Ready, Aim, FIRE—a Few Basics on Regency Ballistics

RiflemenCara/Andrea here, It’s not that I’m feeling in a bellicose state of mind—my choice of topic today has been sparked my re-reading of Waterloo, one of the books in the wonderful Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell. The epic battle’s anniversary is later this month, and as we all know, that clash of grand armies with its flashing sabers, whizzing bullets, booming cannons and choking clouds of gunpowder, was a turning point in European history.

Sharpe-2Richard Sharpe, the hero of Cornwell’s novels, is a rifleman, which set him apart from the regular British foot soldier, who was equipped with a musket. And what, you might ask, is the bloody difference between the two weapons? Both shoot bullets with lethal effect, right? Well, not quite, as I learned when I decided to do a little research into what made the “Green Jackets” (the special rifle units wore green to distinguish them from the Red-coated regulars) of the Wellington’s army such a feared fighting force.

To begin with, we need to understand a few simple concepts about the inside of a gun barrel. So allow me to spin out a few facts.  A smooth bore weapon, like the famed Brown Bess Battle-2musket—which was standard British Army issue for over 120 years—is exactly what the name implies. The inside of the barrel is a smooth cylinder, which makes it relatively easy and quick to thrust a bullet and powder down its length with a ramrod. This smoothness also keeps powder residue from building up inside the weapon too quickly, allowing it to be fired repeatedly before it needs to be cleaned—a rather large plus in the heat of battle.

Baker-soldier Baker-cartridgeThere are, however, drawbacks. It’s been estimated that during the 1700s, few than one percent of all musket balls fired found their target. Or, in the words of a British colonel, “At two hundred yards with a common musket, one might as well be firing at the moon.” That’s because a musket ball (it is round, which we will see in a minute is important) has to fit rather loosely in order to be rammed down the barrel. This is called windage, and it  means that when the ball comes out, propelled by the tiny explosion of gunpowder, it knocks around a bit against the smooth steel, and thus its aim can be wildly inaccurate. That’s all very well when facing an opposing line of soldiers who are only ten or twenty yards away. However, at any greater distance, things become more dicey.

Sharpe-3In contrast, the inside of a rifle barrel has . . .well, rifling. This term refers to a series of grooves cut into the inside of the barrel, which twist in a continuous direction. These grooves impart a spin to a projectile fired out of the weapon. Spin helps counteract the tendency to wobble and bob as an object flies through the air (imagine a gyroscope and how its spinning force makes it more stable) thus making it more likely to maintain an stable path. In a nutshell, (or cartridge wrapping) a rifle is a far more accurate weapon than a musket.

Baker-Rifle-LockRifling was known as far back as the 1400’s, and was used in hunting guns. (In his highly entertaining book, Gunpowder, Jack Kelley tells an amusing story on the early explanation for why these early rifles were more lethal than smoothbore guns. A Bavarian necromancer named Moretius theorized that the flight of bullets was controlled by spirits, or imps, who took delight in frustrating shooters. A rifled bullet went straight because no demon could ride astride a spinning projectile. This theory was backed up, claimed Moretius, by the fact that the spinning heavens were free of demons, while the stationery Earth was crowded with them.

Battle497An interesting theory. However, a Quaker Englishman named Benjamin Robins came up with far more scientific observations on ballistics in the mid-1700s. He determined that a round ball is subject to far more “drag” as it flies through the air, and thus loses speed and accuracy very quickly. (The loss of velocity also makes it less likely to kill an opponent, a fact which interested the Army.) A pointed projectile is far more aerodynamic. But as that wasn’t technically practical at the time (modern bullets are all cone-shaped for this reason) he pointed out that rifling at least improved the effectiveness of a gun, and predicted that any nation who fought with rifled weapons would have a huge advantage.

Rifleman Baker-bayonetIt certainly made technical sense. And yet, there were also significant drawbacks. As I mentioned, a smoothbore musket was easily and quickly loaded—a skilled soldier could fire a shot every 12 seconds. Loading a rifle took more time and effort because to tale on the spin from the grooves, the bullet had to be a touch larger that the gun barrel, so the compression of the lead would take on the minute grooves. This meant a rifleman had to laboriously hammer a bullet down the length of his weapon (small wooden hammers were part of his standard arsenal) and thus even a well-trained one could only fire 2 shots a minute as opposed to 5. The grooves of a rifle also collected residue far faster than a smooth barrel so had to be cleaned more frequently.

Sharpe-4So despite Robins’s data, the rifle was deemed inefficient for army use. The British, however, experienced just how lethal its fire could be during the American Revolution. Many of the colonists hunted with rifled weapons—the accuracy of the Kentucky long rifle was legendary—and they turned their marksmanship on British troops with devastating effect. (The British complained vociferously that this sniping was unsporting, for the American didn’t stand in sitting duck battle lines, but fired from long range while hiding behind stone walls or trees, which allowed them to reload at the slower rate without suffering the consequences.)

The British surrendered the Colonies, but the lesson of rifle power was not lost on them. During the Napoleonic Wars, they began to develop special rifle companies (most notably the 95th Rifles and the 5th Battalion, 60th Regiment of Foot) which were deployed to great effect, especially in the Peninsular campaign. Riflemen were usually sent out as advance skirmishers, and their long range accuracy was used to disrupt the waiting enemy lines. A top priority was to pick off the opposing officers—it is said that Thomas Plunkett of the 95th Rifles killed French General Colbert from a distance of nearly 600 yards during the retreat to La Corunna.

Baker-1After testing several models, the Baker rifle, designed in 1800 by a Whitechapel gunsmith named Ezekiel Baker, was the first standard issue British military rifle. For those of you who read the Sharpe novels, the Baker rifle will be a BakerRifle-storagefamiliar name. It had a shorter barrel than a Brown Bess, making it a distinctive weapon. The stock had a small storage box built in it for the special cartridges, and it was equipped with a sword bayonet rather than the thin needle-shaped bayonet used on the Brown Bess musket.

Sharpe-1Bonaparte dismissed the idea of rifles for his own armies, but in fact as well as fiction it proved an unwise decision. Richard Sharpe and his fellow riflemen wreak havoc on the French in Cornwell’s novels, and so did the real-life marksmen of the rifle regiments. The 95th Regiment served with distinction at the battle of Waterloo, and well, as they say., the rest is history.

So, are any of you fans of the Richard Sharpe novels? Which is your favorite book in the series. And have you watched the television version featuring Sean Bean? (fluttery sigh) I think he’s marvelous in the role, but let’s have a little fun—who else do you think would be a good Sharpe? I vote for Matthew MacFadyen.

205 thoughts on “Ready, Aim, FIRE—a Few Basics on Regency Ballistics”

  1. I haven’t read the Sharpe books (I like a bit more romance), but I enjoyed the filmed sections I’ve seen. I think Rupert Penry-Jones would make a good Sharpe.

    Reply
  2. I haven’t read the Sharpe books (I like a bit more romance), but I enjoyed the filmed sections I’ve seen. I think Rupert Penry-Jones would make a good Sharpe.

    Reply
  3. I haven’t read the Sharpe books (I like a bit more romance), but I enjoyed the filmed sections I’ve seen. I think Rupert Penry-Jones would make a good Sharpe.

    Reply
  4. I haven’t read the Sharpe books (I like a bit more romance), but I enjoyed the filmed sections I’ve seen. I think Rupert Penry-Jones would make a good Sharpe.

    Reply
  5. I haven’t read the Sharpe books (I like a bit more romance), but I enjoyed the filmed sections I’ve seen. I think Rupert Penry-Jones would make a good Sharpe.

    Reply
  6. The Sharpe books definitely have more action than romance, but I find the history fascinating. (I’ve heard the Cornwall is meticulous in his research, so a reader really does learn some interesting stuff) And I like your choice for Sharpe!

