Your Questions


Hello Mr. Cornwell,

I just wanted to write you and say how much I have enjoyed all your books.  I believe I have read them all at least once and many of them a several times.  I was wondering if you ever thought about writing some more of the Starbuck Chronicles?  I know you have stated that the Starbuck and Sharpe story lines are too similar and that you are currently writing a new Sharpe novel, but I as I love the Sharpe novels and the Civil War battlefields are in by back yard as a Maryland and now a Northern Virginia resident they were always fun for me.  I remember visiting most of battlefields in the region with my father as a child and then some more as a Marine officer doing battlefield study's.  So although I am sure people harangue you all the time with requests please take this simply as a vote for more Starbuck.  Thank you again for all your great reads, they have been a big part of my life.


Alec Williamson


I own very nearly all of your books and thoroughly enjoy reading and rereading them . I hope you are intending to continue the starbuck chronicles although I know you have other more pressing issues to deal with. A continuation of the starbuck chronicles to the end of the civil war and maybe beyond I know would be well received by years readers. If possible do you have a date for the continuation of the starbuck chronicles. Many thanks and keep up with the writing. I wait in anticipation

Alan Wilson



Is there a fifth Starbucks book that I have missed?

Preston Quirt


There is not a fifth book, and no plans for one right now, sorry!


Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I first discovered your writings with the Warlord Chronicles during my interest in the Arthurian legend stories.  I loved how you took what we know historically and wove the tapestry of historical fiction, bringing to life an ancient tale.

Then I discovered the Saxon Tales/Chronicles which I have greatly enjoyed these many years.

Before or just as you begin to write your novels, to what extent do you create backstories for the core characters and events as you/we follow Uhtred’s journey?  Do you develop a chronology before or during the writing as the main narrative progresses?  If so, how detailed is it?  Do you primarily allow the historical facts as you discover them provide all that you need to develop the story?

It seems at times Uhtred knows exactly what is happening and planned, then at times he is surprised as an event unfolds to which he must adjust.  These adjustments are serendipitous events as the story moves along and reaches its climax.

Thank you.

Michael Dotson


I should have back-stories for them, but usually don’t. It’s only when the plot gets into an inextricable mess that I try to develop a back story, though usually that doesn’t help at all. As for historical facts – I treat them with utter carelessness because the story is the most important thing, so accuracy often flies out the window to be replaced by imagination.



Afternoon Bernard,

I’m currently reading my way through the Last Kingdom (Warrior Chronicles) series. I wondered about your choice of writing in first person- from the point of view of Uhtred. Why did you choose this method, and not say, in an omniscient way which would have given an insight into Alfred and other characters from their point of view. It works brilliantly by the way but I wondered if you felt like you became limited in some ways? Thoroughly enjoying them, being from Durham.

Peter Groark



I rather got into the habit of telling stories in the first person after trying it with the three Arthurian books – which I enjoyed writing so much that I abandoned third person. You’re right, of course, that the third person gives more freedom to describe other characters, though some readers find the changes in points of view a bit off-putting. I do find first person easier, though it can get tedious writing phrases like ‘I later heard that . . . .’ . Perhaps it’s because the protagonist’s voice comes through much clearer?



Hi Bernard,

hope this finds you and yours well. Thank you for all writing! Do you have a "soundtrack " for Utred eg- REM, IRON MAIDEN perchance DYLAN? Sorry if too intrusive,



I’ll take the fabulous singing (from the Faeroe Islands) which are the theme music of the TV series!



Dear Sir,

Are not these recent revelations regarding Stonehenge very similar to the story in your book on the subject?

Maybe time to republish...

kindest regards,

Richard Douglas


Ancient Welsh circle is brother of Stonehenge

Congratulations your novel was 20 years ahead of the archaeologists, how did you do it?

Hugh Smith

Reading Stonehenge


By reading the literature!  When the book was written it was well established that the bluestones had come from Wales, and more recent archaeology has pin-pointed the precise spot. But there was no cleverness involved – merely reading whatever archaeological reports I could find!



In Sharpe's Waterloo you wrote how Gneisenau deliberately obstructed the Prussian advance as he didn't trust Wellington to hold his ground and keep his word. In your history of Waterloo you didn't repeat that assertion. Was there a reason?

