Your Questions

Q

Good Morning Mr Cornwell,

 

I have as many people read the Saxon Chronicles and as many thoroughly enjoyed them. I am English (Geordie) and live not a stones throw away from Bamburgh (bebbanburg) Castle, I am so immersed in your books and the way you describe everything from battle to a quiet spring morning. Only one thing that gets me and it's not really anything to do with you in a way. I've obviously watched the first series on the "Last Kingdom" on the TV and there are one or two things that get me, 1, Uhtred's sword is in his back and not by his side 2, Father Beocca is isn't ugly or does not have a Club foot.

I know these seem silly but do you have any influence on the making of the series and if so would you be able to suggest to correct these as you are the author of these incredible books.

Uhtred is meant to be a large towering man but to be honest the actor who has taken this role does an outstanding job of brining Uhtred to life and wouldn't want him to be recast, they could use camera angles ect to make him look taller.

 

Well I hope you get time to have a look at what I have said, and I hope you manage to write many more excellent books

 

 

Regards

 

Chris Lumsdale

A

I have no influence, nor do I want it!  I like to think I know a thing or two about writing stories, but I know nothing about producing television drama, so the best thing is to stay clear and let the experts do what they do best!

 

 


Q

Have you ever thought of giving Midshipman Collier a more prominent part in a future Sharpe story? He's sort of become famous, or should that be infamous, amongst your followers as a Harry Potter like equivalent of the boy that lived. For Voldemort, read Cornwell and a (very) amusing propensity to usually take very young characters, and, as I was delighted in hearing you say at one of your talks, "taking the little b****rds heads off!". Full marks to Mrs Cornwell for saving him - he sort of grows on you.

Andy Green

A

I still regret not killing him. Damn it, now you want more of him? He’ll die in paragraph one of page one of the next Sharpe book!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

in regards to your Sharpe books, from my knowledge it is set in a time period where it wasn't uncommon for officers of one country to have been born in a different country than where they serve.

 

The most egregious example is Napoleon himself, he is a Corsican, who up until the was 12 was part of Italy, so we have an Italian, who becomes leader of France to plunder Italy.

 

My question would be if Sharpe had somehow ended in the french army, what kind of career he would have had there?

R.M.Solea

A

Lord only knows!  You’re right, of course, a number of eminent soldiers served in foreign armies, but Sharpe? He had enough trouble with the British let alone some other country!


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell!

 

I am thoroughly enjoying The Last Kingdom!  I've read your Sharpe books, but this Viking/Saxon history has really grabbed me.  Possibly it's ancestral. I've visited many of the places mentioned, so I can envision your characters in their settings clearly. One of my favorite memories was walking a Roman road in Yorkshire.

 

I designed and rigged all the ships and boats for the Pirates of the Caribbean series of movies.  When I was down in Antigua in 2003, there was a sweet little yacht moored at Nelson's Dockyard.  I was told it was yours.  I was impressed and took a picture of her..

 

Tell me, was it really, or did I fall for someone's fiction? If so, do you still have her? Where do you sail?

 

Thanks, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series!

Courtney Andersen

A

I fear you fell for a fiction! I did own a Cornish Crabber (#302) for over 25 years and sailed her out of the River Exe and then, when we moved, in Nantucket Sound where she still is!  She was never in Antigua! I sold her to a friend and these days, being old, I sail a Beneteau 35 which, while not nearly as pretty as the Crabber, is a lot easier!


Q

Hi Bernard,

Just finished reading Flame Bearer and I am left wondering if there will be another book/s to complete the series.  What happens next with Athelstan and the younger Uhtred?

Kind regards

Tony Lewis

New Zealand

 

I got the impression that, after reading The Flame Bearer, Uhtred, now in bebbanburg still has more to do. Is there another story to come? I really hope so.

regards,

David Tomlinson

 

A

There is more to come....


Q

I recently came across an article claiming that scientists studying cat DNA have found cat remains at a Viking site dating to between the eighth and eleventh century A.D. in northern Germany. It makes sense that since Vikings were sea-faring people, they might have kept cats to control rodents. I could see cats hunting rats on Viking ships that were beached, but perhaps they accompanied their owners on their voyages, too.

 

I'm wondering, did Uhtred have any cats?

Joni Steshko

A

I’ve never thought about that!  He has dogs, of course, but cats? He might like it. Maybe in the next book?


Q

Mr Cornwell

 

Greetings from a Briton in New Zealand.

 

I would like to heap praise for your books upon you but it all seems a bit lacking to do so to such a great writer. I have been reading your books for many years and they are one of the few things that can totally emerge me; albeit for too shorter time as they are devoured so quickly.