    Reply
  7. The Sharpe books definitely have more action than romance, but I find the history fascinating. (I’ve heard the Cornwall is meticulous in his research, so a reader really does learn some interesting stuff) And I like your choice for Sharpe!

    Reply
  8. The Sharpe books definitely have more action than romance, but I find the history fascinating. (I’ve heard the Cornwall is meticulous in his research, so a reader really does learn some interesting stuff) And I like your choice for Sharpe!

    Reply
  9. The Sharpe books definitely have more action than romance, but I find the history fascinating. (I’ve heard the Cornwall is meticulous in his research, so a reader really does learn some interesting stuff) And I like your choice for Sharpe!

    Reply
  10. The Sharpe books definitely have more action than romance, but I find the history fascinating. (I’ve heard the Cornwall is meticulous in his research, so a reader really does learn some interesting stuff) And I like your choice for Sharpe!

    Reply
  11. When I read the Cornwell books, I’d read a book then rent the TV version. While the books are, as usual, better as stories, Sean Bean (be still my beating heart) made the TV version come alive. He has the perfect physicality (he moves so very well) and embodies completely the “working class boy makes good” that is one of the more interesting aspects of the Sharpe series. You totally believe him as a street tough fighter who works his way up by dint of intelligence and courage and ambition. So sorry, but I just can’t imagine anyone else in the role.

    Reply
  12. When I read the Cornwell books, I’d read a book then rent the TV version. While the books are, as usual, better as stories, Sean Bean (be still my beating heart) made the TV version come alive. He has the perfect physicality (he moves so very well) and embodies completely the “working class boy makes good” that is one of the more interesting aspects of the Sharpe series. You totally believe him as a street tough fighter who works his way up by dint of intelligence and courage and ambition. So sorry, but I just can’t imagine anyone else in the role.

    Reply
  13. When I read the Cornwell books, I’d read a book then rent the TV version. While the books are, as usual, better as stories, Sean Bean (be still my beating heart) made the TV version come alive. He has the perfect physicality (he moves so very well) and embodies completely the “working class boy makes good” that is one of the more interesting aspects of the Sharpe series. You totally believe him as a street tough fighter who works his way up by dint of intelligence and courage and ambition. So sorry, but I just can’t imagine anyone else in the role.

    Reply
  14. When I read the Cornwell books, I’d read a book then rent the TV version. While the books are, as usual, better as stories, Sean Bean (be still my beating heart) made the TV version come alive. He has the perfect physicality (he moves so very well) and embodies completely the “working class boy makes good” that is one of the more interesting aspects of the Sharpe series. You totally believe him as a street tough fighter who works his way up by dint of intelligence and courage and ambition. So sorry, but I just can’t imagine anyone else in the role.

    Reply
  15. When I read the Cornwell books, I’d read a book then rent the TV version. While the books are, as usual, better as stories, Sean Bean (be still my beating heart) made the TV version come alive. He has the perfect physicality (he moves so very well) and embodies completely the “working class boy makes good” that is one of the more interesting aspects of the Sharpe series. You totally believe him as a street tough fighter who works his way up by dint of intelligence and courage and ambition. So sorry, but I just can’t imagine anyone else in the role.

    Reply
  16. Susan/DC, you are so right about Bean’s great gritty, street-smart persona in the filsm. He captures the essence of Sharpe—tough, smart, resourceful. Yes, he’s a little scary, but that also makes him intriguing. And while i thought it would be fun to bandy about names, Bean is just about the perfect Sharpe. Daniel Craig and a younf Timothy Dalton have the same sort of brooding charisma too. Hmmm, let’s see what other suggestions we get!

    Reply
  17. Susan/DC, you are so right about Bean’s great gritty, street-smart persona in the filsm. He captures the essence of Sharpe—tough, smart, resourceful. Yes, he’s a little scary, but that also makes him intriguing. And while i thought it would be fun to bandy about names, Bean is just about the perfect Sharpe. Daniel Craig and a younf Timothy Dalton have the same sort of brooding charisma too. Hmmm, let’s see what other suggestions we get!

    Reply
  18. Susan/DC, you are so right about Bean’s great gritty, street-smart persona in the filsm. He captures the essence of Sharpe—tough, smart, resourceful. Yes, he’s a little scary, but that also makes him intriguing. And while i thought it would be fun to bandy about names, Bean is just about the perfect Sharpe. Daniel Craig and a younf Timothy Dalton have the same sort of brooding charisma too. Hmmm, let’s see what other suggestions we get!

    Reply
  19. Susan/DC, you are so right about Bean’s great gritty, street-smart persona in the filsm. He captures the essence of Sharpe—tough, smart, resourceful. Yes, he’s a little scary, but that also makes him intriguing. And while i thought it would be fun to bandy about names, Bean is just about the perfect Sharpe. Daniel Craig and a younf Timothy Dalton have the same sort of brooding charisma too. Hmmm, let’s see what other suggestions we get!

    Reply
  20. Susan/DC, you are so right about Bean’s great gritty, street-smart persona in the filsm. He captures the essence of Sharpe—tough, smart, resourceful. Yes, he’s a little scary, but that also makes him intriguing. And while i thought it would be fun to bandy about names, Bean is just about the perfect Sharpe. Daniel Craig and a younf Timothy Dalton have the same sort of brooding charisma too. Hmmm, let’s see what other suggestions we get!

    Reply
  21. I’m with Susan/DC — for me, Sean Bean (be still my beating heart) IS Sharpe, and I’d read the books long before I saw the TV series. And that’s despite Bean’s blonde hair— the Sharpe in the book is dark.
    As others have said, Sean Bean embodies the edgy, working class toughness of Sharpe, plus he’s lean and lanky as a soldier enduring tough conditions would be. He also conveys a hint of vulnerability where women are concerned, which makes Sharpe a romantic as well as an action hero.
    Sorry, but IMO, though Rupert Penry-Jones is pretty, he’s too soft to play Sharpe. Daniel Craig isn’t lanky enough, and Timothy Dalton might work, but…. nope, sorry, it’s got to be Sean Bean.

    Reply
  22. I’m with Susan/DC — for me, Sean Bean (be still my beating heart) IS Sharpe, and I’d read the books long before I saw the TV series. And that’s despite Bean’s blonde hair— the Sharpe in the book is dark.
    As others have said, Sean Bean embodies the edgy, working class toughness of Sharpe, plus he’s lean and lanky as a soldier enduring tough conditions would be. He also conveys a hint of vulnerability where women are concerned, which makes Sharpe a romantic as well as an action hero.
    Sorry, but IMO, though Rupert Penry-Jones is pretty, he’s too soft to play Sharpe. Daniel Craig isn’t lanky enough, and Timothy Dalton might work, but…. nope, sorry, it’s got to be Sean Bean.

    Reply
  23. I’m with Susan/DC — for me, Sean Bean (be still my beating heart) IS Sharpe, and I’d read the books long before I saw the TV series. And that’s despite Bean’s blonde hair— the Sharpe in the book is dark.
    As others have said, Sean Bean embodies the edgy, working class toughness of Sharpe, plus he’s lean and lanky as a soldier enduring tough conditions would be. He also conveys a hint of vulnerability where women are concerned, which makes Sharpe a romantic as well as an action hero.
    Sorry, but IMO, though Rupert Penry-Jones is pretty, he’s too soft to play Sharpe. Daniel Craig isn’t lanky enough, and Timothy Dalton might work, but…. nope, sorry, it’s got to be Sean Bean.

