The Gun (novel)

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The Gun
TheGun.jpg
First edition
Author C.S. Forester
Language English
Genre Historical fiction
Publisher The Bodley Head
Publication date
1933

The Gun is a novel by C.S. Forester about an imaginary series of incidents involving a single eighteen-pounder cannon during the Peninsular War (1807-1814.) The book was first published in 1933 and has as its background the brutal war of liberation of Spanish and Portuguese forces (regular and partisans) and their English allies against the occupying armies of Napoleonic France.[1]

As the story begins, the titular huge bronze cannon is abandoned by the remnants of a Spanish army retreating after their defeat in the Battle of Espinosa. The local people employ it in their rebellion against the French, but are eventually forced to hide it away beneath a pile of stone to prevent its capture. Years later, a group of guerrilleros learn of its location and conscript the locals to outfit it with carriage and train. Over time, the gun is used in battle with ever-increasing success. It falls under the control of a series of guerrilla leaders; each achieves strong leadership through his connection to the gun, and each is eventually killed in some way (captured and executed, killed in battle, killed by rival leaders), until the gun finally comes under the control of the 18-year-old Jorge, who emerges as an untrained but naturally gifted leader and tactician. The exploits of the Spanish irregulars under Jorge eventually lead to the diversion of a large body of French troops from their fight against the Peninsular allies under the Duke of Wellington and thus help win the war.

The book vividly portrays the violence of combat and the brutality displayed by both sides in the Peninsular War.

Adaptations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sternlicht, Sanford (1999). C.S. Forester and the Hornblower saga. Syracuse University Press. p. 76. ISBN 0-8156-0621-4. 
  2. ^ D'Ammassa, Don (2009). "Forester, C.S.". Encyclopedia of adventure fiction. Infobase Publishing. p. 61. ISBN 0-8160-7573-5. 

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