Folio’s illustrated Sharpe series continues with Sharpe’s Triumph. Douglas Smith provides rousing scratchboard images for the first illustrated editions of Bernard Cornwell’s enormously popular historical adventures.
Sharpe's Triumph is published in series with Sharpe's Tiger.
Sharpe is a rogue, and a dangerous one, but he is a rogue on our side
Historical fiction’s favourite soldier returns in the second of Sharpe’s early adventures in India. Bernard Cornwell brings all his considerable descriptive skill to bear on the infamous Battle of Assaye, described by General Arthur Wellesley himself as the battle of which he was most proud. This first ever illustrated edition of Sharpe’s Triumph, produced in series with Sharpe’s Tiger, features a map of India at the time and a battle plan of the fateful conflict, as well as action-packed illustrations by series artist Douglas Smith. The binding design, resplendent in black and gold foils, features one of the enemies’ spectacular war elephants, while the historical note by Cornwell discusses how Sharpe’s Triumph contains a ‘crucial moment’ in Richard Sharpe’s lively career. This special series has been published chronologically from Sharpe’s perspective, allowing us to follow his progress as a soldier, rather than in the order in which the books were originally released.
‘The best battle scenes of any writer I’ve ever read, past or present. Cornwell really makes history come alive’
George R. R. Martin
Bound in blocked cloth
Set in Janson with Gainsborough Serif as display
Colour frontispiece plus 3 integrated black & white scratchboard illustrations, plus a map and a battle plan
9˝ x 5¾˝
‘Sharpe and his creator are national treasures’
India, 1803. The British army tracks the vast Mahratta horde, hoping to force them to battle. Sergeant Richard Sharpe is on a routine mission to collect ammunition from a friendly fort when he and his men are abruptly thrown into chaos. Turncoat and murderer William Dodd, looking to prove himself to his new Indian masters, massacres every last British soldier at Chasalgaon – all save for one. Gravely injured and forced to play dead, Sharpe survives and, swearing he will have his vengeance, commits himself to tracking Dodd across the ravaged landscape. But the journey inevitably leads him towards a fateful showdown, as General Wellesley prepares to command his first field battle, a daring and desperate conflict that will leave a bloody mark on the pages of history itself and change Sharpe’s destiny forever.
Whether writing about Waterloo, Assaye or any of the less celebrated battles that form the backbone of Sharpe’s adventures, Cornwell is rightly celebrated for his historical accuracy and his ability to capture the frenetic chaos of war and bloodshed. Douglas Smith, who provided the stirring illustrations for Sharpe’s Tiger, has once again created a series of images that are as filled with heart-stopping action and eagle-eyed details as the books themselves. The colour frontispiece and black-and-white scratchboard illustrations capture Sharpe in the midst of the conflict, blood flying from his sabre as he fights for his life. George R. R. Martin said of Cornwell that he writes ‘the best battle scenes of any writer I’ve ever read’, and Smith more than does these action-packed books justice.
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 ongoing ’Sharpe’ series, 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). The latest Sharpe book, Sharpe’s Assassin, will be published in 2021.
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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