    Reply
  24. I’m with Susan/DC — for me, Sean Bean (be still my beating heart) IS Sharpe, and I’d read the books long before I saw the TV series. And that’s despite Bean’s blonde hair— the Sharpe in the book is dark.
    As others have said, Sean Bean embodies the edgy, working class toughness of Sharpe, plus he’s lean and lanky as a soldier enduring tough conditions would be. He also conveys a hint of vulnerability where women are concerned, which makes Sharpe a romantic as well as an action hero.
    Sorry, but IMO, though Rupert Penry-Jones is pretty, he’s too soft to play Sharpe. Daniel Craig isn’t lanky enough, and Timothy Dalton might work, but…. nope, sorry, it’s got to be Sean Bean.

    Reply
  25. I’m with Susan/DC — for me, Sean Bean (be still my beating heart) IS Sharpe, and I’d read the books long before I saw the TV series. And that’s despite Bean’s blonde hair— the Sharpe in the book is dark.
    As others have said, Sean Bean embodies the edgy, working class toughness of Sharpe, plus he’s lean and lanky as a soldier enduring tough conditions would be. He also conveys a hint of vulnerability where women are concerned, which makes Sharpe a romantic as well as an action hero.
    Sorry, but IMO, though Rupert Penry-Jones is pretty, he’s too soft to play Sharpe. Daniel Craig isn’t lanky enough, and Timothy Dalton might work, but…. nope, sorry, it’s got to be Sean Bean.

    Reply
  26. Hard to argue, Anne! Sean Bean really is pretty perfect, and you make an excellent point about his vulnerability with women. In the books, Sharpe is definitely a romantic, and that makes him very human. Bean captures the complex essence of the character. Hard yet soft, cynical yet tender—
    Anyone else want to venture a suggestion, just for the fun of it? But the results seem to confirm that casting got it oh-so right the first time around

    Reply
  27. Hard to argue, Anne! Sean Bean really is pretty perfect, and you make an excellent point about his vulnerability with women. In the books, Sharpe is definitely a romantic, and that makes him very human. Bean captures the complex essence of the character. Hard yet soft, cynical yet tender—
    Anyone else want to venture a suggestion, just for the fun of it? But the results seem to confirm that casting got it oh-so right the first time around

    Reply
  28. Hard to argue, Anne! Sean Bean really is pretty perfect, and you make an excellent point about his vulnerability with women. In the books, Sharpe is definitely a romantic, and that makes him very human. Bean captures the complex essence of the character. Hard yet soft, cynical yet tender—
    Anyone else want to venture a suggestion, just for the fun of it? But the results seem to confirm that casting got it oh-so right the first time around

    Reply
  29. Hard to argue, Anne! Sean Bean really is pretty perfect, and you make an excellent point about his vulnerability with women. In the books, Sharpe is definitely a romantic, and that makes him very human. Bean captures the complex essence of the character. Hard yet soft, cynical yet tender—
    Anyone else want to venture a suggestion, just for the fun of it? But the results seem to confirm that casting got it oh-so right the first time around

    Reply
  30. Hard to argue, Anne! Sean Bean really is pretty perfect, and you make an excellent point about his vulnerability with women. In the books, Sharpe is definitely a romantic, and that makes him very human. Bean captures the complex essence of the character. Hard yet soft, cynical yet tender—
    Anyone else want to venture a suggestion, just for the fun of it? But the results seem to confirm that casting got it oh-so right the first time around

    Reply
  31. I’m another vote for Sean Bean. Timothy Dalton is getting too old. Daniel Craig could give Sean a run for his money but I doubt he could eclipse him.
    Is it wrong of me to say I didn’t look much at the guns, just at the Sean pics?

    Reply
  32. I’m another vote for Sean Bean. Timothy Dalton is getting too old. Daniel Craig could give Sean a run for his money but I doubt he could eclipse him.
    Is it wrong of me to say I didn’t look much at the guns, just at the Sean pics?

    Reply
  33. I’m another vote for Sean Bean. Timothy Dalton is getting too old. Daniel Craig could give Sean a run for his money but I doubt he could eclipse him.
    Is it wrong of me to say I didn’t look much at the guns, just at the Sean pics?

    Reply
  34. I’m another vote for Sean Bean. Timothy Dalton is getting too old. Daniel Craig could give Sean a run for his money but I doubt he could eclipse him.
    Is it wrong of me to say I didn’t look much at the guns, just at the Sean pics?

    Reply
  35. I’m another vote for Sean Bean. Timothy Dalton is getting too old. Daniel Craig could give Sean a run for his money but I doubt he could eclipse him.
    Is it wrong of me to say I didn’t look much at the guns, just at the Sean pics?

    Reply
  36. I was turned on to Sharpe by a othopedist who saw me reading Cornwell’s book Redcoat – an interesting take on the American Revolution, from the British side. I read all the Sharpes and yes definitely Sean Bean. * I would recommend his Grail series, and the excellent Agincourt.

    Reply
  37. I was turned on to Sharpe by a othopedist who saw me reading Cornwell’s book Redcoat – an interesting take on the American Revolution, from the British side. I read all the Sharpes and yes definitely Sean Bean. * I would recommend his Grail series, and the excellent Agincourt.

    Reply
  38. I was turned on to Sharpe by a othopedist who saw me reading Cornwell’s book Redcoat – an interesting take on the American Revolution, from the British side. I read all the Sharpes and yes definitely Sean Bean. * I would recommend his Grail series, and the excellent Agincourt.

    Reply
  39. I was turned on to Sharpe by a othopedist who saw me reading Cornwell’s book Redcoat – an interesting take on the American Revolution, from the British side. I read all the Sharpes and yes definitely Sean Bean. * I would recommend his Grail series, and the excellent Agincourt.

    Reply
  40. I was turned on to Sharpe by a othopedist who saw me reading Cornwell’s book Redcoat – an interesting take on the American Revolution, from the British side. I read all the Sharpes and yes definitely Sean Bean. * I would recommend his Grail series, and the excellent Agincourt.

    Reply
  41. I forgot to mention Fallen Angels by Susanna Kells. I could never find another book by that author, and I recently learned that she is Bernard Cornwell’s wife, and he collaborated with her on the book. It is a romance, and it is set in the French Revolution.

    Reply
  42. I forgot to mention Fallen Angels by Susanna Kells. I could never find another book by that author, and I recently learned that she is Bernard Cornwell’s wife, and he collaborated with her on the book. It is a romance, and it is set in the French Revolution.

    Reply
  43. I forgot to mention Fallen Angels by Susanna Kells. I could never find another book by that author, and I recently learned that she is Bernard Cornwell’s wife, and he collaborated with her on the book. It is a romance, and it is set in the French Revolution.

    Reply
  44. I forgot to mention Fallen Angels by Susanna Kells. I could never find another book by that author, and I recently learned that she is Bernard Cornwell’s wife, and he collaborated with her on the book. It is a romance, and it is set in the French Revolution.

    Reply
  45. I forgot to mention Fallen Angels by Susanna Kells. I could never find another book by that author, and I recently learned that she is Bernard Cornwell’s wife, and he collaborated with her on the book. It is a romance, and it is set in the French Revolution.

    Reply
  46. Cornwell is a marvelous writer of history. The Archer boos are great . . . haven’t yet gotten to Redcoat or The Grail series, but will.
    And thanks for the recommendation of Fallen Angels. I’m sure Joanna will it it interesting, if she hasn’t h already read it.

    Reply
  47. Cornwell is a marvelous writer of history. The Archer boos are great . . . haven’t yet gotten to Redcoat or The Grail series, but will.
    And thanks for the recommendation of Fallen Angels. I’m sure Joanna will it it interesting, if she hasn’t h already read it.

    Reply
  48. Cornwell is a marvelous writer of history. The Archer boos are great . . . haven’t yet gotten to Redcoat or The Grail series, but will.
    And thanks for the recommendation of Fallen Angels. I’m sure Joanna will it it interesting, if she hasn’t h already read it.

    Reply
  49. Cornwell is a marvelous writer of history. The Archer boos are great . . . haven’t yet gotten to Redcoat or The Grail series, but will.
    And thanks for the recommendation of Fallen Angels. I’m sure Joanna will it it interesting, if she hasn’t h already read it.

