Bernard Cornwell, Sharpe’s Trafalgar
The author of the swashbuckling Sharpe series of adventures fighting the French during the Napoleonic Wars, Bernard Cornwell is a premier writer of historical military adventures. This is one of only 99 numbered and signed copies in a special binding with an appreciation by the most famous fantasy writer in Britain Terry Pratchett.
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Bernard Cornwell is the most prolific and best known author of historical adventure stories of his generation. His work is in the tradition of historical adventure established by G A Henty, C S Forester and his near contemporary George MacDonald Fraser. More than one critic has noted that the Sharpe adventures are like Hornblower on land. Richard Sharpe is a ranker and he uses his wit and charm to occasionally move in the higher echelons of society – much as a private detective does in say the Raymond Chandler mystery novels and his successors. This device allows Sharpe and his sidekick Harper to a kind of detective duo, to find things out, have some influence and to make alliances when favours need to repaid. But it is not just the machinations behind the scenes that Cornwell’s books are famous for; it is the action and rough and tumble on the battlefield (or sailing ship) that gets the adrenalin going.
Bernard Cornwell has written 21 books with Richard Sharpe and his colleagues serving against the French. Sharpe has become a hero figure and the Sharpe Appreciation Society frequently has many hundreds in attendance at its annual convention. This Scorpion Press edition contains an appreciation by the renown fantasy writer Terry Pratchett. The book sold out on publication.
Plotline: 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.