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Sharpe's Enemy (Richard Sharpe's Adventure Series #6) Paperback – April 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews


'Sharpe and his creator are national treasures.' Sunday Telegraph 'Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation.' Daily Mail 'Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched.' Observer 'The best battle scenes of any writer I've ever read, past or present. Cornwell really makes history come alive.' George R.R. Martin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Bernard Cornwell's Richard Sharpe series takes its hero to the battle of Waterloo--and beyond. Several novels are the basis of a television miniseries. He was born in London and lives in Chatham, Massachusetts.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Group; Reissue edition (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140294341
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140294347
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bernard Cornwell was born in London in 1944 - a 'warbaby' - whose father was a Canadian airman and mother in Britain's Women's Auxiliary Air Force. He was adopted by a family in Essex who belonged to a religious sect called the Peculiar People (and they were), but escaped to London University and, after a stint as a teacher, he joined BBC Television where he worked for the next 10 years. He began as a researcher on the Nationwide programme and ended as Head of Current Affairs Television for the BBC in Northern Ireland. It was while working in Belfast that he met Judy, a visiting American, and fell in love. Judy was unable to move to Britain for family reasons so Bernard went to the States where he was refused a Green Card. He decided to earn a living by writing, a job that did not need a permit from the US government - and for some years he had been wanting to write the adventures of a British soldier in the Napoleonic wars - and so the Sharpe series was born. Bernard and Judy married in 1980, are still married, still live in the States and he is still writing Sharpe.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
I have read all the Sharpe novels and in my opinion, this is the most entertaining. Unfortunately, it is one of the few that is not based on historical accounts, but there is enough realism to make it interesting. From the new-fangled "rockets" that are put to good use to the descriptions of early 19th century Christmas celebrations to the wonderfully evil Hakeswill to incompetent senior officers, this book has it all. Sharpe has a chance to lead a battalion of troops against an enemy of overwhelming numerical superiority and, in the Sharpe tradition, does it through a combination of ferocious and dirty fighting. One has to wonder how much more quickly Britain would have won the Peninsula wars if they had promoted all officers based on merit instead of patronage and cash. To get the full flavor of the book, however, it should not be read out of sequence with the rest of the novels in the series. The twist at the end (which I will not reveal here) is somewhat of a downer, but it provides motivation in later novels.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rodger Raubach VINE VOICE on May 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
Bernard Cornwell just keeps getting better and better as these books progress! This is now the 13th volume on Sharpe's timeline, and the 6th in order of publication. The character development continues to improve as new personae are introduced in each installment. An especially appealing new character is the one-eyed and mutilated rifle captain , "Sweet William", who joins Sharpe and Harper in this highly entertaining novel.
The time is late 1812 with Christmas approaching. A renegade army of British , Spanish , Portuguese , and French deserters have captured the "wife" of Colonel Sir Augustus Fotheringdale (what a name!), another of those rich and aristocratic and enormously egotistical bungling incompotents that seem to pop up regularly in these novels. Sharpe is selected to rescue the damsel in distress who is being held at an old castle and watchtower on the Northern border of Portugal , known as "the Gateway of God". He is provided by Wellington with two additional companies of riflemen and a batallion of Welsh Fusileers as reinforcements. Sharpe , now a Major , commands the rescue operation and manages to effect it with only minimal losses. The subsequent interference by Sir Augustus manages to result in the death of Colonel Kinney , the commander of the Fusileers , leaving Sharpe as the only experienced senior officer present. Also liberated is the wife of a French Colonel , who is returned promptly to her husband . The French seemingly have also mounted a rescue attempt , but only as a cover for an invasion of Portugal. Sharpe manages to uncover the scheme and settles in to thwart the French and brings them to battle , seeking to buy time for Wellington to respond.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "p_trabaris" on September 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
�Sharpe�s Enemy� by Bernard Cornwell is probably the best in the Sharpe series. There is nothing lacking in the story: evil and corrupt enemies, damsels in distress, heart breaking pathos and (of course) hard-fought battles. The year is 1812 and it�s Christmas time in Spain. Joining Sharpe in �Enemy� is his trusty companion Sargent Harper, the battle scared Captain �Sweet William� and the often drunk Lieutenant Harry Price. Typical of Cornwell�s Sharpe adventures are the enemy forces that will stop at nothing in their efforts to defeat the brave British soldiers.
Major Sharpe is given the task of liberating two officer�s wives and capturing the forces of Pot-au-Feu, a �Marshal� in the renegade army. During his ransom negotiations with the deserters, he encounters his old nemesis the evil and twisted Obadiah Hakeswill. Other enemies include: Sharpe�s commanding officer the incompetent and cowardly Colonel Sir Augustus and the evil and conniving French Major Ducos. One of the refreshing themes in this story is that the enemies are not just the French army but the people that are supposedly his allies. Surprisingly enough during a temporary treaty he gains some respect for a few of the Napoleon�s officers. Throughout the course of the story he commands a battalion, defends a castle and wins countless battles.
For people that have never read a Sharpe book I would like to quote a couple of sentences as an example of Cornwell�s style.
This was the way to end it! Sword in hand and charging, and even though the battle was lost he could still make these
French regret the day they had come to the Gateway of God. He could put fear in them for their next battle, he would make them remember this place with sourness.�
This is Cornwell�s gritty style. Sharpe is a soldier�s soldier and hero for all ages.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
Somehow, I've been aware for years of Cornwall's series set in the Napoleonic wars, and the BBC productions based on them, but haven't gotten around to sampling either book or video until this. It is obviously in the middle of the series, but the reader does not suffer from this. You can pretty quickly tell which characters are reoccurring ones, and indeed the British hero Sharpe finally has it out with his old enemy Obadiah Hakeswell (great name!) in this volume. Certainly, there would be greater deliciousness if I'd read of their previous encounters, but Cornwall effectively summarizes them so that one is satisfied. The military action centers around a small Spanish village near the Portuguese border, in which a band of deserters are holding hostage a number of innocent women, including the wives of some British and French officers. Sharpe is assigned the task of their rescue, and then later assumes great responsibilities as he must meet a challenge from the French. There is some good stuff about how the British officers operated, and some fun with the first rocket artillery unit in war. Despite all these heroics, Cornwall keeps the horror and senseless waste of war in clear focus. The ending is especially bittersweet, though not unexpected. I'll definitely be looking to read this series in order, or at least check out the videos.
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