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The Fort: A Novel Of T...
Bernard Cornwell
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The Fort: A Novel Of The Revolutionary War, 11 C Ds [Complete & Unabridged Audio Work]

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  3,691 Ratings  ·  404 Reviews
Summer 1779: a British force of fewer than 1,000 Scottish infantry were sent to build a garrison in the state of Maine. But Massachusetts was determined to expel the British, and they sent a fleet to 'captivate, kill and destroy' the enemy. Told from both sides of the battle, this story features real figures from history.
Published (first published September 30th 2010)
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Jason Koivu
I tired…HA! I meant to write "I tried…" but I'm going to leave that typo in, because it's suitable. I tried reading The Fort and I tired of it.

Unless they're causing me to pull out my pubes or take a potato peeler to my eyeballs, I don't like to give up on books. However, as I neared the halfway point of this American Revolution historical fiction by Bernard Cornwell, I realized I had no investment in the characters and little interest in the story. The tweezers and spud peelers beckoned ominou
When you read history (or in this case, historical fiction), you often learn something unexpected, and in The Fort, something not very pleasant about our country’s beginnings. Cornwell unveils the virtually unknown military disaster of 1779, when a large force of American revolutionaries tries to dislodge a newly established British encampment on the coast of colonial Massachusetts (future Maine). It is not surprising that this battle has not been covered. I can only shake my head and wonder how ...more
Nick Brett
In Britain we had a brilliant cunning plan - we shipped out convicts to Australia and our religious nutcases over to the newly discovered America. In retrospect we are well aware that we should have left these two groups at home and shipped ourselves out to the paradise of Australia and the land of plenty that was America. But I digress, let's roll forward to the point where America tired of British rule, British Kings and, more importantly, British taxes. Obviously an unreasonable attitude but ...more
Richard Mulholland
Apr 09, 2011 Richard Mulholland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, fiction
This is not the usual Cornwell book in that there was no one central hero. However, after battling through the quite slow (but necessary) first quarter of the book, I really started loving it. Especially the introduction os Lt. John Moore. Growing up my great aunt would often read me my fav poem about the Scottish hero:


by: Charles Wolfe (1791-1823)

Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
Not a soldier discharged his
MINI REVIEW: This smoothly written book covers the mostly unknown Penobscot Expedition of the American Revolution. According to some historians it was the worst naval war blunder since Pearl Harbor.

Paul Revere is shown to be an arrogant incompetent suffering court martial after the failed attempt against the British (but he appealed it under peculiar circumstances later); prickly Commodore Saltonsall is the fall guy in an attempt to have the other states cover the costs and General Peleg Wads
Milo (Bane of Kings)
Disappointing. An OK read but expected better from Cornell especially given the time period. First Cornell book that I've not enjoyed.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Pessolano
Feb 08, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Fort" is the story of a very little known conflict during the Revolutionary War. The battle took place in Upper New England at Penobscot Bay. The battle took place on both land and sea, but is best known as the greatest naval disaster in American History prior to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.

The English, in an attempt to establish a base of operation, sent a small expeditionary force of both men and ships to build a fort and naval base. The force consisted of less than a thousand so
Mar 17, 2016 Sir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book made Me MAD!! it's very well-written, as are all of BCs books. I won't get in to what angered Me, as it will ruin the story. This is a GREAT book.
Feb 07, 2015 Chuck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I believe Bernard Cornwell is one of the best writers of historical fiction I've read. He doesn't disappoint here. Near the end of the American Revolutionary War, the summer of 1779 to be exact, the British began trying to establish a fort and naval base on Penobscot Bay in far northeastern Massachusetts which would later become the state of Maine. From there they could challenge patriot privateers and shelter Americans still loyal to the king. Massachusetts sent a large fleet of warships and pr ...more
Aug 26, 2016 SeaShore marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-1779
I really wanted to like this book for the information given and the way it's told. The research is incredible and some information I had to look up and was anxious to do so to keep up. Lots of detail on Majabigwaduce and the Penobscot River. I needed to take a few breaks as I plowed through this book .
Who were Paul Revere, Dudley Saltonstall and Solomon Lovell?

