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  • Sharpe

    I found a few episodes of what appears to be a regular TV series
    about a British officer during the Neopolonic Wars. Apparently,It was based on a series of books,anyone have any background?
    Delegate, MN GOP.

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  • #2
    Ah! The Sharpe's series. Very good shows something like 14 episodes I think. It follows a British officer ,who has been raised up from the ranks, through the campains of the Nepolionic war. Damned if I can remeber who wrote the books though. My parents own the books and every episode of the series. I will try and find out more info next time I talk to them.

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    • #3
      Bernard Cornwell wrote the Sharpe series of books. See here: http://www.bernardcornwell.net/index...e=1&SeriesId=1
      Also the 14 disk t.v. series is available on DVD in a set or individually.
      "War is God's way of teaching Americans geography."
      - Ambrose Bierce

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      • #4
        Theve got a few of them at the post library,Im working my way through them.
        Delegate, MN GOP.

        PATRIA SI, COMUNISMO NO

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        • #5
          The movies star Sean Bean as Sharpe and were low budget affairs made for British TV and filmed in the Ukraine and Turkey IIRC.

          They're not bad and as in many adaptations they differ from the books a lot. As the author himself put it the, when he had a problem with the plot he could wheel in 20,000 French troops, and you can't do that with a low budget production.

          The books actually cover Sharpe's rise from Private soldier in India at the turn of the 19th century to a L/Col at Waterloo, fighting in India, at Trafalgar, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, France, and Belgium. One book is even set in Chile after Waterloo when he comes out of retirement.

          They are excellent reads, well researched and historically accurate.
          What God abandoned, these defended,
          And saved the sum of things for pay.

          A.E. Housman
          [ 1859-1936 ]

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          • #6
            Originally posted by DANJANOU
            The movies star Sean Bean as Sharpe and were low budget affairs made for British TV and filmed in the Ukraine and Turkey IIRC.

            They're not bad and as in many adaptations they differ from the books a lot. As the author himself put it the, when he had a problem with the plot he could wheel in 20,000 French troops, and you can't do that with a low budget production.

            The books actually cover Sharpe's rise from Private soldier in India at the turn of the 19th century to a L/Col at Waterloo, fighting in India, at Trafalgar, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, France, and Belgium. One book is even set in Chile after Waterloo when he comes out of retirement.

            They are excellent reads, well researched and historically accurate.
            Apparently, the series (book) was an historical-fictional account of the glory of the British army during that period. Not meant as a criticism, only an observation. I am fond of that genre. There is a series of books by Alexander Kent, following the fictional career of one Richard Bolitho, beginning as a midshiman, I believe during the American Revolution, through to his retirement after the Napoleanic Wars. I think there were about 13 books in the series. (I think I have them all. Difficult to tell, since the series was not written in chronological order.) A great view of history during those decades, and still have that Errol Flynn, Douglas Fairbanks swashbuckling action to keep it lively.
            Retreat hell, we just got here. Every Marine, a rifleman.

            Never let the facts get in the way of the truth.

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            • #7
              What is particularly interesting about the series is that Sharpe is with the 95th Rifles. Therefore his action is often more in tune with modern tactics. Small unit action, dispersed movement, aimed fire, etc.

              I would say the underlying theme is the accomplishment of the common ranks despite the still frequently incompetent purchased commission officers. Sharpe is promoted from the ranks by Wellington for saving his life. Much of the background plot revolves around the conflicts arising between the highly competent but largely disresptected Sharpe and the often incompetent or disreputable "gentlement officers."

              The series even manages to get him aboard a ship at Trafalgar on his way home from India.



              Boston Strong!

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              • #8
                A great series that carefully weaves Sharpe's fictional stories into a factual background. A very fun way to learn the basic history of British involvement in India and the Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. This series is what made me curious about the factual Peninsula Campaign. The stories do hold up well against history, Cornwell is a fastidious researcher.

