The disadvantage of reading an ebook version of this is that I can't just look at the cover or the spine to discover what year this takes place (my history isn't great when it comes to the details of the Napoleonic wars).
The disadvantage of reading a 3-book collection of Sharpe novels that include Sharpe's Trafalgar is that I'm totally guessing as to how far I'm into the book (and no, I don't see much point in tracking that I'm at about 8% in the collection because I'm not going to read all three books in a row). Oh, and it means that my cover doesn't actually have the year (yes, I can check the list in the "back". No, I didn't think of it before now).
So far this installment is entertaining, although we haven't gotten to any battles yet because Sharpe is sailing home to England (although he's the first admit that it doesn't feel like home, he doesn't really have a home, and he liked India). The captain, Cromwell, is up to something but I can't figure out what.
The food sounds really awful:
"Breakfast was at eight every morning. The steerage passengers were divided into groups of ten and the men took it in turn to fetch each mess a cauldron of burgoo from the galley in the forecastle. The burgoo was a mixture of oatmeal and scraps of beef fat that had simmered all night on the galley stove. Dinner was at mid-day and was another burgoo, though this sometimes had larger scraps of meat or fibrous pieces of dried fish floating in the burned and lumpy oatmeal. On Sundays there was salt fish and ship’s biscuits that were as hard as stone, yet even so were infested with weevils that needed to be tapped out. The biscuits had to be chewed endlessly so that it was like masticating a dried brick that was occasionally enlivened by the juice of an insect that had escaped the tapping. Tea was served at four, but only to the passengers who travelled in the stern of the ship, while the steerage passengers had to wait for supper, which was more dried fish, biscuits and a hard cheese in which red worms made miniature tunnels."
"Occasionally enlivened by the juice of an insect"...? Ugh. And I wonder if the red worms get tapped out of the cheese...?