First edition cover
|Series||Richard Sharpe stories|
|3 April 2000|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover and Paperback) and audio-CD|
|Pages||288 pp (hardcover edition))|
384 pp (paperback edition)
|ISBN||0-00-225874-9 (hardcover edition)|
ISBN 0-00-651309-3 (paperback edition)
|Preceded by||Sharpe's Fortress|
|Followed by||Sharpe's Prey|
Sharpe's Trafalgar is the fourth historical novel in the Richard Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell, first published in 2000. It is the first of the novels in the wars against Napoleon, putting the army ensign at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The novel is the first time that Sharpe encounters the Nock Gun, originally developed for the Navy and the later weapon of choice of Patrick Harper.
The year is 1805, and Richard Sharpe is heading from India to England aboard the cargo ship Calliope. Also on board is the lovely Lady Grace Hale, whose presence promises to provide intrigue and distraction to an otherwise uneventful voyage home.
Uneventful the voyage is not, for the Calliope is captured by a formidable French warship, the Revenant. The French warship is headed to its own fleet, carrying a stolen treaty that, if delivered, could provoke Indians into a new war against the British.
The arrival of Admiral Horatio Nelson's well-led fleet leads to a confrontation with the Spanish fleet.
Characters in "Sharpe's Trafalgar"
- Richard Sharpe – now an ensign in the British army
- Lady Grace Hale – another passenger on the ship Calliope and wife of Lord Hale
- Lord William Hale - British Diplomat
- Horatio Nelson – Admiral of the British fleet
- Joel Chase - Captain of the Pucelle and friend of Sharpe from India
- Peculiar Cromwell - Captain of the Calliope until her capture by the Revenant
Allusions to actual history, geography and current science
- The novel make numerous references to the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar.
- In his historical note, Cornwell comments that, aside from Sharpe, a fictional character, he is aware of only one person who was present at the Battles of both Trafalgar and Waterloo: Miguel de Álava, originally a Marine in the Spanish Navy at the time when Spain was allied with France, later a general and close personal friend of the Duke of Wellington, and Spanish ambassador to the Netherlands.
- In his later nonfiction work, Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles, Cornwell amends this statement by adding that at least one unit of Napoleon's Army of the North that fought at Waterloo was formed from former French marines who had served at Trafalgar.
- General Antoine Drouot is also supposed to have been at both events.
- 2000, UK, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-225874-9, Pub date 3 April 2000, hardcover (First edition)
- 2000, UK, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-651309-3, Pub date 6 November 2000, paperback
- 2000, UK, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-105645-X, Pub date 3 April 2000, Audio book cassette
- 2000, UK, Chivers Audio Books ISBN 0-7540-5400-4, Pub date ? December 2000, Audio book CD