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Sharpe's Escape [Hardcover]

Bernard Cornwell
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1 2004
Sharpe's Escape takes place in the summer of 1810, once again in the Peninsular War. The French are mounting their third and most dangerous invasion of Portugal. Captain Richard Sharpe with his company of redcoats and riflemen meets the invaders on the gaunt ridge of Bussaco. But there, despite a stunning British victory, the French are not stopped and the army have to fall back. Sharpe has made enemies among the Portuguese and during the retreat through Coimbra, he and Sergeant Harper are lured into a trap designed to kill them. With the help of an Englishwoman, Sharpe survives, but is cut off from the army. He has to rejoin his regiment if the command is not to fall to the ambitious Lieutenant Slinbsby. At the Lines of Torres Vedras, the vast defences built to stop the French before Lisbon, Sharpe confronts his enemies in a climactic battle.

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From Publishers Weekly

"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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

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 © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharpe Saves the Day Feb. 28 2013
By Murray
Format:Paperback
Another action adventure story featuring the rough and tumble Captain Sharpe who pokes a few more bad guys with the sharp end of his sword. He and his side kick Sergeant Harper, not to mention the token pretty girls, brave battles, sewers, arch fiends and saves the day.

Set in 1810 in Portugal the hero stumbles onto the devious plans of traitors and foils them. Thus he becomes the target for revenge. Not to fear Sharpe is here. He then saves the day and a couple of girls from rape and magnanimously gives the loot to his gal; which I found to be clever.

I liked the scene where they traversed a sewer and had to refrain from saying the `S' word for fear of offending a lady or lady want-to-be. The book is fast paced and entertaining. It will keep you reading. Seventeen gun salute for Sharpe's Escape.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Audio Book Of Sharpe's Escape Is Really Well Done Jan. 30 2012
By Mark Anderson TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Bernard Cornwell's historical fiction series of the adventures of Richard Sharpe is excellent.

This audio book of one novel of that series, Sharpe's Escape, is really well done. Cornwell's writing style is well suited to the spoken word and the narrator, British actor Paul McGann, does an excellent job with the material.

Great audio book. Highly recommended. I have a forty minute highway commute to and from work and I generally pass the time listening to audio books. I really enjoyed this one.
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I envy all those who read the Richard Sharpe novels in the chronological order of the events contained in them rather than the order in which they were published. For these newer readers, Sharpe's Escape contains all of the best features of the earlier (in chronology) nine novels: an easy-to-despise implacable foe (Ferragus), a slimy traitor (Captain Ferreira), a spectacular battle (Bussaco) where all could be lost if Sharpe doesn't take the right action (a whispered aside to Colonel Lawford), Sharpe dropping in to rescue another impossible combat situation, lots of ill-gotten goods at stake, a beautiful woman to beguile Sharpe, a seemingly impossible problem for Sharpe to solve when he's trapped in the cellar to a warehouse, and justice for the dastardly types.

So what's it all about? Wellington continues to try to hold Portugal against the French. Napoleon has sent Marshal Massena with a huge force to drive the British and Portuguese off the peninsula. Wellington has well-prepared defenses waiting in front of Lisbon, but he wants to starve the French army as much as possible so that attrition will make the conflict short. The French steal food rather than buy it, and Wellington leads a scorched earth program.

As the book opens, Sharpe is grumpy. He's been called back after a week rather than the month's leave his was promised and Colonel Lawford has stuck him with a lieutenant he cannot stand, Slingsby. Sharpe doesn't see how any good can come of all this.

Sharpe is sent to destroy a signaling tower so that the French won't be able to use it. In the process, he discovers the Portuguese brothers, Major Ferreira and Ferragus, preparing to sell a lot of flour to the French.
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