Sharpe's Prey

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Sharpe's Prey
Sharpes Prey.jpg
First edition cover
AuthorBernard Cornwell
Cover artistDanilo Ducek
CountryUnited Kingdom
SeriesRichard Sharpe stories
GenreHistorical novels
PublisherHarper Collins
Publication date
23 April 2001
Media typePrint (Hardcover and Paperback) and audio-CD
Pages260 pp (hardcover edition)
304 pp (paperback edition)
ISBN0-00-225875-7 (hardcover edition)
ISBN 0-00-651310-7 (paperback edition)
Preceded bySharpe's Trafalgar 
Followed bySharpe's Rifles 

Sharpe's Prey is the fifth historical novel in the Richard Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell, first published in 2001. The story is set in 1807 during the Napoleonic Wars .

Second Lieutenant Richard Sharpe is sent to Copenhagen in 1807 with the job of protecting a nobleman on a secret mission. Sharpe soon discovers that his task is complicated by traitors, spies and the bombardment of Copenhagen.

Plot summary[edit]

The year is 1807, and Richard Sharpe is back in England, where his army career is at an end. Without love, destitute, and relegated to the job of quartermaster, Sharpe is on the streets of London, trying to contemplate a new life away from the army. Then an old commanding officer quite unexpectedly invites him to undertake a secret mission to the Danish capital, Copenhagen. Denmark is officially neutral, but Napoleon is threatening an invasion in order to capture the powerful Danish fleet, which could replace the ships France lost in its defeat at Trafalgar.

The British, fearing such enhancement of French power, threaten their own preemptive invasion. Sharpe, whose errand seemed so simple, is trapped by the treachery that will end only when the city, which thought itself safe, is subjected to a brutal and merciless bombardment.

Characters in "Sharpe's Prey"[edit]

  • Richard Sharpe – Second Lieutenant and Quartermaster in the 95th Rifles, protagonist
  • Patrick Harper – Soldier in the 95th Rifles who makes a brief appearance along with Harris and Cooper.
  • General Baird – Dispatches Sharpe on his mission
  • Honourable John Lavisser – A turncoat British Guards officer.
  • Barker – A cutthroat servant.
  • Astrid Skovgaard – A Danish widow whom Sharpe has a relationship with.
  • Lord Pumphrey – a Machiavellian Foreign Office employee and spymaster.
  • Arthur Wellesley– Divisional commander.
  • Joel Chase – Captain of the Pucelle and friend of Sharpe from India
  • Captain Gordon – an aide to General Baird, who is his uncle
  • Captain Dunnett – Sharpe's superior officer in the 95th Rifles, with whom he enjoys a strained relationship.
  • Captain Murray – A company commander in the 95th Rifles

Allusion to other novels[edit]

This book is notable because it contains the first brief appearance of Patrick Harper, later to become Sharpe's close companion.

Release details[edit]

  • 2001, UK, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-225875-7, Pub date 23 April 2001, hardback (First edition)
  • 2002, UK, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-651310-7, Pub date 5 June 2002, paperback

External links[edit]