Your Questions

Q

After reading Death of Kings which features battle of Tettenhall I was most surprised in the following title to see Wodensfield described as Wednesbury.  Surely Wednesfield would have been accurate?  Local school near here, Wednesfield High, recently had reenactment if the Battle of Tettenhall - there is debate locally as to where battle took place - Tettenhall, Wednesfield or somewhere else.  Minor grjpe from me, but please continue your excellent series about Uhtred.

 

Mike Gough

A

My source for all those names is usually the Cambridge Dictionary of English place-names, but what you say does sound very plausible, thank you.

 

 

 


Q

Hi Bernard

I have just finished Flame Bearer I have absolutely loved the whole series. Is there a book to follow this one?

Thanks

Simon Hewson

 

I am waiting for the Flame Bearer to arrive. I'm hoping this is not the last Uhtred novel. What are your plans on another?

I've read and enjoyed all you books and am also planning on reading the Arthur books Thank you for many hours of entertainment

Ellis

 

Hi Bernard

I am such a big fan of your work even though i just learned about The saxon stories in january last year, i was all ready done reading Warriors of The Storm last september waiting for The Flame Bearer in october as i read it right away.

I was wondering if there will be an eleventh book in the series and if so if it too was to be released now in october? If not, how long then are we going to have to wait?

Perhaps you could too tell me if it is the plan for the tv-show to continue for the whole story with seasons for every two books as they did with the first one?

Hope to hear back,

Alexander Strandmark

 

Please, Mr. Cornwell,

when will the 11th book in the "Last Kingdom Series" be available?  Thank you.

Michael MacIver

 

Dear Mr Cornwell

Now that Lord Uthred has returned home, will there be anymore adventures for him?

I sincerely hope so.

Kind regards

Kim Allison

 

 

A

There will be another book in The Last Kingdom series.  It will be the next book I write, so - hopefully - it will be ready for publication in 2018.  Not sure about the TV programmes yet, but we'll post that information once we learn it!


Q

Greetings.

I just read your Warlord series and to me these were among your most powerful books.  You’ve written that these three novels were your favorites and I enjoyed reading them about as much as you enjoyed writing them.  To me, one of the most lasting impressions from your Arthurian trilogy was your portrayal of Lancelot.  He’s always been depicted as the epitome of strength and courage and someone to be taken very seriously; however, on his introduction I couldn’t help thinking of John Cleese’s Lancelot.  I think that is because both yours and Cleese’s Lancelots seemed more interested in their own image than in the true spirit of knighthood.  Your Lancelot had mirrors all about his palace while Cleese’s was unable to perform any heroic acts (including the slaughter of defenseless wedding guests) unless these deeds conformed to his own particular “idiom.”  I think you’re going to say no, but I have to ask nonetheless whether Cleese’s Lancelot contributed to the inspiration for your characterization.  Either way, in my opinion your vainglorious Lancelot delivered a perfect contrast to the stalwart Derfel.

Keith Biesiada

A

I wish I could say I was influenced by Cleese, but no, sorry!  Lancelot was a latecomer to the Arthurian stories . . . I think he was added by Chretien de Troyes, but I’m not certain and am too lazy to look it up, still – trust a Frenchman to add adultery to a Good British Story.  I’ve always found him a curious character – in some ways the snake in Eden. An attractive snake, to be sure, but with a rotten morality at his centre. I think I thought it would just be entertaining to make him a scoundrel through and through!


Q

Is Sharpe's father Jim Hawkins from Treasure Island?  Thanks, I love the books ;)

Selena

A

No!!  Nice try.


Q

Hello Mr Cornwell,

Just a note following on from Kevin of Somerset's email about the discovery of 'Daddy'Hill's medals. They were sold at auction in Derbyshire for £7,800, more than 4 times their original estimate. I'm not an antiques expert, but does that seem a relatively modest sum for items of such great historical importance? I'd be really interested in your opinion.

Many thanks

Mike

A

It seems low to me too! Still, I’m sure they’re in good and lucky hands!


Q

Hi Mr. Cornwell.

Something about the Dark/Middle Ages puzzles me.  A chain mail shirt seems to be the only torso armor anyone wore, but it seems to me that a steel breast-and-back would be easier and less time-consuming to make, and probably cheaper.  They were common (although usually of bronze) during the heyday of Greece and Rome.Yet they didn't reappear until half-way through the 100 Years War!    Why did almost no one wear breastplates until so late?  Had the art of forging them been lost?

