Your Questions

Q

Hi Mr. Cornwell, I'm your fan and I love your books, specially The Saxon Stories.

I have a lot of questions!

 

1º: In The War of the Wolf Snorri spoke a prophecy and mentioned that Danes and Saxons would united themselves and Uhtred's family would lose Bebbanburg. In Historical Note you said that this alliance will happen in 1016 (the year that Cnut take English Crown). However, I saw that this family keep Bebbanburg until 1085, with the Earl being only saxon in the Norman England. Uhtred's family keep the Bebbanburg until norman conquest?

 

2º: Since the Main Character of story is based on your ancestor and in the first book you mention that you advanced him a bit on the timeline, do you intend to close the Saxon Stories with the Canute invasion?

 

3º The Saxon Stories will finish with Uhtred, or will the Uhtred's family fight against danes with King Edmund Ironside??

 

4º Do you have plans to War of The Roses? Will your writing skills that would be a WONDER Story!

 

Thanks Mr. Cornwell!

Lucas

A

I have no idea where you saw it, and maybe you’re right? All I know is that in 1016 the then Uhtred was lured to a meeting where he was ambushed by Earl Godwin (at the behest of King Cnut) and that, according to the stories I heard from my branch of the family, was the end! The true tale is told well in Bloodfeud, by Richard Fletcher.

 

No! It will end with the Battle of Brunanburh in 937

 

They finish with Uhtred, unless I change my mind.

 

No plans for the War of the Roses.

 


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell!

 

First, let me say that I love your books! I discovered you through The Last Kingdom television series, and as soon as I realized it was based on your books I began reading The Saxon Tales. I'm almost done with book 10, and look forward to moving on to all of your other books once I've caught up with Uhtred's latest exploits. Thank you for sharing your brilliant imagination with the rest of the world, it has opened a curiosity in me about my Anglo-Saxon heritage that I never knew I had.

 

I do have a brief question for you, if you find the time to respond. Do you have a recommended resource for translating Modern English into Old English, and vice-versa?

 

Thank you very much, and keep up the great work!

 

Kyle Williams

A

I really don’t!  I learned (well, tried to learn) Old English when I was at college which is many years ago, but a little stuck – really not enough! But I can manage from OE to modern English by using a dictionary – I use A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary by J.R. Clark-Hall which was published at the beginning of the 19th Century – but a good reprint is available. I also find the glossary at the end of Eight Old English Poems, edited by John C. Pope and revised by R. D. Fulk very useful, and with those I struggle through. But translating modern English into OE?? Oh good lord, no! I have to confess that my (long retired) Professor who taught me OE did send me a charming letter chiding me for getting a word wrong. Of course I blamed his teaching.

 


Q

I love your much of your work and I would like to thank you for keeping me absorbed and entertained for many an evening. I found your warlord chronicles in particular got me back into reading in a big way but it was only after I finished and reflected on them that I realised how macabre the themes in there actually are. Darker than even azincourt, grail quest and the Saxon stories.I am hoping to write a short novel. The way you present the murder, rape and torture seems careful, clever and used as a plot device without revelling and indulging in it. The thrill of reading violence is very different to the feeling I get when I try and write it, which is closer to terror. A fear of revealing some dark part of myself to the people who would read the book first. I know that reading a book is going to be much easier than writing one. I know that reading abuse as part of entertainment and inventing it to entertain others is not so different and is now very normal. Despite this, is shame and embarrassment a normal obstacle when writing? One that can be overcome and reconciled?

Rozie

A

Be grateful for that dark part! You’re human. I don’t mean celebrate it, but use it! Stories do enable us to face those horrors and if you, the writer, don’t feel them then how can you convey their ghastliness? I try not to revel in it, but if you don’t feel some revulsion then you won’t convey that to the reader. So you’re good!

 


Q

Dear Bernard

I wondered if you'd ever considered writing about the Siege of Orleans and the Battle of Patay and have the English perspective in the battles against Joan of Arc. You've done Napoleon and Waterloo why not Joan ???

Regards

Geraint

A

I’ve thought about that – even done some research, so who knows??? Maybe!!


Q

Dear Bernard,

I found your books, because the Uthred stories are included in my monthly napster subscription. They are great books even in their Translations, and if you ever get the Chance, Listen to Gerd andresen going "uthred! Uthred von Bebbanburg!"

Anyway, I'm trying to write a book myself, but keep getting snagged in my research. I have settled on the regency period, and am trying to get my Protagonist from Britain to Germany... And I don't know how. how do you go about researching such minor Details?

