Sharpe – best historical fiction ever?

Richard Sharpe... ya Bastard!

Richard Sharpe... ya Bastard!

I’ve been doing some more thinking about Heroes. Richard Sharpe has to be one of mine, and he isn’t even real. A creation of Bernard Cornwell, Richard Sharpe joined the British Army as a Private, and served in India, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, France and Belgium. He’s a pretty incredible character. Rough and tough, he was a survivor who got by on his talents and skills in an era when birth and privilege counted for far more. He manages to do pretty bad things in every book, but heres the nub – he only does bad things to bad people. So its OK, they were asking for it. He’s not perfect, by any means. But he always ends up coming out on top- if only real life was that clear cut. He cared about his men and stood up for them, and stood up for what he thought was right. In fact, I reckon Sharpe isn’t a bad role model at all. Just as long as you dont go around bayoneting Frenchmen!

Not only all that, but the books are absolutely fantastic. As someone who has read all of them at least 3 times, I think they are perhaps the greatest series of Historical Novels ever written. The research and accuracy is completely impeccable. I’ve always thought that a writer of Historial Fiction is essentially doing the groundwork for two books at one – a history book and a novel. Cornwell does it so well. The great thing is too, you can see how his writing has matured over the years. You could read all of the Sharpe novels from first to last, and probably learn more about the Napoleonic British Army and Regency British Society than you would reading the same amount of History books.

Its a formula that has been copied so many times over the years. There are so many Sharpe imitations out there, some of them are so bad you could almost change the names and they would be the same characters and stories. How they get on the shelves bemuses me. But hey, I guess imitation is a form of flattery, and Cornwell himself was heavily influenced by the Hornblower series of books. I’ve often sat down and tried to write a novel, but without fail it always ends up being another Sharpe.

The TV series takes it to another level too. Sean Bean IS Sharpe, and Daragh O’Malley is Harper, you couldnt imagine any better casting. Maybe the TV programmes are very truncated, because they have to fit it all into 2 hours and make it slightly more simple, but in my opinion its done very sensitively to the original.

Sharpe got me interested in military history, and the Napoleonic War. I think it also encouraged me to study English and to write as much as I have. I have a feeling that the Sharpe books will be as popular in years to come as they have been since Cornwell penned Sharpe’s Eagle. And Long may it continue.

About these ads

32 Comments

Filed under Army, fiction, Napoleonic War

32 responses to “Sharpe – best historical fiction ever?

  1. Good info. Lucky mme I recently found your blog by accident (stumbleupon).
    I’ve book marked iit for later!

  2. whoah this blog is great i like reading your articles.

    Stay up the great work! You know, a lot of persons are searching around for this
    info, you could aid them greatly.

  3. Hello there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick
    shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading through your posts.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same subjects?
    Thanks a ton!

  4. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website.

    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more
    pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme?
    Excellent work!

  5. Do you have a spam issue on this blog; I also am
    a blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation; many of us have
    created some nice methods and we are looking to swap methods with others, why not shoot me an email if interested.

  6. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about somatodrol.
    Regards

  7. Why viewers still make use of to read news papers when in this technological world all is
    accessible on web?

  8. I’m not positive the place you are getting your info, however good topic.
    I must spend some time studying more or understanding more.
    Thanks for wonderful information I used to be searcching forr this info for my mission.

  9. Thanks for a marvelous posting! I actually
    enjoyed reading it, you can be a great author.I will remember to bookmark your blog and will eventually come
    back from now on. I want to encourage continue your great writing, have
    a nice day!

  10. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject
    matter stylish. nonetheless, yoou command get bought an shakiness over that you
    wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly
    again as exactly thee same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

  11. Hey! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if
    that would be ok. I’m deinitely enjoying ykur blog and look forward
    to new posts.

  12. Hey there! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from
    an established blog. Is it difficult tto set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I cann figure things out pretty quick.
    I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do
    you have any tips or suggestions? Many thanks

  13. Yes! Finally something about Louisiana anabolic steroids.

  14. This article is genuinely a nice one it assists new net
    viewers, who are wishing for blogging.

  15. It’s an remarkable paragraph for all the online viewers; they
    will get advantage from it I am sure.

  16. Usually I do not learn article on blogs, however I wish to
    say that this write-up very compelled me to check out and do so!
    Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice article.

  17. We are a gaggle of volunteers and opening a new scheme in
    our community. Your site provided us with helpful information
    to work on. You have performed an impressive task and our entire community might be grateful to you.

  18. If you would like to increase your knowledge just keep visiting this site and be updated with the newest information
    posted here.

  19. May I simply say what a comfort to uncover someone who really knows what they’re discussing online.

    You certainly realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important.

    A lot more people really need to look at this and understand this
    side of your story. I was surprised that you aren’t more popular since
    you certainly possess the gift.

  20. We are a gaggle of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community.

    Your website offered us with useful information to work on.
    You have done a formidable process and our entire neighborhood will likely be thankful to you.

  21. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t
    loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.

    I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same
    outcome.

  22. I used to be suggested this blog by way of my cousin.
    I am no longer positive whether this publish is written by him as
    no one else realize such unique approximately my problem.
    You’re wonderful! Thank you!

  23. Paragraph writing is also a fun, if you know after that you can write or else it is complicated to write.

  24. certainly like your website however you need to check the spelling on several
    of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very troublesome to inform the
    reality nevertheless I will surely come again again.

  25. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get bought an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following.
    unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

  26. You really make it appear really easy with your presentation but
    I to find this matter to be actually one thing that I feel I might never understand.
    It seems too complex and extremely wide for me. I’m
    having a look ahead on your subsequent put up,
    I’ll try to get the grasp of it!

  27. Hello, yup this piece of writing is truly pleasant and I have learned lot of things
    from it on the topic of blogging. thanks.

  28. Having read this I thought it was rather enlightening.
    I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this content together.
    I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading
    and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  29. Hi, I wish for to subscribe for this webpage to obtain
    newest updates, therefore where can i do it
    please assist.

  30. Verna

    Hello There. I found your weblog using msn.

    That is a very neatly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info.
    Thank you for the post. I will definitely comeback.

  31. Excellent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely excellent.

    I actually like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which you say it.
    You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it sensible.
    I cant wait to read far more from you. This is really a wonderful website.

  32. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you design this website yourself or did
    you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to
    create my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from.
    thank you

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s