A dazzling nautical adventure that finds Bernard Cornwell's beloved ensign Richard Sharpe in the middle of one of history's most spectacular naval engagements: the battle at Cape Trafalgar off the coast of Spain.
The year is 1805, and Richard Sharpe, having completed his tour in India (Sharpe's Tiger; Sharpe's Triumph; Sharpe's Fortress), is headed back to England, where he will join a newly formed regiment, the Green Jackets. Traveling aboard Captain Peculiar Cromwell's East Indiaman cargo ship, the Calliope, is the lovely Lady Grace Hale, whose regal presence may provide intrigue and distraction from what promises to be an otherwise uneventful voyage home.
But nothing is uneventful in the life of Richard Sharpe, even at sea: the Calliope is captured by a formidable French warship, the Revenant, which has been terrorizing British nautical traffic in the Indian Ocean. The French warship races toward the safety of its own fleet, carrying a stolen treaty that, if delivered, could provoke India into a new war against the British -- and render for naught all that Sharpe has fought for so bravely till now. But help comes from an unexpected quarter. An old friend, a captain in the Royal Navy, is on the trail of the Revenant, and Sharpe comes aboard a 74-gun man-of-war called Pucelle in hot pursuit.
Then Admiral Horatio Nelson arrives, with his magnificent fleet of twenty-seven. What results is a breathtaking retelling of one of the most ferocious and one-sided sea battles in European history, in which Nelson -- and Sharpe -- vanquish the combined naval might of France and Spain at Trafalgar.
The direct heir to Patrick O'Brian.
Introduction and Excerpt from Chapter One
The most recent book in the US is Sharpes Trafalgar which is a bit of a cheat, for a soldier really does not have any business being at Trafalgar which was, of course, the great triumph of Horatio Nelson and the Royal Navy, but Sharpe has spent four or five years in India, has to go home, and both the timing and the geography were such that he might well (with a bit of bad luck) have been off Cape Trafalgar on October 21st, 1805.
The battle was arguably the most decisive of the nineteenth century, even more so than Waterloo. After 1805 there is only one navy that counts; the British, the rest have been sunk or captured. Before that there were three navies in Europe that could have challenged the British; the French, Spanish and Danish. The Danes have the second largest navy after Britain, but they are neutral so dont fight (which doesnt prevent them losing their whole navy to Britain in 1807). The French and ...
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