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Redcoat Paperback – April 15, 2003

4 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The British occupation of Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War brings together two unlikely comrades, redcoat Sam Gilpin and rebel Jonathon Becket. The story of these two young men evocatively illustrates the divided loyalties that characterized this war. Though both men love the same woman, the true heroine of the novel is Becket's patriot sister, Martha Crowl. She commands the attention of the reader with every appearance. The grim and gory reality of war is skillfully played out against the gaiety of Loyalist society. Cornwell's fictional characters mingle well with the historical figures of the time. A worthwhile effort by Cornwell, known for his historical adventures, the Richard Sharpe series. Recommended. Lydia Burruel Johnson, Mesa P.L., Ariz.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Arousing adventure yarn. . . [The] battle scenes are excellent." -- Washington Post Book World

"Cornwell's command of historical detail is one of the great strengths of his writing..." -- Washington Times

"Electrifying . . . [Cornwell] is a master at describing battles as observed by the participants." -- St. Louis Post-Dispatch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 485 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (April 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060512776
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060512774
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #345,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Fred Camfield on October 22, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The author is best known for his Sharpe series. This historical novel, in a slightly earlier time frame, is set in and around Philadelphia after the Battle of Brandywine. It is based on the British occupation of Philadelphia, and the various battles and skirmishes between the British Army and the American Army. It provides a realistic account, using both real and fictional characters, including the army's brutality towards the enemy (killing wounded enemy soldiers), the army's brutality towards its own troops, and the general pillaging of civilian property. There are a number of intertwined plots based on the actions and attitudes of different individuals. The key players other than General Howe, his mistress Lizzie Loring, his brother Admiral Lord Howe, Captain Andre, etc., are the fictional British Army private Sam Gilpin and his commander Captain Vane; the 20-year old Philadelphian Jonathan Becket, his sister Mrs. Crowl, and his uncle Abel Becket; and the young rebel Caroline from across the river. The plot drags a little at some points as the author establishes characters and situations, but overall is a good story. The story deals with the seamier side of life, with conflicting romantic interests, various people out to feather their own nests, and considerable violence. It is definitely not the type of whitewashed history you find in school textbooks.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first thing that you will notice about Redcoat, and what could turn alot of readers off, is that the novel takes awhile to really get going. After finishing the book it's my opinion that Cornwell went a little overboard with the plot developement in the thinking that Redcoat would be the beginning of a series. Redcoat in many ways reminds me of Cornwell's "Rebel" , which also started off with a ton of plot developement (Which was necessary when you consider the other books in the series have a ton of typical Cornwell action (which is what i find the most appealing about Cornwell's writing)

After the first 150 pages Redcoat really starts to take off. The second half of the novel is definately some of Cornwell's best. While there isn't as much of the typical huge battles the story and the action are top notch despite that. (Most of the story takes place during the British occupation of Philadelphia)

Redcoat is definatly a worthy read as well as being worthy of a sequel.

Don't miss it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
As both an avid reader and a Revolutionary War reenactor, it was with great anticipation that I first sought out, then read Bernard Cornwell's "Redcoat" not that long ago.
Although I had not read any of his "Sharpe's" series - based upon the Napoleonic-era British Army - the fact that Cornwell has been so well-received as a historical novelist gave me hope going into this book that he would capture the period of history with which I am so familliar. Now, having read "Redcoat," it is with slight disappointment that I must report only a moderate success.
Cornwell enfuses his novel with a contemprary style of historical fiction writing seen more recently in the works of Jeff Shaara (who recently wrote his own two-volume Revolutionary War series), which is to say that the reader experiences a "you-are-there" sense of history, meeting legendary characters as if meeting old friends on the street.
Throughout "Redcoat," we meet such famous historical figures on a regular basis - Sir William Howe, commander of His Majesty's Army in North America; Sir Henry Clinton, his successor; Rebel General Charles Lee; and, in a knowing, insider's wink at history, we even see Captain John Andre and Peggy Shippen introduced to each other, igniting a relationship which will later result in ignomy for both of them (but that, of course is another story).
Cornwell's description of battle sequences, too, are unparalleled for their realism and accuracy and include enough historical detail (such as the 40th Foot "going to ground" in the Chew House at the Battle of Germantown) to delight any student of the era.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Two of the great trademarks of Bernard Cornwell's 'Sharpe' series are immaculate historical reconstruction and action-pakced plots. With 'Redcoat,' Cornwell re-creates an era as only he can, but the story is far to slow and ultimately uninteresting. Two of modern literature's greatest villians, Obidiah Hakeswill and Pierre Ducos from the 'Sharpe' novels, inspire such hatred and loathing that they make the story's protagonist all the more heroic. In 'Redcoat,' however, the reader is one hundred and fifty pages into it before he knows who the antagonist is. The characters are for the most part unsympathetic and the plot really bogs down at times. That being said it should be noted that where this novel does it's author justice is in the vivid recreation of the American Revolution. The battles, generals, and soldiers on both sides of the conflict are treated with respect. The events of this book seem as real as though they happened yesterday. For those new to Bernard Cornwell I would recommend reading his 'Richard Sharpe' series first as 'Redcoat' is, unfortunatley, one of his weaker novels.
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