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Redcoat Hardcover – Sep 1 1989


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Hardcover, Sep 1 1989
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 687 pages
  • Publisher: Magna Large Print Books; Large type edition edition (September 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1850573964
  • ISBN-13: 978-1850573968
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.7 x 4.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 748 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)


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The Bloodybacks stole through warm darkness to the killing. Read the first page
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3.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
Bernard Cornwell's Redcoat takes place during the American Revolution, largely in and around Philadelphia. He uses numerous characters, both historic and fictional, to tell the story of the British occupation of that city. Their lives become a tangle of rebel and loyalist, love and hate.
Sir William Howe commands the Redcoats, but it is Sam Gilpin, a private in his army, whose story intertwines with that of Jonathan Becket, a young rebel with a club foot. They become friends and Sam helps Jonathan to survive a terrible leg wound. Both fall in love with Caroline Fisher. Complicating matters, Christopher Vane, a British officer, falls in love with Jonathan's widowed sister, Martha Crowl. Being a rebel herself, she spurns Vane's advances, and he swears vengeance on her.
In this work, Cornwell is at his best when describing the battles, other military matters, and the milieu in which they occur. He gives a very strong flavor of the times and the country.
Readers who enjoy this work, will also enjoy Cornwell's Sharpe series, for which he is rightly well known. For a less fictional account of the Revolutionary War period, Alan Eckert's narrative history, Wilderness War, is an exciting and accurate portrayal of the campaign against the Indians in the Western New York and Pennsylvania.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Not a Sharpe or Starbuck found in any page, which is an interesting change of pace for Bernard Cornwell. Nevertheless, "Redcoat" is enjoyable historical fiction and Cornwell serves up his usual excellent effort. The time is 1777 and the America colonists are rebelling against their British masters. General Sir William Howe leads the British contingent in the Americas. His task is to bring the colonies under control but the rebel-colonists have no intention of letting that happen. The General is surrounded by rebel sympathizers and spies. One of the most interesting items about this story is that the book's vantage-point is almost entirely from that of the British (which is rare, especially in the U.S.A.) I found this viewpoint refreshing.
The main character Sam Gilpin is a former stable boy turned British infantry soldier. Sam witnesses his brother's execution by the evil Sargent Scammell, a psychotic killer, and wisely decides that soldiering is not for him. Whereupon, Sam accepts a position as a personal servant to Captain Vane who is a social climbing career army officer. Since the British Army does not allow for soldiers to leave the service easily, Sam must somehow survive in this adverse environment. Probably what makes this book unusual is the intercourse between civilians and the military. In Cornwell's other stories you rarely witness discussions between soldiers and civilians.
Cornwell writes great fiction. He certainly had enough material to write a few stories about the revolutionary war but chose instead to write this one book. The way he ends the story it is clear that he intends no sequels, that is a shame because the Revolutionary War would be a natural landscape for his novels to appear. If you like this story I recommend the Sharpe series, especially "Sharpe's Company", "Sharpe's Regiment", and "Sharpe's Eagle". All are great books.
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By T. murphy on Aug. 28 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
this is by far cornwell's most undrated book. it is a hidden gem. because the sharpe's series and the starbuck chronicles are so hugely successful,and because it was never made into a series redcoat is often forgotten. redcoat is different from other cornwell. there is still the stories within the story. there are no real enemies like an obadiah hakeswill, but vane and scammell are pretty good ememies nonetheless. sam gilpin is a hero that could rival richard sharpe. what's most refreshing being an american, is to see the british side of the war, which is never told in the american history books. it was so interesting. william howe is a very likeable character. this is a great book, unfortunately there weren't any more.
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By A Customer on March 19 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of the things that struck me about this book is that, in comparison to other Cornwell novels, it's almost a romance novel. Not that it doesn't have gory battle and corporal punishment scenes -- it certainly does -- but a romance is at the core of the plot. I almost wonder if the author was somehow inspired by his own marriage to an American. I found it interesting that the book focuses on the British army. Cornwell seems comfortable and fluent with his topic, although he doesn't explore some of the characters (Vane, especially) as much as he could. I know rather little about the period in question, and it would be interesting to know if the portrayal of the British army as both brutal and corrupt is accurate. If so, it would certainly help to explain their defeats.
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By Gunfighter on Jan. 9 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Considering many of the reviews submitted by readers, I am pleased that Redcoat was my first Cornwell novel. I enjoyed the story well enough, but what really caught my attention is that Cornwell told such a detailed story of the assault at Paoli's Tavern and the Battle of Germantown, that I could practically smell the smoke of the cannon and hear the rattle of musketry. It was also nice to read a story about the American Revolution told from a different perspective.
Cornwell deserves full marks for this effort. If half of what I hear about the "Sharpe's" series is true, I am in for quite a treat.
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