Bulletin Board

Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I want to thank you for the pleasure your books have brought me over the years. As I have aged there are certain things in life that mark the years, some predicted, some not. One not predicted was the sense of sadness I have felt upon hearing of the passing of authors I have read for many years. Although not knowing you personally, I can assure you that meeting Richard Sharpe and Uhtred of Babbenburg have been among my life's great pleasures and I thank you for their creation. I don't mean this email to be morbid in any way, I am in rude health and plan to live forever as I hope you do too! I just felt regret that I had not taken the time to thank my favourite authors for the enormous pleasure they have given me over many, many years. Your name was top of the list.

Thanks again.

Michael Hansen

A

Thank you!


Q

Hi Bernard,

Just to let you and other keen historians know, there are some fantastic videos I've discovered on YouTube under the EpicHistory label. While there are other periods explained in gripping detail, quite a few are dedicated to the Napoleonic Wars; I've only just watched the Battle of Borodino followed by The Peninsular War. Alongside the narration, digital maps help visualize the battlefields, strategies, and troops movements. Quite handy for those who - like myself - get a bit confused with all the information, and sadly some details get forgotten with the passage of time. I'm a bit more clued up now. I'm hoping to fit in another couple of videos tonight. By the way, I'm also looking forward to reading 'Sword of Kings' (but I won't be doing so until next year as I've got an epic reading schedule all worked out!). I'm enjoying my tenth book for this year - set in Roman Hispania during a serious rebellion as the story's focal point.

Robert Douglas


Q

The last 20 years I am on and off busy with the dismantling of the myth of Jeann d'Arc.

I have the luck that one of the main researchers of TF1 resides in the next village.

During the years I have a pretty insight what has happened.

I am now occupied by your book Agincourt. Which gives me an idea about the voluminous  research you have done.

The Jeanne d'Arc legend is no legend at all but a conspiracy of a bishop of Orléans, Dupanloup and a French politician. The very truth lies buried in the Bibliotheque National and the cellars of the Vatican Library.

A book about the true life of JdA will never be a success, so I leave it where it is.

Sincerely,

Brien Gilroy

A

Ah, the gap between myth and truth! It’s often called history. I obviously don’t know nearly as much as you about Jeanne d’Arc, but reading Juliet Barker’s wonderful book Conquest did make me think about writing a novel about Jeanne, a thought I successfully resisted. I do disagree with you, however – a book about her true life could be a huge success! Write it!

 


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

thank you for your response to my previous message. Writing it prompted me to conduct a little research online in regard to Ithancester. There is not much written about it but what there was, was quite interesting;

Quotes like this from the Numismatic Journal of 1837

"Higher up the Northern shore, from Tillingham stood once a flourishing city called Ithancester by our ancestors. Camden is of the opinion, Ithancester is the same as Othena"

Which would place it as you suggest on the site of the Roman Saxon shore fort.

Also this from Excursions in the County of Essex Thomas Cromwell 1818

"for thus Bede and Ralf Niger monk of Coggeshall tell us, Cedda built churches in several places ordaining priests and deacons to assist him in the word of faith and ministry of baptizing, especially in the city which in the language of the Saxons is called Ithancester, which stood upon the bank of the River Pant that runs near Malden in the province of Dengy."

So if you ever need a spare late Roman/early Saxon city in Essex, there you go.

St Cedds is a very interesting place I have visited there a few times when I have been over in the UK as my family part own a Thames Sailing Barge and it is a very pleasant sail from St Osyth to Bradwell, followed by a walk to St Cedds and a meal at the Green Man Bradwell.

The village of St Osyth (formerly Chiche) is also very interesting in itself with Osyth herself the daughter of a Mercian King Frithwald and his wife Wilburga (herself daughter of Penda) and later wife of Sighere King of Essex (before she became a nun). She was beheaded by Dane raiders of her Priory in around 700 and the story goes she picked up her head and walked to the church and knocked on the door before dying.

