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Sharpe's Escape: Richard Sharpe & the Bussaco Campaign, 1810 (Richard Sharpe's Adventure Series #10) Hardcover – March 30, 2004
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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.
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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
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