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Redcoat (Richard Sharpe)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  2,151 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
It is autumn 1777, and the cradle of liberty, Philadelphia, has fallen to the British. Yet the true battle has only just begun.

On both sides, loyalties are tested and families torn asunder. The young Redcoat Sam Gilpin has seen his brother die. Now he must choose between duty to a distant king and the call of his own conscience. And for the men and women of the prosperous
Paperback, 512 pages
Published April 15th 2003 by Harper Perennial (first published 1987)
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John Galt
Jan 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I've become accustomed to a little more action in my books. Redcoat had its flashes of battle--and they were great. It also gave a wonderful sense of humanity to historical figures-John Andre and Charles Lee my favorites, but...I didn't find too much more to it that held my attention. To put it bluntly it was only average, and I won't be giving it a re-read in the future.
This was my first Bernard Cornwell book and I was very pleased. I feel he has lived up to my expectations. I thought this book started a little slow but it picked up towards the end. I found myself confused as to which side I really wanted to win. You get to know both sides of the war and how much camaraderie existed between the two sides. Philadelphia was a very divided city and its British occupation could not have been easy. I found characters like Martha very interesting. She was a die-hard ...more
Karen Gennari
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Once again, I have to emphasize Cornwell's unrivaled mastery of researching and chronicling historical events, whether it be the 14th century or the 19th. He did not disappoint with Redcoat.

For those who prefer the "history" in "historical ficton," you get plenty of it with vivid details of the Revolutionary War and its players, both real and fictitious. Some readers lament that this novel lacks Cornwell's trademark epic battle scenes, espousing every gory detail. Some lament that it is uncharac
Jun 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
I hadn't paid much attention to the Philadelphia side of the British occupation. Good reflection of what was happening while Washington and the troops were freezing at Valley Forge.
Nicki Elson
Oct 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: next-up
Historical fiction is how I prefer to get my history, and Cornwell does a great job of working in the minute details of the time and place to make that piece of history come alive for me.

Did you know that it was considered a luxury to have dentures that were crafted from teeth yanked from the heads of soldiers who died on the battlefield? Cornwell's detailing gets delightfully nasty like that without going overboard, just enough to make me cringe and put me in the rawness of the period. He also
John Reas
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've been a fan of Cornwell for years, and this fictional account of the events occurring during the British occupation of the city of Philadelphia in 1777 during the American Revolution didn't let me down. It's fast paced, and interspersed with the historical events that transpired that over that winter that I wasn't aware of, such as the extent that the British Commander-in-Chief,William Howe,tried to bring a lasting peace to the colonies while fighting a rebellion, with a love triangle involv ...more
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Terrific historical fiction from one of the masters of the genre. Cornwell blends humor, passion, and fear with this tale of the Revolutionary war. As it takes place in Philadelphia, many of the areas were very familiar to me. one thing I like about Cornwell is that often, he shows me the opposite side of what my usual perspective is on a number of different historical scenes. from Agincourt to Manassas, to Germantown, he shows me the British, or Condfederate, or French perspective. Fascinating ...more
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Just finished "Redcoat" by Benard Cornwell gave it 5stars. I like Cornwell's writing and he is true to history. This is during 1777 while the British controlled the Rebels Capitol of Philadelphia. If you liked "Turn" the series on AMC about the American spies during the revolutionary war, you will like this book.
Patty Abrams
Apr 22, 2009 rated it liked it
I learned more about the war and enjoyed the characters.
Mar 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
It was good. Please don't hide me.
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The title of this book in Goodreads is wrong - this book has nothing to do with Richard Sharpe.

This is a standalone book which could easily have a good sequel. The story ends with all the loose ends tied up, but the door is open for another whole book following several of the main characters.

This is an unusual novel because it tells a story of the american revolution, primarily from the british perspective. It is an interesting view and I liked it. Conveniently he includes an afterword to separa
Sue Warner
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Well written with plenty of archaic language which adds to the authenticity of the story, but does not detract from the enjoyment of the book. A gripping story (with a slightly unbelievable happy ending), Redcoat gives real insight into the American revolution and life as a redcoat versus life as a rebel.
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: minha-biblio
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was the first book about the Revolutionary War that I've read that was written from, mainly, the perspectives of those on the British side. I found that part alone fascinating! Instead of there being a few side characters from the British and mainly Americans, this book was reversed!

It took me a little bit to get into the book and there were a few slow parts. However, most of the action was vividly described and reminded me once again that war must really be a last measure to resolving conf
Nick Phillips
Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoroughly enjoyable that unlike most of Mr Cornwall's oeuvre is a stand alone novel. While there are several similarities to others of his works (mean sergeant, dead brother etc) there is enough about Redcoat to make it stand out from the Sharpes and Hooktons of this world. If anything it plays closest to Azincourt in terms of the character of the protagonist, though not this time in story or plot. One thing that this does achieve is to show that in intervening 350 years between the two wars ...more
Alasandra Alawine
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Cornwell delivers his usual terrific novel that makes you feel like you are in the thick of things.