Alan Kempner

A

I’ve no idea! All I know is that they didn’t! You have to assume that they knew best, so either the art of making close-fitting plate armour had been lost, or else that the chain-mail (abetted by leather and, sometimes, padded clothing) was sufficient against weapons of the time.  Other than that I can’t really offer an opinion.

 


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

 

I have just recently re-read the Starbuck Chronicles after spending some time visiting the key Civil War battlefields in Virginia. I was especially impressed with your description of the fight in the unfinished railroad cut at Second Manassas. A short question after a long intro: Is there a chance for any sequels to the original series? I know it has been some time since you last touched the subject and it is not an easy one, but there seems to be a lot left in the story.

 

Thanks for your great tales and my apologies for the lengthy comment :)

Malte

 

Hi Bernard,

I had the pleasure in meeting you a couple of years ago in Chesterfield, England. Love all your books, especially the Warlord and Warrrior Chronicles.

Are you still planning to write a fifth book for the Starbuck Series? So wish you would.

Thanks

Ian

A

I hope to get back to Starbuck one of these days.....


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I have enjoyed your books immensely.  When you write or edit your Shakespeare series will you please consider that he was a secret Catholic? His father was Catholic. The child he left his money to was Catholic. The house he supported for actors in London was considered a hotbed of Catholics.  Joseph Pearce has done a book on this.

Thank you for your consideration!

Anne Shapleigh

A

I’ve avoided this on the whole and, when (if) you read the book, you can make up your own mind. There’s a strong temptation to make the Catholic-Protestant enmity a large part of any book set in Elizabethan England, and it is there, but I kept it in the background. What the book is about (I think) is far more Shakespearean – how the hell do you put on a play?  My own view, for what it’s worth, is that Shakespeare had Catholic roots, but had ended up somewhere in the region of Macbeth’s great speech – that life is a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing. Still, we all project our own views on Shakespeare!

 


Q

Hi

 

this is a bit weird, but i read your books a lot when i was younger (still read every saxon tale you come out with) favorite series is warlord chronicles Winter King. love me some Derfel, wish there was more (though apart from the bit at the end of excalibur talking about how Derfel got to know Percival better when he was older there's not much left to tell)

 

anyway, sorry - the point

 

in your Sharpe series you mention many times the prevalence of salt beef rations and occasionally salt pork (if they were lucky) ship's biscuit (full of weevil's) if they weren't.

 

but on one particularly memorable occasion can't remember which book specifically you mention the use of horse flesh to flavor water as 'tea' and 'tommies?' pancakes made of flour and water?

 

i was wondering if you happened to know off hand what the source for the pancakes and the tea were. i'm just curious, i know it would be more helpful if i remembered which book, i could find out but it might take a few weeks to reread the whole series (probably due haven't done it in ages)

 

anyway, sorry this is a bit long.

 

hope you're well,

looking forwards to more from you for years to come

 

thanks

 

Aaron Harrison

A

Oh lord, I have no idea!  I did that research years ago and I assure that I didn’t make it up, but I never note sources because I don’t have to use footnotes – I just make a note and keep going. Almost certainly it came from a contemporary diary or letter-collection, but which? No idea, sorry.


Q

Dear Bernard,

I recently retired from being a Minister in the Church of Scotland and now living with out family in Australia. I have been toying with the idea of writing a historical novel based in the times of the Covenanters. What I would like to ask you is how would I go about getting historical details correct? For example how would I know how long it took someone to ride horseback from say Edinburgh to the Borders? That is just one example of which there are many. Any advice would be appreciated.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the Sharpe series.

Many thanks

Billy Kelly

A

You read! Then you read more! And keep on reading. And you visit the sites, and you go back to reading the histories and the diaries and the letters.  And if the question still can’t be answered, you invent! It’s fiction!  There must be horse-people in the Lowlands who could answer your question. And how quickly does your character have to make the journey?  He or she can do it very fast if they’re willing to sacrifice the horse! Are they using roads? Tracks? Rough country? There are so many variables! That’s why we have to do research, so read. Then read more and, in extremis, make it up!

 

 


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