Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe Series review

Essay by sirrascussJunior High, 8th gradeA+, April 2007

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The Sharpe series have a range of useful and important themes from, loyalty, bravery, patriotism, friendship, ferocity, pride, strategy and hope. The author takes a great risk and presents ferocity as one of his most significant themes. Such is depicted in Sharpe’s battle, where Captain Sharpe leads his men like fiends out of hell itself. This technique won an extraordinary battle for the horribly outnumbered British.

The theme of loyalty and bravery was shown in Sharpe’s Eagle. This was where Sharpe’s men were so loyal to him that they followed him blindly in to the heart of a huge French battalion, and their bravery paid off as they caught a respectable French standard. Patriotism was effectively shown in Sharpe’s Triumph. In this novel a famous ruler, Anthony Pohlmann, tries to convince Sharpe to join his formidable Army. However Sharpe’s Patriotism keeps fighting for his country and denies the generous offer.

Friendship was presented in Sharpe’s Tiger, where devoted friends save each others lives from enemies including cruel officers.

In all the Books pride is proudly depicted among Sharpe’s men. Such pride was shown in Sharpe’s Havoc, when Sharpe realizes he has the best soldiers on the battlefield, takes care of them and proudly marches into battle. Also, in most of the books Sharpe carries the pride of coming form the ranks (that he once was a private) and saving General Wellington’s life.

The major theme in both Sharpe’s waterloo and Sharpe’s Trafalgar, was strategy - the two key battles of British victory and Napoleon’s exile. The naval battle: Trafalgar, had nothing but action and strategy as cumbersome ships formed together skillfully to defeat the French. In Waterloo, The British and the Prussians strategically defeated the Emperor once more.

Hope was also a significant theme displayed in most of the novels; however, one novels use of hope outshone them all. This novel was Sharpe’s Siege. This was when Sharpe’s men were cut off from the British and stranded in the heart of France itself. Sharpe’s men hopefully defend the newly captured castle against myriads of French in hope of being rescued. In the end, Sharpe relies on an American Privateer who rescues the British in a friendly exchange of favors.

The author also leaves numerous messages in his novels. Many of which depict what a single person can achieve. This is shown in Sharpe’s gold, where Sharpe single handedly solves a mystery which saves Portugal from the French. There are also messages which advise you to believe in yourself. A general due for a battle follows his heart and discovers a secret path which rewards him with victory. There are many more messages also hidden in the novels.

The novel also possesses various values and beliefs. As discussed, one involves a general believing himself and wining a great battle. And also Sharpe’s Havoc depicts the value of every single solider and man who is willing to fight, as Sharpe is shocked when one of his best soldiers desert him.

The novels have several more valuable beliefs, values and themes hidden in the whole series. I would advocate the series for everyone interested in imperial warfare and all ages above 12. I refer the series a total rating of 8/10. The series are exciting and pleasurable to read.

BibliographySharpe books written by bernard cornwell