 

I am particularly fond of your Arthur series (as a Welshman and lover of ancient tales) that I read twice back to back when I was younger. I've only ever done that with Tolken so you find yourself in good company.

 

No doubt your books will make it to the screen in good time. I don't think that the Last Kingdom did the books justice at all - poor casting, brushing over the story and a very shallow re-write. I'm not sure where that was supposed to go - a young American audience? I hope you find your way to a better director and screen writer who will do it justice. I always imagines Utred as a bulk of a man with a commanding presence rather than a young lithe guy; more like Rollo from Vikings.

 

This is actually quite important considering the total lack of knowledge on how The Lost Lands (excuse the Welshman) were lost and became England. We learn more from your stories than we ever did at school.

 

Anyway, I should come to the point. I don't usually write to strangers but I promised myself that I would after seeing a TV piece about stone mounds and circles in ancient Britain. The long and short is that they propose the tradition / technology began in Orkney and travelled south eventually arriving at Stonehenge 500 years later. Incredibly interesting.

 

I always thought your Stonehenge book was a bit lonely and could do with some company. It would delight your many fans to see a few prequels - I'm sure you can manage to link things up a bit so they end up in the right place.

 

No doubt that you have a very thorough list of ideas to follow up on but it would be a tragedy to your readers if you missed this particular opportunity. It almost seems like that lonely book has been waiting for the right thread to finish (or start?) the story.

 

Fingers crossed and (hopefully) good luck!!

 

Thank you again.

 

Cheers

Matt

A

I fear it won’t happen!  But thank you for asking.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I wanted to express how much of an avid reader of your book series The Saxon Tales I am and how much I admire your storytelling abilities to focus the readers attention.  My favorite part in the series so far is the Battle of Beamfleot.  I had a question regarding your research into your family history concerning the time before 1066 and the Norman invasions.  I am asking because my family origin name of Boyle resides in Ayr, which is directly across (according to your book flap map) on the opposite shore. Do you happen to know what sources of information I might seek if I wanted to do some further research into my family in Ayr? Please continue to write your stories, I am looking forward after i am current with the Saxon Tales I am looking forward to reading your Grail Quest series.  Thank you for your stories.

 

Sincerely,

Benjamin Boles

A

I really don't know too much about my ancestors - the Uhtred of the books is invented (though there was a man by that name in that period).  What I know was discovered by a member of my birth family.  The surname is distinctive enough to make them quite easy to trace through a tangle of records.  There is a genealogist in the family and his researches do appear to be accurate, and we have records of the family stretching right back to the post-Roman period.  The family never lost its high status (an Oughtred was one of the founding knights of the Garter) and high status does often seem to go with such record-keeping.

 

 

 


Q

A good friend we met on a Viking River Cruise back in 2009 put me on to your writing, initially the Last Kingdom series, and I have been hooked ever since.  After retiring six years ago, I have devoted myself to tracking down copies of that series plus other stand alone novels.  I have read 12 total including six of the Last Kingdom and have three or four others calling my name. (I also watched the TV series).   Every book has held my attention from start to finish except the Fort.  For me, this book was a change from the others because I read about half over a two month period and then gave up.  Please do not take this as anything more than a comment about the Fort only because I am presently engrossed in Stonehenge.  I had learned that Paul Revere was not the hero we learned about in school after reading Paul Revere's Ride by David Fischer.  Longfellow did no favors for students of US history with his poem.

 

Anyway, the stories of Viking travels to Great Britain are fascinating.  I am half Swedish and speak the language, half Danish, find many town names in the UK with Scandinavian roots, and have traveled to Scandinavia on several occasions. A history I read several years ago claimed that original Swedes were much shorter than what one sees in films, but dark haired with fair skin.  Uhtred meets that description in the TV series and old buildings visited from the 17th and 18th centuries seem to bear out people were short. Will there be any more episodes in the TV series?

 

I have rambled on enough.  FYI, I have enjoyed several fiction and non fiction books on the Knights Templar .  Do not interpret this as anything more than sharing a reading topic.  I also like Steve Berry, Tolkien, George Martin, Frank Herbert (I met him at the University of Washington in the early 70s, but that is a different story), and other authors of historical novels.  My friend encourages me to track down Sharpe novels but that will be a project after the Last Kingdom.  Please keep those stories coming.

 

Ron

A

There will be more episodes!  We should learn when Season 2 will be available soon!


Q

Hiya. I know you're not working on the Uhtred books right now but should we expect book 11 this year? Thank you x

Zoe

A

Not this year...


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