Bulletin Board

Q

The first book I read from you was Excalibur. I usually don't read such books, however, I was drawn to the cover. It has become the first of many of your books that I have read in the last 4 years. The Warlord series are the only books I have read more than once. You have become one of my favourite writers. I am now reading Heretic. I enjoy your novels a lot and look forward to your future publications. Yin Mark


Q

Again, my compliments for your Sharpe's historical work!!! Please permit me to submit two probable battles for your brainchild--Sharpe == Maida in Italy // Rolica in Portugal. Again congratulations. G. A. Margaritis, chemical engineer N.T.U.A.

A

Thank you - though whether either will get written, I don't know - I'm reluctant to take Sharpe backwards a second time, but who knows?


Q

Hi! I'm a Spaniard from Santiago de Compostela, and came to England to work abroad for a couple of years. I'm living now in Birmingham, and one of the guys from my workplace have just lend me a copy of "Sharpe's Rifles" when I told him I was from Galicia. I've just finished the book, and I'm very impressed with it; I was very enjoyable to follow all of Sharpe's adventures through Spain, and specially Galicia and my hometown, Santiago. I've recognized all the places you described, many of them where I'd use to play as a child, or streets I've gone through countless times. I was living in the old town of Santiago, just in front of San Martin's square, north of the cathedral. Not only that, but my parents were originally from a village in the Ulla valley!. I also liked very much the way you describe the Galician people and traditions, so accurately. For all that, and and such a very enjoyable historical book, thank you very much!, and you can count me as one of your loyal fans! Jos

A

Thank you!


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, I am a frequent business traveller and years ago I read a newspaper review of The Winter King. Never one to be without a novel in case of a flight delay, I quickly picked up a copy...needless to say, the rest of the series was purchased asap in hardcover. I was thoroughly entranced by the detail of the story; the different perspective on the Arthurian tale, and the immense possibility that someone should write a screenplay for this trilogy...just awesome. I loved the detail and emotion which emanated from the shield wall to the the final battle (...the rings of metal in one's beard from a fallen foe's armor is intriguing, is that a documented practice of the era?). I certainly would have had a few pints of mead in my belly before a battle as you so describe. Since reading the Winter King trilogy, I've gone on to read almost everything you've written and am particularly fond of the Sharpe series. Your novels about the Peninsular War (and India) bring to life a piece of World History almost completely passed over in US history classes....sure, we know who Napolean is - but the rest ? -what a shame. Your work inspired me to also do some family research and I was fortunate to find a distant relation who had served at Waterloo: Wounded Royal Scots, third battalion Captain Robert Dudgeon, severely. 16 June 1815. This made actually seeing the French colours captured by the Scots Greys at Waterloo, displayed in Edinborough castle, extraordinarily noteworthy for me. Many thanks for some great literature...I eagerly await the 20th Sharpe novel. Regards, Kelly Dudgeon

A

The rings of metal in the beard? I fear that is something I made up. I do appreciate your message.


Q

I have just finished reading Gallows Thief and found it one of the most enjoyable of all your books that I have so far read (all the Sharpe series and the grail Quest series) I wasn't able to put it down and go to sleep until 4am last night.... Looking forward to starting A Crowning Mercy tonight. thanks a million. Joe


Q

Just finished reading the Heretic. It was as usual, great. However, some of the swearing made me flinch. I realize that these characters are cold bloodthirsty killers, but to be afraid of God as they were, their language is direct blasphemy at best. It's hard to believe they would swear to god as they did in the Heretic. All that aside, keep it up. I can"t wait to see what Thomas does next. Yours truly, Sherwood Perkins

A

Swearing has two sources, religious and you know what, and all the evidence suggests that blasphemy was extremely common. The French nickname for the English was 'les goddams' because of their propensity to say 'God damn'. Bloody is from 'by our lady'. That which we hold most dear makes for the most effective swear words, otherwise they would have no shock value, and our ancestors were just as foul-mouthed as modern soldiers.


Q

I first came across your work when my farther gave me a copy of the Winter King.That was a year ago and I havn't been without one of your novels since. I find your work compelling and steeped in history. I find when I finish books I miss the characters, so I will not ask THE question, I will beg, please continue the Starbuck Chronicles. All that is left to say is thanks for feeding my imagination as you do so many others, keep up the good work. Adam Johnson

A

I promise to consider your plea.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell, having read Gallows thief over the Christmas Holiday and then reading some of the recent comments in the "your questions" section about it making a good Sunday night TV programme, I'm sorry but this book has got to go to the big screen. Robert Carlyle is taylor made for the lead role of Rider Sandman. In fact I can imagine a queue of British actors a mile long. Hope it happens!!! Stephen Lamb

A

So do I!


Q

Bernard I have been a fan of the Sharpe novels for some time having been exposed to them in the UK through the TV adaptations. I have recently read Harlequin and felt compelled to write. This is the best historical novel I have read. I am an archer myself and the way you have characterised the archers in the book I fely complete empathy and understanding with them. Are you an archer yourself? I have just started Vagabond and look forward to reading Heretic in due course. Have you any more plans regarding the 100 years war. A facanating period that you have brought to life superbly. Best Wishes. Michael Baxter

A

I am not an archer - although I have given it a try (with little success, I might add) but I am glad to know you enjoyed Harlequin and I do hope you will like the rest of the series as well. Thanks for writing.


Q

Bernard, I first became aware of you work after watching Sharpe's Rifles on UTV when it was first screened a good many years ago and subsequently watched all episodes screened which put me on to your books. I have read everything you have written to date. One aspect I particularly liked, being an Irishman myself, is the historical references and the mythological anecdotes (I'm thinking Cuchulainn here) that you have dotted around the many diverse Irish characters in your stories. I have often felt very sad when a character I've liked has died during a book, I can think of no greater compliment I can give to an author, other than buying books, than saying how your wonderful characterisation has endeared a great many characters to me. I'm thinking offhand here but the ones who stand out are Daniel Hagman, Major Hogan, Sagramor, Merlin and obviously Arthur. Without the books in front of me at the minute I can't name some others I wanted to from the Starbuck Chronicles and other friends of Sharpe. I look forward to (hopefully) seeing Starbuck at Fredricksburg where you may shed some light on the myth that we Irish only fought fot the Union. The Winter King Chronicles stand out as the best you have written in my mind, a legend that has always fascinated me. I also want to compliment you on your thrillers. I was shocked to see on the site that Scoundrel was not published in the US. I would describe myself as an Irish republican, though a staunchly constitutional one, and that book in my view gave a great dissemination of the conflict in the north as any I have read. There is just one reservation I have for the new Sharpe books that you are currently writing. I only read Sharpe's Prey recently and was unfortunately less happy with it than others. I felt Sharpe was being turned into some sort of a secret agent/superhero character used by the then secret service of Lord Pumphrey. To go this route in my view would devalue Sharpe as a character. I admire Sharpe for his leadership (Waterloo, Enemy), his courage (Siege, Eagle), his humanity (Revenge, Honour, Sword) and for the way you have documented his progression up the ranks against the odds and the close knit nature of the army unit. I think I like Sharpe to be in the army, not contracted out to the secret service. I hope you do not feel that comment over critical but I think it just echoes the fact I am a traditionalist by nature. I was glad to have the opportunity to access this site and thank you again for providing me with so many characters that I have enjoyed and still do. Conor Keelan

A

Thanks for your message Conor and your many thoughtful comments. I appreciate hearing from you.