Your Questions

Q

Dear Mr Cornwell

Will the Warlord Chronicles ever be televised or even made into films?  It would be interesting viewing.

Regards

Kim

A

There's been talk of it....but I don't know if it will happen?


Q

Thank you for both entertaining and educating us!  Will there be more of " The last Kingdom" series?

David Miller

 

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

In late November I opened up a copy of THE LAST KINGDOM and read straight through to the end of THE FLAME BEARER. I suppose one might say I was taken hostage (but very pleasantly).

My question is, will more books in this series be coming, and, if so, approximately when? I love these books, and most devoutly hope there will be another. I'll also be looking into your other works, perhaps the Grail books next.

Respectfully yours,

Larry Chavis

Mississippi, USA

 

Bernard,

Just finished The Flame Bearer. When can we expect the next book ?

Best wishes,

Jim

 

I just finished "The Flame Bearer." The last sentence of the of the "historical notes" gives the impression that there will be another book in the absolutely wonderful series. Is that true, and if so, when will it be available?

Melody Foley

A

There will be more to Uhtred's story....but I haven't written it yet!


Q

Hi

It might be better If Uhtred kept his estate in the midlands as it gives him a reason to travel south, as you said he did when he was older in an earlier book when he burnt the scrolls in the monastary.

 

Colin

A

I’m sure he’s kept a lot of them . . . they’d be managed by a factor who would remit the rents. I’ll try to sort it out!

 


Q

Hello,

When you have a new book published, what is your philosophy regarding reviews of your book(s)? Do you read all of them, some of them or none of them? Is there any particular reviewer, whose opinion you rate highly, and you have to read? Or any particular newspaper and/or magazine's review's of your book(s) you have to read?

Regards and thanks,

Adrian.

A

I have a simple rule - never read reviews.  The bad ones go to the heart, the good ones to the head, and neither are good for you!

 

 


Q

Bernard,

I am immensely enjoying the Saxon Chronicles. I would like to know if all medieval or Dark Age warriors named their swords, such as Wasp Sting or Serpent Breath. I hadn't heard of this before.

Also, what is the phonetic pronunciation of "wyrd bid ful araed"?(Fate is inexorable)  And what language is this?

Tom Blake,

Massachusetts

A

They did indeed!  The sagas and chronicles are full of sword names. Think Excalibur!

It comes from an Old English poem, 'The Wanderer', which is very beautiful and rather sad, and is the thoughts of an exile wandering the earth.  It is English, believe it or not!  I'm no expert on Old English pronunciation, but my guess is that it's pronounced Weird bith full arraid. If you can find a copy of the poem, you'll find the quote at line 5.

 


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell

I have just finished reading the Flame Bearer. Along with the rest of the Last Kingdom Series, these are the best fiction books depicting the turbulent  story of the creation of England.

What would you think of the books being included in the National Curriculum?

I am sure they would bring alive this part of early English history for many students.

Looking forward to meeting Uhtred again.

 

kind regards

 

Mike Newell

A

I do think the English should learn about the origins of England!  Maybe they do? Of course if you make the books part of the National Curriculum you immediately condemn them as ‘necessary’ reading. Much better to let them discover them on their own (but I’ll let you disagree!)


Q

Just finished the Flame Bearer. Great stuff as always. And very pleased to see that the anachronistic modern Scotland-England border has been removed from the map. Just been reading the hugely-informative 1873 book by James Murray. 'The dialect of the southern counties of Scotland' and read that the Scottish kings didn't refer to either Galloway of Lothian as geographically or legally part of Scotland until 1249 (a footnote on page 3). The book can be read on-line. It's chock full of historical surprises about Northern Britain.

Steve Ainsworth

A

Thank you! You’re right (or Murray is!) about the frontier! It’s all horribly complicated which is why I try to simplify it in the books.  The era of Uhtred is really an era when all three kingdoms (Scotland, Wales and England) were emerging and all three had distinct regions which still, to an extent, exist (like Northumbria).  The Scottish story is complex – much of the lowlands had been speaking Welsh! It’s a tangle and, for fiction, best smoothed out!


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

Crecy. Poitiers. Agincourt. All the battles are basically similar-a smaller English army pursued by a much larger French force. The English commanders choose an ideal defensive position and let the French waste themselves on the field of battle. Now as this action spanned roughly 69 years the question is what prevented the French from overwhelming the English forces? Was it Gallic arrogance, or was it simply, time and again, complete ineptitude of French commanders?

Long Live Lord Uthred of Bebbenburg!

Dennis

A

Gallic arrogance? Possibly, though that’s a little unfair. I think in all three cases there’s a lack of good leadership and a good deal of enthusiasm to take the battle to the outnumbered English. Undoubtedly the English archers were a critical factor which the French never quite solved until they developed primitive artillery. It’s worth remembering that the French won the war (a tale I don’t tell) and all three battles are, in a sense, outliers. In all three cases the French were justifiably confident in their numbers and, by Agincourt, they believed they had found a way to neutralize the archers, and that failed mostly because of the mud. In the other two they were attacking uphill into carefully prepared positions .. . showing enormous bravery (as they did at Agincourt!). And the battles are far enough apart in time to mean that experience didn’t really help. And, in the end, by adopting a strategy of fortress war, the French did expel the English. Pity really, or they might play cricket today.


Q

I've just finished 'Ida', and enjoyed that read just as I've enjoyed the others in this series and others you have written too. I looked too at some of the Qs and As and noted that in one response you mention how Uhtred is getting older now so perhaps confused. That might explain the slavery point, He claims that he was sold into slavery by his Uncle. My memory of the previous books is that this isn't so - or is it my memory that fades?

 

yours,

Peter Barley

A

His uncle arranged his capture . . . and paid money. It wasn’t a direct transaction, but in effect he was sold!

 

 


Q

Happy New Year Bernard.

 

Whilst listening to Uhtred's story from start to finish again of the Christmas period, quite a few 'what if's' drifted into my mind as they tend to do from time to time. I won't bother you with most of them, but I am curious if you have any thoughts about the implications and effects on the relationship between Alfred and Uhtred if the latter had fully converted and remained a devout Christina in Alfred's service. Both men clearly respected the other and it seems to me that there had been, on Alfred's part, a desire like Uhtred and foster a friendship, which was soured over the years. I wonder if you fee that had Uhtred been a committed Christian, Alfred would have allowed his merit to raise him to higher levels of lordship. perhaps in place of his cousin, or even to become a sanctioned king under Alfred's overarching rule. If this had happened and Uhtred had been allowed freedom to run the campaign against the Danes freely and with Alfred's full backing, do you think the results would have been wildly different in terms of effectiveness and duration?

Had Uhtred been a Christian and in Alfred's good graces, do you think he might have been allowed permission to marry Aethelflaed, and had that union brought forth sons in Alfred's lifetime, would he have recognised the potential for a stronger ruling line from that branch of the family and put them ahead other potential succesors? Alfred showed he could be ruthless, having usurped the throne himself, and I wonder if he would have weighed the future of his kingdom ahead of having Edward follow him

 

Best wishes

 

Andy

 

Of course this is all just idle musings but it does intrigue me!

 

Best wishes

 

Andy

A

I’m not sure what territorial advantages a Christian Uhtred would bring Alfred . . . the immediate ambition was to engorge Mercia into Wessex (which didn’t really happen until after Alfred’s death), and Northumbria was a very distant target. Marriage to Aethelred had tangible advantages – it placed a West Saxon marker on nearby territory!  Uhtred, being an exile from his native Northumbria, and not possessing any land there (except his claim to the land) would have brought no such advantage.

 


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