Sylvia made all these scans of the Sharpe Book covers, and also each short synopsis. Thank you so much Sylvia !
Sharpe's Tiger describes the adventures of the raw young private soldier Richard Sharpe in India, before the Peninsular War.
Sharpe and the rest of his battalion, along with the rising star of the general staff Arthur Wellesley, are about to embark upon the siege of Seringapatam, island citadel of the Tippoo of Mysore.
When a senior British officer is captured by the Tippoo's force Sharpe is offered a chance to attempt a rescue, a chance he snatches in order to escape from the tyrannical Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill. But in fleeing Hakeswill he enters the confusing, exotic and dangerous world of the Tippoo, and Sharpe will need all his wits just to stay alive, let alone save the British army from catastrophe.
Richard Sharpe and the Battle of Assaye, September 1803
India, 1803. Sergeant Richard Sharpe witnesses the murderours act of treachery by an English officer who has defected from the East India Company to join the Mahratta Confederation. In the hunt for the renegade Englishman, Sharpe penetrates deep into the enemy's territory where he faces temptations more subtle than he has ever dreamed of. And behind him, relentlessly stalking him, comes his worst enemy, the baleful, twitching Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill who is determined to break Sharpe once an for all.
The paths of treachery all lead to the small village of Assaye where Sir Arthur Wellesley, with a tiny British army, faces the Mahratta horde. Outnumbered and outgunned, Wellesley decides to fight, and Sharpe is plunged into the white heat of a battle that will make Wellesley's reputation. It will make Sharpe's name too, but only if he can survive the carnage and killing frenzy, for it is at Assaye that he at last realizes his ambition and has a chance to seize it.
Richard Sharpe and the Siege of Gawilghur, December 1803
It is December 1803, and Richard Sharpe is now an officer in Sir Arthur Wellesley's army which is seeking to end the Mahratta War. Relegated to a tedious job in the baggage train, Sharpe discovers a treason conjured up by his old enemy, Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill, but in uncovering this Sharpe finds himself alone and under dreadful threat. He falls back on his fighting ability to regain his confidenc and his treasures, the jewels of the Tippoo Sultan, which have been stolen from him.
The search for revenge on the men who robbed him takes him to Gawilghur, a seemingly impregnable fortress poised high above the Deccan Plain. Bolstering its defences is the renegade Englishman, William Dodd, who escaped from Sharpe in Sharpe's Triumph. Dodd is confident that no redcoat can reach him, but Sharpe is desperate and so he joins Wellesley's troops as they surge across the neck of land that leads to the breaches. There, in the horror of Gawilghur's ravine, dominated by walls and guns, he will fight as he has never fought before.
Richard Sharpe and the Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805
It is 1805 and Ensign Richard Sharpe is on his way home from India. The voyage should be a period of rest but his ship is riven with treachery and threatened by a formidable French warship, the Revenant, which is terrorizing British shipping in the Indan Ocean. An old opponent of Sharpe's is abord his ship, and the voyage is further disturbed by the Lady Grace Hale, apparently as unreachable as she is beautiful.
Sharpe also has friends , notably a captain of the Royal Navy who is hunting the Revenant and who rescues Sharpe when all seems lost. The hunt turns into a stern chase as the French warship races home, carrying a treaty that could ignite Inda into a new war against the British. When the Revenant entcounters the combined French and Spanish fleets off Cadiz it seems that Sharpe's enemies have found safety, even as his enemies on board appear to have him trapped.
Yet over the horizon is another fleet, led by Nelson, and Sharpe's revenge will come in a savage climax when the two armadas meet on a calm October day of Cape Trafalgar.
Richard Sharpe and the Expedition to Copenhagen, 1807
It is 1807 and Lieutenant Richard Sharpe, recently returned to England, is offered a new job: to go to Copenhagen, help the Honourable John Lavisser deliver a bribe, and so stop a war. It seems very easy.
But nothing is easy in a Europe stirred by French ambitions. The Danes possess a battle fleet that could replace every warship the French lost at Trafalgar and Napoleon's forces are gathering to take it. The British must stop them.
Sharpe is ordered to protect Lavisser against the French agents who infest the Danish capital. It is a shadow war of spies and brutality in which Sharpe is a sacrificial pawn. But sometimes pawns can change the game.
As the Danish army attempts to raise the British siege, it is met by Sir Arthur Wellesley with a force of redcoats and riflemen. Copenhagen is doomed. In nights of merciless British bombardment, Sharpe must protect a woman, hunt a traitor and stay alive.
It is the bitter winter of 1809. Britain's forces are retreating towards Corunna, with Napoleon's victorious armies in pursuit. Lieutenant Richard Sharpe and a detachment of Riflemen are cut off from the British army and surrounded by enemy troops.
Their only hope of escape is to accept the help of a Spanish cavalry officer but his assistance comes at a price: to join the assault on the holy city of Santiago de Compostela, held by a strong French force. Only Sharpe can snatch victory from clear disaster.
