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Sharpe reading order

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Grasshopper
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Location: Moore, OK, USA

Sharpe reading order

Postby Grasshopper » Tue October 7th, 2008, 1:59 am

I'm trying to find a guide to what order to read the Sharpe series. I'm sure this is discussed in places, but I'm experiencing a little search vagueness. As I understand, a reader doesn't necessarily have to read in published order, nor does he/she have to read in chronological order. From those who have Sharpe experience, what say you?

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Tue October 7th, 2008, 6:20 am

The Sharpe books are rather confusing as date of publication hasn't got a lot to do with the chronological order.

After BC wrote the original series fans kept calling for more, so he added other titles to the series from different periods of Sharpe's military career.
The best chronological list is this one from Brnard Cornwell's website.
http://www.bernardcornwell.net/index2.cfm?page=1&seriesid=1

You don't have to necessarily read them in order, but it's probably useful to have an idea of the characters from earlier on.
The series proper starts with "Sharpe's Tiger", with Sharpe as a young soldier fighting in India.

I started the series with "Sharpe's Rifles", and went on from there, and then back as others were added, and didn't have any trouble working out what was going on.

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Volgadon
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Postby Volgadon » Tue October 7th, 2008, 6:35 am

The India books come first, then Prey, set in Denmark, then goes from Rifles in 1809 all the way to Devil, set in the 1820s.

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Alaric
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Postby Alaric » Tue October 7th, 2008, 9:51 am

I read it in chronological order, mainly because by the time I found Sharpe almost all of them had been released. I've preferred reading it that way too.

The chronological list is Tiger, Triumph, Fortress, Trafalgar, Prey, Rifles, Havoc, Eagle, Gold, Escape, Fury, Battle, Company, Sword, Enemy, Honour, Regiment, Siege, Revenge, Waterloo, and Devil. There's also two short stories that slot in between Regiment-Siege and Waterloo-Devil.

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Volgadon
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Postby Volgadon » Tue October 7th, 2008, 10:37 am

Personally, I would skip Trafalgar, Prey, Fury and Devil, as I don't think they contribute much to the story, but that's just me.

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Alaric
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Postby Alaric » Tue October 7th, 2008, 11:02 am

I really liked Trafalgar.

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EC2
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Postby EC2 » Tue October 7th, 2008, 11:56 am

I've read Rifles, Fortress, Sword and Gold and enjoyed them all. Chronology doesn't matter to me but then I'm only an occasional Sharpe reader and I pick them up when I want a manly buckle my swash palate cleanser between more turbid reads.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Grasshopper
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Location: Moore, OK, USA

Postby Grasshopper » Tue October 7th, 2008, 12:28 pm

Thanks for the responses. That explains why there's not a set-in-stone guide on how to read them.

This confusion on my part reminds me of fantasy author, L.E. Modesitt and his Recluse series. Even though his books skip around the history of his fantasy world, it is highly recommended to read the books in written order. Otherwise, there will be character references that the reader may not understand if read in chronological order. This was the main reason I asked.

Thanks again.

I'm gonna stop by and pick up Tiger and also Ms. Moran's Nefertiti, if they're in the store today.

Carla
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Postby Carla » Tue October 7th, 2008, 12:35 pm

Bernard Cornwell recommends reading them in chronological order, and I suppose he ought to know. Annis has posted the link to the list on his website.

I personally think the first series, plus Sharpe's Rifles, are generally better stories than the later additions.

They all work as stand-alones, though (which I think is quite impressive in a series of 20+ novels), so they can be read in any order. I read them in no particular order as I came across them and had no problems at all.
PATHS OF EXILE - love, war, honour and betrayal in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria
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annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Tue October 7th, 2008, 6:15 pm

I'd agree with Carla about the original Sharpe novels being the best. Even though any Bernard Cornwell story is a good read, I detected a distinctly perfunctory note about the last one I read, "Sharpe's Fury". I could almost see BC sitting at his computer dashing off another Sharpe to keep the fans quiet sso that he could get on with his Uhtred series in peace!

"Sharpe's Fury" did introduce me to the remarkable Thomas, Lord Lyndoch, though.
A Scottish landowner, he was deeply in love with his wife Mary. She contracted tuberculosis and they went to France for the sake of her health. She died there and whn her body was being transported back to Scotland for burial, it was molested by a party of French soldiers. Although previously sympathetic to Republican ideals, this incident engendered a great hatred in him for the French army, and he went on to become one of the significant generals of the Napoleonic Wars.

An irrelevant but interesting bit of historical gossipclaims that Mary had an affair with the notorious Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire.


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