Bernard Cornwell, Sharpe series

Does anyone know the order these books are supposed to be read in? I just picked up Sharpe’s Rifles and it seems to have some back story already that I’ve missed. In addition, there are a bunch of these books at the library…but it doesn’t give any order to read them in.

Any help appreciated.


Sharpe’s Companion lists them both in chronological order by narrative, and by publication date. They were not written in narrative order.

The official site.

Thats the same site I was looking at. It was confusing because the dates he wrote the books didn’t seem to match up (I didn’t realize he didn’t write them in chronological order).

Anyone have any thoughts on the series? Like I said, I’ve only read Sharpe’s Rifles and it seemed pretty good.


It’s a pretty good series. I got into them after watch the BBC series. Sean Bean is Sharpe, to me. If you read more than four of them or so, get Sharpe’s Companion. It fills in all sorts of detail about Sharpe’s early life, and details first encounters that are taken for granted in the novels.

I just finished reading all of the Sharpe books, and I loved them. The TV series is great too.

I like to read books in the order the author published them. Cornwell started with Sharpe’s Eagle, then wrote a few more, then went back and wrote Rifles. *Rifles *is a fine place to start, though.

I think the original 11 are the best. I also liked the prequel trilogy set in India, even though he revised Sharpe’s history a bit which I thought was unnecessary and annoying.

So my suggestion would be to read these original 11 first, then go back and fill in with the others.


Great…I appreciate the list for the order. Definitely going to read through the rest. Really enjoyed rifles.


Me too! Which makes it distracting when Cornwell keeps describing Sharpe as having black hair.