- See the full list of books in Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series.
Sharpe's Company: Siege of Badajoz, January to April 1812 Paperback – Aug 1 1987
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"Brilliant... Sharpe is a great creation" -- Daily Mirror
About the Author
Born in Essex in 1944 Bernard Cornwell was adopted at the age of six weeks by two members of a strict fundamentalist sect called the Peculiar People. He grew up in a household that forbade alcohol, cigarettes, dances, television, conventional medicine and toy guns. Not surprisingly, he developed a fascination for military adventure. As a teenager he devoured CS Forester’s Hornblower novels and tried to enlist three times. Poor eyesight put paid to his dream, instead he went to university to read theology. On graduating, he became a teacher, then joined BBC’s Nationwide, working his way up the ladder to become head of current affairs at BBC Northern Ireland, then editor of Thames News. In 1979, his life changed when he fell in love with an American.
"Judy couldn’t live here, so I gave up my job and moved to the US. I couldn’t get a green card, and for 18 months the only thing I could do was write novels." The result was his first book about 19th century hero, Richard Sharpe, Sharpe’s Eagle.
Today he has 20 Sharpe adventures behind him, plus a series about the American Civil War, the Starbuck novels; an enormously successful trilogy about King Arthur, The Warlord Chronicles; the Hundred Years War set Grail Quest series; and his current series about King Alfred.
Bernard Cornwell owns houses in Cape Cod and Florida and two boats. Every year he takes two months off from his writing and spends most of his time on his 24 foot Cornish crabber, Royalist.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I encourage you to read these books in order of the chronology of the events, rather than the order in which they are written. If you've been doing that, you've probably wondered whatever happened to Sergeant Obadiah ("I can't be killed") Hakeswill who we last read about in India. In Sharpe's Company, this spawn of the underworld returns to cause lots of mischief.
Viscount Wellington is still leading the allied forces in the Peninsula, having secured Portugal. In Sharpe's Company, two fortresses bar the way into Napoleon's Spain, Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz. Naturally, Sharpe plays a key role in both battles. In this book, you get two sieges for the price of one.
The love story is much stronger here than usual in the series as the female partisan leader from Sharpe's Gold, Teresa, makes an important return appearance. In the process, Sharpe learns he has become a father . . . and his daughter is being cared for in Badajoz.
Sharpe's career also takes a turn for the worse. The temporary captaincy comes to an end, and he's reduced in rank to lieutenant reporting to a new captain who isn't as decisive as he might be. Hakeswill is soon undermining everyone to put himself to an advantage, and Sharpe's morale plummets while his hatred of Hakeswill grows.
Sharpe also comes to resent that he cannot become a permanent captain and toys with the idea of leading a Forlorn Hope into the breach to gain such a promotion.
The story's ending may turn your stomach more than a little as Mr. Cornwell treats us to a pretty graphic description of the sack of Badajoz by the British and Portuguese. It may be more historical realism than you really want to know about.Read more ›
Despite the changes (yes, I know Cornwell wrote the Peninsular War series first!), this was an extremely enjoyable book and I found myself actually yelling at the pages for Sharpe to succeed. I knew he would, but Cornwell has an excellent way of telling a story that pulls the reader into the novel and the next thing you know you're at the end.
My thanks to emilyh for putting together an outstanding chronological history of the Sharpe books. Otherwise I would have been completely lost and not have enjoyed this series as much as I have!