Books referenced by Bernard Cornwell in the Sharpe series’ historical notes

LiteratureThe Richard Sharpe series is a series of historical fiction novels and short stories by Bernard Cornwell centred on the character of Richard Sharpe, charting Sharpe’s progress in the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars, starting from his early career in India through to the Battle of Waterloo and beyond (further details on the series can be found on Wikipedia).

In some of the books, Bernard Cornwell mentioned books he used as references when writing the series. I’ve not found a list of these online, so on a recent reading kept a list myself, but hadn’t actually done anything with the list. On a recent call with a client, I mentioned looking to book sightseeing holidays in Italy and Portugal. He recommended a book on the Roman period for me, Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic by Tom Holland, which reminded me that I’d been planning to look up the books on the Peninsular War mentioned by Cornwell.

The books Cornwell mentioned in the Sharpe series are:

The Sharpe books in which the above are referenced were:

  1. Sharpe’s Tiger
  2. Sharpe’s Eagle
  3. Sharpe’s Escape
  4. Sharpe’s Waterloo
  5. Sharpe’s Devil

I’ve picked up the Elizabeth Longford book on Wellington as a starting point along with Donald Tomas’ book on Thomas Cochrane, who had a varied and controversial career which I’m sure is going to be a fascinating read.

Berard Cornwell has himself written a book on the Battle of Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles which has been in my “to read” stack for quite a while, being joined now by my recently purchased copy of Tom Holland’s book.

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