Richard Sharpe and the campaign in northern Portugal, spring 1809
It is the spring of 1809 and a small British army is stranded when the French invade northern Portugal. Sharpe is cut off and tries to fight his way back to the British lines but instead is led into treacherous danger.
When the future Duck of Wellington arrives to take command, he immediately mounts his own counter-attack. Sharpe becomes the hunter instead of the hunted. Amidst the wreckage of a defeated army, in the storm lashed hills of the Portuguese frontier, Sharpe takes a terrible revenge.
Sharpe's Havoc is a classic Sharpe story, with Richard Sharpe in fighting form in the company of Sergant Patrick Harper, Captain Hogan and Sharpe's beloved Greenjackets.
Richard Sharpe and the Talavera Campaign, July 1809
Richard Sharpe is ordered to accompany an inexperienced regiment, which has just arrived in Portugal. But the veteran Sharpe quickly comes into conflict with the regiment's colonel, especially after the latter's incompetence leads to the loss of many men.
Sharpe's promotion to captain aggravates the colonel's simmering resentment and he proves a dangerous enemy. As Sharpe leads his men into battle at Talavera, he knows he must find a way to save both his career and the honor of the regiment.
Richard Sharpe and the Destruction of Almeida, August 1810
Richard Sharpe is delighted when, after long months of patrolling duties, he and his regiment are summond north by Wellington. But his new mission is desperate and dangerous: to go behind enemy lines to recover the gold, vital to the success of the war.
The treasure is in the possession of a powerful guerilla leader, feared by ally and enemy alike. And he has a particular reason not to co-operate with Sharpe - the man who has stolen his woman.
Richard Sharpe and the Bussaco Campaign, 1811
It is 1810 and the French are making yet another attempt to invade Portugal. Facing them is a wasted land, stripped of food by Wellington's orders and Captain Richard Sharpe.
But Sharpe is in trouble. His job is under threat and, with enemies on every side, he has new opposition from a Portuguese warlord against whom he wages a private war, fought through the burning, pillaged streets of Coimbra.
Sharpe's Escape begins on the great, gaunt ridge of Bussaco where a joint British and Portuguese army meets Marshall Massena's crack troops. It finishes at Torres Vedras where the French hopes of occupying Portugal quickly die.
Richard Sharpe and the Battle of Barrosa, March 1811
In the winter of 1811, the war seems lost. Spain has fallen to the French, except for Cadiz, now the Spanish capital and itself under siege. Inside the city walls an intricate diplomatic dance is taking place and Richard Sharpe faces more than one enemy.
The small British force is trapped by a French army, and their only hope lies with the outnumbered redcoats outside refusing to admit defeat. There, in the sweltering horror of Barrosa, Sharpe will meet his old enemy Colonel Vandal once again.
Richard Sharpe and the Battle of Fuentes de Onoro, May 1811
Richard Sharpe and his men, quartered in a crumbling Portuguese fort, are attacked by an elite French unit, led by an old enemy of Sharpes, and suffer heavy losses.
The armys high command blames Sharpe for the disaster and his military career seems to be ruined. He only hope is to redeem himself on the battlefield. So with his honour at stake, against an overwhelming number of French troops, Sharpe leads his en to battle in the narrow streets of Fuentes de Onoro.
Sharpe and the Siege of Badajoz, January to April 1812
It is a hard winter. For Richard Sharpe it is the worst he can remember. He has lost his command to a man who could buy the promotion Sharpe covets. His oldest enemy, the ruthless, indestructible Hakeswill, joins the regiment and he is a man with a mission to ruin Sharpe.
But Sharpe is determined to change his luck. The only way - a desperate choice - is to volunteer for the Forlorn Hope, to lead the attack on the impregnable fortress town of Badajoz, a road to almost certain death or, just possible, to heroic glory.
Richard Sharpe and the Salamanca Campaign, June and July 1812
Richard Sharpe is once again at war. But this time his enemy is just one man - the ruthless Colonel Leroux. Sharpe's mission is to safeguard El Mirador, a spy whose network of agents is vital to British victory.
Sharpe is forced into a new wold of political and military intrigue. And in the unfamiliar surroundings of aristocratic Spanish society, his only guide is La Marquesa - a woman with her own secrets to conceal...
Richard Sharpe and the Defence of Portugal, Christmas 1812
Newly promoted, Major Richard Sharpe is given the task of rescuing a group of well-born woman, held hostage high in the mountains by a rabble of deserters. And one of the renegades is Sergeant Hakeswill, Sharpe's bitter enemy.
Sharpe has only the support of his own company and the new Rocket Troop - the last word in military incompetence - but he cannot afford to contemplate defeat. For to surrender or to fail would mean an end of the war for the Allied armies....
Richard Sharpe awaits the opening shots of the army's new campaign with grim expectancy. Victory depends on the increasingly fragile alliance between Britain and Spain - an alliance that must be maintained at any cost.
