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Paperback Sharpe's Escape: Richard Sharpe & the Bussaco Campaign, 1810 (Richard Sharpe's Adventure Series #10) Book

ISBN: 0060561556

ISBN13: 9780060561550

Sharpe's Escape: Richard Sharpe & the Bussaco Campaign, 1810 (Richard Sharpe's Adventure Series #10)

(Part of the The Sharpe Series (#10) Series and Richard Sharpe (#23) Series)

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Book Overview

From New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell, the tenth installment in the world-renowned Sharpe series, chronicling the rise of Richard Sharpe, a Private in His Majesty’s Army at the siege of Seringapatam. Sharpe’s job as Captain of the Light Company is under threat and he has made a new enemy, a Portuguese criminal known as Ferragus. Discarded by his regiment, Sharpe wages a private war against Ferragus – a war fought through the burning,...

Customer Reviews

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More adventures in Portugal

Richard Sharpe and Sgt. Harper are once again embroiled in Wellington's battle agsainst the French in Portugal. As usual, Sharpe has a chip on his shoulder about senior officers, and feels that his commander is favoring an incompetent officer over him because of the commander's marital relationship with the man. There is the usual fighting, a beautiful woman, a nasty villain, and other assorted problens to overcome before Sharpe and Harper are able to return to their army, having been left behind in a city captured by the French. It's exciting as always, and even though you know that Sharpe is going to come through, your heart beats faster at the tense scenes of trouble and danger. I certainly hope that the author has many more Sharpe adventures to tell, for it would be a shame to have this excellent series end.

Another Solid Sharpe Adventure

The twentieth Sharpe book contains everything fans of the series have come to expect from Cornwell. Set in 1810, the story finds the British Army executing a strategic retreat from the overconfident French forces in Spain. Lord Wellington has ordered the land stripped of all food so that the massive French army will overextend itself and face severe logistical problems when it does finally engage the British. Sharpe is by now the Captain of the South Essex's Light Company but finds his leadership being challenged by the new presence of eager-beaver Lt. Slingsby, who has been placed there by the South Essex's commander, Col. Lawford (who happens to be his brother in-law). Early on, Sharpe is out patrolling, and stumbles across some Portuguese and a cache of foodstuffs at a signaling tower. He destroys the supplies, per his standing orders, but not before getting into a vicious fight with the hulking Portuguese owner of the goods. This bruiser is Ferragus, an ex-pirate, ex-slaver, and all-around successful gangster whose brother happens to be a Major of Intelligence for the Portuguese Army. These two brothers fulfill the roles of Sharpe's arch-enemies for the story, while Slingsby and Col. Lawford form the usual army irritants. Following Sharpe's initial victory, Ferragus vows to get even, and finds his chance in the chaos that results when the British pull out of Coimbra just before the French get there. Sharpe, Sgt. Harper, old pal Jorge Vicente (from Sharpe's Havoc) find themselves trapped in the city, along with a beautiful English governess. The middle portion of the book is taken up with their adventures, as they evade their Portuguese foes and the French army. Lots of derring-do, trickery, and the usual bravery and close-quarters fighting. This leads to the final third of the book, in which Sharpe's little band escapes the city and races to reach the British army lines before both Ferragus and the French. Meanwhile, Cornwell provides small glimpses into the activities of the British Army, which entrenches itself in a 40km-long chain of forts. Called the "Lines of Torres Vedras", they were built at great expense, and yet the French are completely unaware of them. Col. Lawford rather inadvisably orders Slingsby to place the Light Company as a picket on a farm below the forts, and ultimately all forces converge there: Sharpe and company, his Portuguese nemeses, and the lead elements of Marshall Massena's army. What follows is vintage Cornwell, as he simultaneously describes the large-scale fight of the Battle of Busaco, as well as the small-scale defense of the farm by the vastly outnumbered Light Company. It's great stuff, and the only regret is that after such rousing set pieces, and the meting out of just desserts, the book ends all too quickly.

Richard Sharpe at his best

I've always enjoyed Bernard Cornwell's style of writing because he has the great skill of not just telling a story but allowing you, the reader, to reside within that story. His ability to build the characters, develop the scenes, marry the dialogue and the storyline in such a manner as to build this virtual historical reality in the minds of his readers is second to none. Sharpe's Escape continues this tradition in fine Richard Sharpe form and I would rate this as one of Bernard Cornwell's better Sharpe books.

Another Sharpe Winner!

In book 20 of the Sharpe series, Cornwell is still doing what he does best...keeping Sharpe alive, keen, and fresh...and writing the best breathtaking battlescenes ever!The Battle of Bussaco is so gritty you can smell the gunpowder, feel your mouth go dry with the salt as the Riflemen reload, and feel the smoke smothering and embracing your lungs.Cornwell's descriptions are vivid and detailed and as authentic as it gets in historical fiction.Naturally, Sharpe has his own private nemisis - in vol. 20 he's Ferragus, all-around 'bad-boy' selling contraband to the French and annoying Richard with fists, deeds and words.The lovely Patrick Harper is here also (charming & one of my favorite of Cornwell's characters) and more than a sidekick. Harper grows with each novel as does Hogan (another favorite) who's more than just an engineer.Brilliant adventure tale!

The Bussaco Campaign of 1810.

The setting is Northern Portugal ,1810. On Richard Sharpe's timeline , this follows "Sharpe's Havoc" and "Sharpe's Gold".The story begins with a very unhappy Richard Sharpe--angry at his recall from a well earned leave with Josefina Lacosta , and by Colonel Lawford's replacement of Lt. Knowles with one of his relatives. Lieutenant Cornelius Slingsby (where does he get these names?) has become Sharpe's second in command of the South Essex light company by virtue of being Col. William Lawford's sister-in-law's husband. Apparently he survived a posting in the West Indies to become the husband of a "lady in trouble" , and the kind-hearted Lawford feels compelled to help his relative advance and become a bit more respectable to the family. Ah , complications!Early in the tale , Sharpe manages to make enemies of two Portuguese brothers, one of whom is a Major on the Portuguese army , and his brutish brother , Ferragus. We are introduced to Ferragus through the burning of some stored food that was being clandesinely transferred to the French army pursuing Wellington into Portugal. Ferragus , an enormous man who was formerly a sailor , a slave trader , and a criminal , has managed to accumulate an enormous supply of food hidden in warehouses. Lord Wellington , however,is in the process of leaving scorched earth for the armies of Marshal Massena and Marshall Ney , by stripping the land of food as he retreats behind the Torres Vedras line.Of course there is a lovely lady involved ; a British governess to the children of the Portuguese Major , by the name of Sarah Fry. Also present in the cast of characters are Major Hogan , Sergeant Harper , Hagman , and Harris. As a carryover from "Sharpe's Havoc" Jorge Vicente returns as a Captain in the Portuguese army leading a group of riflemen a la Sharpe. Ferragus , with the help of his brother , plan to eliminate Sharpe and his group by setting an elaborate trap , but as usual , our hero prevails. Not only must Sharpe escape to save himself and Harper ,but rescue the light company from the idiotic Slingsby.As in most of Cornwell's Sharpe novels , you can almost smell the gunpowder and hear the screams of the wounded and dying through his battle scenes. Fans of this series will not be disappointed this time! At the end , Sharpe and Harper continue to march on. Enjoyable and recommended.
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