Your Questions

Q

How do you square the (apparent) death of Hakeswill in the snakepit and his "reappearance" in Spain/Portugal in an earlier (though historically later) book? might be difficult to track the multitude of characters after decades of writing. Dave

Dear Mr Cornwell, What exactly did happen to Obadiah Hakeswill after he was pushed into the snake pit at Gawilghur? We hear about his escape from the gallows, his invulnerability towards the musket bullets of friend and foe alike, his lucky survival from the tigers and his escape from being crushed by an elephant. Did you purposely leave the escape from the snakes to the readers' imagination, adding to the legend that was Obadiah?! Toby

A

I don't know how Obadiah survived. I assume the snakes couldn't stand the smell of him.


Q

Having read Sarpe's Escape and then gone straight onto Eagle, I noticed an error (please don't kill me!). Rifleman Pendleton is there in Escape as one of the two youngest members of Sharpe's Light Company (in 1810), but he was killed off in Eagle, at Talavera (in 1809). Sorry to do this to you!!! Are you planning on writing any more Sharpe books with Sweet William in them? He's a great character and deserves more screen time than he's got. I can only read Enemy and Siege so many times before they fall apart at the spine! Keri Tolhurst

A

Forgetful authors bring resurrection - isn't he lucky?? Sweet William may return, we'll have to see.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell I have been a fan of your work ever since the first Sharpe programmes appeared on the television. I have purchased a number of your books and at present are going through the Sharpe novels in historical order. I have recently been given the dvd set of the fourteen Sharpe episodes and included in this series are two that do not appear in your list of the Sharpe novels. They are Sharpe's Mission and Sharpe's justice. Are these part of other stories and if so which or were they written just for the television company and where do they fit into the historical order. Regards Richard Cattell

A

'Sharpe's Mission' and 'Sharpe's Justice' are not based on any of my books but were written by the screenwriters for the tv series. 'Sharpe's Mission' takes place in 1810 (just after the battle of Talavera) and 'Sharpe's Justice' in 1813 before the battle of Waterloo.


Q

Dear Bernard, first of all I must apolgize for the jumbled message of my earlier post. It was meant to be British perspective during the American Revolution.#################### Btw at Albuera will Sharpe be with the Die Hards or the Fuzilier Brigade and will he be on his own with Harper or with whole South Essex??? Also will Sharpe finally find out about Astrid's murderer Pumphery's using of him??? And while you are right that it might be awkward it's not impossible since I did read in Flecthers Bloody Albuera that a 60th rifleman (forgot the name) did manage to fight at both Fuentes and Albuera####### Also I can recommend British at the Gates by Robin Rielly as worth a read. Geriant

A

Thanks for the recommendation! I don't know what Sharpe will be doing at Albuera, or if he will even get there. I hope he does, but I haven't started work on the book yet. I think he ought to find out about Pumphrey - we'll see!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell I am about half way through Havoc, and am enjoying it immensly. However I do get the impression it is....how can I put it, slightly anti european in nature. Is this a deliberate ploy, especially with the European Parliamentary elections about to take place in the UK? Ian White

A

Anti European? Moi? Not me! But I can't quite understand why Britain so eagerly rushes to put its legislative process under the control of the two most dysfunctional states in European history. I like the idea of the Common Market, but not of a European Union.


Q

Bernard, I really enjoy the books. What happened to Jane, Sharpe's wife? She's last seen at Waterloo, and supposedly pregnant, I seem to recall that she would suffer fate worse than death, I can't remember where that came from. Just being Nosey, thanks Robert Reid

A

Don't know what happens to Jane, but you can be assured it's nothing good.


Q

Just wanted to drop a line to say I love your books. I notice that there are a great many requests for you to write in various periods or expand on support characters from other books. I'll add my voice to those who would like to see Patrick Lassan (maybe as part of the Charge of the Light Brigade?) but I'm truly content with whatever you decide. On a related note, when I read Sharpe (I read the 1st eleven books in the mid nineties), one support character really caught me. In fact, I got the impression that he might return. I don't recall his name but he was an American sea captain who initially bumped heads with Sharpe but later teamed with him. Did you have plans to spin off with that? Thanks again for the great stories and I look forward to The Last Kingdom (or whatever your US publisher decides to rename it). David Neill

A

No plans to spin off with the American captain . . though it's not a bad idea.


Q

I'm currently enjoying "Sharpe's Escape". The sewer scene had me laughing and cringing at the same time. Has there been any interest in adapting any of the Sharpe books for the big screen? That would be fantastic, especially given the current trend in historical military films. Fingers crossed eh! Mark Smullen

A

Thank you! We will keep our fingers crossed.


Q

Mr Cornwell, I love your books especially the Starbuck and Arthur ones. You write excellent supporting female characters - why don't you pick some glam military heroine and write about her as the main character? Amanda Clarke-Prebble

A

What a good question. I shall think on it!


Q

Mr. Cornwell, I have been reading your Sharpe series (I am reading Sharpe's Siege right now), and I have also read "Rebel." It seems like the characters think about religion quite a bit. --It also seems like the subject is presented in many different moods. Some of your characters seem very angry about religion, some seem to use religion to manipulate people, some have a peace from it. Because of that, it is very difficult to get a sense of how you feel about religion. Richard Sharpe, for example, claims to not be religious, but at times betrays an uncertainty regarding the existence of God. Then you have Nate Starbuck, who in the first book very strongly believes in the existence of God; but seems to be willfully setting out to go against God's law. Of course, it does not help that his father was a violent man. Anyway, that is just to illustrate the presence of religion in your books. So, I was wondering how big a part religion plays in your life or in your past? --I do enjoy your books. I learn a lot from them, and I am impressed by the research that goes into understanding the battlefield. I have read almost all your Sharpe books. I still have to read Sharpe's Revenge, Sharpe's Waterloo, Sharpe's Devil, and Sharpe's Escape; as well as the short stories. Thanks for providing such an interesting way to study history. I plan on continuing reading your books, probably I will read the Warlord series next. Kelly

A

How big a part? Not very big.