|Series||Richard Sharpe stories|
|26 February 1998|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover and Paperback) and audio-CD|
|Pages||400 pp (hardcover edition))
384 pp (paperback edition)
|ISBN||ISBN 0-00-225630-4 (hardcover edition)
ISBN 0-00-651030-2 (paperback edition)
|Preceded by||Sharpe's Tiger|
|Followed by||Sharpe's Fortress|
Sharpe's Triumph is the second historical novel in the Richard Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell, first published in 1998. Sharpe is a private in the army, who attracts the attention of General Arthur Wellesley at Ahmednuggur.
The tale begins with Sharpe witnessing a massacre of British troops in a fort by the traitor Major Dodd, for which he blames himself. After being hired by Colonel McCandless, whom Sharpe had befriended a couple of years earlier (Sharpe's Tiger), Sharpe travels to Wellesley's army, where he witnesses its siege of the city of Ahmednuggur, whose garrison is commanded by Dodd. Throughout these events, Sharpe is unknowingly pursued by Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill, who was not killed by the Tipu's tigers. Hakesweill has framed Sharpe for an attack on Captain Morris, Sharpe's commanding officer, and been given the authority to arrest him. During the battle at Ahmednuggur, Sharpe and McCandless attempt to find and capture Dodd, who manages to escape. During the search, Sharpe rescues the wife of a French officer in Dodd's service, named Simone Joubert. McCandless decides to use Joubert for a prisoner exchange, and a chance to view Scindia's army, commanded by Anthony Pohlmann. While in the enemy camp, McCandless' horse is stolen, and he is wounded attempting to save it. He and Sharpe later leave and attempt to inform Wellesley of the enemy army's decision to march to Borkardan. Pohlmann, however, decides to lay a trap for the British army at Assaye.
After returning to Wellesley's army, Hakeswill confronts Sharpe and McCandless, who prevents Sharpe from being arrested. Obadiah then begins planning his next move. As the British army marches toward Borkardan, Wellesley discovers the trap Pohlmann has laid for him, and decides to attack his army head on, despite being vastly outnumbered. In the early stages of the fight, Wellesley's aide is killed, and Sharpe takes his place. Dodd is also present at the battle, commanding his regiment, the Cobras. The battle is hard fought, but Wellesley's troops carry the day. At the climax of the fight, Wellesley is unhorsed and surrounded by enemies whom Sharpe fights off alone, thus saving the general's life.
Pohlmann's army retreats into Assaye itself, and McCandless orders Sharpe to follow him into the city to once again attempt to capture Dodd. Dodd however, makes his escape along with much of Pohlmann's gold. While in the city, McCandless encounters Obadiah, who kills him.
Following the battle, Sharpe speaks to Wellesley, who promotes him to the rank of Ensign. Obadiah is now unable to arrest Sharpe because of his rank. Sharpe then throws Obadiah out a window and leaves him under the foot of one of Pohlmann's elephants. The British army then marches off to pursue Scindia's retreating army.
Characters in "Sharpe's Triumph "
- Richard Sharpe – British Army Sergeant, protagonist
- Major General Arthur Wellesley – commander of British and Indian Allied Forces in South Central India
- Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill – Sharpe's enemy in the British Army
- Simone Joubert – wife to the Frenchman Joubert
- Colonel Hector McCandless – Scottish intelligence officer for the British East India Company
- Colonel Anthony Pohlmann – the defected Hanoverian sergeant who became Scindia's army commander
- Major William Dodd – the traitorous British East India Company lieutenant now serving Scindia, he commands a specialize Sepoy company known as Dodd's Cobras
- Daulat Scindia – the Indian raja of Gwalior, a state within the Maratha Confederacy
- Raghji Bhonsle – the raja of Berar, an ally of Scindia
- Captain Morris – the commanding officer of the 33rd Light Company
- 1998, UK, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-225630-4, Pub date 26 February 1998, hardback (First edition)
- 1998, UK, HarperCollins ISBN 01054821054811, Pub date 1 June 1998, Audio book cassette
- 1999, UK, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-651030-2, Pub date 5 July 1999, paperback
- 2000, USA, HarperCollins ISBN 0-06-095197-4, Pub date ? August 2000, paperback
- 2001, UK, Chivers Audio Books ISBN 0-7540-5474-8, Pub date ? December 2001, Audio book CD
- 2005, USA, HarperTorch ISBN 0-06-074804-4, Pub date ? June 2005, paperback
- 2006, UK, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-723506-2, Pub date 18 April 2006, paperback (recent TV tie-in)