For Christmas last year one of my presents was a full set of the DVD's of the Sharpe series that has been on television. I have so far seen four of them. I have read all the books, but only caught snatches of the television series before. Interestingly, many of the people who made Morse were also involved in Sharpe. Of course the stories are very much 'Boy's Own' and complete fantasies, but they are competently made, with good Russian stuntmen and locations in the Ukraine and Turkey. The movies are shot in 30 days, with 36 scenes shot every day. Sean Bean, whom we met at my daughter's wedding last year, makes an engaging Sharpe, though his Sheffield accent is at odds with Bernard Cornwell's description of a Londoner. For today's youngster's who know virtually nothing of British history it is a painless way of learning about the Peninsular war.
I was brought up in Aldershot where the street names and pubs were all named after battles or generals. Talavera and Salamanca were the names of the old barracks where I did my boy-scouting