is the protagonist of a bestselling series of novels by Bernard Cornwell, which were subsequently adapted into a series of TV movies starring Sean Bean
as Sharpe and Daragh O'Malley as his faithful lancer
, Patrick Harper. Sharpe is an early-19th century soldier fighting in the Napoleonic Wars; he's a gutter-born bastard and a ranker in the British army until he saves the life of Sir Arthur Wellesley
, who rewards him a Field Promotion
He offered Sharpe the ghost of a smile; an acknowledgement of how many battlefields the two men had shared across the years. A more perceptive man than Sharpe might have read some message in The Duke
's seeking the companionship of a veteran soldier, but Sharpe merely felt his usual awkwardness when he was in the company of his old commanding officer.
The TV Adaptation
: If you were French, I would take a knife and you would tell me all I wanted to know. Sharpe
': But we are allies. Teresa
: Allies? Do allies keep secrets from each other? Sharpe
: Lovers lie to each other, and yet they still make love.''
Man in Black
: You say you are an Irishman. Why should you be loyal to the British dogs, who want to take you to Lisbon to shoot you? Harper
: Jesus, you took the words right out of my mouth. Man in Black
: I can help you. Give me the box. Harper
: And if I do? Man in Black
: You will be rich. Harper
: And if I don't? Man in Black
: You will be dead. Harper
: Well, you're having the best of the argument so far.
I was a sergeant once. I was the best god-damned bloody sergeant in the god-damned bloody army.
Sharpe's a killer. Killed three French cavalrymen and saved Wellesley's life. Three seconds, slash, cut, thrust. And that's while he was still a Sergeant.
Perhaps then, you might at least be prevailed upon to perform one last duty? In which case I assure you there is no trouble to yourself.
—Govorner Sedgefield, Sharpe's Peril, who apparently hasn't seen the title of the episode.
Day comes a man has to decide: whether he stands to protect what he holds dear, or bows himself under another's will.
—Sharpe, Sharpe's Peril
: It would appear I owe you my life. Sharpe
: We all make mistakes, Sir Henry. Simmerson
: [grumbles, then laughs
] Quite so, quite so. God speed you safe home... Richard.
[They shake hands
: I have now seen it all.
—Sharpe, Every Episode, Repeatedly