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Sharpe's Triumph: Richard Sharpe and the Battle of Assaye, September 1803 (Richard Sharpe's Adventure Series #2) Paperback


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Sharpe's Triumph: Richard Sharpe and the Battle of Assaye, September 1803 (Richard Sharpe's Adventure Series #2) + Sharpe's Fortress: Richard Sharpe & the Siege of Gawilghur, December 1803 (Richard Sharpe's Adventure Series #3) + Sharpe's Tiger (Richard Sharpe's Adventure Series #1)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060951974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060951979
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Followers of Cornwell's series featuring the exploits of British infantry officer Richard Sharpe (Sharpe's Rifles, et al.) in the Napoleonic wars (adapted for Masterpiece Theater) and in his earlier career in colonial India will relish this look at Sergeant Sharpe on the subcontinent in 1803. A fluke makes our hero unofficial aide to General Sir Arthur Wellesley (the future Duke of Wellington, though it's never mentioned in the novel) at the time of the siege of Ahmednuggur and Wellesley's brilliant victory at Assaye against the Indian Mahratta Confederation and the turncoat forces of ex-English officer William Dodd. This was the beginning of the end of the Mahratta rebellion against the British and a turning point in the Raj's growing power. Among the book's rich cast of characters are Hakeswill, a murderous British sergeant determined to kill Sharpe; Simone Joubert, the needy wife of a French officer; and the colorful Hanoverian mercenary, Colonel Pohlmann, who leads the Mahratta forces from atop an elephant. Most roundly dimensional and representing the extremes of British society are Wellesley, the coldly brilliant and fearless son of an earl, and Sharpe himself, the tortured, unlettered bastard from London's slums, who is determined to rise. Cornwell contributes vivid details in descriptions of life in an army camp, the dual military regimes of the East India Company and the regular army, and Indian politics. Best are the battle scenes, laid out clearlyAthere's a handy mapAwith all the heat, stink and blood of war and "the joys of slaughter." The reader's pleasure in all this gore may be a guilty one, but Cornwell, a master of battlefield writing, makes it too exhilarating to forgo. 15-city NPR feature; 3-city author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

William Gaminara does an excellent job in his presentation of this 14th volume of Cornwell's Sharpe series. Triumph covers Sergeant Sharpe's service with the British Army in India, before the Peninsular War and Waterloo. The story begins with a treacherous attack by Maj. William Dodd, a British officer who has defected from the East India Company. Surviving the massacre, Sharpe vows to take revenge, a vow that leads him to serve with Gen. Arthur Wellesley and to take the field when Wellesley leads an impossibly small force of 5000 men against the 50,000 of the Maratha Army quartered at Assaye. Cornwell's (The Winter King, Audio Reviews, LJ 8/97) depiction of the events that occurred before and during the 1803 battle at Assaye is vivid and historically accurate. Sure to be popular with Sharpe fans and a good read for people interested in British or military history; highly recommended.ATheresa Connors, Arkansas Tech. Univ., Russellville
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

Cornwell writes the best historical fiction.
David Buckbee
While concurrently reading Jac Weller's "Wellington in India", one can trace every detail of the battles of Ahmednugger and Assaye in Sharpe's Triumph.
"limespider"
If you haven't yet read Sharpe's Tiger, I recommend that you begin your reading of this exciting series with that book.
Donald Mitchell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
Readers of Cornwell's Sharpe series have long been tantalized by references to infantry Sergeant Sharpe being raised (promoted) from the ranks of the enlisted men to the gentleman's officer corps by Lord Wellington in gratitude for having saved his life on the battlefield at Assaye in India, back in 1803. In this volume, we finally get the full story behind that seminal event in Sharpe's career, one that is mentioned in every volume in the series. At the time, a number of Indian princes (the Mahratta confederation) had banded together to resist further British incursion into their territory, and assembled a massive army of European-led units along with local and Arab mercenaries. As in many of the other books, Sharpe is sent on a small mission and ends up meeting the main villain of the piece, here a renegade English officer who is part of the Mahratta forces. Sharpe is later detailed to help capture the rogue officer, leading him to Wellington's first major set piece battle, at Assaye. And while the book is ostensibly a Sharpe book, it is this battle which Cornwell is clearly most interested in, and with good reason. In defeating an army some 10-20 times its number and equal equipment, Wellington's victory is one the great feats of military history (one which he ranked above his more famous win at Waterloo). Cornwell's recreation of the battle makes it eminently clear that two Scottish Highlander regiments (the 74th and 78th won the day for the British.
Many of the usual Sharpe elements are there, bloody fighting, foul villains (including the odious Sgt. Hakeswill), treachery, and climactic massive battle. What's more interesting about this book, however, is how different this younger Sharpe is from the scarred veteran we meet in the Peninsular Wars.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Gene Bromberg on February 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Cornwell takes us back to India in this book and the action is as intense as the novels set in Spain and France. These novels focusing on Sharpe's early career are especially interesting because the show him without the support of his Riflemen and without the officer's rank that is the source of much of his pride and many of his problems.
But this is the novel where Sergeant Sharpe suddenly realizes that his ambitions go far beyond his non-commissioned rank. And in making the decision to try to rise to officer he knows that he is consigning himself to an almost certain death, because his only chance to become an officer is through an act of suicidal bravery on the battlefield that is noticed by a senior officer.
The decision to attack at Assaye by Sir Arthur Wellesley gives Sharpe his opportunity. Longtime readers of the Sharpe novels know what he did to get himself promoted at Assaye, and Cornwell does his usual masterful job in describing this horrific, heroic deed.
This book has everything Sharpe fans have come to love, and anyone who has never read this series should gather up their pennies and carve out a few weekends to devour them all. You'll find yourself addicted.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By tertius3 on February 5, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second novel of Sgt. Sharpe's early service (following TIGER), set in exotic India with places, battles, and currents of empire-building of which most American's haven't the faintiest idea. Here we finally see the enigmatic event (long alluded to in the original Sharpe series set later in Spain) that forever indebts the future Duke of Wellington to Sharpe; that icy young general in not one but two brilliant actions; Sharpe at his most ferocious ever; Sgt. Hakesbill at his absolute evil worst, consumed with jealousy and private revenge; and Sharpe receiving his first promotion to officer. After a meandering buildup, which includes a convincing Temptation of Sharpe by private pay, the climactic battle scene is horrendous, a vast set piece in front of Assaye where we witness the extreme heroism of the steadfast Scottish 78th under shot, shell, and shrapnel, 600 men (at the start) who rout 100,000. Just incredible. The battle that made the reputation of imperturbable Wellington. As usual, Cornwell brings the era alive through his details of everyday life, without the excessive technical fascination of techno-novels.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Adrian Yelverton on August 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
Cornwell does it again with another installment in this highly readable series. This novel deals with probably the most amazing battle of the entire series, Wellington's early "Triumph" at Assaye. Cornwell's writing overall has gotten progressively better as the series has progressed. Here his prose crackles with energy in the battle scenes (especially Sharpe's long fabled and finally recreated rescue of Wellington) and gives us some of Sharpe's best personal moments when he is offered a position as a mercenary. Will he leave the British enlisted ranks to seek his fortune as a soldier for hire? Long time readers know the answer but it still makes for good reading. Of course I would be remiss not to mention the appearance of Obidiah Hakeswill. Cornwell knows he has a classic villian on his hands and he plays it to the hilt making his evil Sergeant worse than ever. This is a must read for fans of the series and an interesting historical novel about Wellington's most amazing military feat.
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