Cover image for Sharpe's fortress : Richard Sharpe and the Siege of Gawilghur, December 1803
Sharpe's fortress : Richard Sharpe and the Siege of Gawilghur, December 1803
Cornwell, Bernard.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, 2000.

Physical Description:
294 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


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"The greatest writer of historical adventures today."
--Washington Post

Critically acclaimed, perennial New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell (Agincourt, The Fort, the Saxon Tales) makes real history come alive in his breathtaking historical fiction. Praised as "the direct heir to Patrick O'Brian" (Agincourt, The Fort), Cornwell has brilliantly captured the fury, chaos, and excitement of battle as few writers have ever done--perhaps most vividly in his phenomenally popular novels following the illustrious military career of British Army officer Richard Sharpe during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In Sharpe's Fortress, Ensign Sharpe's adventures in India reach a grand finale at the Siege of Gawilghur during the Maharatta War in December 1803, as Cornwell's hero uncovers a foul treason and seeks a righteous revenge. Perhaps the San Francisco Chronicle said it best: "If only all history lessons could be as vibrant."

Author Notes

Bernard Cornwell was born in London, England, on February 23, 1944, and came to the United States in 1980. He received a B.A. from the University of London in 1967.

Cornwell served as producer of the British Broadcasting Corporation from 1969-1976. After this he was head of current affairs for BBC-TV in Belfast, Northern Ireland. In 1979 he became editor of television news for Thames Television of London. Since 1980 he has been a freelance writer. he lives with his wife on Cape Cod.

Cornwell's Sharpe series, adventure stories about a British soldier set in the Peninsula War of 1808-1814, are built on the author's interest in the Duke of Wellington's army. Titles include Sharpe's Rifles, Sharpe's Revenge, Sharpe's Siege, Sharpe's Regiment, and Sharpe's Waterloo. The Last Kingdom series has ten books. Book ten, The Flame Bearer is on the bestsellers list. He has also written other works including Wildtrack, Killer's Wake, Sea Lord, Stormchild, Rebel, Copperhead, and Battle Flag. His title Death of Kings made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2012 and In 2014 his title The Pagan Lord made the list again.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Cornwell has penned another rousing installment in the Richard Sharpe saga. This time around, Sharpe, a junior officer in Her Majesty's army, is stationed in India in 1803. Struggling to earn the respect of both his superiors and his troops, he once again runs up against the unscrupulous Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill. Uncovering an act of treason by Hakeswill, Sharpe must confront his sworn enemy in order to protect himself and recover a cache of stolen jewels. Set against the backdrop of the Maharatta War and the siege of the fortress of Gawilghur, this fast-paced historical adventure features plenty of electrifying military action. --Margaret Flanagan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Already a bestseller in the U.K., this 16th volume chronicling the heroic escapades of Richard Sharpe, a British soldier with Gen. Sir Arthur Wellesley (later the duke of Wellington), resumes the marathon historical narrative in India during the final battle of the Mahratta War of 1803. With an amorous French widow waiting for him back in Seringapatam, and carrying a fortune in jewels he has liberated from the Tippoo sultan, Ensign SharpeDnewly promoted from sergeantDis struggling to make a successful transition to officer responsibilities. Led by the murderous English turncoat Col. William Dodd, the Mahratta army withdraws to the impregnable mountaintop fortress of Gawilghur, where Dodd intends to defeat Wellesley and perpetrate a final treachery that will make him ruler of all India. Assigned to the service of Captain Torrance to assist with the supply train, Sharpe uncovers a large cache of misappropriated military supplies. The captain realizes that Sharpe suspects him and his sergeant, Obadiah Hakeswill, Sharpe's old nemesis, of stealing the supplies. He hands Sharpe over to Hakeswill, who takes his jewels and turns Sharpe over to a bandit leader to be killedDbut all is not lost. Resplendent with color and action, the stirring saga overwhelms the senses with the flash of sabers and the gore and din of battle. True to his adoring readers, Cornwell leaves no treachery unpunished as Sharpe again proves his mettle. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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