Bernard Cornwell, was born 23 February 1944 in London. His father was a Canadian airman, his mother was English, a member of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. He was adopted by the Wiggins family from Essex, who belonged to a very strict sect known as the Peculiar People. When he was old enough he left them, and changed his name to his mother's maiden name, Cornwell.

Cornwell attended the University of London and after graduating, he worked as a teacher. He attempted to enlist in the British armed services for at least three times, but he was rejected because of myopia.


Cornwell worked for the BBC Nationwide and was eventually promoted to head of current affairs at BBC Northern Ireland. After marrying an American, he moved to the USA. Because he was unable to find work, he started writing novels, as this did not require a work permit.

Cornwell's work was influenced by his military interest and the novels of C.S. Forester, especially by the adventures of fictional British naval officer Horatio Hornblower, which where set during the Napoleonic Wars. Cornwell decided to write such a series himself but using the army as a backdrop. He named his chief protagonist Richard Sharpe a rifleman involved in most major battles of the Penisula wars. The first novel he wrote was Sharpe's Eagle, which was followed by Sharpe`s Gold, both published 1981.

After publishing eight books in his series, Cornwell was approached by a production company interested in adapting them for television. The producers asked him to write a prequel to give them a starting point to the series. They also requested that the story feature a role for Spanish characters to secure co-funding from Spain. The result was Sharpe`s Rifles published in 1987 and a series of Sharpe`s television films, starring Sean Bean followed. In June 2006, Cornwell was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire

The Novels in 'historical' order, (although they can all be stand alone stories)

Sharpe's Tiger: Richard Sharpe and the Siege of Seringapatam, 1799
Sharpe's Triumph: Richard Sharpe and the Battle of Assaye, September 1803
Sharpe's Fortress: Richard Sharpe and the Siege of Gawilghur, December 1803
Sharpe's Trafalgar: Richard Sharpe and the Battle of Trafalgar, October 1805
Sharpe's Prey: Richard Sharpe and the Expedition to Copenhagen, 1807
Sharpe's Rifles: Richard Sharpe and the French Invasion of Galicia, January 1809
Sharpe's Havoc: Richard Sharpe and the Campaign in Northern Portugal, Spring 1809
Sharpe's Eagle: Richard Sharpe and the Talavera Campaign, July 1809
Sharpe's Gold: Richard Sharpe and the Destruction of Almeida, August 1810
Sharpe's Escape: Richard Sharpe and the Bussaco Campaign, 1810
Sharpe's Fury: Richard Sharpe & the Battle of Barrosa, March 1811
Sharpe's Battle: Richard Sharpe and the Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro, May 1811
Sharpe's Company: The Siege of Badajoz, January to April 1812
Sharpe's Sword: Richard Sharpe and the Salamanca Campaign, June and July 1812
Sharpe's Skirmish (short story): Richard Sharpe and the defence of the Tormes, August 1812
Sharpe's Enemy: Richard Sharpe and the Defense of Portugal, Christmas 1812
Sharpe's Honour: Richard Sharpe and the Vitoria Campaign, February to June 1813
Sharpe's Regiment: Richard Sharpe and the Invasion of France, June to November 1813
Sharpe's Christmas (short story), 1813
Sharpe's Siege: Richard Sharpe and the Winter Campaign, 1814
Sharpe's Revenge: Richard Sharpe and the Peace of 1814
Sharpe's Waterloo: Richard Sharpe and the Waterloo Campaign, 15 to 18 June 1815
Sharpe's Ransom (short story, appears in Sharpe's Christmas)
Sharpe's Devil: Richard Sharpe and the Emperor, 1820-21


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