Your Questions


Sharpe's father....

A youthful Joseph Fouche.

Irony? You mention him as an early mentor of Pierre Ducos!

Jeff Partridge


I think your clue suggests Sharpe's Father was not known but was simply a ...Whoremaster

Fintan Spode


Quick few guesses on Sharpe's Father (admittedly with much thinking behind them):

- 'Jack Nory'? - from the English nursery rhyme (and story telling based TV series)?

- 'King Cole'? - again, nursery rhyme origin

Many thanks.



I've spent far too long on solving the mystery of Sharpe's father but I think I (finally) have it.

Elijah Rebow from the book Mehalah by S Baring-Gould.

The timing fits. He's fictional / legendary, a rouge, a smuggler, from South Essex (specifically the salt marshes around the Blackwater and the Crouch) and probably of Huguenot / French descent. He's never ridden a horse, not of royal blood, not in the military and his features tie in with Sharpe in the books (dark, rugged, strong).

If I am wrong this time, I'm stumped. At least I have the War of the Wolf to look forward to.

Thanks as always

Eddie T


Hi Bernard,

The identity of Sharpe's Father has my head just about ready to implode! I'd like to offer up Sir Percy Blakeney aka The Scarlett Pimpernell as a guess. For want of a better term he's pretty much a people smuggler.

I'd also like to suggest the villain Citizen Chauvelin, who I think was modelled on François-Bernard de Chauvelin, the Marquis de Grosbois.

Based on recent feedback I have one other idea which that it may be Abel Magwitch.

I sense we're getting close to the I'll keep working at it regardless.

Many Thanks

Russell Sloan


Based on previous guesses that the THINK IRONY clue is not linked with name or profession I'm inclined to think it's to do with location, namely South Essex given your own personal links to that area.

Also out of the last lot of guesses you answered you said one was VERY close, I'm hoping it was mine as you have previously said almost all the others were incorrect at one time or another (or in my personal opinion they don't fit the clues you have given).

So based on my previous guess, I would like to nominate his known accomplices namely:

William Dowsett

John Dowsett

James Wiseman

and Emberson (I have been unable to find his first name).

Thank you again for the books and taking the time to answer mine and others questions. If you ever plan to write a book about smugglers I'm becoming quite the authority on the subject and would be happy to help.

All the best

Eddie T


Dear Mr. Cornwell

May I ask you, is MacHeath the father of Richard Sharpe? Sharpe was born in June 1777 and the premiere of the Opera Polly with MacHeath as protagonist took place in London in June 1777. This can't be a coincidence. Lizzie Sharpe, the mother of Richard sounds similar to Lucy Lockit, one of the lovers of MacHeath; perhaps she changed her name to Sharpe after the Events with Macheath and Polly Macheath are eight letters; it is ironic, that Sharpes father was a womanizer and smuggler The writer of The Beggars Opera and Polly was a man called John Gay (Gay is happy). If I take you=y out of Gay I get Ga, if I put me in, it is Game Game isn't exactly a horse, but perhaps a wild horse would also do it (I am not an english native and I am not sure if a wild horse is also a kind of game.

What do you think about my solution?

Yours sincerely

Michael Heeb


Another stab in the dark....Sharpe's father is Jean Gudin. SPOILER: The irony being that he 'served' under Gudin whilst posing as a turncoat in Sharpe's Tiger. Both men also had a healthy soldier's respect for each other. Only thing is I'm not sure about Gudin's age; for all I know he might be only ten years older than Sharpe!

Robert Douglas


Hi Bernard,

Tom Jones (Foundling) of Fielding fame??

Not the Welsh singer:-)

He certainly went to London, was a likeable rogue and a bit of a ladies man....links to the army too!




Oh God, all of you, try again. Simplify! Simplify!



Dear Mr. Cornwell.


Before get deep in the matter, I would like to apologise for my poor english. So... I hope you could understand it when you be able to read it.

Well... I would like to thank you. I always have loved the war subjects, since when I have discovered a series of historical books about World War II in my grandmother shelf. Since then I have searched and read all I could about it. But one day a friend have said me "you must read Cornwell'. So I started with Stonehenge. God... I loved it. And then I've got the Azincourt... I was in love. And then... Warlord Chronicles. Mr. Cornwell... You are awesome. Since then I have all the books that have been published here in Brazil in portuguese. And I love each one of them. Of course I have the ones I love more. But all of them are trully amazing.


Well... I would like, then, to ask you a questions, if you don't mind.


First of all... I am reading Starbuck Chronicles. I have never thought I would like so much to read aboute American Civil War. But, since I have read Rebel I'm looking for anything about this, You make it with people, Mr. Cornwell. So. Do you have an idea about the next Starbuck Chronicles book? I'm reading the third book now, and waiting for the fourth to be published. But... I know the story woul be far larger than it is until now, because of the Sharpe's series (I loved this series too... But... How could we not love Sharpe, Harper and the ladies they met?).


Another question is... How many Sharpe's and Saxon Chronicles' do you think will be written and published? I am very anxious.


And, for last but not less important, do you have some visit scheduled to Brazil? We miss you, Mr. Cornwell. I hope to meet you someday.


Thanks for the work you share with us, amazing stories about the past, with adorable characters (even the ones we hate, like Hakeswill, Sculley and Lancelot).


Warm regars from Brazil.


Robson Felipe Mariot Belloli


I don't know about the next Starbuck....

At least one, maybe two more Sharpe?  Not sure how many more Uhtred??

And I would love to return to Brazil, but there's nothing on the schedule right now.  Hopefully one day!


