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Sharpe's Company

by Bernard Cornwell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Sharpe's Adventures: Publication order (1812), Sharpe's Adventures (13, 1812)

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1,1241713,310 (4.01)23
It was a hard winter. For Richard Sharpe, it was the worst he could remember. He had lost his command to a wealthy man. And from England comes his oldest enemy - the ruthless Hawkeswill - utterly determined to ruin Sharpe.
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» See also 23 mentions

English (16)  Spanish (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Cornwell, Bernard. Sharpe’s Company. Sharpe No. 13. Viking, 1982.
In this installment of Richard Sharpe’s adventures, Sharpe has to assault a fortress not only to pave the way into Spain in 1812 but he has his old enemy Sgt. Obadiah Hakeswill to deal with when he kidnaps Teresa Moreno and Sharpe’s infant daughter. Not only that but the elitists have succeeded in getting him demoted to Lieutenant again. It is a tough war, and Cornwell makes it as bloody a mess as any reader could want. ( )
  Tom-e | Sep 22, 2020 |
Good entry in an excellent series. ( )
  jamespurcell | Jan 18, 2020 |
Exciting tale. Sharpe makes the mistake of not killing the villain right away. ( )
  nx74defiant | Jun 24, 2018 |
Swan on, Sharpe! Swan on. Full review at Kate of Mind. ( )
  KateSherrod | Aug 1, 2016 |
Bold, Professional, Ruthless – Hero and Man of Action.

One day, I will have that printed on business cards. Until then, I am content to read about the exploits of Richard Sharpe, an officer brought up from the ranks, who fights as a rifleman in the Napoleonic Wars. Sharpe’s Company finds Captain Sharpe being demoted to Lieutenant thanks to bureaucrats disapproving of his gazetting. Frustrated by an old enemy’s arrival and with hurt pride, Sharpe turns his sights to Badajoz and the opportunity to lead a Forlorn Hope against the walls, securing his captaincy and proving his skill as a soldier.
Probably my favorite after Sharpe’s Eagle, Company stands out for several reasons: the first is that we meet Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill, a loathsome creature and villain who opposed Sharpe earlier in the India prequels. I have heard that Cornwell admitted he had a hard time creating a villain in equal to Hakeswill, and it’s evident in the crop of devious and diabolical enemies Sharpe faces: Loup, the ruthless Frenchman; Simmerson, a useless and cowardly political enemy; and others who have come and gone. Hakeswill is a marvel; it seems amazing that a fictional creation can inspire so much blood-boiling rage, but Hakeswill manages it with every twitch and cackle. He’s in fine form in Company, rotting the battalion from within, attempting to murder Sharpe, and persecuting the genial Harper.

The other reason it stands out is in the sheer scale of the book. Old friends, like the loyal and hero-worshiping Robert Knowles and the laconic American Leroy, rub shoulders with the new, like the affably drunk letch Lieutenant Harry Price. Hogan, of course, is there, along with many others. And the siege itself is bloody and dangerous and horrendous. Of all the battles and sieges, Badajoz stands out as one of the most terrible. Cornwell describes bodies stacked high in a ditch, of fighting through the grasping hands of the wounded, the sheer scale of the damage taken in the siege. Its descriptions are terrifying and terrible.

It is, also, a turning point for the philandering Sharpe – though I won’t spoil why.
Savvy readers might notice a few inconsistencies sprinkled throughout. They are, for the most part, minor, and an almost unavoidable side effect of writing a chronological series out of order. Some readers may have picked up in an earlier book when Sharpe claims to have never met Daddy Hill, despite talking with him a book previous. These are much the same. The matter and manner of Sharpe’s flogging are not in line with the story given in the India trilogy, but mistakes can be forgiven (though not editors).

Whether taken by itself or in the series, however, Sharpe’s Company is one of the more finely written, the most triumphant and bloodthirsty, and one of the best of the Sharpe series.
( )
1 vote kittyjay | Apr 23, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bernard Cornwellprimary authorall editionscalculated
D'Achille, GinoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Soileau, HodgesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stuart, NeilCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Now thou art come unto a feast of death. - William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part I, Act 4, Scene 5.
Dedication
Sharpe's Company is for The Harper family, Charlie and Marie, Patrick, Donna and Terry, with affection and gratitude
First words
A pale horse seen a mile away at sunrise means the night is over.
Quotations
"Sergeant. We're going to Badajoz." - Richard Sharpe
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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It was a hard winter. For Richard Sharpe, it was the worst he could remember. He had lost his command to a wealthy man. And from England comes his oldest enemy - the ruthless Hawkeswill - utterly determined to ruin Sharpe.

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