Bulletin Board

Q

Hi Bernard
I’m just ‘all of a tingle’ at the moment, writing to you.
You see, you’ve been a part of my life for so long now, almost on a daily basis for years.
It started with my first ‘Sharpe’ book and just keeps rolling through.  I keep all the books as they are read.  Often, not having a new, one I go through the book case and pull out a re-read.  Most of your books I have read at least three times, probably a couple of years apart. ‘1356’ is just great, thank you.
Over a few years I’ve attended evening class’s, been to a couple of College courses and a stab at poetry once (quite enjoyable) and I enjoy writing (all tucked away in filing cabinet).  All much to my wife’s annoyance –
‘You should get them published ‘she says, but I just enjoy the writing.
Just read your article in ‘Writing Magazine’, its great, as one would expect.

Might be the nearest I’ll ever get to ‘speaking with you’ but I hadn’t better tease it out to long.

Thank you so very much

Respectfully

Graham Bolton


Q

It seems I must needs change the name of my Wessex Sagas  which have been on line starting 2002 as you have come along and used it!!
You are a only prose writer and I only write in verse, however, I shall have to change what I do as I have no commercial power.
Oh, and by the way you have a detail wrong.  (Not that it is important in fiction). Try marching in full 9th century armour with full equipment and food from Athelney, fording several rivers to Edenstone in Wiltshire (76KM as crow flies) then attacking up a 1:5 incline in 48hours.  It cannot be done so actual location of Battle of Edington must remain unknown for the time being.

Like your ripping yarns though!

Trevor Morgan,
Somerset


Q

Back in 2008, somebody asked about  a novel dealing with the Black Douglas. I was rereading old posts and it jogged my memory. Nigel Tranter wrote a novel entitled Black Douglas. Here is the Wikipedia entry for it:
"Black Douglas

First published in 1968

Set 1448–1452, during the reign of James II, the central character is William Douglas, 8th Earl of Douglas, who restored the power of the Earls of Douglas following the murder of the 6th earl. It ends with William's murder at the hands of James II himself, in Stirling Castle. It makes some speculative claims about his allegedly disfunctional marriage with Margaret Douglas, Fair Maid of Galloway."

Keep up the good work, and best wishes for 2013.

Greg Stewart


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I'd like to thank you for the many hours of reading pleasure your
books have given me. I've just finished 'Death of Kings' and am re-reading the Warlord
Chronicles and the Starbuck series. But my favourite is your Azincourt. No one can
describe battle scenes as well as you can and can give a sense of the period as vividly
and convicingly. Your love of the subject comes through.

Thank you.

Patricia


Q

Anxiously awaiting next book after "The Death of Kings", hope to see it soon.
Great series.

Mr. Merritt M. Hinman, Sr

A

I hope to have it ready for publication in September!


Q

My husband began reading The Saxon Tales and recommended them to me. We enjoyed them greatly and he is continuing on with Sharpe's Rifles and others.
I'm writing because in working on my genealogy I tapped into a line that has taken me back to Alfred the Great! You helped bring that time period alive for us and we just wanted to say "Thanks!". Best wishes on all your future writings!

Rebecca & Alan Partington


Q

Hello Bernard,

I have just finished reading Death of Kings and the tale of Uhtred.  Foolishly this is the first I have read in your warrior chronicles, I look forward to the rest, in the right order this time!  I have also read Azincourt and the Sharpe books.  I just wanted to say thank you.  Every time I read one of your books I am filled with a sense of wonder about the time in which the book is set and that can only be down to the detail within the telling of the tale.

Truly thank you!

A J Moore


Q

Happy New Year, Mr. Cornwell.

In a December 31st posting, Robert Douglas was asking about a guard unit that used double-headed battle axes.  He is surely thinking of the Varangian Guard, the elite unit of the Byzantine Empire and personal guard of the emperor.  They were all Danes, Norsemen and Saxons, and specialized in the big Danish Axe.  They served until the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

Alan Kempner

A

Thank you very much!


Q

Mr. Cornwell;

Thank you for the amazing stories.  Just finished the Warlord Chronicles and I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure. I look forward to the release of 1356 in the US later this month.  Occasionally I see request for a continuation of Starbuck series and I believe many of your fans would be overjoyed to see where the journey leads.  I look forward to the next adventures of Uhtred, but in the mean time I am going to begin your Sharpe series.  I have passed your books to my father and friends at work and its fun to discuss with everyone which of your series is their favorite.  Thank you again and have a great new year.

Steve from Virginia.


Q

Hi,

I'm currently reading your book, Harlequin, (the first book of yours I've read), and while I'm enjoying it so far, there was one thing that has struck me as I was reading it. This is not a personal criticism of you, as I'm sure you do not condone it, but the scenes relating to rape during the village pillages made me feel really uncomfortable as a woman, and to be honest made me not want to continue reading at one point. While you are not overly descriptive, and while in no way do I get the sense that the story is trying to actively condone rape, it is still dealt with or raised in a way that, forgive me, seems a bit blasé. I understand completely the wish to remain accurate to the time period, when I know this happened, but I still wonder if it's really necessary to allude really strongly to it and to share the viewpoints of main characters who are either vocally indifferent or eager to pursue rape. With the issue of rape, it's just one of those things that if it's not actively
condemned, it is left 'unchallenged', and can therefore become desensitised as an issue. While times have changed dramatically, attitudes towards women and rape have not really changed all that much, and the blasé treatment of rape in all forms of media indirectly and collectively allows it to be dismissed or even glorified by certain people. The fact that everyone in the story is horrified that Thomas almost has his "arse boiled", but simultaneously glorify the rape of woman (and expect the right to do it) may be historically accurate, but it only serves to subtly (and unintentionally I'm sure) reinforce the notion that it is more 'normal' for women to have this happen.

Again, I don't mean to cause you any personal offence, I just felt it was important to let you know that the casual reference to rape in this story (so far) actually left me feeling really uncomfortable as a reader. I also felt it detracted from the story, and my respect for the male characters.

This is just some food for thought, so I honestly don't require a response to this. I'm not writing this to demand an explanation from you, I just merely wanted to let you know how I felt as a reader.

Thank you for your time. I do sincerely look forward to finishing the rest of this book.

Sarah Harrison

A

And thank you for letting me know. And, forgive me, your reaction is entirely right! You should be revolted by the attitude to rape in that era, and I wanted you to be, but it wasn’t my job (as author) to express the revulsion. The characters can (and Thomas, as you’ll discover, shares your opinion), but it’s the reader who has to do that bit of work.  Rape was ubiquitous, cruel and casual. Life was cruel, but that’s no excuse. It was an era of untrammeled alpha males, and that’s no excuse either. The code of chivalry tried to impose some restraints, but it was not very successful. I’m glad you were appalled, and grateful for your comments.


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