Napoleonic

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    Lieutenant-Colonel Sharpe, sidelined on the Royal staff, magnificently siezes command at the final moment of the great victory. It is 1815. Sharpe is serving on the personal staff of the Prince of Orange, who refuses to listen to Sharpe,s reports of an enormous army, led by Napoleon, marching towards them. The Battle of Waterloo commences and it seems as if Sharpe must stand by and watch the grandest scale of military folly. But at the height of battle, as victory seems impossible, Sharpe takes command and the most hard-fought and bloody battle of his career becomes his most magnificent triumph. 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.
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    The year is 1809, and the recruiting sergeants are hard at work, as the British army gathers strength for the next phase of the campaign against Bonaparte on the Spanish Peninsula. Captain Billy Pringle of the 106th Foot, however, has a somewhat more urgent reason to leave the country: having become embroiled in an ill-advised duel with a lieutenant in the 14th Light Dragoons, a posting to Spain would avoid any awkwardness for the regiment. Along with his friend Lieutenant Williams - whose sister Kitty was the cause of the duel - and the doughty veteran Sergeant Dobson, Pringle takes on the task of training Spanish troops to stand alongside their British allies. But what seems at first like easy duty soon turns into a desperate fight for survival as they find themselves besieged in the strategic fortress of Cuidad Rodrigo. For Bonaparte, taking the fortress will be the first step towards pushing the British back to the sea, and the task is entrusted to one of his most daring and successful generals, Marshal Ney. And Ney in his turn has found the perfect officer to lead the assault, a man not only desperate for advancement but also thirsting for revenge - a man whom Williams knows only too well.
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    The year is 1808, and Hamish Williams is a 'gentlemen volunteer' in the 106th regiment of foot, a man serving with the ranks but living with the officers, and uncomfortable in both worlds: looked down on by those with the money or influence to buy their rank, and distrusted by the common soldiers who know he is not one of them. But Williams is determined to prove by deeds alone that he is a man worthy of advancement, and when the 106th embarks for Portugal to begin what will become known as the Peninsula War against Napoleon, he knows his chance of glory is at hand. Soon he is receiving a sharp lesson in the realities of war, as the 106th undergoes a bloody baptism at the hands of the French - and he realises that his single-minded devotion to honour may not, after all, be the quickest route to promotion. Combining the vivid detail of a master historian with the engaging characters and pulsating action of a natural storyteller, TRUE SOLDIER GENTLEMAN is the first volume in what promises to be a classic series.
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    Richard Sharpe and the Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805. Ensign Richard Sharpe is on his way home from India. He is sailing with the Royal Navy, who are hunting a formidable French warship, the 'Revenant', carrying a secret treaty that may prove lethal to the British. The 'Revenant' makes it to the safety of the French and Spanish fleets off Cadiz, and it seems Sharpe's enemies have found safety. Yet over the horizon is another fleet, led by Nelson, and Sharpe's revenge will come in a savage climax when the two armadas meet on a calm October day off Cape Trafalgar.
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    The third novel in the series sees new challenges for the men of the 106th Foot, as the British army attempts to recover from the disaster of Corunna and establish a foothold in the Peninsula. Featuring the battles of Medellin and Talavera, the 106th will have their mettle severely tested on the battlefield. But if Napoleon is to be ejected from Spain, war must also be waged in more covert ways. For Hanley, the former artist who is a more natural observer than fighter, the opportunity to become an 'exploring officer' leads him into even more dangerous territory, the murky world of politics and partisans. And while Ensign Williams seeks to uncover the identity of the mysterious 'Heroine of Saragossa', a conspiracy of revenge within the regiment itself threatens to destroy him before he's even faced a shot from the French.
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    Richard Sharpe and the Salamanca Campaign, June and July 1812. Richard Sharpe is once again at war. But this time his enemy is just one man -- the ruthless Colonel Leroux. Sharpe's mission is to safeguard El Mirador, a spy whose network of agents is vital to British victory. Sharpe is forced into a new world of political and military intrigue. And in unfamiliar surroundings of aristocratic Spanish society, his only guide is La Marquesa -- a woman with her own secrets to conceal!
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    Set sail for the read of your life ! Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin tales are widely acknowledged to be the greatest series of historical novels ever written. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of their beginning, with Master and Commander, these evocative stories are being re-issued in paperback with smart new livery. Master and Commander is the first of Patrick O'Brian's now famous Aubrey/Maturin novels, regarded by many as the greatest series of historical novels ever written. It establishes the friendship between Captain Jack Aubrey RN and Stephen Maturin, who becomes his secretive ship's surgeon and an intelligence agent. It contains all the action and excitement which could possibly be hoped for in a historical novel, but it also displays the qualities which have put O'Brian far ahead of any of his competitors: his depiction of the detail of life aboard a Nelsonic man-of-war, of weapons, food, conversation and ambience, of the landscape and of the sea. O'Brian's portrayal of each of these is faultless and the sense of period throughout is acute. His power of characterisation is above all masterly. This brilliant historical novel marked the debut of a writer who grew into one of our greatest novelists ever, the author of what Alan Judd, writing in the Sunday Times, has described as 'the most significant extended story since Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time'.
