Bulletin Board

Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

My name is Gloria and I'm a 23 year old student from Texas. I wanted to thank you for all your work on the Last Kingdom book series. I have been utterly captivated by Uhtred's story and it has inspired me to do more research on the history of the time period and gave me a love for this part of history I never had before. I listened to those Audiobooks day and night for months and now that I've reached the end I am beyond delighted to see that the story will still continue. Best of luck as you weave Uhtred's fate!

Gloria Stephen


Q

My mother has been reading your novels for sometime now.  After my dad passed away in September, she began shuffling things around and has set up her own "library."  I was helping her a few days ago and found your books in a stack to be shelved.  I love historical fiction and she was telling me a bit about your work.  I "borrowed the first two in the series and literally just finished The Last Kingdom.  I enjoyed it very much.  Found several places to laugh out loud, and I am anxiously looking forward to the next.  Between you and Phillipa Gregory I may never run out of wonders!

Kelly Kickliter

 


Q

Hi Bernard

Firstly I want to say thank you for reigniting my interest in reading.

Have just finished War of the Wolf. What a great read can't wait for the next.

I came across your books by accident as my wife would spend almost a lifetime perusing the contents of many a charity shop on Canvey Island.

So I picked up a book called Harlequin well I had read almost half of the book before my wife had finished her first shop. Had to buy the book as there were more shops to visit.

I could not put the book down. So every time we were in these shops I looked for your books. I came across one from the Last kingdom also read cover to cover.

Found it to be one of a series so I scoured shops at every opportunity & bought your entire series. Just loved every one of them.  Such detail & all the twists & turns in the plots. Watched all the TV series & obviously they were good but could not cover in detail your books. I have read most of your other books now except for the Sharpe series.

Did watch the TV series prior to realising you wrote them.

But I am such a fan of the early Briton / Saxon period & the way you weave your stories & brought them to life in your books is just amazing.

 

Kind regards

Terence Burns


Q

Dear Bernard Cornwell,

On several occasions I sold you Farne Islands boat tickets on behalf of Billy Shiel's when you were researching for your books. I have never read historical fiction before and because the birdwatchers who visit the Islands are always  recommending your books I have now read and completed The Last Kingdom.

Wow! I am very impressed and I have become a historical fiction convert and I will definitely continue with series. I do like the characters no doubt like me everyone probably likes Uhtred best. I enjoyed the plot and of course in Northumberland there has to be Vikings. Little touches though such as Mildriths family being in debt to the Church add to the realism of the tale .

Thank you for writing such an enjoyable book and long may you continue.

I am from the Seahouses and my ancestors were the Clan Douglas who were famous for stealing Harry Hotspots flag at The battle of Chevy Chase and putting it on their castle. Chevy meaning a singular Cheviot hill and the Chase is the valley below it.  Sadly my branch of the family were some distance away from owning the castle keys but the Clan had some brilliant history.So you may have inspired me to read about them too.

yours sincerely

Katie Wright


Q

Bernard

I am re reading the Saxon Stories and I have to say I love Uhtred. Even though I am a Scot and brought up to be a Scots Nat and against the Saxon, you have to love him. Loyal to a fault, strong, but also ruthless. The way he comes across I feel how people would follow him. Uhtred and Sharpe. Great historical novels with a penetrating look at what it was like to live in those times. Your writing is gripping. In terms of historical writers I grew up on Nigel Tranter and CS Foster., as well as Sir Walter Scott.. The only other that I think gives you some competition is Pressfield with the Gates of Fire. Anyway, thank you for a good read.

John Rutherford


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I just wanted to ask if you could wish me luck for a new project. I am just starting a novel for the first time (I've actually written four books on my main interest, which is American Catholic history.) I'm trying to write a novel on the Brooklyn Irish from the Famine to the 20th century. I know a lot about the subject (I used to be an archivist in Brooklyn), and I want to tell a story about people like those I knew growing up. I'm a little nervous about it, but my strength is that I know the subject better than anyone else. And as you know, we Irish love to tell stories! I hope I can capture people's attention like you captured mine with your wonderful books. Thanks for reading this!