Paul Revere as artillery commander joined a force of 1,000 troops led by Brigadier General Lovell to board Commodore Saltonstall’s fleet,
Dec 24, 2015 Xpdite rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This is one of Bernard Cornwell's best books.

His Rebel series covered the American civil war; this
concerns the Independence period and a time when parts of the north, north America
were dangerously poised between the old world and tea party officials.

It's the latter we're concerned with here and the rather parsimonious number of stars garnered overall bear no relation to the book's quality.

It is stellar.

I've read quite a lot of Bernard Cornwell and there's usually a fair amount of boilerplate
Dec 12, 2015 Trina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the audio recording of this book - great Scots accents by the narrator helped keep all the characters straight during the disastrous Penobscot Expedition to rid the British from re-establishing themselves in Massachusetts (now Maine) during the American Revolution. The fort thrown up by the King's men could easily have been taken if the Americans had just pressed home their attack - but the commanders dithered and the militia resisted (most had more experience tilling their fields ...more
Another excellent read from an author who can do no wrong in my eyes.

Initially I heard negative publicity about this book; at least one person whose opinion I highly value told me it was very dull and difficult to read, so I expected the worst.

I never found it.

Cornwell's job is to recreate a little-known battle, The Penobscot Expedition, from the American War of Independence, bringing to life the characters on both sides. Thus we get to learn about real-life historical figures - Lovell and McLea
Nathan Trachta
Oct 23, 2010 Nathan Trachta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this thru Amazon’s Vine program because I’ve enjoyed Mr. Cornwell’s works in the past and was intrigued by this taking place in Maine. I can honestly say that The Fort was unique for Mr. Cornwell’s work; at least for what I’ve read. Rather than having one protagonist and an antagonist, Mr. Cornwell gives us the perspective of three sides from a fairly neutral position; that of the British, the American land, and the American maritime. Interestingly the American land perspective is the majo ...more
Bernard Cornwell is widely known as "Britain's storyteller." The Sharpe novels, the Grail Quest trilogy, "Stonehenge," the Warlord Chronicles, and the Saxon Tales are all steeped in the legends and lore of Britain and western Europe. True, with the Starbuck novels and "Redcoat" Cornwell has written a bit about America, but in general his prolific pen has focused on matters on the east side of the pond.

With "The Fort," his latest novel, Cornwell balances the score a bit. "The Fort" focuses on the
Bernie Charbonneau
Ok, first, I do not give 5 stars to often. The novel really has to do something for my mind to warrant the high praise. This novel did just that! The synopsis on the back leaf might not read like it would be the most interesting but if you are a fan of the American Revolutionary war then this little skirmish that developted in what is now Maine but back in 1779 was still a part of Massachusetts. I will preface to say that Mr. Cornwell is my favorite Historical Fiction writer and maybe I was in t ...more
Dylan Quarles
I did not seek this book out I simply came upon it at the library. That said, it was still somehow a huge disappointment.

I should have read the reviews here before dedicating time to reading it as they would have warned me that, The Fort is really a book about screw ups and cowards. As an American, it embarrassing.

Perhaps the author is English, in which case this book is about an "against the odds" victory over rebel villains.
Either way the ending is so bad it doesn't matter which country you
Oct 01, 2014 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very slow start, with too much time on characters that we never see again. Ham-handed development and stage-setting gradually gave way into a fairly interesting book, with atypical action and a very unusual ending. It was: decent, but I feel no impulse to recommend it to anyone else.
This book was decent. I don't think I've read a book as gorey/graphic as this one. Which made me think: How much development was looked into for armor during the 1600-1700's? As history shows, before the gun there were swords and all other melee class weapons that came with nice heavy armor. You'd think that as better weapons were created (guns, cannons, etc) that better armor and defense would be available as well. Instead, the opposite occurred and people just fought in clothes. Why? I could u ...more
For me the best historical fiction informs as well as entertains. This book does both. I had been totally unfamiliar with the Penobscot Expedition and probably for good reason. Americans don't like to brag about horrible defeats especially when they probably should have won the day.

As horrible as war is, if you are going to fight one, you need to be prepared to actually fight and it seems the American leadership for this fiasco wasn't. It was a great lesson for how victory can be turned into def
Catherine Gillespie
Have you ever wondered how America won the Revolutionary War? If not, you probably haven’t read Bernard Cornwell’s historical novel The Fort.

