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review 2018-04-20 00:53
Sharpe's Trafalgar by Bernard Cornwell
Sharpe's Trafalgar - Bernard Cornwell

Series: Sharpe #4 (Chronological Order)

 

This book started off quite strong, and I was initially enjoying Sharpe at sea (not his usual environment), but I felt things went downhill somewhat when we left the Calliope with its amusing merchant. I also didn't find the sea battle at Trafalgar to be as interesting as the battles in the previous books. Oh well. Let's hope I like the next one better!

 

Previous updates:

36 %

31 %

28 %

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text 2018-04-18 17:27
Will the real Thomas Jefferson please stand up?
Burr - Gore Vidal
America's First Daughter: A Novel - Stephanie Dray,Laura Croghan Kamoie

Jefferson according to Burr. Jefferson according to his daughter. These are fun to read at the same time!

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text 2018-04-17 18:06
Reading progress update: I've read 36%.
Sharpe's Trafalgar - Bernard Cornwell

Farley (the merchant), addressing his wife:

'You ate worse than this when we were first married, mother.'

'I cooked for you when we were first married!' she answered indignantly.

'You think I've forgotten?' Fairley asked, then spooned another mouthful of burgoo.

Yeah, it's a bit of a cheap shot, but I still think it's funny.

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text 2018-04-17 17:36
Reading progress update: I've read 31%.
Sharpe's Trafalgar - Bernard Cornwell

Still estimating based on ereader page count...

'I'm not happy that we lost the convoy, Sharpe. I don't approve, but on board ship it's Peculiar's word that counts, not mine. You don't buy a dog and bark yourself.'

Those are the words of the merchant, Fairley, and I have to say I quite like him. The captain's name is Peculiar Cromwell, by the way.

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text 2018-04-17 13:10
Reading progress update: I've read 28%.
Sharpe's Trafalgar - Bernard Cornwell

The disadvantage of reading an ebook version of this is that I can't just look at the cover or the spine to discover what year this takes place (my history isn't great when it comes to the details of the Napoleonic wars).

 

The disadvantage of reading a 3-book collection of Sharpe novels that include Sharpe's Trafalgar is that I'm totally guessing as to how far I'm into the book (and no, I don't see much point in tracking that I'm at about 8% in the collection because I'm not going to read all three books in a row). Oh, and it means that my cover doesn't actually have the year (yes, I can check the list in the "back". No, I didn't think of it before now).

 

So far this installment is entertaining, although we haven't gotten to any battles yet because Sharpe is sailing home to England (although he's the first admit that it doesn't feel like home, he doesn't really have a home, and he liked India). The captain, Cromwell, is up to something but I can't figure out what.

 

The food sounds really awful:

"Breakfast was at eight every morning. The steerage passengers were divided into groups of ten and the men took it in turn to fetch each mess a cauldron of burgoo from the galley in the forecastle. The burgoo was a mixture of oatmeal and scraps of beef fat that had simmered all night on the galley stove. Dinner was at mid-day and was another burgoo, though this sometimes had larger scraps of meat or fibrous pieces of dried fish floating in the burned and lumpy oatmeal. On Sundays there was salt fish and ship’s biscuits that were as hard as stone, yet even so were infested with weevils that needed to be tapped out. The biscuits had to be chewed endlessly so that it was like masticating a dried brick that was occasionally enlivened by the juice of an insect that had escaped the tapping. Tea was served at four, but only to the passengers who travelled in the stern of the ship, while the steerage passengers had to wait for supper, which was more dried fish, biscuits and a hard cheese in which red worms made miniature tunnels."

"Occasionally enlivened by the juice of an insect"...? Ugh. And I wonder if the red worms get tapped out of the cheese...?

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