Sincerely,

Pat McNamara

A

Best of luck to you!  Write again when you get published!


Q

Mr. Cornwell..

I have loved the films based on your stories for years but only realized recently as I moved from the Last Kingdom show to your books that you wrote the Sharpe series.  You do a wonderful job in your writing of finding an old voice.  I am an amateur story teller but in no way successful or accomplished as you are.  For me it is just a side.  I love the written word and cherish it so.  You describe the England I always dreamed of as a young child.  I traveled in the 70's with my mother looking at long forgotten genealogical sites and visiting castles and countryside.  One day my father and I crawled all over the English countryside with a map in hand. It wasn't a treasure map, rather a map of airfields used in WWII.  When we found one it was a patch of grass.  A meadow, nothing more.  I think I thought it would be lined with Spitfires or something.  When I was six I stormed up a hill with a tower on top where the Holy Grail was supposed to be buried.  I was disappointed it wasn't there.  Only cows and poop.  Today I look back and realize those journeys were the seeds of my own imagination.  I think what amazes me most about your writing is the ability to incorporate lost language into story.  You must be so accomplished with research reading the old long forgotten texts and incorporating a lost vocabulary into a modern one.  I would so love to observe your process.  Writing to you just reminded me of a short story.  I was with my mother and she wanted to visit her hero the author Dephne du Maurier.  We drove to the drive of her home.  It was raining a drizzly misty rain and my mother spoke through a small box at the gate.  Ms. du Maurier answered and thanked her for passing by.  She apologized saying she was not feeling well and not up to having a guest.  Looking back I can't believe my mother did that!

Anyway, three cheers to you and your voice.

Patrick Bauer

 


Q

Having read all of your books, I feel entitled to an observation. Anytime your characters take to the water there is an obvious passion that leaps off the page!  I encourage you to indulge this not so subconscious reality and point your next book into the wind! Bon voyage!

Phil Pitney


Q

Bernard,

I have just spotted an article in Cotswold Life June 2018 edition about Gloucester city marking the 1100th anniversary of the death of Aethelflaed. Gloucester has clearly decided that this local heroine deserves more recognition. The various events took place last June but I had not heard about it until now. I enjoyed your interview at the Cheltenham Literary Festival and hope we will see you back soon. I have read all of your books and enjoyed everyone.

Best wishes

Dave


Q

I have just completed the Quest for the Grail trilogy for the third time. Over those years the many-layered structure of Mr. Cornwell’s creation have presented me with evolving and rewarding views of the world of 1350. The first time through, I was fascinated by the preparation and execution of military strategy. On the second approach I took notes on the interaction of Church and State at both the personal and institutional levels. This time, perhaps echoing current affairs, I was struck by the overwhelming role of sexual politics in affairs of state. Defeat meant rape and humiliation, either of the high born and gentrified (Jeanette) or our anonymous scullery maid. Those in the ascendancy sought control and gratification through the imposition of dominance and sexual terrorism – whether in the town square or the royal tent. At first I felt a disconnect. But then I thought: control and gratification through dominance and sexual terrorism? How many degrees of separation really exist between the times of Thomas Hookton and the times of Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey? Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

Robert Kent

A

You’re quite right! Nothing changes! There’s an interesting theory (which I find persuasive) that the whole idea of chivalry is essentially an attempt by women to shame men into courteous behavior, and there’s little doubt that they needed shaming. Which is not to suggest all mediaeval men were rapists or thugs, but they did live in an age when alpha males had an extraordinary amount of licence and power. Mind you the tales of ‘the right of first night', whereby a lord could take into his bed any woman who got married on his lands, is pure invention. Things were quite bad enough without that!