Local legend says that the Danes retired to Mersea Island where the leaders, two brothers fought over a nun they had captured. The elder one was killed and is supposedly buried in a barrow there. I don't know if it is true but I have heard it said that the Danes liked to overwinter on Mersea Island and to this day there is bad feeling between the inhabitants of Brightlingsea, St Osyth and West Mersea that supposedly stems from the Islanders being descended from Vikings.

Anyway being brought up with these stories it is little wonder why I enjoy your books, I look forward to seeing what comes next.

Kind Regards,

Bill Harman


Q

I listened to the audiobook versions of your warlord trilogy over the last month and I enjoyed it very deeply. I found it to be a moving story told so well that whenever I would stop listening, I’d realize I had never even paid attention to the remarkable craftsmanship (I mean the nuts-and-bolts mechanics of the storytelling itself) of the work.

Mostly, I wanted to thank you for having written them. Maybe if I were sending this message via an actual keyboard instead of a smartphone screen, it could have been longer (for better or for worse). There’s something about gesturing emphatically at a touch screen that just seems like a menace, regardless of what I may want to say.

Anyway: Regards.

Jefferson Marks


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I am about to read book 11 in your Last Kingdom series and I can't wait to get started. I want to thank you for providing me with entertainment and some historical knowledge. I have enjoyed the previous 10 immensely. When I am finished this book I will definitely be looking at your other books. Thank you again.

Sincerely,

Sheree Fordyce


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I have read and reread many of your books, especially those in the Last Kingdom series, and they never disappoint. Can't say the same about the tv series (he little pretty boy who played the ferocious Lord Uhtred was hilariously miscast. Loved the scene when he couldn't get his sword out of his scabbard...) but overlooking that minor detail, all the rest of the casting was great. Beocca was brilliant. Matt Bates of course is superb.

I'm really writing to express my admiration for your scholarship, characterizations, dialogue, and how you infuse battle scenes with such realism without making the blood and guts gratuitous.

You and Lord Uhtred and Finnan have given me many enthralling hours of swashing, buckling and vicarious blood-lust. Thank you!

(For Mus !!!)

Terri Haag


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I am a 58 year old avid reader and lover of history. Every few years I will select a historical conflict to study, and then read everything that I can access to learn what I can about that period of history. Not long ago I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about the Peninsular War, and through that reading came across your Sharpe series. Not only did your writing educate and entertain me, it left me with a seemingly insatiable appetite for your other works.

I have never written an author before, and don’t really have much to say other than “thank you”. I can’t begin to imagine how much research and hard work goes into your writing, but for this one, insignificant reader, the results are amazing, and I honestly can’t express my gratitude adequately.

Warmest regards,

Gary Olivi


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I am a 52 yr. old man from Germany, and I read nearly all of your books, started with Arthur, now I went over to the Starbuck (just finished the first one), 1356, and I wanted to say, you are my favourite writer. I found out by reading your website, that you've written about Agincourt (Azincourt), and I think this will be the next one after Starbuck Part II. You write so exciting, and I spent many nights reading your stories. But in my honest opinion, I best like the stuff from Arthur and the medieval, maybe it's more thrilling to me reading about the secrets, from other writers I like Marion Zimmer Bradley (mists of Avalon), but it doesn't come close to your books. I love them.. Best regards from Germany, and write on,

yours sincerely,

Peter Berger


Q

Hello! I am reading War of the Wolf at the moment and just read the exchange where Ieremias recommends Uhtred take small horns to attack Skoll in imitation of Joshua's attack on Jericho, and Uhtred's thought response is "I preferred to rely on ladders instead".

I seriously laughed out loud at this - I have been an active Christian all my life but have been through a lot of church drama/witnessed too many Christians hold power and politics above loving their neighbors, so all of Uhtred's disparaging comments about the church are hilarious to me.

So that's it. Thank you for your excellent writing! If you ever find yourself in NYC with an hour to kill and you happen to want to spend it with a complete stranger, contact me and I'll buy you a scotch.

With wishes of continued success to you,

Alex.

 

A

Thank you!