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Posts Tagged ‘Napoléon Bonaparte’

Sharpe’s Eagle” — book review
Today’s review is for “Sharpe’s Eagle” (1981©) written by Bernard Cornwell.  This book was the first in the “Sharpe” book series which became (in the 1990’s) the Sharpe television series.  I became aware of the character via this TV series while living in Liverpool and was reminded of them when they came up as a suggestion in YouTube.
Richard Sharpe is a sergeant in the British army in Spain fighting against Napoleon Bonaparte and his French army.  Sharpe saves the life of the commanding general who then gives Sharpe a field promotion to Lieutenant.  The series tracks Sharpe’s rise through the officer ranks.  This book jumps in with Sharpe as a Captain and then begins dropping bits about how he got that far.
The book revolves around two main battles.  The first where his regiment loses the “King’s colors” (the British Flag) and Sharpe personally recovers his Regimental colors.  The two flags are normally kept fairly close together on a battlefield and if you lose one, you generally lose both.  The second battle is to win a Regimental Eagle, which is the French equivalent of the British Regimental colors.  The first battle is purely fictional, while the second is dramatized history – so, basically fictionalized history.  The battle occurred, the eagle capture did not.
So, is the book any good?  Entertaining?  Interesting?  Yes.  Yes.  And, yes.  I can easily see why this book became both a book series and a TV series.  Of course, I like historical fiction, military stories (and fiction), and good old action novels (and movies).  It is not “very” realistic that Sharpe survives the battles, let alone the book or series, but setting that aside, the book is actually much better at explaining the battles than the TV series.  The TV series was significantly scaled back, but it still retained the flavor of the book.  For example, in the battle where the flag (King’s color) is lost, the book’s battle is a battalion size engagement.  In the TV show, it’s a company fight.
One other point.  The author (Cornwell) is a serious military historical expert on the Napoléonic period and the book is full of details which high-lights his expertise in period tactics, weapons, social classes, food and geography.
Final recommendation: highly recommended!!  As I said, I saw some of the various series back in the 1990’s, so I jumped in with the YouTube offering.  I then read the book and re-watched this particular episode in the TV series again.  The episode was even better after reading the book.  I will add there were “somewhat” significant differences in the two versions, but (again), perfectly understandable given the time and space a book gives you and the cost limitations a TV adaptation does not allow.  And, yes, I bought a number of books in the series, so you’ll be seeing posts on those as I get through them.
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Ability is of little account without opportunity.
  ―  Napoléon Bonaparte
[And, without a tremendous amount of luck, opportunity is of little account without ability.  This is the legacy and tragedy of the #IncompetentTrump Administration.  He is not even smart or competent enough to hire the best people and get out of their way.  Then, he could have taken all the credit – which he was intent on doing anyway.  —  KMAB]
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Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.
  ―  Napoléon Bonaparte
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Ordinarily men exercise their memory much more than their judgment.
  ―  Napoléon Bonaparte
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Men are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues.
  ―  Napoléon Bonaparte
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Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.
  ―  Napoléon Bonaparte
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In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.
   ―  Napoléon Bonaparte
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It’s the unconquerable soul of man, and not the nature of the weapon he uses, that ensures victory.
  ― Napoléon Bonaparte
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The only victories which leave no regret are those which are gained over ignorance.
  ―  Napoléon Bonaparte
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Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.
   ―  Napoléon Bonaparte
[Are there really still ANY undecideds left?  —  KMAB]
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The battlefield is a scene of constant chaos.  The winner will be the one who controls that chaos, both his own and the enemies.
   ―  Napoléon Bonaparte
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The world suffers a lot.  Not because the violence of bad people.  But because of the silence of the good people.
   ―  Napoléon Bonaparte
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Wanna Trade?

The reason most people fail instead of succeed is they trade what they want most for what they want at the moment.
   ―  Napoléon Bonaparte
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Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.  Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.
   ―  Napoléon Bonaparte
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Hi Princess,
Here’s three quotes for you:
I have been complimented many times and they always embarrass me; I always feel that they have not said enough.
   –  Mark Twain
From a speech given on 23 September 1907
[A good day!  —  KMAB]
Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.
   ―  Napoléon Bonaparte
[Be heard!  —  KMAB]
Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.
   ―  Muhammad Ali
[Make every day count…   —  KMAB]
Happy Birthday!
We love you always,
Mum and Dad

XXX
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X

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2014 Optional
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