    Reply
  50. Cornwell is a marvelous writer of history. The Archer boos are great . . . haven’t yet gotten to Redcoat or The Grail series, but will.
    And thanks for the recommendation of Fallen Angels. I’m sure Joanna will it it interesting, if she hasn’t h already read it.

    Reply
  51. I’m currently watching GAME OF THRONES via Netflix. Why? Sean Bean rides again! This time as an “almost” king. (I own the entire Sharpe series on DVD, by the way.)
    I had the opportunity to watch the loading & firing of a long rifle on Ladies Day at a local rifle range this March. All I could think of as I watched was Sharpe teaching his men to fire three rounds a minute!

    Reply
  52. I’m currently watching GAME OF THRONES via Netflix. Why? Sean Bean rides again! This time as an “almost” king. (I own the entire Sharpe series on DVD, by the way.)
    I had the opportunity to watch the loading & firing of a long rifle on Ladies Day at a local rifle range this March. All I could think of as I watched was Sharpe teaching his men to fire three rounds a minute!

    Reply
  53. I’m currently watching GAME OF THRONES via Netflix. Why? Sean Bean rides again! This time as an “almost” king. (I own the entire Sharpe series on DVD, by the way.)
    I had the opportunity to watch the loading & firing of a long rifle on Ladies Day at a local rifle range this March. All I could think of as I watched was Sharpe teaching his men to fire three rounds a minute!

    Reply
  54. I’m currently watching GAME OF THRONES via Netflix. Why? Sean Bean rides again! This time as an “almost” king. (I own the entire Sharpe series on DVD, by the way.)
    I had the opportunity to watch the loading & firing of a long rifle on Ladies Day at a local rifle range this March. All I could think of as I watched was Sharpe teaching his men to fire three rounds a minute!

    Reply
  55. I’m currently watching GAME OF THRONES via Netflix. Why? Sean Bean rides again! This time as an “almost” king. (I own the entire Sharpe series on DVD, by the way.)
    I had the opportunity to watch the loading & firing of a long rifle on Ladies Day at a local rifle range this March. All I could think of as I watched was Sharpe teaching his men to fire three rounds a minute!

    Reply
  56. I’m definitely a Sharpe fan, books and movies both, and I can’t imagine anyone but Sean Bean in the role. I first found out about Sharpe after coming home from Fellowship of the Ring and asking some online friends what else the guy who played Boromir was in. One of them, knowing my interest in the Regency era, just said, “Oh, HONEY, you’re in for a treat,” and pointed me straight at Sharpe. I rented them all, read the books (the India prequels are my favorites), and started digging into the real history. So, in a sense, the military heroes in my own books, plus the fact my research bookshelf has a Wellington shelf, a Napoleon shelf, and two more shelves on their armies and battles, is All Sean Bean’s Fault. Not that I’m complaining.

    Reply
  57. I’m definitely a Sharpe fan, books and movies both, and I can’t imagine anyone but Sean Bean in the role. I first found out about Sharpe after coming home from Fellowship of the Ring and asking some online friends what else the guy who played Boromir was in. One of them, knowing my interest in the Regency era, just said, “Oh, HONEY, you’re in for a treat,” and pointed me straight at Sharpe. I rented them all, read the books (the India prequels are my favorites), and started digging into the real history. So, in a sense, the military heroes in my own books, plus the fact my research bookshelf has a Wellington shelf, a Napoleon shelf, and two more shelves on their armies and battles, is All Sean Bean’s Fault. Not that I’m complaining.

    Reply
  58. I’m definitely a Sharpe fan, books and movies both, and I can’t imagine anyone but Sean Bean in the role. I first found out about Sharpe after coming home from Fellowship of the Ring and asking some online friends what else the guy who played Boromir was in. One of them, knowing my interest in the Regency era, just said, “Oh, HONEY, you’re in for a treat,” and pointed me straight at Sharpe. I rented them all, read the books (the India prequels are my favorites), and started digging into the real history. So, in a sense, the military heroes in my own books, plus the fact my research bookshelf has a Wellington shelf, a Napoleon shelf, and two more shelves on their armies and battles, is All Sean Bean’s Fault. Not that I’m complaining.

    Reply
  59. I’m definitely a Sharpe fan, books and movies both, and I can’t imagine anyone but Sean Bean in the role. I first found out about Sharpe after coming home from Fellowship of the Ring and asking some online friends what else the guy who played Boromir was in. One of them, knowing my interest in the Regency era, just said, “Oh, HONEY, you’re in for a treat,” and pointed me straight at Sharpe. I rented them all, read the books (the India prequels are my favorites), and started digging into the real history. So, in a sense, the military heroes in my own books, plus the fact my research bookshelf has a Wellington shelf, a Napoleon shelf, and two more shelves on their armies and battles, is All Sean Bean’s Fault. Not that I’m complaining.

    Reply
  60. I’m definitely a Sharpe fan, books and movies both, and I can’t imagine anyone but Sean Bean in the role. I first found out about Sharpe after coming home from Fellowship of the Ring and asking some online friends what else the guy who played Boromir was in. One of them, knowing my interest in the Regency era, just said, “Oh, HONEY, you’re in for a treat,” and pointed me straight at Sharpe. I rented them all, read the books (the India prequels are my favorites), and started digging into the real history. So, in a sense, the military heroes in my own books, plus the fact my research bookshelf has a Wellington shelf, a Napoleon shelf, and two more shelves on their armies and battles, is All Sean Bean’s Fault. Not that I’m complaining.

    Reply
  61. Grace, I haven’t been watching Game of Thrones, but was tempted, just because of Sean Bean. He was great as Boromir too.
    And how fun that you’ve seen an firing exhibition of long rifles. I’d love to see a Baker rifle loaded and fired.

    Reply
  62. Grace, I haven’t been watching Game of Thrones, but was tempted, just because of Sean Bean. He was great as Boromir too.
    And how fun that you’ve seen an firing exhibition of long rifles. I’d love to see a Baker rifle loaded and fired.

    Reply
  63. Grace, I haven’t been watching Game of Thrones, but was tempted, just because of Sean Bean. He was great as Boromir too.
    And how fun that you’ve seen an firing exhibition of long rifles. I’d love to see a Baker rifle loaded and fired.

    Reply
  64. Grace, I haven’t been watching Game of Thrones, but was tempted, just because of Sean Bean. He was great as Boromir too.
    And how fun that you’ve seen an firing exhibition of long rifles. I’d love to see a Baker rifle loaded and fired.

    Reply
  65. Grace, I haven’t been watching Game of Thrones, but was tempted, just because of Sean Bean. He was great as Boromir too.
    And how fun that you’ve seen an firing exhibition of long rifles. I’d love to see a Baker rifle loaded and fired.

    Reply
  66. Ha, hah, ha, Susanna! You certainly got a wonderful treat in discovering Sharpe. I love the early India books too, but also really like some of the later ones too. I’ve heard somewhere that Waterloo is such an accurate account of the battle that it’s used in some military colleges as a textbook.
    As you say, no complaints on Sean Bean!

    Reply
  67. Ha, hah, ha, Susanna! You certainly got a wonderful treat in discovering Sharpe. I love the early India books too, but also really like some of the later ones too. I’ve heard somewhere that Waterloo is such an accurate account of the battle that it’s used in some military colleges as a textbook.
    As you say, no complaints on Sean Bean!

    Reply
  68. Ha, hah, ha, Susanna! You certainly got a wonderful treat in discovering Sharpe. I love the early India books too, but also really like some of the later ones too. I’ve heard somewhere that Waterloo is such an accurate account of the battle that it’s used in some military colleges as a textbook.
    As you say, no complaints on Sean Bean!

