Ep 23 Sweet Polly Oliver goes Over The Hills: Sharpe and Monstrous Regiment


Spoilers for Monstrous Regiment in this episode! 

Please note that some women who went to war disguised as men lived as men for the rest of their lives (such as James Barry) while others returned to living as women after their service. Sergeant Jackrum may be considered the former; he may have considered himself a trans man, if such terms were available to him in Discworld.

Alistair’s choice: Sharpe’s Eagle by Bernard Cornwell

Ali’s choice: Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett

During the discussion, Alistair and I talked about the representation of women by both novels: while there are no women viewpoint characters in Sharpe’s Eagle they are there. It’s incredible to me that women were so close to the front line in the peninsula wars, and in such a variety of roles. As I mentioned in the podcast, Phoebe Hessel’s gravestone is still (just about) legible in the graveyard of St Nicholas of Myrna, Brighton, which is just down the hill from where I live. You can find out more about the “Stepney Amazon” here.

See Alistair’s wonderful kickstarter for dyslexia-friendly books for adults, including Sharpe’s Skirmish by Bernard Cornwell!

Thank you Alistair! Follow Books on the Hill on Twitter: @Booksonthehill

Thanks as always to Steve Vapour Trails and Jack Sadler-Johnson


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