Sharpegirls

In all of my Sharpe novel reviews I have made mention of the heroin and love interest of the tale, the Sharpegirl. In the same vain of a Bondgirl, their early 19th century equivalent are typically beautiful and love struck by Sharpe, sleeping with him in the end. Most of the time they’re rescued by Sharpe or play a villains role, but usually the Sharpegirl plays a pivotal role in the story all the same. So here is a list of all the leading ladies in the Sharpe novels.

(contains spoilers)

Mary Bickerstaff (Sharpe’s Tiger)
The widow of Sgt. Jem Bickerstaff of Sharpe’s regiment, the 33rd, Mary Bickerstaff is also half-English and half-Indian. She had few prospects in life but to marry an English army man but with her husband deceased Mary becomes attached to Sharpe. She later re-marries to a commander in Mysore.

Simone Joubert (Sharpe’s Triumph)
The wife of a French captain working for the Maratha Confederacy as an advisor, she is rescued by Sharpe from sepoys in Ahmednuggur and later sleeps with him. When her husband is killed at Assaye Simone steals some of Sharpe’s jewels and flees to America.

Claire Wall (Sharpe’s Fortress)
A widower indebted to Cap. Torrance, Claire befriends Sharpe after he rescues her from Torrance. They briefly become lovers but she instead marries Sgt. Eli Lockhart of the 19th Prince of Wales’ Own Dragoons.

Lady Grace Hale (Sharpe’s Trafalgar)
An aristocrat married to political aspirant and former Governor of Bombay, Lord William Hale, Lady Grace falls for Sharpe aboard the Pucelle when he saves her from a Frenchman. Sharpe genuinely falls in love with her but Lady Grace dies in childbirth.

Astrid Skovgaard (Sharpe’s Prey)
The daughter of a Danish spy working for Britain, she briefly becomes a lover of Sharpe’s while Copenhagen is under siege. She later has her throat cut by Lord Pumpfrey for “knowing too much.”

Louisa Parker (Sharpe’s Rifles, Sharpe’s Devil)
The niece of two Methodists travelling through Spain trying to convert the locals, Louisa runs away and winds up mixing herself with Sharpe and the 95th. Despite Sharpe’s attentions Louisa opts to marry Blas Vivar and becomes the Countess of Mouromorto. Louisa returns in Sharpe’s Devil to enlist Sharpe’s help in rescuing her husband, missing in Chile.

Kate Savage (Sharpe’s Prey)
A daughter of English wine merchants in Porto stuck behind enemy lines. Sharpe is tasked to find her but runs afoul of her traitorous husband. They do not become lovers, interestingly. She later marries Cap. Jorge Vicente.

Katia Caballero as Josefina Lacosta in

Josefina Lacosta (Sharpe’s Eagle, Sharpe’s Gold, Sharpe’s Enemy)
The wife of a Portuguese noblewoman left behind after her husband abandoned her and escaped to Brazil. While travelling with the army she is raped by Lt. Christian Gibbons and Lt. John Berry, Sharpe saves her and they becomes brief lovers. Josefina instead chooses to go with the richer Cap. Claude Hardy of the 19th Dragoons. Josefina later “marries” Lord Farthingdale, in reality he is paying her to be his faux-wife, and is then taken prisoner by Hakeswill. Sharpe saves her but they never see each other again.
Portrayed by Katia Caballero and Elizabeth Hurley

Assumpta Serna as Teresa Moreno in

Teresa Moreno (Sharpe’s Gold, Sharpe’s Company, Sharpe’s Sword, Sharpe’s Enemy)
Sharpe’s first wife. Teresa first appears as the daughter of a partisan leader about to married off to El Católico, but when Sharpe takes her hostage they soon fall for each other. They have an on-off relationship from 1810 to 1812. Teresa also gives birth to Sharpe’s daughter, Antonia, who is put in direct danger by being looked after in the town the British are about to siege (Badajoz). Their distanced relationship leads to Sharpe at least twice being unfaithful, but Teresa is still there to tend to his wounds when he is nearly killed at Salamanca. Teresa is murdered by Hakeswill.
Portrayed by Assumpta Serna

Sarah Fry (Sharpe’s Escape)
An English governess tutoring the children of villain Maj. Pedro Ferreira. Sarah is stranded in Coimbra and later locked up with Sharpe, Harper and Vicente by Ferreira’s brother, the criminal Ferragus. They share a romantic moment or two in an underground Roman-era sewer. Sarah then assists in Sharpe leading an escape from death and a successful retreat to British lines.

Doña Juanita de Elía (Sharpe’s Battle)
A troublemaking partisan working for Spain, Britain and France. She is the lover of both the villain Guy Loup and Lord Kiely. Doña Juanita attempts to incite a mutiny by distributing fake newspapers detailing false brutality by English soldiers against the Irish amongst the mostly Irish company Sharpe is sent to train. After sleeping with her Sharpe lets her escape, much to Hogan’s annoyance.
Portrayed by Siri Neal

Alice Krige as Hélène Leroux in

Hélène Leroux, la Marquesa de Casares el Grande y Melida Sadaba (Sharpe’s Sword and Sharpe’s Honour)
The beautiful French noblewoman married to aristocratic Spanish general, also the sister of the villain Col. Philippe Leroux. La Marquesa is also a French spy but is stranded in Spain following Wellington’s victory at Salamanca, where she elicits a rather steamy affair with Sharpe. She is then unwittingly used by Sharpe’s other nemesis, spymaster Maj. Pierre Ducos, in a plot to bring Sharpe down. However Sharpe eventually learns the truth and escapes with la Marquesa’s fortune, but without the girl.
Portrayed by Alice Krige

Jane Gibbons (Sharpe’s Regiment, Sharpe’s Siege, Sharpe’s Revenge, Sharpe’s Waterloo)
The young niece of Sharpe’s third enemy, Sir Henry Simmerson, and sister of Christian Gibbons. She falls for Sharpe after he recues her from her uncle, and they marry late in 1813 (around a year after Teresa’s death). Their relationship soon turns sour as Jane returns to England after an argument about Sharpe’s further soldiering following Napoleon’s defeat in 1814. There, she begins an affair with Lord John Rossendale and spends the bulk of Sharpe’s fortune that he had amassed over the years. Jane is pregnant by Rossendale during the Battle of Waterloo, but her life after Waterloo is unknown.
Portrayed by Abigal Cruttenden

Lady Anne Camoynes (Sharpe’s Regiment)
Forced into prostitution to pay off the debts of her dead husband, Lady Anne is beautiful and ruthless. She uses Sharpe to rid herself of Lord Fenner and the rest of her debt repayments, but also sleeps with Sharpe twice as payment for her finding information out for him.
Portrayed by Caroline Langrishe

Lucille Castineau (Sharpe’s Revenge, Sharpe’s Waterloo, Sharpe’s Devil)
Sharpe’s third and final wife. Lucille first meets Sharpe by shooting him, thinking he was the one responsible for her brothers death. As Lucille tends to his wounds they soon fall for each other but are unable to marry as Sharpe could not afford a divorce from Jane. They become companions for the rest of their lives. Sharpe and Lucille have two children together – Dominique and Patrick-Henri, whom remarks in one of the Starbuck novels that his mother is very lonely, so Sharpe had probably died by then (1861).
Portrayed by Cecile Paoli

One Response to “Sharpegirls”

  1. Astraea July 27, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    So Mary Bickerstaff isn’t related to the Sargeant Bickerstaff working for “General” Dodd in India?

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