Sam and Nate Gilpin (twin brothers) joined the British Army and the only escape is death though Nate longs to run away with Maggie (Sargent Scammell's wife) and start a new life in America. Sam is content being a solider and fears for his brother's life if he attempts to escape (desert) the army. When Same and Nate are captured by the American Rebels they meet Jonathan Becket (Rebel) who received a
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Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Serves me right for leaving the Saxon years behind and heading off to the American colonies. Slow and turgid is as kind as I can be.
Dec 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical Fiction and Cornwell fans.
A somewhat typical Cornwell offering: well written, well researched, well plotted and full of exciting situations. As usual, the battle scenes are very realistic and descriptive.

Cornwell's weakness, if he has one, is in his characterizations. His heroes are indefatigable. His villains often have few redeeming qualities, especially the non-coms. In this case one, Sergeant Scammel, an amoral killing machine with an ability to impress his seniors while terrorizing his subordinates. The other major
Abby Bachman
Jan 07, 2016 rated it liked it
I rated “Redcoat”, by Bernard Cornwell, a 3 out of 5 stars. On the positive side, I enjoyed that the writing was very upfront and honest. The author did not hide how brutal war can be, and he wrote in such a way that no character was truly safe. Also, the book was written in a way that made me feel as if I could relate to the characters, though I have never been put in any situation even remotely close to theirs. On the negative side, the book was confusing at times. There were a lot of plot lin ...more
Gavin Chrismon
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
In Redcoat, the book is defined by its good and bad moments. The good moments include the intense battle scenes and the messed up love story. The book was put down though when it brought in the boring filler portions. There were times where no words were needed, yet the author, Bernard Cornwell, added script. It would have been better if we were just told about the scene and had its contents summed up, rather than going through every word of the scene. I was confused towards the end on the alleg ...more
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I think it captured the mindset of the American Revolution on both sides very well, especially with how views divided families and the different motivations behind the views. held. While bouncing between these different views, he also does an excellent job of tracking one character's journey from ardent Redcoat and royalist to rebel and patriot.
Liz Chapman
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another great Cornwell book , this time set in 1777 Philadelphia during the war of Independence. Although not totally Historically correct the book brings to life the stories of both Loyalists and Patriots sometimes within the same family at war against each other . The Commander-in -Chief Sir William Howe tries to bring about peace but is ineffectual and spends most of his time with his mistress holding parties ,dinners and other expensive entertainments while the rest of the people in the city ...more
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Richard Sharpe... here I come! I am a huge fan of Cornwell's medieval/viking era historical fiction. I am now officially hooked on the revolutionary era sagas. The Fort is good, but Redcoat is far better. Vintage Cornwell. Excellent battle scenes and characters you love and love to hate.

This novel also gives solid insight into the British occupation of Philly and the relative high class of most English officers mixed with torn American families (some split between rebel and loyalist). He even th
Nov 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
A love story cloaked in some historical fiction during the British occupation of Philadelphia.

The plot seems appropriate for a three-episode production of Masterpiece Theatre complete with gallant English generals, ambitious soldiers trying to improve their stations and witty wordplay of beautiful women at fashionable Philadelphia parties. I know I've seen this on public television.

Having just read the author's Agincourt, I can't believe this is one of Cornwell's better novels. So, it's just OK,
Oct 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
Like the other Cornwell books I've read, this one tended to tell more than show; and be more interesting and move at a faster pace in the first half of the book than the second half.

There were times while reading where I was irritated with how every character Cornwell introduced had something to do with another character, but at the same time, their interactions made the book fun and interesting.

I have to say that while Sam seems like the kind of guy I'd crush on in high school nice, Cornwell's
David Campton
I didn’t realise when I started this that it is a reissue of a book Cornwell wrote much earlier in his career, but it really is obvious. Whilst it has his characteristic eye for historical details and ability to bring the brutality of military action vividly to mind, the multi-point narrative and characterisations are not as sharp (no pun intended) as in his later works, but you could certainly see some of his later trademark characters in prototype. As such it may suffer in my mind in compariso ...more
Joshua Proctor
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I do have to say I was not expecting much when I read this book but was pleasantly surprised. It does a great job at showing a decently balanced view of both sides of the Revolution (something which is rarely found in literature on the American Revolution). While some of each side had their flaws, there always remained individuals, both Patriot and Redcoat, who were very honorable. The book went at a great pace while still staying historically accurate for the most part. There are a few points w ...more
Stuart Lutzenhiser
A not entirely successful novel about the 1778 occupation of Philadelphia during the Revolutionary war. Cornwell usually excels at balancing a human story with the background of an interesting battle or event. In this case, there are a series of interlocked love triangles which are fairly banal but actually the only interesting part of the story. The occupation of the Philadelphia is not very interesting - I'm not sure that I would have picked that as my only novel on the revolution. Still fairl ...more
May 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
Bernard Cornwell is undoubtedly a great author, but every book of his I've read that concerns anything American has been a huge disappointment.
I think that maybe he needs a really good "baddie", but being British and married to an American means he can't bring himself to find one in this book (and similarly in the Fort). He tried, but they are lacking in depth and just not believable.
I read about two thirds of this book before giving up. Although the start is good, once the battle is finished,
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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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