    Reply
  69. Ha, hah, ha, Susanna! You certainly got a wonderful treat in discovering Sharpe. I love the early India books too, but also really like some of the later ones too. I’ve heard somewhere that Waterloo is such an accurate account of the battle that it’s used in some military colleges as a textbook.
    As you say, no complaints on Sean Bean!

    Reply
  70. Ha, hah, ha, Susanna! You certainly got a wonderful treat in discovering Sharpe. I love the early India books too, but also really like some of the later ones too. I’ve heard somewhere that Waterloo is such an accurate account of the battle that it’s used in some military colleges as a textbook.
    As you say, no complaints on Sean Bean!

    Reply
  71. Ooohhh Sharpe! I have watched every. single. movie. I have not read any of the books yet, but I have the first one on Kindle. I have read other Cornwell books, and he’s very good at historical detail.
    Love Sean Bean, he’s perfect!

    Reply
  72. Ooohhh Sharpe! I have watched every. single. movie. I have not read any of the books yet, but I have the first one on Kindle. I have read other Cornwell books, and he’s very good at historical detail.
    Love Sean Bean, he’s perfect!

    Reply
  73. Ooohhh Sharpe! I have watched every. single. movie. I have not read any of the books yet, but I have the first one on Kindle. I have read other Cornwell books, and he’s very good at historical detail.
    Love Sean Bean, he’s perfect!

    Reply
  74. Ooohhh Sharpe! I have watched every. single. movie. I have not read any of the books yet, but I have the first one on Kindle. I have read other Cornwell books, and he’s very good at historical detail.
    Love Sean Bean, he’s perfect!

    Reply
  75. Ooohhh Sharpe! I have watched every. single. movie. I have not read any of the books yet, but I have the first one on Kindle. I have read other Cornwell books, and he’s very good at historical detail.
    Love Sean Bean, he’s perfect!

    Reply
  76. There can be only one Richard Sharpe and that is Sean Bean. Interestingly enough, Daniel Craig played a nasty piece of work officer in one of the early Sharpe episodes. I believe it was Sharpe’s Eagles. Sharpe ended up killing him rather nicely, and Sean Bean conveyed that ruthlessness to do so that is an essential part of Sharpe.

    Reply
  77. There can be only one Richard Sharpe and that is Sean Bean. Interestingly enough, Daniel Craig played a nasty piece of work officer in one of the early Sharpe episodes. I believe it was Sharpe’s Eagles. Sharpe ended up killing him rather nicely, and Sean Bean conveyed that ruthlessness to do so that is an essential part of Sharpe.

    Reply
  78. There can be only one Richard Sharpe and that is Sean Bean. Interestingly enough, Daniel Craig played a nasty piece of work officer in one of the early Sharpe episodes. I believe it was Sharpe’s Eagles. Sharpe ended up killing him rather nicely, and Sean Bean conveyed that ruthlessness to do so that is an essential part of Sharpe.

    Reply
  79. There can be only one Richard Sharpe and that is Sean Bean. Interestingly enough, Daniel Craig played a nasty piece of work officer in one of the early Sharpe episodes. I believe it was Sharpe’s Eagles. Sharpe ended up killing him rather nicely, and Sean Bean conveyed that ruthlessness to do so that is an essential part of Sharpe.

    Reply
  80. There can be only one Richard Sharpe and that is Sean Bean. Interestingly enough, Daniel Craig played a nasty piece of work officer in one of the early Sharpe episodes. I believe it was Sharpe’s Eagles. Sharpe ended up killing him rather nicely, and Sean Bean conveyed that ruthlessness to do so that is an essential part of Sharpe.

    Reply
  81. Wow, Cara, I feel so…uninformed. Behind the curve. Sluggish. I haven’t read or seen any of the Sharpe books/movies. I guess I have something for my rainy-day to-do list.
    I find the inner workings of the guns fascinating…physics always did resonate more than the other sciences. Thanks for another interesting blog post!
    Jaye/Janet

    Reply
  82. Wow, Cara, I feel so…uninformed. Behind the curve. Sluggish. I haven’t read or seen any of the Sharpe books/movies. I guess I have something for my rainy-day to-do list.
    I find the inner workings of the guns fascinating…physics always did resonate more than the other sciences. Thanks for another interesting blog post!
    Jaye/Janet

    Reply
  83. Wow, Cara, I feel so…uninformed. Behind the curve. Sluggish. I haven’t read or seen any of the Sharpe books/movies. I guess I have something for my rainy-day to-do list.
    I find the inner workings of the guns fascinating…physics always did resonate more than the other sciences. Thanks for another interesting blog post!
    Jaye/Janet

    Reply
  84. Wow, Cara, I feel so…uninformed. Behind the curve. Sluggish. I haven’t read or seen any of the Sharpe books/movies. I guess I have something for my rainy-day to-do list.
    I find the inner workings of the guns fascinating…physics always did resonate more than the other sciences. Thanks for another interesting blog post!
    Jaye/Janet

    Reply
  85. Wow, Cara, I feel so…uninformed. Behind the curve. Sluggish. I haven’t read or seen any of the Sharpe books/movies. I guess I have something for my rainy-day to-do list.
    I find the inner workings of the guns fascinating…physics always did resonate more than the other sciences. Thanks for another interesting blog post!
    Jaye/Janet

    Reply
  86. I love Sean Bean as Sharpe, but he doesn’t fit the description in the books at ALL (Sharpe is tall and DARK). I could see someone like Clive Owen or Michael Fassbender would be great in the role.
    As for favorite books, Sharpe’s Sword is a favorite of mine.

    Reply
  87. I love Sean Bean as Sharpe, but he doesn’t fit the description in the books at ALL (Sharpe is tall and DARK). I could see someone like Clive Owen or Michael Fassbender would be great in the role.
    As for favorite books, Sharpe’s Sword is a favorite of mine.

    Reply
  88. I love Sean Bean as Sharpe, but he doesn’t fit the description in the books at ALL (Sharpe is tall and DARK). I could see someone like Clive Owen or Michael Fassbender would be great in the role.
    As for favorite books, Sharpe’s Sword is a favorite of mine.

    Reply
  89. I love Sean Bean as Sharpe, but he doesn’t fit the description in the books at ALL (Sharpe is tall and DARK). I could see someone like Clive Owen or Michael Fassbender would be great in the role.
    As for favorite books, Sharpe’s Sword is a favorite of mine.

    Reply
  90. I love Sean Bean as Sharpe, but he doesn’t fit the description in the books at ALL (Sharpe is tall and DARK). I could see someone like Clive Owen or Michael Fassbender would be great in the role.
    As for favorite books, Sharpe’s Sword is a favorite of mine.

    Reply
  91. Susan, you are in for a treat. All the Sharpe books are fascinating, and once you start them, you are hooked!

    Reply
  92. Susan, you are in for a treat. All the Sharpe books are fascinating, and once you start them, you are hooked!

    Reply
  93. Susan, you are in for a treat. All the Sharpe books are fascinating, and once you start them, you are hooked!

    Reply
  94. Susan, you are in for a treat. All the Sharpe books are fascinating, and once you start them, you are hooked!

    Reply
  95. Susan, you are in for a treat. All the Sharpe books are fascinating, and once you start them, you are hooked!

    Reply
  96. So true, Valerie, that Bean creates the perfect ruthless persona for Sharpe in war–yet he’s still has that core of humanity.

    Reply
  97. So true, Valerie, that Bean creates the perfect ruthless persona for Sharpe in war–yet he’s still has that core of humanity.

    Reply
  98. So true, Valerie, that Bean creates the perfect ruthless persona for Sharpe in war–yet he’s still has that core of humanity.

    Reply
  99. So true, Valerie, that Bean creates the perfect ruthless persona for Sharpe in war–yet he’s still has that core of humanity.

    Reply
  100. So true, Valerie, that Bean creates the perfect ruthless persona for Sharpe in war–yet he’s still has that core of humanity.

