Cover image for Sharpe's escape : Richard Sharpe and the Bussaco Campaign, 1810
Title:
Sharpe's escape : Richard Sharpe and the Bussaco Campaign, 1810
Author:
Cornwell, Bernard.
Personal Author:
Edition:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
653 pages ; 23 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780786266906
Format :
Book

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Summary

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 3

Booklist Review

Captain Richard Sharpe, the inveterate self-made British soldier, returns in another thrilling adventure set during the Napoleonic Wars. As usual, Sharpe, a former private, is less than prudent when he thumbs his nose at authority to protect his beloved company from the unskilled officer he is assigned to train. Stationed in Portugal during the French invasion of 1810, Sharpe and his men fight valiantly to prevent further incursions by the despised "Frogs." In addition to repelling the enemy, Richard must also do battle with the dangerously underqualified Lieutenant Cornelius Slingsby, a newly minted officer protected by a convoluted kinship to Sharpe's commanding officer, Colonel Lawson. After gallantly prevailing on the treacherous ridge of Bussaco, Sharpe is busted down to quartermaster for refusing to apologize for insulting the incompetent Slingsby during the height of the conflict. But eventually the wily Sharpe saves his troops from certain annihilation under the command of the incompetent and inebriated Slingsby. The boffo battle scenes will appeal to an audience primed for epic military history by the success of the film version of Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander (1969). --Margaret Flanagan Copyright 2004 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