James Spivey


I certainly mentioned the suspicions of Gneisenau’s obstruction – his order to dispatch IV Corps first to Wellington’s aid, even though that Corps was furthest from Mont St Jean which inevitably made it the slowest. But Gneisenau wasn’t responsible for the fire which delayed their march (though I suspect he was not unhappy). Gneisenau did mistrust Wellington and had a low opinion of British troops, and he blamed Wellington for the defeat at Ligny (which was desperately unfair). In the non-fiction Waterloo I wrote that Gneisenau ‘could be accused of bad faith’, and I think that’s true. In the novel I hardened that suspicion mainly to increase the suspense.


Hi Mr. Cornwell,

I will keep this brief as I am sure that you get untold thousands of these messages. I have just finished reading the Last Kingdom series of books, I have enjoyed many of your books and series over the years, I have also read the Warlord Chronicles, the Grail Quest series, 1356, Agincourt, The Fort, and 5 of the Sharpe books, I plan to read the entire Sharpe series, but having two small children it may be a couple years before I can get to all of them. Having said all of that every one of the characters in your books brings a unique experience to the reader, that makes reading your books a real joy. I must say that Uhtred is my favorite character of the many great characters you have been responsible for bringing to life. I started reading the Last Kingdom series when I was in high school, and Uhtred really became like a brother to me. I sat and reflected over the many hours I have spent enjoying these books over the years after I finished War Lord, and I just want to thank you! You have added color and untold hours of enjoyment into my life through your books and Uhtred specifically (Thomas Hookton is not that far behind him on my list). I do have a couple questions for you and I am sure these are not unique to me, but while reading War Lord the Saga of Beowulf is mentioned and it dawned on me how similar the great Uhtred and Beowulf were to each other. I know the Last Kingdom was your retelling of the forging of Englaland, but did you gain some inspiration for Uhtred from the saga of Beowulf? Was his story in some way a retelling of the great saga of Beowulf? Please don't take offense to that question, I hold that Uhtred is a greater character than Beowulf in literary history, and am in no way accusing you of anything other than being the greatest writer of historical fiction alive today.

Lastly I am sure you get asked this a lot, who is your personal favorite of the characters you have brought to life in your books over the years? Or is that too much like picking a favorite from amongst your children? If you can't answer that, allow me this question for you. Which of the characters has been the most enjoyable to write over the years? Thank you again for all the long hours of deep enjoyment you have given to me through your writing, I have truly benefitted from your books. When my two year old son is of age I will introduce him to Uhtred and I am sure he will be to my son what he has been to me all of these years. Please don't think me too much of an earsling for my basic questions, and how long I have gone on.





I can’t see the parallels, but am hugely grateful for your kind words! And yes, I did get some inspiration – mainly, I think, the realization of how old (ancient!) Beowulf was when he fought his last fight – which helped take some sting from Uhtred’s old age.


I have many favourites!  Sharpe, Uhtred, Derfel and Ceinwyn from the Arthurian trilogy.  Aethelflaed, and Lady Grace from Sharpe's Trafalgar, and, of course, the wondrous Obadiah Hakeswill.


I’d just like to ask if any of the characters from Azincourt such as Nick Hook or Lanferelle will appear in any new books? Will there be a follow up to Nick Hook’s story? And lastly bruv, is there a chance of another book on the events after Azincourt with John Cornewaille and Henry (Nick too)?



I am working on a Sharpe book now.  Not sure what will come next.....


Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I'd like to start by thanking you for all of your excellent work, and letting you know how greatly I've enjoyed spending many hundreds of hours over the years reading and rereading your stories. I'm a huge historical fiction and history fan, and until I started reading your work, most of my time was spent in WW2, so thank you for opening up so many other periods in history for me. While I really enjoy the Last Kingdom, Sharpe, Grail, and Arthur books, I find myself drawn back time and again to the "one off" books that you've written, especially Gallows Thief, and Fools and Mortals. Any plans to create any mores stories in those time frames?

All the Best,

Matt Essex



I am writing Sharpe now....not sure what will come next?


I suspect, like any other people, I have often wondered " what if (name) had made the other choice?". I'm curious if the thought of writing Uhtred's story from the perspective of if he had sided with the Danes and the alternate resulting timeline has ever given you pause for thought.


Best wishes,




I’ve never given it any thought – sorry – though I’m sure Uhtred did!