    Reply
  101. Glad you enjoyed it. Jaye. I can’t claim much expertise in phsics, but I, too, find the tech workings of weapons fascinating . . .in a rather ghoulish way, LOL

    Reply
  102. Glad you enjoyed it. Jaye. I can’t claim much expertise in phsics, but I, too, find the tech workings of weapons fascinating . . .in a rather ghoulish way, LOL

    Reply
  103. Glad you enjoyed it. Jaye. I can’t claim much expertise in phsics, but I, too, find the tech workings of weapons fascinating . . .in a rather ghoulish way, LOL

    Reply
  104. Glad you enjoyed it. Jaye. I can’t claim much expertise in phsics, but I, too, find the tech workings of weapons fascinating . . .in a rather ghoulish way, LOL

    Reply
  105. Glad you enjoyed it. Jaye. I can’t claim much expertise in phsics, but I, too, find the tech workings of weapons fascinating . . .in a rather ghoulish way, LOL

    Reply
  106. Isobel, at first I thought it would bother me that Sean Bean is blonde, and Sharpe is so etched in my mind from the books as dark . . .but it didn’t take me long to forget it. Bean is so much Sharpe that I can ignore that deatil. (Not hard when looking at him!)

    Reply
  107. Isobel, at first I thought it would bother me that Sean Bean is blonde, and Sharpe is so etched in my mind from the books as dark . . .but it didn’t take me long to forget it. Bean is so much Sharpe that I can ignore that deatil. (Not hard when looking at him!)

    Reply
  108. Isobel, at first I thought it would bother me that Sean Bean is blonde, and Sharpe is so etched in my mind from the books as dark . . .but it didn’t take me long to forget it. Bean is so much Sharpe that I can ignore that deatil. (Not hard when looking at him!)

    Reply
  109. Isobel, at first I thought it would bother me that Sean Bean is blonde, and Sharpe is so etched in my mind from the books as dark . . .but it didn’t take me long to forget it. Bean is so much Sharpe that I can ignore that deatil. (Not hard when looking at him!)

    Reply
  110. Isobel, at first I thought it would bother me that Sean Bean is blonde, and Sharpe is so etched in my mind from the books as dark . . .but it didn’t take me long to forget it. Bean is so much Sharpe that I can ignore that deatil. (Not hard when looking at him!)

    Reply
  111. Oh, I got used to Bean as Sharpe with very little effort, but he’s still “alternate reality Sharpe for me” (though less so than the young Sharpe Cornwell went back and wrote, somehow forgetting everything he’d already told us about the character and behavior of young Richard throughout the series).

    Reply
  112. Oh, I got used to Bean as Sharpe with very little effort, but he’s still “alternate reality Sharpe for me” (though less so than the young Sharpe Cornwell went back and wrote, somehow forgetting everything he’d already told us about the character and behavior of young Richard throughout the series).

    Reply
  113. Oh, I got used to Bean as Sharpe with very little effort, but he’s still “alternate reality Sharpe for me” (though less so than the young Sharpe Cornwell went back and wrote, somehow forgetting everything he’d already told us about the character and behavior of young Richard throughout the series).

    Reply
  114. Oh, I got used to Bean as Sharpe with very little effort, but he’s still “alternate reality Sharpe for me” (though less so than the young Sharpe Cornwell went back and wrote, somehow forgetting everything he’d already told us about the character and behavior of young Richard throughout the series).

    Reply
  115. Oh, I got used to Bean as Sharpe with very little effort, but he’s still “alternate reality Sharpe for me” (though less so than the young Sharpe Cornwell went back and wrote, somehow forgetting everything he’d already told us about the character and behavior of young Richard throughout the series).

    Reply
  116. You’ve really made me want to read the Sharpe books. I did read “A Crowning Mercy” by Susannah Kells many years ago, and it was very good, but strangely I see it is now listed with Bernard Cornwell as the co-author. Back when I read it I could have sworn she was the only author listed. Because I generally only read historical fiction written by women.

    Reply
  117. You’ve really made me want to read the Sharpe books. I did read “A Crowning Mercy” by Susannah Kells many years ago, and it was very good, but strangely I see it is now listed with Bernard Cornwell as the co-author. Back when I read it I could have sworn she was the only author listed. Because I generally only read historical fiction written by women.

    Reply
  118. You’ve really made me want to read the Sharpe books. I did read “A Crowning Mercy” by Susannah Kells many years ago, and it was very good, but strangely I see it is now listed with Bernard Cornwell as the co-author. Back when I read it I could have sworn she was the only author listed. Because I generally only read historical fiction written by women.

    Reply
  119. You’ve really made me want to read the Sharpe books. I did read “A Crowning Mercy” by Susannah Kells many years ago, and it was very good, but strangely I see it is now listed with Bernard Cornwell as the co-author. Back when I read it I could have sworn she was the only author listed. Because I generally only read historical fiction written by women.

    Reply
  120. You’ve really made me want to read the Sharpe books. I did read “A Crowning Mercy” by Susannah Kells many years ago, and it was very good, but strangely I see it is now listed with Bernard Cornwell as the co-author. Back when I read it I could have sworn she was the only author listed. Because I generally only read historical fiction written by women.

    Reply
  121. They did cast another actor as Sharpe before Sean Bean – one of the McGanns, but he injured his knee on the first day of filming and couldn’t walk. By then Sean Bean was available [his agent had turned the role down first time round…] Now isn’t that Kismet? There is no one else who could ever be Sharpe. I found The Sharpe Compendium, most inspiring for any fans in need of a glimpse now and then. If you google it, it’ll come up…
    My favourite Sharpe story [book] is Sharpe’s Gold and the film version of Sharpe’s Waterloo is excellent.

    Reply
  122. They did cast another actor as Sharpe before Sean Bean – one of the McGanns, but he injured his knee on the first day of filming and couldn’t walk. By then Sean Bean was available [his agent had turned the role down first time round…] Now isn’t that Kismet? There is no one else who could ever be Sharpe. I found The Sharpe Compendium, most inspiring for any fans in need of a glimpse now and then. If you google it, it’ll come up…
    My favourite Sharpe story [book] is Sharpe’s Gold and the film version of Sharpe’s Waterloo is excellent.

    Reply
  123. They did cast another actor as Sharpe before Sean Bean – one of the McGanns, but he injured his knee on the first day of filming and couldn’t walk. By then Sean Bean was available [his agent had turned the role down first time round…] Now isn’t that Kismet? There is no one else who could ever be Sharpe. I found The Sharpe Compendium, most inspiring for any fans in need of a glimpse now and then. If you google it, it’ll come up…
    My favourite Sharpe story [book] is Sharpe’s Gold and the film version of Sharpe’s Waterloo is excellent.

    Reply
  124. They did cast another actor as Sharpe before Sean Bean – one of the McGanns, but he injured his knee on the first day of filming and couldn’t walk. By then Sean Bean was available [his agent had turned the role down first time round…] Now isn’t that Kismet? There is no one else who could ever be Sharpe. I found The Sharpe Compendium, most inspiring for any fans in need of a glimpse now and then. If you google it, it’ll come up…
    My favourite Sharpe story [book] is Sharpe’s Gold and the film version of Sharpe’s Waterloo is excellent.

    Reply
  125. They did cast another actor as Sharpe before Sean Bean – one of the McGanns, but he injured his knee on the first day of filming and couldn’t walk. By then Sean Bean was available [his agent had turned the role down first time round…] Now isn’t that Kismet? There is no one else who could ever be Sharpe. I found The Sharpe Compendium, most inspiring for any fans in need of a glimpse now and then. If you google it, it’ll come up…
    My favourite Sharpe story [book] is Sharpe’s Gold and the film version of Sharpe’s Waterloo is excellent.

