Monday, 29 July 2013

August 2013 Focus Author - Bernard Cornwell

Before I get into my August focus author, just one word on the latest book I bought. It was recommended by one of my compatriots in one of my goodreads book clubs so I was pleasantly surprised to find it in my local book store. As the cover photo states, it's called Wool and is written by Hugh Howey. When it was mentioned in my book group, it sounded interesting and now that I've read the cover write up, my opinion hasn't change.  A very simple teaser, "What would you do if the world outside is deadly, and the air you breathed could kill? And you lived in a place where every birth required a death, and the choices you made could save lives - or destroy them. This is Jules's story. This is the world of Wool." The story is made up of five individual sub-stories. I'm definitely looking forward to reading it.

Now onto my Focus Author.

Bernard Cornwell

Bernard Cornwell, born in 1944, is an English author of historical adventures. The series I've been interested in is the Sharpe series, but he's also written the Warlord series, the Saxon stories and the Grail Quest novels.

I began following Sharpe on the British TV series starring Clive Owens as Richard Sharpe, an English soldier who fought during the Napoleonic wars. Over the past three or four years, I've been acquiring and reading the series and enjoying very much. I've managed to read the first six books in the series thus far, travelling from India, to Portugal and even to Denmark. Sharpe is a true adventurer, also quite a lady's man. In chronological order, the books feature various famous battles of the period;

1. Sharpe's Tiger - the Siege of Seringapatam;
2. Sharpe's Triumph - the Battle of Assaye;
3. Sharpe's Fortress - the Siege of Gawilghur;
4. Sharpe's Trafalgar - the Battle of Trafalgar;
5. Sharpe's Prey - the Siege of Copenhagen;
6. Sharpe's Rifles - the French invasion of Galicia;
7. Sharpe's Havoc - the Campaign in Northern Portugal (not yet read);
8. Sharpe's Eagle - the Talevera Campaign.

These first eight stories cover the period between 1799 and 1809. At the moment, the Sharpe books number 24 and end in 1820- 21.

In August, I hope to read three or four more of the series, starting with Sharpe's Havoc, which I missed previously. Of those I presently own, the others, trying to fit into the chronological order as much as possible will include:

Sharpe's Gold - the destruction of Almeida, August 1810;
Sharpe's Escape - the battle of Bussaco, September 1810; and
Sharpe's Fury - the battle of Barrosa, Winter 1811.

Of course, I have a few others in my book shelf just in case I finish all of these early enough.. 3 more days and then I start.. :0)

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