The Fort

( 141 )

Overview

While the major fighting of the Revolutionary War moves to the South in the summer of 1779, a British force of fewer than a thousand Scottish infantry, backed by three sloops-of-war, sails to the fogbound coast of New England. In response, Massachusetts sends a fleet of more than forty vessels and some one thousand infantrymen to “captivate, kill or destroy” the foreign invaders. But ineptitude and irresolution lead to a mortifying defeat—and have stunning repercussions for two men on oppositesides: an untested ...

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The Fort

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Overview

While the major fighting of the Revolutionary War moves to the South in the summer of 1779, a British force of fewer than a thousand Scottish infantry, backed by three sloops-of-war, sails to the fogbound coast of New England. In response, Massachusetts sends a fleet of more than forty vessels and some one thousand infantrymen to “captivate, kill or destroy” the foreign invaders. But ineptitude and irresolution lead to a mortifying defeat—and have stunning repercussions for two men on oppositesides: an untested young Scottish lieutenant named John Mooreand a Boston silversmith and patriot named Paul Revere.

Inimitably told in Cornwell’s thrilling narrative style, The Fortis the extraordinary novel of this fascinating clash between asuperpower and a nation in the making.

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  • Bernard Cornwell
    Bernard Cornwell  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a slight departure from his usual sword and musket epics, Cornwell (Agincourt) delivers a straightforward fictionalized account of a disastrous 1779 American military campaign in today's Maine (then Massachusetts) that's heavy on historical figures and tense battle scenes. After the British establish a fort on the Penobscot River, the Massachusetts patriots mount an expedition to oust the redcoats. Unfortunately, the campaign is poorly planned and ineptly executed, pitting an ill-trained and undisciplined force against experienced British soldiers and the Royal Navy. The commander of the American land force is Gen. Solomon Lovell, a useless and dithering Boston politician, and the American navy is led by Cmdr. Dudley Saltonstall, an obstinate officer who refuses to risk his ships. Then there's Paul Revere, artillery commander and shameful yellow belly. In fact, the only American officer with any spirit for a fight is a former schoolteacher, Gen. Peleg Wadsworth. This is a rousing yarn of clashing personalities, crashing cannons, and lively musket and bayonet work, along with spies, cowardice, and moments of incredible bravery. Cornwell presents a fascinating, accurate, and exciting history lesson enlivened with a generous blast of gun smoke and grapeshot. (Oct.)
Library Journal
This novel represents something of a departure for Cornwell (Agincourt), set in Revolutionary War-era America instead of his native England. It portrays the efforts of the Massachusetts Militia to expel the British from Penobscot Bay (and the rest of North America) in July and August 1779. Cornwell relates the events of the battle in a straightforward fashion, depicting the British landing and hasty construction of Fort George, the arrival of the American troops, and the unfolding land and naval battles. As with all his books, Cornwell does not flinch from describing in great detail the blood and gore of 18th-century battle. His British heritage provides a fresh perspective; he repeatedly and unfavorably contrasts the leadership of Solomon Lovell and Dudley Saltonstall, the American commanders, with British commander Francis McLean. American readers may be somewhat taken aback by his negative portrayal of the American leadership and of Paul Revere in particular. VERDICT Cornwell fans and readers who enjoy historical military fiction will find this a readable and thoroughly researched account of an obscure Revolutionary War battle.—Douglas Southard, CRA International, Boston
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062011220
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Pages: 682
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Bernard Cornwell is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers 1356 and Agincourt; the bestselling Saxon Tales, which include The Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman, Lords of the North, Sword Song, The Burning Land, and most recently Death of Kings; and the Richard Sharpe novels, among many others. He lives with his wife on Cape Cod and in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 141 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(39)

4 Star

(35)

3 Star

(34)

2 Star

(15)

1 Star

(18)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 142 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2011

    Only for those with a NOOKcolor

    I know this isn't a review of the book, but as I can't *view* the book I thought other people might want an additional warning.

    Don't buy this if you don't have a NOOKcolor. You can't view or download it on any other device, including Nook apps for PC/Mac. It wasn't very clear when I bought it. I'm sure I'll enjoy it if/when it ever becomes available for other devices.