Hi Bernard,

I am sure you have been asked this question a dozen times but just curios to know when you might pick up where you left off from the Starbucks Chronicles? I have just finished reading them and loved them especially the detail being a ex British soldier ( Infantry) myself  I find it very interesting.




I have read most of your books and have really enjoyed them. The one series that captured my imagination was I the Starbuck series. Are you going to complete this series? I know I am not alone (My whole family has read them). Please let us know.


Todd Sande


Dear Bernard

I’m emailing to ask if there will ever be any more Starbuck books. I’m currently re-reading the series and hoping that you have plans to add to it. Thank you for your amazing writing, it’s seen me through some very tough times

Phil Hearson


I hope to get back to Starbuck.....hopefully one day....


Dear Mr. Cornwell,


My heartfelt thanks for your captivating stories across history. I keenly remember picking up my first novel written by yourself, Sharpe's Tiger, with a tiger head flintlock musket device on the cover. My copy of The Last Kingdom showed a Danish longship in front of a blood-red sky.

My question is this: how important is cover art for your novels? In hindsight, I frequently recommend your books to anyone who is willing to listen, but when I was younger (and didn't know much about them) it was the cover art that captivated me. Are you meticulous in deciding what goes on the cover of your books?


Kind Regards,



I won’t say I’m meticulous – the covers are designed by the publisher and they’re kind enough to consult me. I do express an opinion, but we rarely disagree. One of the frustrating factors these days is that most people browse for their books online so the cover has to be distinctive at the size of a postage stamp! I wanted a much more dramatic picture on the cover of Waterloo, but was persuaded that anything showing too much detail would end up as a colourful smear. Ah well.



Hello Mister Cornwell

I really like your books. My Question:

During Sharpes meeting with Napoleon on St.Hellena, the emperor and Sharpe were talking about Waterloo. The conversation was skipt. Wath were they talking about?

'That would be a discussion i really would like to hear.

Thank you very much  an best regards.





Me too!  What did they talk about?  I suspect they agreed on the pity of war and avoided questions of blame, specifically why Napoleon didn’t reinforce Ney’s successful attack on La Haye Sainte.  I can’t imagine Sharpe wanted to irritate the Emperor, and Napoleon was always generous to soldiers so probably liked Sharpe.




I recently pulled your excellent Waterloo off the shelf to sort out a question of column vs line, and almost immediately got sucked into re-reading it, which I am very much enjoying. Your simple but excellent description of the issues at stake — the roads in the Waterloo campaign, for example, or marching/attacking in column vs line.

It strikes me that, should you feel so inclined, your remarkable gifts would enable you to write an excellent history of the Southern Campaign in the Revolutionary War — Nathanael Greene, The Swamp Fox and all that. I am not aware of any good account, but you are just the man to write one.


Charles Marrin


That’s very kind of you . . . I’m certainly tempted to set  a novel in the Carolinas (as I spend half the year in Charleston), but age and indolence might get in the way?



dear Mr. Cornwell,

i'm a huge fan. if you don't mind my asking, will you write a book from Kublai Kahn/Marco Polo or Hannibal barca? themes of historical interest. My English is really bad, Sorry. I'm curious about it, how it goes on with Uhtred. Thor bless you!

Best regards from Germany



Sorry, probably not . . . I have a slew of books I still want to write and, like Uhtred, I’m getting old!  Still, who knows?  Maybe one day I’ll get fascinated by Hannibal (more likely than Kublai Khan).



Mr. Cornwell,

Hello, I hope you’ve been well. I was wondering if you could tell me, in your opinion, what is the best written sources about Napoleon’s early life and career? I’m currently writing a screenplay that covers his time at military school and relationship with Paoli up until the Siege of Toulon. I was inspired by reading the first part of Emil Ludwig’s authoritative biography, but I was wondering if you know any good sources that I should consider?


Rob Kulb


I don’t know any sources which deal specifically with his time at Brienne – or at the later school – the best I can recommend, and I’m sure you’ve already consulted it, is Andrew Roberts’s biography, Napoleon the Great.  There have to be good sources in France, but alas, I can’t help there.  But his relationship with Paoli is a terrific subject – is it true that Napoleon considered joining the Royal Navy????


Hello, I love historical fiction and have just discovered your interesting titles. Gallows Thief caught my eye. I'm starting to read it since summer break has begun and I saw you didn't have any reading discussion questions for this title. Could you please share three ideas to discuss from this story?

Thank you.

Suzi Wilson


Truly the only thing worth discussing, and it will be an endless discussion, is the morality of the capital punishment!




I love all of your books, The Saxons, Sharpe's Tales, Stonehenge, and more. I am reading the Saxon Tales for the second time. Love them more noe than ever. I feel like Uthred is a friend and I can't wait for the next book to come out in October. I should be finished with my second read .through by then.

I know his story will come to an end eventually for he is an old man now and has survived more than most  I will mourn for him when he is gone. You have made him part of my life.

The land that you write about is the land of my ancestors, the Scots.. I will be going on a pilgrimage to Lindisfarne next year. Are there any other castles or battlefields near there that you have written about. I would love to visit some of them.

Thank you for your writing.

Margot LaRocque Davison ( I know that doesn't sound very Scottish, LaRocque is from my French side.).


There are so many good places to visit – if you’re at Lindisfarne then you’ll be within spitting distance of Bamburgh Castle, and there are wonderful walks north along that coast . . . .  I’d also recommend a visit to Durham (Dunholm) which is a wonderful city, and further south?  Why not York!  It’s a great place to visit!


Page 1 of 1,176123200Last »