                They are also available on DVD, though some of the TV versions are altered somewhat from the books.


                http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/se...663720-7542325

                Oh well, the link isn't cooperating, but they're all still in print.
                Lance W.

                Peace through superior firepower.

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                • #9
                  Re: Sharpe

                  Originally posted by SGT Long
                  I found a few episodes of what appears to be a regular TV series
                  about a British officer during the Neopolonic Wars. Apparently,It was based on a series of books,anyone have any background?
                  I've heard of the books (even read the first one) but not the TV series...is it done well?
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                  • #10
                    Re: Re: Sharpe

                    Originally posted by Janos
                    I've heard of the books (even read the first one) but not the TV series...is it done well?
                    I have seen all of them and thought they were very well done. They did loosely follow the books, but as has been said it is difficult to reproduce all of the action on a small budget.

                    None of the actors were really well known at the time they were first made. I think this is the series that helped Sean Bean rise to fame. I remember seeing the first one in late 1992, early 1993.

                    The series went from "Sharpe's Rifles" through "Sharpe's Waterloo". The books detailing Sharpe's early life came out after the series became a hit, so I don't think we will see any movies made from these - not with Sean Bean anyway.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Re: Sharpe

                      Originally posted by Janos
                      I've heard of the books (even read the first one) but not the TV series...is it done well?
                      Janos, I think they're very well done. The uniforms and weapons (Baker rifles) are pretty accurate. It was in watching them on PBS that first interested me in the Peninsula campaign. The histoical background the stories are woven into are very accurate.
                      Lance W.

                      Peace through superior firepower.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by michammer
                        I have seen all of them and thought they were very well done. They did loosely follow the books, but as has been said it is difficult to reproduce all of the action on a small budget.

                        None of the actors were really well known at the time they were first made. I think this is the series that helped Sean Bean rise to fame. I remember seeing the first one in late 1992, early 1993.

                        The series went from "Sharpe's Rifles" through "Sharpe's Waterloo". The books detailing Sharpe's early life came out after the series became a hit, so I don't think we will see any movies made from these - not with Sean Bean anyway.
                        I've found an online dealer called The Swashbuckler that has the entire 15 DVD set of all of the Sharpe movies for $325. I hope Santa remembers me...............
                        Lance W.

                        Peace through superior firepower.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Iron Mike USMC
                          There is a series of books by Alexander Kent, following the fictional career of one Richard Bolitho, beginning as a midshiman, I believe during the American Revolution, through to his retirement after the Napoleanic Wars. I think there were about 13 books in the series. (I think I have them all. Difficult to tell, since the series was not written in chronological order.)
                          Yeah, read about 5 or 6 of them...i actually thought they were better than the cs forester 'hornblower' books, but its been a while since i read them.
                          Speaking of Hornblower, who is better as Horatio, Peck or Gruffuld(sp?)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by White Lancer
                            Yeah, read about 5 or 6 of them...i actually thought they were better than the cs forester 'hornblower' books, but its been a while since i read them.
                            Speaking of Hornblower, who is better as Horatio, Peck or Gruffuld(sp?)
                            As much as I like Peck.......he was far too old for the role.

                            I think Gruffold (sp?) is very good and has the ability to convey innocence while still being a strong leader to those that are often older than himself.
                            Lance W.

                            Peace through superior firepower.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gen_Electric
                              Bernard Cornwell wrote the Sharpe series of books. See here: http://www.bernardcornwell.net/index...e=1&SeriesId=1
                              Also the 14 disk t.v. series is available on DVD in a set or individually.
                              I am currently reading Wellington's Rifles: Six Years to Waterloo with England's Legendary Sharpshooters by Mark Urban and one of its strongest endorcers is Bernard Cornwell. The exploits of Sharpe and his men are in no way a great exaggeration of what really happened to members of the 95th Rifles on the Peninsula. This book should be required reading for all fans of the series..........
                              Lance W.

                              Peace through superior firepower.

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