    20 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    a future great british general's first taste of combat: age 18 in 1779 fighting American rebels

    My impression is that prolific novelist Bernard Cornwell wrote THE FORT: A NOVEL OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR to do two things: -- tarnish the popular image of the American hero Paul Revere and -- imagine the early wartime experience of an 18-year old Scotsman who later became one of Great Britain's famous "fighting generals": Lieutenant General Sir John Moore (1761 - 1809). The time was July 1789. The place was Penobscot Bay, Massachusetts (now Maine), 26 nautical miles from the sea at the tiny settlement called Majabigwaduce. After a 13 day sail from Halifax in Nova Scotia, a British force of six ships and 700 fighting Scotsmen of His Majesty's and the Duke of Hamilton's 82nd Regiment of Foot along with the 74th Highlanders as well, landed to build a fort and establish a new Loyalist colony of New Ireland. They were commanded by Brigadier General Francis McLean, concurrently Governor of Halifax. ***** We meet England's future hero, Lieutenant John Moore, paymaster of the 82nd Regiment, watching a sergeant and six men setting up a post on high ground to keep an eye on Penobscot Bay. Moore is boyish, excited, romantic, a doctor's son from Glasgow. He cannot wait to repel the rebels soon expected to land and swarm up a steep bluff. Moore is a crack shot, able to load and fire five bullets a minute from his musket. Most soldiers can get off two shots, a few three. ***** Brigadier McLean surveys the coming scene of battle and invites his junior officers to imagine how the American rebels will attack. Lieutenant Moore, meanwhile has time to fall in love with beautiful young (fictional) Bethany Fletcher, whose brother James becomes a spy for the Americans. The Americans sail in and their soldiers storm the bluff held by Moore and a handful of men, who are forced to retreat. Later, repelling a larger attack led by Continental marines, Lieutenant Moore almost by sheer luck fires a fatal pistol ball at the American Major leading the attack on not yet completed British Fort George. In one sense, the core of THE FORT is the coming of age under fire of a future fighting general of Britain. *** From a larger perspective, the Americans throw away opportunities to capture Fort George and sink or capture the six British ships opposing them. In later years, the government of Massachusetts would fix the blame on the Continental Commodore commanding the fleet, exonerating the state Militia General commanding the ground forces. This whitewashing, author Cornwell argues, saved the reputation of Paul Revere, Militia Lieutenant Colonel and commander of the American land artillery. Revere was court-martialed for disobedience and cowardice under fire, but let off in the general whitewashing of the land forces. ***** Improbably, the British held out long enough for a large fleet to sail up from New York, rescue the Scots and annihilate the largest American fleet assembled at any time in the Revolutionary War. The Penobscot Expedition ended in the greatest disaster to American arms before Pearl Harbor in 1941. ***** Bernard Cornwell has rescued from obscurity an American military and naval fiasco that its participants and succeeding generations preferred to forget. His characters, real and imagined, are flesh and blood, three dimensional. The British/Scots come across as kindly, tolerant, professional. The Americans are a mixed bag. Most of the militia men are conscripts. Their leaders leave much to be desired. -OOO-

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 24, 2011

    Wonder For. Dr Jamal

    A fabulous piece of researched history. What a wonderful job of portraying events and character personalities. Mr Cromwell portrays the scenes in such excellent style, that it is as if you are there and living the expereince. Wonderful job. Highly recommend this historical gem of the United States early years

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    Mr. Cornwall can bring stories to life!

    I read a LOT, and Cornwall stacks up with the best. "The Fort" presents a challenge by the number of characters that are developed, but the job is done well. The subject matter is a little known battle from the American Revolution and Cornwall is masterful in his historical accuracy. If you like historical subjects, this is for you..

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Revolutionary War little known battle

    The little known story depicted in this book took place in the territory of Massachusetts, now Maine. It is a frustrating story of a several month battle between British and American troops in 1779 in an area called Majabigwaduce that was surrounded by a Harbor and a river of the same name and Penobscot Bay. The area contained many British warships, even more American ships of various types, some government ships, and some privateers that had gotten their ships mostly by pirating. Some of the American military were naval men, some marines, some conscripted from Boston or other areas nearby, and some civilians from the area. The Americans were "led" by several generals that were in constant bickering against each other whether on land or sea, seemingly never to agree for any length of time to get something accomplished. The British were led quite well by their officers on land and sea.

    This story is historical fiction but fiction only for several characters thrown in to make understanding easier but the battles and actions were true and gives one a sense of why this battle didn't go better for the Americans. They had superior amounts of men and ships but too many differences of opinions as to how and when a battle should start. They bickered about positioning of ships, men, where and when to move them, and how strong their tactics should be. One of the officers that caused much trouble was Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Revere who most of us know of through the "midnight ride of Paul Revere" to warn the area that "the British were coming" in his earlier years. It seems that Revere wasn't such a hero and he never did complete his famous ride, only starting it with others continuing to spread the word. In this particular action he was the artillery officer but always balked when he was ordered to move his artillery where his superiors wanted it. He seemed to be disruptive about most all he did, or didn't do.

