Sharpe's Havoc
Richard Sharpe and the campaign in northern Portugal, spring 1809
Author Bernard Cornwell
Publisher HarperCollins
Cover The Battle of Fuentes d'Onoro, 1811
Written 2002
Published 2003
ISBN ISBN 0007120125 (paperback edition)
ISBN 0007120109 (hardback edition)
Preceded by Sharpe's Eagle
Followed by Sharpe's Gold

Richard Sharpe and the campaign in northern Portugal, Spring 1809

It is the spring of  1809 and a small British army is stationed in Lisbon when Marshal Soult  begins the French invasion of northern Portugal. No one knows whether the British will fight or leave, but there is little choice for Lieutenant Richard Sharpe and his squad of riflemen who are sent into the beleaguered city of Oporto to rescue a British mother and daughter who have chosen to stay rather than flee southwards. But what seems like a straightforward mission becomes tangled in betrayal when Kate Savage disappears.

Sharpe, with Sergeant Patrick Harper and a score of riflemen, is cut off in the city when the bridge over the river Douro is broken. They join forces with a group of fugitive Portuguese soldiers and try to fight their way back to the British lines, but their orders are overridden by an  English officer with his own agenda. Colonel Christopher excels in high diplomacy and low cunning, and his activities lead Sharpe and his riflemen into danger.

While the French are consolidating their hold on the north of the country, Sir Arthur Wellesley arrives to take command in the south. He immediately mounts his own counter-attack in a brilliant campaign that will rout the French. Sharpe becomes the hunter instead of the hunted and seizes the chance to rescue the missing Kate Savage and pursue the man who thought to sacrifice Sharpe and his riflemen for his own ambition. Amidst the wreckage of a defeated army, in the storm lashed hills of the Portuguese frontier, Sharpe takes a terrible revenge.


Spoiler Warning: Plot or ending details follow!



  • Oporto

Other Details[]

  • The book's dedication reads "Sharpe's Havoc is for William T. Oughtred who knows why"

Book Details[]