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Summary

Richard Sharpe, travelling home aboard the 'Revenant', meets Admiral Nelson and his fleet, on what was a calm October day off Cape Trafalgar.

Soldier, hero, rogue - Sharpe is the man you always want on your side. Born in poverty, he joined the army to escape jail and climbed the ranks by sheer brutal courage. He knows no other family than the regiment of the 95th Rifles whose green jacket he proudly wears.

©2009 Bernard Cornwell (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishing Limited

Critic reviews

"Sharpe and his creator are national treasures." ( Sunday Telegraph)
"Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation." ( Daily Mail)
"Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched."( Observer)
"The best battle scenes of any writer I've ever read, past or present. Cornwell really makes history come alive." ( George R.R. Martin)

What listeners say about Sharpe's Trafalgar: The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 (The Sharpe Series, Book 4)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Sharpe Sails for Glory!

With a very long road trip to come I needed something as near to guaranteed to be a good listen as I could find. This of course leaves a very short list of authors and characters and George Cornwell’s Sharpe is one of very few that fit the bill. In fact I have quite deliberately taken my time to go back to this series because it is simply that good and I want to savour it.

This one is a bit different from the previous three of course as Sharpe leaves India to begin his journey home and start his new career with the Rifles. It does take a little time to get to the real action but the story is entertaining and throughout Cornwell demonstrates that he is just as capable at naval fiction as he is at everything else!

The triumph of this book though is that when the action starts it is heart stopping stuff. Trafalgar will always be one of the most iconic of naval battles and Nelson one of this Island’s most feted heroes. These are not subjects to be trifled with but with Cornwell in charge you can feel the spray on your face, taste the blood in your mouth and smell the powder smoke in the air. The tactics deployed in the battle required every man to do more than his duty, it was a terrifyingly novel approach to fleet warfare and all of it gets its full due. This has to be one of the finest battles in modern literature and Sharpe is inserted into the overall picture deftly.

Of course this is Sharpe so he’s never content with having just say the French and Spanish to fight, he makes other enemies closer to home and yes of course there is a lady for him to pursue.

Rupert Farley brings it all to life for us with his usual excellence and by the end of the book I was happy to have experienced another masterpiece from George Cornwell. My biggest issue with this series is to resist buying all of it and running away to a dark room somewhere until it is finished!

9 people found this helpful

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  • t
  • 09-08-20

Classic Cornwall but a bit hard work at times

As ever, the author is a master of bringing military history to life. However Sharpe was a bit of a fish out of water, so to speak, on a ship, and at times this felt a little forced as part of the sharpe series. Not always interesting, a lot of atmospheric stuff that didn’t really move the story on. And i didn’t find it a plausible plot line, even allowing for Sharpes uncanny good fortune. Worth a listen, a good story, but a bit hard going at times. LOTS of shouting!

1 person found this helpful

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  • J
  • 05-07-19

Classic Sharpe, poor naval pronunciation

Another great Sharpe story.
A classic Sharpe, unusual for being set at sea. Nonetheless very good and Bernard Cornwell research is also almost spot on.
The performance is also great as usual by Rupert Farley, excellent accents, especially his Sharpe, it’s Sean Bean to perfection. Others are great (apart from his Welsh..); love that all Scots sounds like Sean Connery!
A slight shame that made it miss 5 stars is his poor pronunciation of naval names and terms. The names of the ships involved at Trafalgar was appalling. Greek names were pronounced as if French, French as if English and commonly Anglicised words in their original Romance language. And he repeatedly pronounced sail and spar terms in long form, which they never are, much as Worcester Or Leicester are not fully sounded out.
Otherwise great.

1 person found this helpful

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A truly gripping account of Trafalgar!

In its early stages the book is quite slow-moving, though still enjoyable. But it's worth the wait for the action-packed, indeed truly gripping, account of the Battle of Trafalgar itself, if I may say one of Bernard Cornwell's very best battle accounts.....which is saying something for such a master of the genre!

The narrator is a very skilled portrayer of character accents, though he tends to overdo the thick Yorkshire accent of Sharpe himself, bearing in mind that according to the narrative Sharpe was born and brought up in London, though he spent a few years in Yorkshire in his late teens. But according to this portrayal his accent is as colloquial Yorkshire as you'll hear anywhere!

But I do have to comment on one other area highly vexatious aspect of the narration: his ridiculous pronunciation of certain names that feature in the book. The most irritating is his constant reference to the ship Calliope (Ka-ly-o-pi) as the 'Call-i-ope'. Others include his reference to a character with the first name Malachi (Mal-a-ky) as 'Mal-archie'; someone called Mathilde (Ma-til-da) as 'Ma-tild'; and the Battle of Assaye (A-say-yi) as 'A-say'. This is not the first time that I've noticed this tendency for mispronunciation by this same narrator (who in all other respects is excellent!)... In previous books he refers to the Battle of Seringapatam (Sa-ringa-pa-tam) as 'Serin-gapatam'. A little background research would not have gone amiss!



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Love the book, shame about the pronunciation

I love Sharpe books and have read them all in hard copy. I was quite happy with this until there were a couple of glaring pronunciation errors. The ship which the characters return to England is called Calliope (a Greek muse and pronounced Ka-ly-o-pi) but read as Call-I-ope. Secondly, and possibly worse is Sir William Halls secretary whose first name is Malachi (Mal-a -ky). I say this is worse because for the first several chapters the reader called him Mal-Archie then suddenly for no apparent reason, several chapters further on, he starts pronouncing it correctly. Surely if the producers had realised their error they could have corrected it throughout the book!

2 people found this helpful

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brilliant

Another great Sharpe novel this time at on the high seas ! But still full of action, romance and treachery.

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brilliant

The story is well told. It's very distracting Time flies. Listening to a great story

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absolutely brilliant.

Best in the series yet. Worth every penny. thoroughly enjoyed my overtime in work listening

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Sharpes found his stride

In this book it seems as though Bernard Cornwell has really found his stride for the Sharpe series. Som good moments of suspense and for once a good ending for Richard Sharpe. 10/10

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Fantastic story!

Richard Sharpe heading home by ship to become a Rifleman ends up being drawn into one of the greatest Naval engagements in history. Fantastic story, read in a very engaging and dramatic way..pure brilliance!