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The Sharpe Companion: The Early Years

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Named "the direct heir to Patrick O'Brian" by The Economist, Bernard Cornwell is the undisputed master of historical battle fi ction, and for more than twenty years, his Richard Sharpe series has thrilled millions of readers worldwide on both the page and on television.

Now author Mark Adkin, a major in the British army, has created this indispensable guide covering Sharpe'
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 10th 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published November 3rd 2003)
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Rob Markley
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: napoleonic, history
Immensely readable and entertaining context to the first few Sharpe novels. I've read most of Sharpe and this certainly made me want to revisit them. However that isn't the real value - whether you are well versed in the Napoleonic era and reading Sharpe for fun, or reading Sharpe for fun and confused about the setting; this book is filled with illuminating background stories and details in a cleverly integrated way. This also shows what a superb job Bernard Cornwell did in fixing Sharpe into a ...more
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-books
This book works as an useful companion to the first five Sharpe novels, but also as a truly excellent and detailed guide to British army and navy - Sharpe also participated to the Battle of Trafalgar.

This was an excellent book and I enjoyed it a lot!
Brian Shellum
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love the Sharp stories and have read them all!
May 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Get your magnifying glasses out, maps and charts are in very fine print. But for those, like myself, that love maps, charts, and military facts, this book is for you! I am going to loan it out, but will want its return when I set out to reread the Sharpe series. This follows Sharpe historically from birth through the battle for Copenhagen.
Nigel Seed
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
As a fan of the Sharpe novels I found this book fascinating. The historical realities are laid out well and cross referred to Bernard Cornwells' books. Apart from being a fine book in its own right this illustrates just how well Cornwell has written his fictional hero into history.

Illustrations and maps are excellent and the writing is clear. Well worth a read.
Adam Gutschenritter
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
I love this series and so when I stumbled upon the historical companion to the books I jumped to read it. I enjoyed learning some of the historical truths of the series and the minor trivia related to terms and phrases developed because of life back then.
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: reference
Obviously not novels, the Sharpe Companion books are interesting reading for anyone with a passing interest in the napoleonic wars. They're probably not going to help you pass any history degree, but are great for for a light diversion.
Dec 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book helped feed my obsession for all things Sharpe related. It is great to further explain the minutia of soldiering as well as interesting facts about everyday life during this time frame. Lots of maps and charts and details. I just wish the book continued with "The Later Years". ...more
A fantastic resource for reading Cornwell's Sharpe novels.
It would have been great if they'd run colored plates for the illustrations.
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Mark Adkin became a professional soldier in 1956. After leaving the British Army he was one of the last British District officers (in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands) and as the Caribbean Operations Staff Officer he participated in the US invasion of Grenada in 1983. He has written several books on military subjects, including Urgent Fury, Goose Green, Prisoner of the Turnip Heads and The Charge.

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