"So Sharpe and Harper will march again." Thus ended Sharpe's Havoc, the previous (19th) volume in Cornwell's series, and Sharpe aficionados will rejoice that the prophecy has been fulfilled. In September of 1810, just before repulsing the French army on the bare slopes of Bussaco ridge in central Portugal, Captain Sharpe is forced to take Lieutenant Slingsby, Colonel Lawford's arrogant, heavy-drinking brother-in-law, under his wing. Sharpe then stumbles into a confrontation with Ferragus, the malevolent brother of their treacherous Portuguese ally, Major Ferreira, whom he catches illegally hoarding flour to sell to the enemy. Sharpe is soon ambushed by the cowardly Ferragus and barely escapes with his life. The much abused captain is further humiliated when, despite Slingsby's poor performance at Bussaco, Lawford puts him in charge of the troops, then has the effrontery to reprimand Sharpe for refusing to apologize for insulting the fool. When the French find a way to flank them, the British retreat through Coimbra, where Sharpe and Harper, Sharpe's right-hand man, find themselves lured into a trap. Sharpe's old friend, Portuguese captain Vicente, and a young English governess come to Sharpe's rescue just in time for Sharpe to save his battalion, exacting retribution on his enemies in a resoundingly satisfactory denouement. With fully fleshed-out characters and keen human insight, Cornwell just keeps getting better. His faithful will be left hoping Sharpe goes on forever. (Apr. 1) Forecast: With Master and Commander fresh in readers' minds, now is the time for booksellers to recommend Cornwell to Patrick O'Brian fans. This is the first Sharpe novel to be offered by the Book-of-the-Month Club, and it promises to build on the success of previous installments. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Sharpe battles on, this time getting trapped by Portuguese traitors even as his company tries to save their country from French invasion. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Sharpe's Escape Chapter One Mister Sharpe was in a bad mood. A filthy mood. He was looking for trouble in Sergeant Harper's opinion, and Harper was rarely wrong about Captain Sharpe, and Sergeant Harper knew well enough not to engage his Captain in conversation when Sharpe was in such a black temper, but on the other hand Harper liked to live dangerously. "I see your uniform's been mended, sir," he said cheerily. Sharpe ignored the comment. He just marched on, climbing the bare Portuguese slope under the searing sun. It was September 1810, almost autumn, yet the heat of late summer hammered the landscape like a furnace. At the top of the hill, another mile or so ahead of Sharpe, stood a barn-like stone building next to a gaunt telegraph station. The station was a black timber scaffolding supporting a high mast from which signaling arms hung motionless in the afternoon's heat. "It's a rare nice piece of stitching on that jacket," Harper went on, sounding as though he did not have a care in the world, "and I can tell you didn't do it yourself. It looks like a woman's work, so it does?" He inflected the last three words as a question. Sharpe still said nothing. His long, straight-bladed cavalry sword banged against his left thigh as he climbed. He had a rifle slung on his shoulder. An officer was not supposed to carry a longarm like his men, but Sharpe had once been a private and he was used to carrying a proper gun to war. "Was it someone you met in Lisbon, now?" Harper persisted. Sharpe simmered, but pretended he had not heard. His uniform jacket, decently mended as Harper had noticed, was rifle green. He had been a rifleman. No, he still thought of himself as a rifleman, one of the elite men who carried the Baker rifle and wore the dark green instead of the red, but the tides of war had stranded him and a few of his men in a redcoat regiment and now he commanded the light company of the South Essex who were following him up the hill. Most wore the red jackets of the British infantry and carried smoothbore muskets, but a handful, like Sergeant Harper, still kept their old green jackets and fought with the rifle. "So who was she?" Harper finally asked. "Sergeant Harper," Sharpe was finally goaded into speaking, "if you want bloody trouble then keep bloody talking." "Yes, sir," Harper said, grinning. He was an Ulsterman, a Catholic and a sergeant, and as such he was not supposed to be friends with an Englishman, a heathen and an officer, but he was. He liked Sharpe and knew Sharpe liked him, though he was wise enough not to say another word. Instead he whistled the opening bars of the song "I Would That the Wars Were All Done." Sharpe inevitably thought of the words that accompanied the tune; "In the meadow one morning, all pearly with dew, a fair pretty maiden plucked violets so blue," and Harper's delicate insolence forced him to laugh aloud. He then swore at the Sergeant, who was grinning with triumph. "It was Josefina," Sharpe admitted. "Miss Josefina now! How is she?" "She's well enough," Sharpe said vaguely. "I'm glad to hear that," Harper said with genuine feeling. "So you took tea with her, did you, sir?" "I took bloody tea with her, Sergeant, yes." "Of course you did, sir," Harper said. He walked a few paces in silence, then decided to try his luck again. "And I thought you were sweet on Miss Teresa, sir?" "Miss Teresa?" Sharpe said, as though the name were quite unknown to him, though in the last few weeks he had hardly stopped thinking about the hawk-faced girl who rode across the frontier in Spain with the partisan forces. He glanced at the Sergeant, who had a look of placid innocence on his broad face. "I like Teresa well enough," Sharpe went on defensively, "but I don't even know if I'll ever see her again!" "But you'd like to," Harper pointed out. "Of course I would! But so what? There are girls you'd like to see again, but you don't behave like a bloody saint waiting for them, do you?" "True enough," Harper admitted. "And I can see why you didn't want to come back to us, sir. There you were, drinking tea while Miss Josefina's sewing, and a fine time the two of you must have been having." "I didn't want to come back," Sharpe said harshly, "because I was promised a month's bloody leave. A month! And they gave me a week!" Harper was not in the least sympathetic. The month's leave was supposed to be Sharpe's reward for bringing back a hoard of gold from behind enemy lines, but the whole of the light company had been on that jaunt and no one had suggested that the rest of them be given a month off. On the other hand Harper could well understand Sharpe's moroseness, for the thought of losing a whole month in Josefina's bed would make even a bishop hit the gin. "One bloody week," Sharpe snarled, "bastard bloody army!" He stepped aside from the path and waited for the company to close up. In truth his foul mood had little to do with his truncated leave, but he could not admit to Harper what was really causing it. He stared back down the column, seeking out the figure of Lieutenant Slingsby. That was the problem. Lieutenant bloody Cornelius bloody Slingsby. As the company reached Sharpe they sat beside the path. Sharpe commanded fifty-four rank and file now, thanks to a draft from England, and those newly arrived men stood out because they had bright-red coats. The uniforms of the other men had paled under the sun and were so liberally patched with brown Portuguese cloth that, from a distance, they looked more like tramps than soldiers. Slingsby, of course, had objected to that ... Sharpe's Escape . Copyright © by Bernard Cornwell. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Sharpe's Escape: Richard Sharpe and the Bussaco Campaign, 1810 by Bernard Cornwell All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.