! Brilliant! 24 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sharpes creator does another excellent job of dropping him right in the doo-doo yet again.
I really appreciate the afterwords where Mr Cornwell explains where, when, and who inspired the acts credited to Sharpe. I think that the memories of those who were really there are well served.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER
Only Richard Sharpe could get caught up in a fleet battle on the way home from India and find romance on a Royal Navy line-of-battle ship. But he does, and it's a highly entertaining read, if a little dark and implausible in places. Bernard Cornwell had to stretch things a bit to explain what an army officer was doing at a sea battle, and although Sharpe has always had a brutal way with bad guys, he is particularly ruthless with a minor villain in this book.

"Sharpe's Trafalgar" is set after the conclusion of the prequel trilogy of novels set in India, in which he obtained a fabulous treasure, was promoted to be an officer after saving the life of General Wellesley (the future Duke of Wellington), and dealt with the traitor Dodd. Shipping home to join the 95th Rifles, Sharpe initially takes passage on an East Indiaman, and finds an old opponent as one of the passengers. Treachery follows and the ship is captured by the French.

However, as the story is about Sharpe's Trafalgar, we know that he will not remain a prisoner of war for long. Sure enough, after an involved series of events, including the obligatory rescue of a lady in distress, Sharpe and his fellow passengers find themselves guests on a Royal Navy 74 gun ship of the line, chasing a French battleship half-way round the world. Until both ships arrive off Cape Trafalgar on 21st October 1805 ...

As usual Bernard Cornwell has done a great deal of research so that the Napoleonic era battles he describe seem real, and in the historical note at the end he explains that many of the events described during the battle of Trafalgar were based on things which really happened.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SHARPE AT SEA...OUR HERO IS STILL SAILING ALONG! 14 Jun 2002
Bernard Cornwell continued his Sharpe series in fine fashion when he leaped back to Shape's beginnings in a series of books that filled in the early years in India. That change of scene was most refreshing and each of the books has been typically "Sharpe"...with action, romance, intrigue, comradery, betrayal and, oh yes, action! Sharpe's Trafalgar continues Sharpe's journey from India to Britain, with a notable stop on the way...The Battle of Trafalgar! In his usual style, which is quite a lot of fun and richly imagined ), along with his usual
( and much appreciated ) map or diagram or two ( which adds detail and enables the reader to more fully appreciate the action ), Mr. Cornwell paints Sharpe into the fabric of military history and it works quite well.There is one episode that I found somewhat unsettling and a little disappointing that I will not reveal. It's certainly not a major flaw, but, for those of us who have come to love Richard Sharpe, there may be some among us who come away with conflicted feelings about the man and/or the author.But be assured, Sharpe fans will get their fix and wish for more, and fans of Wooden Ships and Iron Men-type nautical tales of the Napoleonic era will get what they enjoy as well! So sharpen your cutlass, get used to your sea legs,load your volley gun, prepare to board stately ships and desire beautiful ladies. Richard Sharpe is at sea and heading toward Trafalgar!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting Sharpe back from India dramatically.
Another Sharpe although this one slightly shoe-horns him into the Battle of Trafalgar. Nevertheless, this is typical Richard Sharpe and the usual Cornwell research and period... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Ian
4.0 out of 5 stars As allways Bernard Cornwell does it again an other good
As allways Bernard Cornwell does it again an other good read
Published 14 days ago by deeon
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect mix
It was a thoroughly enjoyable read. The perfect mix of the best elements of the Hornblower and Sharpe series combined.
Published 2 months ago by Wilfred Louwsma
5.0 out of 5 stars trying to read series in cronological order
great read! looking forward to next one when I can find out which it is. will look up the list
Published 2 months ago by Anthony Wade
4.0 out of 5 stars a little pedantic
this is my fourth sharpe , i found this one a little pedantic at times , however i did enjoy the descriptions of battles between the warships , having read similar before and also... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Donald Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharpe's Trafalger
I am a devoted fan of the tv series and actually watch it every time it is on no matter how many times I have seen it. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharpe all at sea
This is the follow up to Sharpe's Triumph where Sharpe is returning to England to be a junior officer (Ensign) in the 95th (The new Green Jacketed Riflemen). Read more
Published 5 months ago by A. R. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharpe`s Trafalgar
As usual it's fast and furious by Bernard Cornwall, a great bit of escapism that's well researched and well written.
Published 6 months ago by alex gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Great great delivered quickly and on time, no issues with seller. Product as described would recommend to family and friends.
Published 6 months ago by Badger
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit slow but good near the end
Good book, bit slow to begin with building up yo the battle. Enjoyable though. Sharpe belongs on the ground though not at sea.
Published 7 months ago by Smoggie
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