    Reply
  126. I have to tell you…I am liking this post! Especially the pictures…I wonder if you might have put the actor’s name under each one. I am from another lifetime and don’t know Sean Bean from ??? However, they all look ‘hmmmmmmm’! Thanks for the post…I am going to recommend the Sharpe books to my husband. I tend to gravitate to Regency Romance! What can I say? I am a Romantic at heart.

    Reply
  127. I have to tell you…I am liking this post! Especially the pictures…I wonder if you might have put the actor’s name under each one. I am from another lifetime and don’t know Sean Bean from ??? However, they all look ‘hmmmmmmm’! Thanks for the post…I am going to recommend the Sharpe books to my husband. I tend to gravitate to Regency Romance! What can I say? I am a Romantic at heart.

    Reply
  128. I have to tell you…I am liking this post! Especially the pictures…I wonder if you might have put the actor’s name under each one. I am from another lifetime and don’t know Sean Bean from ??? However, they all look ‘hmmmmmmm’! Thanks for the post…I am going to recommend the Sharpe books to my husband. I tend to gravitate to Regency Romance! What can I say? I am a Romantic at heart.

    Reply
  129. I have to tell you…I am liking this post! Especially the pictures…I wonder if you might have put the actor’s name under each one. I am from another lifetime and don’t know Sean Bean from ??? However, they all look ‘hmmmmmmm’! Thanks for the post…I am going to recommend the Sharpe books to my husband. I tend to gravitate to Regency Romance! What can I say? I am a Romantic at heart.

    Reply
  130. I have to tell you…I am liking this post! Especially the pictures…I wonder if you might have put the actor’s name under each one. I am from another lifetime and don’t know Sean Bean from ??? However, they all look ‘hmmmmmmm’! Thanks for the post…I am going to recommend the Sharpe books to my husband. I tend to gravitate to Regency Romance! What can I say? I am a Romantic at heart.

    Reply
  131. *le sigh* Sean Bean…
    Oh, wait, you had a post somewhere in the midst of all those dreamy pictures, didn’t you? Something about guns?
    ;o)
    It’s interesting to note how rifling has changed the course of many things over time. Even in American football, when you watch the slow motion quaterback throw, the football is rifling through the air. It makes the ball much more accurate and the ability of the quarterback to ‘hit’ his target that much better. It’s a learned skill and the best quarterbacks have the most perfect revolution to speed ratio on the league.
    Same for a rifle barrel. If the rifling is off, the gun won’t be nearly as accurate.
    I wonder if Kotter had any idea his attempts to improve the simplicity of the design would resonate in so many other areas.
    Back to Sean…
    *le sigh*

    Reply
  132. *le sigh* Sean Bean…
    Oh, wait, you had a post somewhere in the midst of all those dreamy pictures, didn’t you? Something about guns?
    ;o)
    It’s interesting to note how rifling has changed the course of many things over time. Even in American football, when you watch the slow motion quaterback throw, the football is rifling through the air. It makes the ball much more accurate and the ability of the quarterback to ‘hit’ his target that much better. It’s a learned skill and the best quarterbacks have the most perfect revolution to speed ratio on the league.
    Same for a rifle barrel. If the rifling is off, the gun won’t be nearly as accurate.
    I wonder if Kotter had any idea his attempts to improve the simplicity of the design would resonate in so many other areas.
    Back to Sean…
    *le sigh*

    Reply
  133. *le sigh* Sean Bean…
    Oh, wait, you had a post somewhere in the midst of all those dreamy pictures, didn’t you? Something about guns?
    ;o)
    It’s interesting to note how rifling has changed the course of many things over time. Even in American football, when you watch the slow motion quaterback throw, the football is rifling through the air. It makes the ball much more accurate and the ability of the quarterback to ‘hit’ his target that much better. It’s a learned skill and the best quarterbacks have the most perfect revolution to speed ratio on the league.
    Same for a rifle barrel. If the rifling is off, the gun won’t be nearly as accurate.
    I wonder if Kotter had any idea his attempts to improve the simplicity of the design would resonate in so many other areas.
    Back to Sean…
    *le sigh*

    Reply
  134. *le sigh* Sean Bean…
    Oh, wait, you had a post somewhere in the midst of all those dreamy pictures, didn’t you? Something about guns?
    ;o)
    It’s interesting to note how rifling has changed the course of many things over time. Even in American football, when you watch the slow motion quaterback throw, the football is rifling through the air. It makes the ball much more accurate and the ability of the quarterback to ‘hit’ his target that much better. It’s a learned skill and the best quarterbacks have the most perfect revolution to speed ratio on the league.
    Same for a rifle barrel. If the rifling is off, the gun won’t be nearly as accurate.
    I wonder if Kotter had any idea his attempts to improve the simplicity of the design would resonate in so many other areas.
    Back to Sean…
    *le sigh*

    Reply
  135. *le sigh* Sean Bean…
    Oh, wait, you had a post somewhere in the midst of all those dreamy pictures, didn’t you? Something about guns?
    ;o)
    It’s interesting to note how rifling has changed the course of many things over time. Even in American football, when you watch the slow motion quaterback throw, the football is rifling through the air. It makes the ball much more accurate and the ability of the quarterback to ‘hit’ his target that much better. It’s a learned skill and the best quarterbacks have the most perfect revolution to speed ratio on the league.
    Same for a rifle barrel. If the rifling is off, the gun won’t be nearly as accurate.
    I wonder if Kotter had any idea his attempts to improve the simplicity of the design would resonate in so many other areas.
    Back to Sean…
    *le sigh*

    Reply
  136. Oh! And as a side note, Sean Bean was playing opposite Ashley Judd in ABC’s Missing which was a fabulous cloak and dagger spy series that got canceled! They always cancel the best men…er…shows.

    Reply
  137. Oh! And as a side note, Sean Bean was playing opposite Ashley Judd in ABC’s Missing which was a fabulous cloak and dagger spy series that got canceled! They always cancel the best men…er…shows.

    Reply
  138. Oh! And as a side note, Sean Bean was playing opposite Ashley Judd in ABC’s Missing which was a fabulous cloak and dagger spy series that got canceled! They always cancel the best men…er…shows.

    Reply
  139. Oh! And as a side note, Sean Bean was playing opposite Ashley Judd in ABC’s Missing which was a fabulous cloak and dagger spy series that got canceled! They always cancel the best men…er…shows.

    Reply
  140. Oh! And as a side note, Sean Bean was playing opposite Ashley Judd in ABC’s Missing which was a fabulous cloak and dagger spy series that got canceled! They always cancel the best men…er…shows.

    Reply
  141. Esmee, sorry, but I would guess that you’ve probably deduced that Sean Bean is the actor whose handsome face graces the post. The books aren’t romance per se (Sharpe does have love interests, but he’s usually disappointed.) However, they are great history. I’m sure your husband would enjoy them—and so might you. Give them a try!

    Reply
  142. Esmee, sorry, but I would guess that you’ve probably deduced that Sean Bean is the actor whose handsome face graces the post. The books aren’t romance per se (Sharpe does have love interests, but he’s usually disappointed.) However, they are great history. I’m sure your husband would enjoy them—and so might you. Give them a try!

    Reply
  143. Esmee, sorry, but I would guess that you’ve probably deduced that Sean Bean is the actor whose handsome face graces the post. The books aren’t romance per se (Sharpe does have love interests, but he’s usually disappointed.) However, they are great history. I’m sure your husband would enjoy them—and so might you. Give them a try!

    Reply
  144. Esmee, sorry, but I would guess that you’ve probably deduced that Sean Bean is the actor whose handsome face graces the post. The books aren’t romance per se (Sharpe does have love interests, but he’s usually disappointed.) However, they are great history. I’m sure your husband would enjoy them—and so might you. Give them a try!