But Sharpe's enemy, the French intelligence officer Pierre Ducos, seizes a chance to destroy the alliance and take personal revenge on Sharpe. And when the lovely spy, La Marquesa, takes a hand in the game, Sharpe finds himself caught in a web of deadly intrigue and becomes a fugitive, hunted by enemy and ally alike...
Richard Sharpe and the Invasion of France, June to November 1813
Major Sharpe's men are in mortal danger - not from the French, but from the bureaucrats of Whitehall. Unless reinforcements can be brought from England, the regiment will be disbanded.
Determind not to see his regiment die, Sharpe returns to England and uncovers a nest of high-ranking traitors, any one of whom could utterly destroy his career with a word. Sharpe is forced into the most desperate gamble of his life - and not even the influence of the Prince Regent may be enough to save him.
Richard Sharpe and the Winter Campaign, 1814
The invasion of France is under way, and the British Navy has called upon the service of Major Richard Sharpe. He and a small force of Riflemen are to capture a fortress and secure a landing on the French coast. It is to be one of the most dangerous mission of Sharpe's career.
Through the incompetence of a recklessly ambitious naval comander and the machinations of his old enemy, French spymaster Pierre Ducos, Sharpe finds himself abandoned in the heart of enemy territory, facing overwhelming forces and the very real prospect of defeat. He has no alternative but to trust his fortunes to an American privateer - a man who has no love for the British invaders.
Richard Sharpe and the Peace of 1814
It is 1814. After a long and exhausting series of battles the British and Spanish armies are pushing into southwestern France from Spain. Rumours abound that Napoleon has surrendered, been murdered, or fled. But before the French are finally defeated, one of the bloodiest conflicts of the war must be fought: the battle for the victory of Toulouse.
Sharpe's war is not over with the victory. Accused of stealing a consignment of Napoleon's treasure en route to Elba, Sharpe must elude his captors and track down the unknown enemy who has tried to incriminate him. Accompanied by his comrade, Captain William Frederickson, Major Richard Sharpe pursures with energy, venom and unflinching resolve an ingenious and devastating revenge.
Richard Sharpe and the Waterloo Campaign, 15 June to 18 June 1815
It is 1815. Sharpe is serving on the personal staff of the inexperienced and incompetent Young Frog, William, Prince of Orange, who has been given command of a large proportion of the Allied force. More concerned with cutting a dash at a grand society ball in Brussels, the Young Frog refuses to listen to Sharpe's scouting reports of an enormous army marching towards them with the lately returned Napoleon at its head.
When the Battle of Waterloo commences, Sharpe has to stand by and watch military folly on a grand scale. But at the height of the conflict, just as victory seems impossible, he makes a momentous decision. With his usual skill, courage and determination he takes command and the most hard-fought and bloody battle of his career becomes Sharpe's own magnificent triumph.
Richard Sharpe and the Emperor, 1820-21
Five years after the battle of Waterloo, Sharpe's peaceful retirement in Normandy is shattered by a plea for help. An old friend, Don Blas Vivar, is missing in Chile, reported dead at rebels hands - a report his wife refuses to believe. She appeals to Sharpe to find out the truth.
So it is that the reluctant Sharpe and his constant companion in adventure, Patrick Harper, find themselves bound for Chile via St. Helena, where they have a fateful meeting with the fallen Emperor Napoleon. Sharpe and Harper are convinced that they are on their way to collect a corpse; neither can imagin the danger that awaits them in Chile.
Richard Sharpe and the defence of the Tormes, August 1812
It is the summer of 1812 and Richard Sharpe, newly recovered from the wound he received in the fighting at Salamanca, is given an easy duty; to guard a Commissary Officer posted to an obscure Spanish fort where there are some captured French muskets to repair. But unknown to the British, the French are planning a lightning raid across the River Tormes, and they reckon the obscure Spanish fort, which guards an ancient bridge across the river, will be lightly guarded. Sharpe is in for a fight.
Sharpe's Skirmish was first issued as a promotional device in Britain and has never been reprinted. This edition is published by the Sharpe Appreciation Society and has been extensively revised, expanded and rewritten by Bernard Cornwell.
Two short stories
Sharpe's Christmas contains two stories, both originally written for Christmas editions of newspapers. In the title story Richard Sharpe, commanding the Prince of Wales's Own Volunteers, finds himself in a high, hard place with an enemy brigade on one side and a desperate force of Frenchman fleeing their defeat in Spain on the other. Common sense suggests that he must avoid a fight, but it is Christmastime, and miracles are supposed to happen in the dark heart of the year, and so Sharpe makes a stand, and in doing so ends up giving the enemy an unexpected gift.
The second story, Sharpe's Ransom, is set in France, after the wars, when old enemies take Sharpe's woman and child hostage. There are local villagers who could help Sharpe, but those villagers dislike him because he is an Englishman who fought against them. So Sharpe has to make some friends, and make them fast, if the Christmas of 1815 is not to turn into tragedy.