Your Questions

Q

I recently became active in a Tennessee Civil War reenacting group, the 12th Tennessee Artillery (Union) and one of my new friends lent The Starbuck Chronicles to me.  I haven’t been able to put them down since I started them.  I am currently reading Battle Flag.  A looming disappointment awaits me knowing that this work is unfinished.  I have become vested in the characters.  These books are such a great read, especially if you love Civil War era history.  Most of the books I read are non-fiction, but I have learned a lot about actual events from the books from a human perspective that I haven’t gleaned from the actual historic interpretations.  I love the dynamic between the Starbuck and Faulconer families.  Both with their traitor sons.  Anyway, I’ll not bore you with a long message about all that I love about your books.  All I really want to know, is there any chance this story will be completed?  In our modern world, to talk about history is soiled heavily by current partisan politics and sensitivity.  I wish it wasn’t so.  Thank you for writing these books and I sincerely hope they may be completed some day.  Thank you.

Justin Gillespie

 

Dear Bernard,

It is wonderful to see a new Sharpe book is in the offing, but I have always been curious as to why there have been no further books in the Starbucks Chronicles.  It feels like one is left up in the air and I wonder if you intend to tie the stories up in future?  I am a great fan of your writing and am extremely pleased that there is a new Sharpe story coming.

Wiktor Falko

A

It's not likely that I will return to Starbuck - sorry!


Q

Dear Sir

I really enjoyed your book titled The pagan Lord. I have a question. Petty or trivial as it may seem. To my eye it’s out of context.

Why has the illustrator placed a cross on the front cover of the book. Instead of  Thor’s Hammer?

Hope you don’t mind my asking.

Yours faithfully

Marlene Phillips

A

I’ve no idea – usually the artist who designs the cover uses the book to get ideas, so I assume he found a reference to a cross and decided to use it? But I think a hammer would have been better.

 


Q

I have read as many of your books that I can get hold of and find myself engrossed in each one.  Thank you.  I have two questions, please.  Firstly, is there enough evidence available for you to create a tale about the period after the Romans leaving and before the arrival of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes?  The Britons, the Romans with links who stayed, perhaps?

Secondly, I have traced my family tree back to 1486.  Is there a tale in the period after the Black Death?  The loss of population, local power vacuums.  Did old enmities over the losses of power of old Anglo Saxon to the Normans some generations earlier re-surface, perhaps old scores being settled?  What was the chaos endured while society got back on its feet again?  Echoes of to-day?  Perhaps too tenuous.

Thank you for your work.

David Cobbe.

 

A

There’s little enough evidence, though lack of evidence just means more room for imagination.  I’ve been tempted. I’m still not sure what the next book will be, after Sharpe’s Assassin, but I’ve been thinking and reading a lot about European history post 1356, so who knows?

 

It isn’t tenuous at all. As you’d expect the Black Death caused huge societal changes – such as raising the price of labour.   I’ve never thought too hard about that period, but thank you for reminding me!


Q

Dear Bernard

I wondered of you'd seen this article on Najera and wondered if you'd ever considered it as a sequel to 1356 As a battle it did feature Bernard DeGuseclin,  who after Joan of Arc one of the most famous French soldiers of the Hundred Years War http://paginaspersonales.deusto.es/abaitua/kanpetzu/primate/najera1367.htm

Regards

Geraint

A

I have thought about Najera . . and it tempts me. But thank you for the reference!

 


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

please allow me to thank you for (in brief) the better part of your career as an author - your novels have been a consistent source of colour & adventure in a blessedly quiet life.

Now, getting to the specific subject of this message (as opposed to the more general topic of my admiration for your work), might one please ask if you have ever given thought to what Mr & Mrs Samuel Gilpin were up to during the War of 1812?

I get this powerful mental impression of Mr Gilpin (presumably somewhere as inherently horsey as Kentucky) going “Not this again” while his Missus radiates powerful “This time we’re getting Canada” Patriotic Enthusiasm - not to mention an image of poor old Sam doing everything but fix bayonet & mount guard over his boys (for fear one of them inherited their late uncle’s common sense aka cockeyed optimism) and learning the hard way that what he REALLY should have worried himself about was a daughter with her mother’s Patriotic Convictions and her father’s gift with horses!

Best Wishes,

ED.

A

I’ve never given thought to it. Should I?


Q

Hello,

I'm a huge fan of yours but that sounds redundant as to how can anyone not be a fan! I have a question pertaining to my relative James Brown. Although some historical documents have him being born in Ireland we believe he came originally from Scotland, this coming from our grandmother. My sister made a journey to Scotland and when purchasing some plaids in a shop, was told by the woman shopkeeper that the "Browns" fought for the Fraser clan in Scotland and were called the Browns for the brown color they wore. Do you know of any historical references to the Brown's who fought for the Fraser clan?

Thanks in advance Mr. Cornwell.

Regards

John Brown  .

A

I’m afraid I know nothing about it, but I’m sure the Fraser clan has an archive and the Wikipaedia page is probably as good a place to start as any – there are footnotes which might help? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clan_Fraser

 


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

I just finished the last book in the Last Kingdom series and am anxiously waiting for the next season on Netflix. From Stonehenge to Sharpe to the Fort and so many of your tales I must say thank you for the many years of captivating story telling. I sometimes wonder how many hours I have enjoyed reading your books. Time very well spent. Having read a great deal of historical fiction you are the best story teller I have come across. The detail, the description, the day to day life, the historical significance are so well researched and vivid. Please keep it up. Perhaps a new series set around the First World War and into the 20’s?

Thank you again for the pleasure you provide.

Steve Fisch

 

 

A

That's not likely....I prefer to stick to the more distant past!


Q

I have recently started the Last Kingdom Series and I am really enjoying it. It's a period of history I've found fascinating for a long time. I have one question that's been bugging me a little-- not in a bad way, I just can't stop wondering. Finally, I realized I could just ask you!

The Dane who adopts Uhtred is named Ragnar. This could cause some confusion, since a man named Ragnar was also the father of several other characters in the book. You fix this problem by calling them 'the sons of Lothbrok'. It isn't what they would have been called in history, but saying 'sons of Ragnar' would make us think of the wrong Ragnar.

My question is-- why did you name Uhtred's adopted father Ragnar? Are you just a big fan of the name? Is there some historical precedent I've missed?

I'm dying of curiosity to know your thoughts!

Last of all, thank you for your time, and for writing these wonderful books I cherish. The Warlord series helped me get through the isolation of COVID and I'll be forever grateful.

L Cohen

A

A name plucked more or less at random, and yes, I should have chosen another because it is confusing.


Q

Did you teach at a prep school in Cirencester?

Chris Faulkner

A

Not guilty!


Q

Dear Bernard,

I am greatly looking forward to the next Sharpe book. Two questions. Firstly, as it is set in Paris, will Sharpe get a chance to meet Helene Leroux again? Secondly, any chance of Sharpe finally getting his revenge on Captain Morris?

Many thanks!

James

A

No, it doesn’t happen.

 

I think there’s a very good chance of that happening!