    Reply
  145. Esmee, sorry, but I would guess that you’ve probably deduced that Sean Bean is the actor whose handsome face graces the post. The books aren’t romance per se (Sharpe does have love interests, but he’s usually disappointed.) However, they are great history. I’m sure your husband would enjoy them—and so might you. Give them a try!

    Reply
  146. Wonderful point about football. Spin (or rifling) does have a profound effect on a number of endeavors.
    I leke the “le sigh” I’ll add one of my own for Sean. I think we may have established a new branch of his fan club here at WW.

    Reply
  147. Wonderful point about football. Spin (or rifling) does have a profound effect on a number of endeavors.
    I leke the “le sigh” I’ll add one of my own for Sean. I think we may have established a new branch of his fan club here at WW.

    Reply
  148. Wonderful point about football. Spin (or rifling) does have a profound effect on a number of endeavors.
    I leke the “le sigh” I’ll add one of my own for Sean. I think we may have established a new branch of his fan club here at WW.

    Reply
  149. Wonderful point about football. Spin (or rifling) does have a profound effect on a number of endeavors.
    I leke the “le sigh” I’ll add one of my own for Sean. I think we may have established a new branch of his fan club here at WW.

    Reply
  150. Wonderful point about football. Spin (or rifling) does have a profound effect on a number of endeavors.
    I leke the “le sigh” I’ll add one of my own for Sean. I think we may have established a new branch of his fan club here at WW.

    Reply
  151. We were overseas when my mother-in-law sent us a tape of Sharpes. I loved all the shows, but when I finally read the books, I noticed that Sharpe was actually a much darker personality and much taller than Sean Bean. Though I have to say, I still like him a lot.

    Reply
  152. We were overseas when my mother-in-law sent us a tape of Sharpes. I loved all the shows, but when I finally read the books, I noticed that Sharpe was actually a much darker personality and much taller than Sean Bean. Though I have to say, I still like him a lot.

    Reply
  153. We were overseas when my mother-in-law sent us a tape of Sharpes. I loved all the shows, but when I finally read the books, I noticed that Sharpe was actually a much darker personality and much taller than Sean Bean. Though I have to say, I still like him a lot.

    Reply
  154. We were overseas when my mother-in-law sent us a tape of Sharpes. I loved all the shows, but when I finally read the books, I noticed that Sharpe was actually a much darker personality and much taller than Sean Bean. Though I have to say, I still like him a lot.

    Reply
  155. We were overseas when my mother-in-law sent us a tape of Sharpes. I loved all the shows, but when I finally read the books, I noticed that Sharpe was actually a much darker personality and much taller than Sean Bean. Though I have to say, I still like him a lot.

    Reply
  156. Ella, yes Sean Bean is different from Sharpe in the novels . . but i think we’ve all agreed that we’re willing to accept the difference for the other intangibles he brings to the role (like swoon-worthy good looks, even though Sharpe isn’t supposed to be quite than good-looking) Artistic license!

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  157. Ella, yes Sean Bean is different from Sharpe in the novels . . but i think we’ve all agreed that we’re willing to accept the difference for the other intangibles he brings to the role (like swoon-worthy good looks, even though Sharpe isn’t supposed to be quite than good-looking) Artistic license!

    Reply
  158. Ella, yes Sean Bean is different from Sharpe in the novels . . but i think we’ve all agreed that we’re willing to accept the difference for the other intangibles he brings to the role (like swoon-worthy good looks, even though Sharpe isn’t supposed to be quite than good-looking) Artistic license!

    Reply
  159. Ella, yes Sean Bean is different from Sharpe in the novels . . but i think we’ve all agreed that we’re willing to accept the difference for the other intangibles he brings to the role (like swoon-worthy good looks, even though Sharpe isn’t supposed to be quite than good-looking) Artistic license!

    Reply
  160. Ella, yes Sean Bean is different from Sharpe in the novels . . but i think we’ve all agreed that we’re willing to accept the difference for the other intangibles he brings to the role (like swoon-worthy good looks, even though Sharpe isn’t supposed to be quite than good-looking) Artistic license!

    Reply
  161. Theo said: “It’s interesting to note how rifling has changed the course of many things over time. Even in American football, when you watch the slow motion quaterback throw, the football is rifling through the air. It makes the ball much more accurate”
    Sherrie here. Well, as I live and die! I had no idea about the rifling bit making football throws more accurate! That must be why I’m such a bad egg-thrower. A friend with chickens keeps me supplied with eggs, and sometimes I can’t keep up, and find myself with 3-4 cartons in the fridge. When they get too old to give to the dogs, I stand on my second story deck and practice throwing, trying to hit the trees in the pasture. I’m lousy at it. I don’t know how it happens, but occasionally a stray egg ends up on the roof. Behind me. Mind, the trees I’m aiming for are in front of me. Must try putting a spin on them next time!

    Reply
  162. Theo said: “It’s interesting to note how rifling has changed the course of many things over time. Even in American football, when you watch the slow motion quaterback throw, the football is rifling through the air. It makes the ball much more accurate”
    Sherrie here. Well, as I live and die! I had no idea about the rifling bit making football throws more accurate! That must be why I’m such a bad egg-thrower. A friend with chickens keeps me supplied with eggs, and sometimes I can’t keep up, and find myself with 3-4 cartons in the fridge. When they get too old to give to the dogs, I stand on my second story deck and practice throwing, trying to hit the trees in the pasture. I’m lousy at it. I don’t know how it happens, but occasionally a stray egg ends up on the roof. Behind me. Mind, the trees I’m aiming for are in front of me. Must try putting a spin on them next time!

    Reply
  163. Theo said: “It’s interesting to note how rifling has changed the course of many things over time. Even in American football, when you watch the slow motion quaterback throw, the football is rifling through the air. It makes the ball much more accurate”
    Sherrie here. Well, as I live and die! I had no idea about the rifling bit making football throws more accurate! That must be why I’m such a bad egg-thrower. A friend with chickens keeps me supplied with eggs, and sometimes I can’t keep up, and find myself with 3-4 cartons in the fridge. When they get too old to give to the dogs, I stand on my second story deck and practice throwing, trying to hit the trees in the pasture. I’m lousy at it. I don’t know how it happens, but occasionally a stray egg ends up on the roof. Behind me. Mind, the trees I’m aiming for are in front of me. Must try putting a spin on them next time!

    Reply
  164. Theo said: “It’s interesting to note how rifling has changed the course of many things over time. Even in American football, when you watch the slow motion quaterback throw, the football is rifling through the air. It makes the ball much more accurate”
    Sherrie here. Well, as I live and die! I had no idea about the rifling bit making football throws more accurate! That must be why I’m such a bad egg-thrower. A friend with chickens keeps me supplied with eggs, and sometimes I can’t keep up, and find myself with 3-4 cartons in the fridge. When they get too old to give to the dogs, I stand on my second story deck and practice throwing, trying to hit the trees in the pasture. I’m lousy at it. I don’t know how it happens, but occasionally a stray egg ends up on the roof. Behind me. Mind, the trees I’m aiming for are in front of me. Must try putting a spin on them next time!

    Reply
  165. Theo said: “It’s interesting to note how rifling has changed the course of many things over time. Even in American football, when you watch the slow motion quaterback throw, the football is rifling through the air. It makes the ball much more accurate”
    Sherrie here. Well, as I live and die! I had no idea about the rifling bit making football throws more accurate! That must be why I’m such a bad egg-thrower. A friend with chickens keeps me supplied with eggs, and sometimes I can’t keep up, and find myself with 3-4 cartons in the fridge. When they get too old to give to the dogs, I stand on my second story deck and practice throwing, trying to hit the trees in the pasture. I’m lousy at it. I don’t know how it happens, but occasionally a stray egg ends up on the roof. Behind me. Mind, the trees I’m aiming for are in front of me. Must try putting a spin on them next time!

    Reply

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