    The British started building Fort George in the area but it was slow going. The American forces and the British forces would lob all types of weapons at each other, some from rifles, some from cannons or other artillery. They moved the large guns from ship to shore and back again as ordered and depending on which general was giving instructions. Rains would present huge logistic problems in the mud for weapons and men. Fog was present most days, and that along with the smoke from exploding shells, balls, and ammunition of many kinds, made visibility poor almost all the time. The descriptions of battle are very vivid telling how humans can be torn apart by other humans.

    Some from the small villages took sides with one or the other nations even to the point that they had signed an agreement of loyalty with the British (who had controlled the ground areas) even if they were neutral or favored the Americans. The descriptions of what actually occurred every day was so frustrating to me as the reader. I could see how the Americans could have won the battle if they had struck strong and early, saving lives and possibly taking control of the area. Dissention reigned partly because of self-esteem, not respecting each other, or, as in Reveres case, wanting to do his own thing in his own time, but usually not wanting to do anything!

    I will not mention all the military and non-military men and their leaders so as not to confuse you. The author keeps the story clear with his great style of writing. I can only tell you t

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2011

    Nookcolor 1.3 update seems to have cooked this book. Purchase text only version!

    Had downloaded & started reading this book which is interesting & informative prior to the latest Nookcolor update. All videos played just fine. After the update neither of the two enhanced Nooks I own worked. B&N's answer is to unregister & reregister my device. When this "fix" was done video played for a VERY SHORT TIME...once/ one video then refused to run anything again & freezes allowing the option to force close only. So I unreg/rereg'd a second time. This is quite inconvenient so my decision is to purchase no more ENHANCED books. My advice is to stick with the plain text editions rather than waste your money & time. Anyone else experiencing issues with enhanced books since the 1.3 update or is it just MY DEVICE? B&N won't answer that question.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    Dazed again!!!!.... by painterlee

    I accidently figured out how to download this book and the two others i seemed to have lost, when the b&n help line reregestered my nook color. .this is what happened. A notation kept appearing on the screen saying there were too many books on the panel and i needed to create new panels. I went to my shelves and archived all the books i wasnt currently reading, including the ones that wouldnt download. Then just to see how to unarchive, i took out one of those three books. When it appeared, the word, download, appeared at the bottom of the book. Itouched this and it downloaded and was readable. I did the same with the other two books. They both downloaded,even though the enhanced " The Fort" , downloaded very slowly. I hope this helps anyone who has had the same experiance. HOORAY !!!!!!!!.........

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome%21

    It+did+take+a+long+time+to+download%2C+but+the+videos+do+work+just+fine+on+my+nookcolor.+Bernard+Cornwall+is+always+a+treat%2C+and+it%27s+awesome+to+see+and+hear+him+in+the+videos.+I+will+enjoy+reading+this+story+very+much.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2011

    wont+download

    i+have+a+nookcolor+and+the+book+wont+download.+i+click+on+the+Download+button+and+it+just+opens+the+book+description+page.+not+a+review+of+the+book%2C+so+i+give+3+stars+to+keep+it+neutral.+

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2010

    Just finished reading Cornwell's latest book.

    How do you fail to take a fortification barely started and lose a naval force many times larger than you opponents? Indecisiveness, inaction and ineptness. Cornwell wraps up a history lesson in an accessible story. If you are a fan of Sharpe this story doesn't have the same level of action, however the story should grab your attention soundly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2014

    Redd

    Huh.)) "Uh huh. Shoo." She flicked her tail toward the exit.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2014

    Jinxclaw

    Ugh i have a small headache)) *he lays down* "i aint leavin im tired" *he yawns*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2014

    To redd

    We are forcemating you

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2013

    I just finished this...my first Cornwell book. I really enjoyed

    I just finished this...my first Cornwell book. I really enjoyed it and I look forward to reading other Cornwell novels now.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 15, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Not one of Cornwell's best but an interesting account of an obsc

    Not one of Cornwell's best but an interesting account of an obscure campaign from the Revolution. Picked up the hardback from the bargain bin of my local B&N .

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2012

    B n

    Bbc n

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2012

    Front gates

    The gates here are gaurded by many legionnaires with bows and arrows and spears

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2012

    Good book but a little slow

    Having read several of Cornwell's books I thought this one went a little slow. It was a good read though and I would recommend it.

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  • Posted July 6, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Loved it!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 23, 2012

    A good tale but...

    The story is a good one, set in the Revolutionary War period. It is about the British establishing a fort in what is now Maine, but was then Massachusetts. We try to kick them out, but due to inept leadership the effort failed. I also thought that there should have been an epilog chapter to transition from the climax to the story. It reminded me of when students write papers and they hit the word limit and quit. Other than the ending being a bit abrupt, it was a good diversion.

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