Bulletin Board

Q

Mr Cornwell. I was first introduced to your wonderful Sharpe series about a year and half ago now by a school friend. I never thought that Historical fiction was really my kind of thing but the adventures with Sharpe and Co. have changed my mind on that and I am trying to read the series chronologically. I have recently finished Havoc, though I am not as far through the series as I would like to be! mainly due to distractions and other books which have interested me. Though I must say that I see a patern which appears in all the books of the series which I have read so far and that pattern is that in every book Sharpe always seems get the girl (even if that girl is already his wife). So I was wondering why it was that in Sharpe's Havoc you decided to let him remain a free agent and let the great character of lieutenant Vicente get the girl instead. Hope you can answer this. Euan

A

Wasn't aware of it! He didn't get the girl in Sharpe's Rifles, either, which means his success rate, so far, is a meagre 90%.


Q

Your books are great fun to read and I am on the Sharpe's Gold and it is not as good as the other ones but I have got all your books. Jordan Wells


Q

I just want to add my voice to those who would like to see the return of Starbuck - he's really a much more interesting character than Sharpe. I don't suppose you have any alternative, but I find it a bit disconcerting the way new Sharpe stories keep being slotted in between books I've already read. I always like to read stories in sequence. Incidentally, I'm very impressed by this website - it is one of the best of its type that I have ever encountered. Simon Townshend


Q

hi there just to say I am looking forward to reading your latest novel. Sharpe is a fantastic series, many thanks. Ian


Q

Dear Bernard, Myself and 2 friends have just had a fantastic weekend in Salamanca. I sat on my balcony in the Grand Plaza and re-read Sharpe's Sword.We climbed the 2 hills and I even managed to buy a French musket ball from the very enthusiastic guide at the visitors centre. He even had his own flintlock musket! (didn't manage to find Wellingtons discarded chicken bone!) Was the visitors centre there when you researched the battle? Thanks for all the great books. Dr Neil Brownlee

A

On the battlefield? No - I hope there isn't one there now! In the city? I've never seen it - but I can't swear it wasn't there - mind you I did most of the research over 20 years ago. Lovely place, though, isn't it?


Q

Dear Bernard, Firstly, let me say what a pleasure it was to meet you at Leadenhall Market recently and thank you for the time (all too brief!) that you gave to my son(on his 21st!) and myself. Secondly, I wanted to say how much I enjoyed hearing you on Desert Island Discs. It was the first time I'd listened to that programme since the Roy Plomley days! I loved your choice of music especially the Willie Nelson track you signed off with - have you heard that performed by Willie with Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson from their "Highwaymen" tour? It's even better than Willie's version. You almost had me in tears relating your childhood. I'm the same age as your goodself (60 this year) and had a wonderfully happy childhood which unfortunately hasn't quite continued into adulthood but that's how the cookie crumbles. Strangely I've gone through similar religious circles as yourself and now have no belief at all - I even had difficulty celebrating Christmas last year, it all seemed so meaningless. Anyway, enough of the heavy stuff, what really amazed me was the fact that you had been brought up by Wiggins the builder. I spent 35 years in water distribution in Essex and became involved with most builders and developers during the building surge in the 60's and 70's (and later, but it was in that period when so much of the lovely Essex countryside that I'd enjoyed so much in my childhood became covered in bricks, mortar and concrete). Those builders included C.S.Wiggins of Thundersley! Little did I know then that the patriarch of that company was the adoptive father of a young man who was to become one of my favourite authors! If I remember rightly, Wiggins were one of the last firms to use all their own labourers and tradesmen, transporting them around the county in a double decker bus well into the age of the sub-contractor. Many thanks once again, Bernard, for all the pleasure you have given to so many. Sharpe's Battle was on the box again the other evening - in my book that's the best of the TV films. If only Peter Jackson could be persuaded to make a film of, say, Sharpe's Waterloo - that would be an epic! Stonehenge would make a great movie too, don't you think? Anyway, if you're reading this I've taken up enough of your time. Enjoy yourself on your boat when you get to the island! Kindest regards Richard Hobart

A

Thank you! It was a pity they played the wrong Willie Nelson track, but it was still a good one. I fear my adoptive father did manage to concrete most of south-east Essex - a great pity. I was back there last year and couldn't believe how little of the countryside was left . . . ah well.


Q

Bernard, just typing to say a couple of things - firstly, I love your books. I started with the Sharpe novels, then Starbuck, then Thomas of Hookton. I've now just completed the Warlord Chronicles - these 3 books are great literature, nothing less. Secondly, I noticed a post about Lord of the Rings and breaking squares. You (and the chap who posted) are right that cavalry didn't break squares unless they were incredibly lucky - I just thought I'd say that, in the Two Towers, the uruk-hai are broken by the cavalry because they're blinded by the sun and lift their pikes - as for Return of the King: I haven't a clue how the orcs were broken there! Tolkien hints that they were surprised, but that isn't so with the film (not that I'm a complete Lord of the Rings geek!) Looking forward to what's to come! Best wishes, Adam


Q

Just wanted to tell you that I am reading your Arthur books for the countless time and they are superb. I would guess that you do not like praise but critisism but even though I could write some, I just think they are brilliant stories. The first time I read them, they made me go and read more about Arthur which in one sense was good but on the other it drew me away from beer and football. I also liked the Grail and Stonehenge books. No more praise now, I am off to the pub...........English Badger


Q

Dear Bernard, Just a quick note having listened to "Desert Island Discs" this morning (23 April). I found the whole programme fascinating and very touching. Thanks for the inspiration. Trevor Jenkins


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Dear Mr Cornwell, I heard Desert Island Discs this morning (23 April) on BBC4 and I felt identified with what your father wanted for you. I am a born again Christian!! Sorry you never got there. But I was surprised and thought that maybe yes you are a witness of Christ because some of the songs you chose for us listeners to listen to, were songs of praise to God and prayer. While listening to them while at work I felt happy and lifted and all that stuff your peculiar Dad wished you could feel!! And being here in England where no Christian radios are allowed in the air, or anything of the sort, so far from what anybody can freely enjoy in the US, it was marvellous!!! Thank you, and I am sure your Dad was happy to know that you were broadcasting the Lord's existence. Ana Easdale