As I’ve mentioned before, I think Cornwell is one of the best authors writing about warfare, and his research, which he details in the engaging afterword to the novel, is meticulous. I am always amazed at how skillfully Cornwell takes the historical record and makes it a coherent and engaging narrative. I highly recommend his books, and I think his British
Gregory Pastoll
May 11, 2015 Gregory Pastoll rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic read. I must have read about 12 books by Bernard Cornwell, and for someone who avoids fiction generally, that is saying something. Cornwell does superb research into his historical situations. This one deals with the second-biggest American naval disaster ever. The events of this book surround the siege of Fort George, a hastily-built fortification, put together by a small British expeditionary force in the war of independence. Cornwell explains how closely the story comes to the real ...more
Mar 03, 2015 Bruce rated it really liked it
In 1779 British forces setting out from Halifax landed in Penobscot Bay in what was then Massachusetts and proclaimed it New Ireland. Three ships and two regiments of Scotsmen under the command of Brigadier General Francis McLean came to protect the small settlement of loyalists who had fled there from the rebels to the south in Boston. They began to fortify the high ground overlooking the harbor, naming it Fort George in honor of the king. Once the news of the landing reached Boston it had the ...more
Aug 12, 2014 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last Cornwell's book I read was "The Fort". The Fort is just an unbelievable story of Seven hundred British redcoats in an unfinished fort, named Fort George, and the harbor beneath. The British were tasked with going against the State of Massachusetts army of around 900 men and a fleet of 42 ships, half of which were warships.
This book will keep you on the edge all the time. I live in MA so my "loyalty" should be to the State of MA army, but the British characters especially John Moore ( th
Teen Mcveigh
Mar 07, 2014 Teen Mcveigh rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Cornwell is a favorite author for historical fiction. He is engaging and well researched, making subjects of learning fun and interesting. Usually.

The book is set at the beginning of the Revolutionary War in America, detailing one of the worst American losses in naval history. All based on true accounts. The dogged slowness of this book makes it exasperatingly difficult to get through. There were many times where the most interesting character in the book was the fog, which I believe was the poi
John Vibber
I was surprised to find a major American Revolution battle that I'd never heard of. I was doubly surprised to learn of events that tarnish the reputation of Boston's most famous silversmith. The Fort tells of a mission that slowly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and thus became so painful to remember that it disappeared from mainstream history. You may end up rooting for the far more competent Brits who fought this battle, but Cornwell's book presents a compelling and ironic tale well-t ...more
Who but Bernard Cornwell would make Paul Revere the American Revolution's most cowardly villain, even for just one battle? In "The Fort," redcoats are consummate professionals, the patriot force is its own worst enemy, and that midnight ride is just another overrated p.r. stunt. I see no reason to disbelieve a word of it. (I don't think you can write it off to author's pro-British bias, since he has in other novels skewered icons like Sir Lancelot and Henry V.) "Redcoat" is definitely next on my ...more
Samuel Tyler
War can feel pretty pointless at times and none more so than in a skirmish that leaves people dead, but nothing is really gained. ‘The Fort’ is about at a battle between the Americans and the British in 1779 over a remote location in Massachusetts. Whilst the majority of Bernard Cornwell’s novels have taken a real event and woven a story around them, this is perhaps his most non-fiction to date (until his Waterloo book came out). Cornwell has stuck closely to the facts and tried to uncover why t ...more
Apr 01, 2014 Shari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite Cornwell novels. It is the story of the Penobscot Bay Expedition of 1779, one of the most dismal episodes in our Revolutionary War history. It is important because it is a very clear and insightful glimpse of how militias can fall far short of the 'patriot' theme, especially if they are primarily composed of impressed men whose heart is not in the job at hand. And of course, impressed men are usually those who are working hard to support families, keep the family farm ...more
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Title 2 31 Feb 02, 2013 09:20PM  
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Cornwell was born in London in 1944. His father was a Canadian airman, and his mother, who was English, a member of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. He was adopted and brought up in Essex by the Wiggins family, who were members of the Peculiar People, a strict Protestant sect who banned frivolity of all kinds and even medicine. After he left them, he changed his name to his birth mother's maiden n ...more
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