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Sharpe's Triumph is the 1998 historical novel by Bernard Cornwell. It is a fast paced continuation of the Richard Sharpe story in his early, pre-officer days in Indiamarker. Sharpe is an individual born into the very lowest level of English society with no money, education or connection. However he has an excess of anger and ambition and the fighting skills of a warrior, which he uses fully to advance himself.

Plot summary

The tale begins with Sharpe witnessing a massacre of British troops in a fortress by Dodd, for which he blames himself. After being hired by McCandless, Sharpe travels to Wellesley's army, where he witnesses its siege of the city of Ahmednuggur, whose garrison is commanded by Dodd. Throughout these events, Sharpe is unknowingly pursued by Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill, who has framed him for attacking a British officer and been given the authority to arrest him. During the battle at Ahmednuggurmarker, Sharpe and McCandless attempt to find and capture Dodd, who manages to escape. During the search, Sharpe rescues the wife of a French officer in Dodd's service, named Simone Joubert. McCandless decides to use Joubert for a prisoner exchange, and a chance to view Scindia's army, commanded by Anthony Pohlmann. While in the enemy camp, McCandless' horse is stolen, and he is wounded attempting to save it. He and Sharpe later leave and attempt to inform Wellesley of the enemy army's decision to march to Borkardan. Pohlmann, however, decides to lay a trap for the British army at Assaye.

After returning to Wellesley's army, Hakeswill confronts Sharpe and McCandless, who prevents Sharpe from being arrested. Obadiah then begins planning his next move. As the British army marches toward Borkardan, Wellesley discovers the trap Pohlmann has laid for him, and decides to attack his army head on, despite being vastly outnumbered. In the early stages of the fight, Wellesley's aide is killed, and Sharpe takes his place. Dodd is also present at the battle, commanding his regiment, the Cobras. The battle is hard fought, but Wellesley's troops carry the day. At the climax of the fight, Wellesley is unhorsed and surrounded by enemies whom Sharpe fights off alone, thus saving the general's life.

Pohlmann's army retreats into Assaye itself, and McCandless orders Sharpe to follow him into the city to once again attempt to capture Dodd. Dodd however, makes his escape along with much of Pohlmann's gold. While in the city, McCandless encounters Obadiah, who kills him.

Following the battle, Sharpe speaks to Wellesley, who promotes him to the rank of Ensign. Obadiah is now unable to arrest Sharpe because of his rank. Sharpe then throws Obadiah out a window and leaves him under the foot of one of Pohlmann's elephants. The British army then marches off to pursue Scindia's retreating army, the events of which are detailed in the next book, Sharpe's Fortress.

Characters in "Sharpe's Triumph "

  • Richard Sharpe – British Army Sergeant, protagonist
  • Sir Arthur Wellesley – commander of British and Allied Forces in South Central India
  • Obadiah Hakeswill – British Army Sergeant
  • Simone Joubert – wife to the Frenchman Joubert
  • McCandless – Company Army Colonel who seeks Dodd
  • Anthony Pohlmann – Scindia Colonel Army Commander
  • William Dodd – the traitorous Major
  • Scindia – Indian rajah whom Dodd serves


Release details

  • 1998, UK, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-225630-4, Pub date 26 February 1998, hardback (First edition)
  • 1998, UK, HarperCollins ISBN 0-105482-105481-1, Pub date 1 June 1998, Audio book cassette
  • 1999, UK, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-651030-2, Pub date 5 July 1999, paperback
  • 2000, USA, HarperCollins ISBN 0-06-095197-4, Pub date ? August 2000, paperback
  • 2001, UK, Chivers Audio Books ISBN 0-7540-5474-8, Pub date ? December 2001, Audio book CD
  • 2005, USA, HarperTorch ISBN 0-06-074804-4, Pub date ? June 2005, paperback
  • 2006, UK, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-723506-2, Pub date 18 April 2006, paperback (recent TV tie-in)


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