I would be grateful for hints. Let me just say, the way you go about writing with the pace of your books, their quality and your appearance as an author is inspiring.

Hartmut Feith

A

Usually by finding someone who made the trip in that period! Diaries, letters!  I suspect, I don’t know, that your fellow would do best by taking a packet ship to Amsterdam and then going by barge up the Rhine. I do know that in that period there were horse-drawn passenger barges of extraordinary comfort. Of course if he (or she) is not rich enough for that then he or she must cadge a lift on whatever they can find. There are plenty of good guide-books to tell you what they’d have seen! They could travel by road – you’ve thought of all this. Of course the quickest way (if nothing of note happens on the journey) is to describe it fast, in one paragraph, bitching about the inns, the state of the roads and the lamentable failure of foreigners to speak English. German coaches, I know, were much heavier than their English equivalents – which about exhausts my knowledge of the topic. Good luck!!


Q

Hi Mr Cornwell.

I'm a huge fan of the Sharpe series so thanks for all your stories over the years. I'm an aspiring author and your writings have served as an inspiration for writing the kind of fiction I would like to read. I'm sure you get dozens of these requests but I'm hoping you could advise me. My novel is set in Victorian London in 1851 with a broad cast of characters, set in a dock of my own invention.

What advise would you give to me re crafting a strong pitch?

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for all your great stories.

Luke Smith

A

I know this sounds too glib – sorry – but forget the pitch. Write a damned good story! Grip the reader on page one, and that should be pitch enough! Then  write a cover letter – ‘I’ve written a novel. I like it. I hope you do too. Yours etc’


Q

Thanks for many great reads.I just finished Excalibur while waiting out hurricane Dorian. I know you do not take requests...but if I phrase it in a question I cannot claim any ownership if you do write a story related to my question. So here goes When can we expect your novel of the Mountain men of the 19th century? and the follow up stories about Custer? There I asked hopefully in a manner that denies I have any part in a plot. haha.

Yours

Bob Lewis

A

I promise you’ll have no part in the plot and, sadly, nor will I!  Maybe?? But who knows? Maybe the light will dawn and I’ll change my mind.

 


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

A few years ago my twin sister in law (we share a birthday) persuaded me to read your Arthurian trilogy and I followed that up with your Last Kingdom (11 volumes and counting) as well as Agincourt, 1356, and a couple of the Sharpe novels. So obviously a fan but it took Fools and Mortals to get me composing an email to you. What an unprecedented treat turning Shakespeare into an adventure. I've read only about half of the bard's plays and you've motivated me to get cracking on the second half. Starting on Titus Andronicus now. I surely don't expect a writer as prolific as yourself to have time for emails but if you were to respond, I'm most curious to learn how you developed your appreciation for Shakespeare.

 

~Shannon (a grateful reader)

A

I confess that my enthusiasm for Shakespeare really didn’t start until I acted in some of his plays. About twelve years ago I fell among actors, or specifically drama students who came from all across North America to mount a summer season of repertory in a theatre where the directors were all Equity professionals, as were the actors who played the ‘grown up’ parts. We did everything – musicals (God, I had a solo in Man of La Mancha that still gives me nightmares), thrillers, comedies, Ibsen, Chekhov and, of course, Shakespeare. I somehow progressed from spear-holding in Macbeth to playing Prospero in The Tempest, and along the way twice played Peter Quince in A  Midsummer Night’s Dream. I became hooked – I played Henry IV, Sir Toby Belch, Jaques (‘All the world’s a stage . . . ) and nine or ten other parts, and the more I acted in his plays, the more fascinated I became! And so Fools and Mortals was born. Sadly the theatre was sold this summer so it looks as if it will close forever.


Q

Hi Bernard,

was just wondering if you had any UK visits planned with the forthcoming release of Sword of Kings?

Craig Horne

A

Sorry, not this year.


Q

Hi Bernard

Will we see Starbuck fight again?

Regards

Pat McGarry

 

Thanks for many hours of reading pleasure. Working on all your series and individual novels.

Is there another Starbuck in the works?

Reynaldo Valdez

 

Will you be writing any more about the Civil War I have Rebel, Copperhead,Battle Flag & Bloody Ground.

A book about Gettysburg would be greatly appreciated.

Wayne Bemet

A

I've always hoped I'd get back to Starbuck one day....but I honestly don't know if that will happen...