  • AFCHJ
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    The second novel in a brilliant new Napoleonic series from acclaimed historian Adrian Goldsworthy. Second in the series begun by TRUE SOLDIER GENTLEMEN, the story takes our heroes through the winter snows as Sir John Moore is forced to retreat to Corunna. Faced with appalling weather, and pursued by an overwhelming French army led by Napoleon himself, the very survival of Britain's army is at stake.

    But while the 106th Foot fights a desperate rearguard action, for the newly promoted Hamish Williams, the retreat turns into an unexpectedly personal drama. Separated from the rest of the army in the initial chaos, he chances upon another fugitive, Jane MacAndrews, the daughter of his commanding officer, and the woman he is desperately and hopelessly in love with. As the pair battle the elements and the pursuing French, picking up a rag-tag band of fellow stragglers along the way - as well as an abandoned newborn - the strict boundaries of their social relationship are tested to the limit, with surprising results.

    But Williams soon finds he must do more than simply evade capture and deliver Jane safe and sound to her father. A specially tasked unit of French cavalry is threatening to turn the retreat into a massacre, and Williams and his little band are the only thing standing between them and their goal.
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    Richard Sharpe and the campaign in northern Portugal, spring 1809. A small British army is stranded when the French invade northern Portugal. Sharpe is cut off and his attempts to fight his way back to the British lines fail until he is joined by the future Duke of Wellington. They immediately mount a counter-attack and Sharpe, having been the hunted, becomes the hunter once more. Amidst the wreckage of a defeated army, in the storm lashed hills of the Portuguese frontier, Sharpe takes his revenge.
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    Richard Sharpe, asked to help an old friend, meets, at last, the greatest enemy. Five years after the Battle of Waterloo, Sharpe,s peaceful retirement in Normandy is shattered. An old friend, Don Blas Vivar, is missing in Chile, reported dead at rebel hands - a report his wife refuses to believe. She appeals to Sharpe to find out the truth. Sharpe, along with Patrick Harper, find themselves bound for Chile via St. Helena, where they have a fateful meeting with the fallen Emperor Napoleon. Convinced that they are on their way to collect a corpse, neither man can imagine that dangers that await them in Chile...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.
  • AADGA 11 years +
    11 years +
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    Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and becomes determined not only to escape but to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. A huge popular success when it was first serialized in the 1840s, Dumas was inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment when writing his epic tale of suffering and retribution.
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    Richard Sharpe and the French Invasion of Galicia, January 1809. Britains's forces are retreating towards Corunna during a bitter winter, with Napoleon's victorious armies in pursuit. Lieutenant Richard Sharpe and a detachment of Riflemen are cut off from the rest of the army and surrounded. Their only hope of escape is to accept the help of the Spanish, but this assistance comes at a price: to join the assault on the holy city of Santiago de Compostela, held by a strong French force. There is little Sharpe would enjoy more.
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    Richard Sharpe triumphs in the last battle of the war, only to find himself in worse peril when charged to recover Napoleon,s treasure. It is 1814. There are rumours that Napoleon is dead, or has run away, but Sharpe has one last battle to fight before he can lay down his sword. It is the battle for Toulouse. Little does he know it will be one of the bloodiest conflicts of the war. But Sharpe,s war is not only the battle. Accused of stealing Napoleon,s treasure, Sharpe must discover the unknown enemy who has tried to frame him - and his revenge is ingenious and devastating. 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.
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    Commander Thomas Kydd is eager to play his part in thwarting Bonaparte's plans for the invasion of England. Joining Admiral Nelson's command, Kydd and his ship soon find themselves at the heart of the action that leads up to the greatest sea battle in history: Trafalgar. Kydd's journey takes him from false sightings of the enemy and dramatic chases across the Atlantic, to the bloody annihilation of the enemy during the actual battle, and the heroic aftermath.
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    Richard Sharpe returns to England to save the regiment. Major Sharpe,s men are in mortal danger - not from the French, but from the bureaucrats of Whitehall. Unless reinforcements can be brought from England, the regiment will be disbanded. Determined not to see his regiment die, Sharpe returns to England and uncovers a nest of high-ranking traitors, any of whom could utterly destroy his career with a word. Sharpe is forced into the most desperate gamble of his life - and not even the influence of the Prince Regent may be enough to save him. 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.
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    Richard Sharpe and the Talavera Campaign, July 1809. In Portugal, Richard Sharpe is ordered to accompany a newly arrived, inexperienced regiment. But Sharpe, a veteran, quickly clashes with the incompetent colonel after they start to lose men. Sharpe's promotion to captain aggrevates the colonel further, and so earns him a dangerous enemy. As Sharpe leads his men in to battle at Talavera, he knows he must fight for the honour of the regiment and his future career.
