Sharpe’s Tiger

Richard Sharpe and the Siege of Seringapatam, 1799

Bernard Cornwell

Illustrated by Douglas Smith

Introduced by the author

Bernard Cornwell’s celebrated hero Richard Sharpe leaps into the fray with Sharpe’s Tiger. Artist Douglas Smith has provided the stirring illustrations for the first in this new Folio series.


Sharpe’ Tiger

With men like Sharpe, Lawford thought, how could they lose?

Bernard Cornwell’s enormously popular Sharpe series follows the career of one soldier across the Napoleonic Wars as he rises through the ranks to become a highly skilled leader of men. When the acclaimed TV series starring Sean Bean gave readers an even greater appetite for Sharpe’s stories, Cornwell took him back to the conflicts in India at the very start of the 1800s – the result is an irresistible peek at the origins of a legend. It is here that Sharpe first shows his ingenuity and bravery, and it is also where he begins his long and bloody enmity with the odious Sergeant Hakeswill …

In an exclusive new introduction for the Folio edition Bernard Cornwell explores his passion for the period and reveals the surprising story behind the creation of historical fiction’s favourite rogue. This lavish edition features a colour frontispiece and three black and white illustrations by award-winning scratchboard artist Douglas Smith, as well as newly redrawn maps.

Production Details

Bound in blocked cloth

Set in Janson with Gainsborough Serif as display

392 pages

Colour frontispiece plus 3 integrated black & white scratchboard illustrations

2 maps redrawn by Kevin Freeborn

Blocked slipcase

9˝ x 5¾˝

Meticulous accuracy and stirring action

‘The best battle scenes of any writer I’ve ever read, past or present. Cornwell really makes history come alive.’

  1. George R. R. Martin 

Douglas Smith’s lively scratchboard images have been crafted with advice from both the author and the National Army Museum and, like the novels, they are full of action and suspense – droplets of blood are flung into the air as Sharpe is flogged, and the eponymous tiger is given a terrifying solidity as it hangs mid-pounce.

Following in the footsteps of Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey before him, Richard Sharpe is one of the world’s best-loved historical fiction heroes. Cornwell’s meticulous research and powerful storytelling put the reader in the centre of a fascinating period of history, standing shoulder to shoulder with the 33rd regiment or holding their breath in the Tippoo’s dungeon. Sharpe is an illiterate ex-thief at the beginning of Sharpe’s Tiger, however he soon shows himself to be the best of soldiers – tough, capable and able to think on his feet. As Cornwell says in his exclusive introduction for this edition: ‘He’s a rogue, but he’s our rogue’.

Into the tiger’s den

India, 1799. The great beast that is the British army makes its way steadily to the city of Seringapatam, hungry to throw down the Tippoo of Mysore. For Richard Sharpe, a private in the 33rd regiment, it’s a dangerous time – the odious and crafty Sergeant Hakeswill despises him and looks for any opportunity to see the upstart private flogged to death. But Sharpe soon has bigger problems … Recruited for an undercover mission, he must rescue a British officer from within Seringapatam itself, all under the very nose of the Tippoo Sultan and his man-eating tigers. A plot is forming behind the city walls, one that could deal a devastating blow to the British Army. Can Sharpe put a stop to it in time, or will Hakeswill see him fed to the Sultan’s pets?

About Bernard Cornwell

Bernard Cornwell, OBE, is a British author of historical novels. He studied at London University before joining the BBC, where he became the head of current affairs television in Northern Ireland. In 1979 he moved to the United States and pursued a writing career. Cornwell is best known for his ’Sharpe’ series (1981–2007), which traces the career of Richard Sharpe in the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars – a series directly inspired by C. S. Forester’s ’Hornblower’ novels. His other fiction titles include The Starbuck Chronicles (1993–6), The Warlord Chronicles (1995–7), The Grail Quest Series (2000–12), The Last Kingdom books (2004– ), Azincourt (2008) and Fools and Mortals (2017).

About Douglas Smith

Douglas Smith was born in New York City and attended the Rhode Island School of Design, earning his BFA in Illustration in 1974, having also studied sculpture, painting and printmaking. Smith moved to Boston shortly after graduation to build his freelance career. In 1992, Smith participated in the United Nations Environmental Programme’s exhibition ‘The Illustrator and the Environment’. He has drawn numerous projects for Greenpeace, including an anti-whaling children’s book and an internationally famous t-shirt design opposing the annual ‘harvest’ of harp seal pups. His honours include a Silver Award from the Society for News Design, an Award of Merit from the Society of Publication Designers, Gold and Merit awards from the Art Directors Club, and an Achievement Award from the Society for Technical Communication. He is also a frequent exhibitor at the Society of Illustrators in New York. He now lives and works on Peaks Island, Maine.


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