  • AABAM
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    Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin tales are widely acknowledged to be the greatest series of historical novels ever written. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of their beginning, with Master and Commander, these evocative stories are being re-issued in paperback with smart new livery. This is the third book in the series. H.M.S. Surprise follows the variable fortunes of Captain Jack Aubrey's career in Nelson's navy as he attempts to hold his ground against admirals, colleagues and the enemy, accepting a mission to convey a British ambassador to the East Indies. The voyage takes him and his friend Stephen Maturin to the strange sights and smells of the Indian sub-continent, and through the archipelago of spice islands where the French have a near-overwhelming superiority. Rarely has a novel managed to convey more vividly the fragility of a sailing ship in a wild sea. Rarely has a historical novelist combined action and lyricism of style in the way that O' Brian does. His superb sense of place, brilliant characterisation, and a vigour and joy of writing lift O'Brian above any but the most exalted of comparisons.
  • AKHLM
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    Colours Aloft!, the sixteenth Richard Bolitho novel, bears all the hallmarks of its best-selling predecessors. September 1803 Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Bolitho finds himself the new master of the Argonaute, a French flagship taken in battle. With the Peace of Armiens in ruins, he must leave the safety of Falmouth. What lies ahead is the grim reality of war at close quarters - where Bolitho who will be called upon to anticipate the overall intention of the French fleet. But the battle has also become a personal vendetta between himself and the French admiral who formerly sailed the Argonaute. Bolitho and his men are driven to a final rendezvous where no quarter is asked or given.
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    Another exciting Bolitho adventure! This fourteenth Bolitho novel has the epic scenes of action, the powerful characterization and the authentic period detail that have made Alexander Kent a bestseller wherever sea stories are read. After eight years of war between Britain and France there is at last a rumour of peace. But the old enemies are well aware that any settlement will be only a breathing space in which to recover from their terrible losses. To obtain the best terms the French muster a show of strength from Biscay to the Channel ports. At the British Admiralty there are some who see a daring opportunity to even the score at any negotiation table -- and who better to undertake it than the young Rear Admiral Bolitho! In June 1801 Bolitho's small squadron is still repairing the scars of battle earned at Copenhagen - and as he receives his orders from London Bolitho is, for the first time in his life, torn between the demands of duty and his real desire to marry. When the squadron sails it is joined by an additional ship, a frigate with many memories from the past. But where Bolitho's flag leads so his captains must follow, if necessary to the brink of disaster -- for theirs is a tradition of victory.
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    Henri had a passion for Napoleon and Napoleon had a passion for chicken. From Boulogne to Moscow Henri butchered for his Emperor and never killed a single man. Meanwhile, in Venice, the city of chance and disguises, Villanelle was born with the webbed feet of her boatman father - but in the casinos she gambled her heart and lost. As the soldier-chef's love for Napoleon turns to hate he finds the Venetian beauty, and together they flee to the canals of darkness.
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    Richard Sharpe and the Battle of Barrosa, March 1811. In the winter of 1811, the war seems lost. Spain has fallen to the French, except for Cadiz, now the Spanish capital and itself under siege. Inside the city walls an intricate diplomatic dance is taking place and Richard Sharpe faces more than one enemy. The small British force is trapped by a French army, and their only hope lies with the outnumbered redcoats outside refusing to admit defeat. There, in the sweltering horror of Barrosa, Sharpe will meet his old enemy Colonel Vandal once again.
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    The Young Hornblower - a truly formidable force in His Majesty's Service. The seventeen-year-old Hornblower became notorious as soon as he stepped on board ship - as the midshipman who was seasick in Spithead. But he was soon to gain his sea legs. Amid battle, action and adventure he proves himself time and time again - courageous in danger, resourceful in moments of difficulty and decisive in times of trouble. The reader stands right beside him as he prepares to fight his first duel, feels the heat as he battles to control a blazing ship and shares his horror as he experiences for the first time the panic of the Plague. This omnibus edition contains: "Mr Midshipman Hornblower", "Lieutenant Hornblower", and "Hornblower and the Hotspur".
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    Major Sharpe finds himself a fugitive, hunted by enemy and ally alike. Major Richard Sharpe awaits the opening shots of the army,s campaign with grim expectancy. For victory depends on the increasingly fragile alliance between Britain and Spain - an alliance that must be maintained at any cost. Pierre Ducos, the wily French intelligence officer, sees a chance both to destroy the alliance and to achieve a personal revenge on Richard Sharpe. And when the lovely spy, La Marquesa, takes a hand in the game, Sharpe finds himself enmeshed in a web of political intrigue for which his military expertise has left him fatally unprepared. 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.
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    It is February 1818, and Adam Bolitho longs for marriage and a safe personal harbour. But with so much of Britain's fleet redundant, he knows he is fortunate to be offered H.M.S. Onward, a new 38-gun frigate whose first mission is not war but diplomacy, as consort to the French frigate Nautilus. Under the burning sun of North Africa, Bolitho is keenly aware of the envy and ambition among his officers, the troubled, restless spirits of his midshipmen, and the old enemy's proximity. It is only when Nautilus becomes a sacrificial offering on the altar of empire that every man discovers the brotherhood of the sea is more powerful than the bitter memories of an ocean of blood and decades of war.