Your Questions

Q

Grail Quest - Why the use of the word GUN ??!!
Robert J. Mattine

A

Why not? The grail quest is set in the 1340's and the first recorded use of the word is 1339.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, I am very glad to find a website in which I can contact you to finally find out a few things that have eluded me from the Sharpe books. My main point of question (you're going to think I'm being really picky!) is in Sharpe's Regiment when Sharpe and Harper view the very dressed up captured French Eagles in Hyde Park. "We've captured more than eight, sir" says Harper...so then I got to counting. The first is Sharpe's fictional Talavera Eagle, the second from Barrosa, the third from Massena's retreat at Foz d'Arouce, two at Salamanca and two in the Retiro forts. That makes seven, so I'm wondering where the other one came from, as I'm not aware of it, but would love to know! Also, you mention about a few more that it was rumored were captured. I seem to remember hearing something about the 3rd eagle from Salamanca (don't know if you can help me there?) and there was something about one being sold to an officer? I'd love to know a bit more on these, and maybe where you got the information on this from? Many thanks, not only for any help, but also for the endless years of enjoyment I've had of reading your books. I blame you and Richard Sharpe together for my 'war library' which has taken over my entire house and caused many an argument, but I wouldn't have it any other way! Best regards, Ricky Phillips

A

There was a rumour among the army that three were taken at Salamanca and that the third was chopped up by the soldiers who believed, wrongly, that it was made of gold. A similar story came from an action on the Coa, but I can't remember the details. I think 7 is accurate (6 without Sharpe's) and I probably invented one.


Q

I just read your response to the question of whether we Americans respond differently to the Sharpe series than Brits and it made me wonder if the series has ever been published in France or at all in the French language? Daniel Thomas

A

No Sharpe books have been published in France; although some of my other books have, including the Grail Quest series, the Warlord Chronicles and Stonehenge.


Q

I own a fair few osprey books, thanks to my happy Waterstones discount card. I was wondering how useful and reliable you found them for your Sharpe novels? What are your other interests, apart from research and writing? Finally, do you have any interest in Japanese history? Oh and great joke about the French and toast. Hehe. Stephen Bosco

A

I find Osprey books terrifically useful - and would recommend their new The Napoleonic Wars with a foreword by Bernard Cornwell - which tells you how useful I find them! Japanese Hisrtory? I fear no interest whatsoever.


Q

I started reading your work while I was a tanker in the U.S. Army. As a writer of historical fiction your books are realistic and detailed. Will Sharpe ever come in contact with an American character again? Also I'd like to know if you could recommend someone in the UK I could contact about the origins of my last name. Thank You for your time. Mark L. Sebourn

A

Sharpe and the Americans? Probably only in Europe! I don't know anyone who does surname research - there is a Dictionary of Surnames (Oxford?) which might help, otherwise I'd hit the internet (you probably already have), but with a due sense of dread (there's an awful lot of rubbish out there).


Q

Having read all of the Sharpe books, I was wondering if there are plans to take Sharpe to Flanders, as this seems to be an area missing from Sharpe's history. James Constable

A

No plans at the moment - having taken Sharpe backwards in time once I'm not inclined to do it again, but who knows? I once said I'd never write the indian books and I did.


Q

Hello - I am currently trying to get through the Sharpe series as fast as possible, currently on 'Havoc'. I was fascinated how since you went back and wrote prequels to 'rifles' how everything seems to fit in. In so much as how he became an officer his first meetings with characters who appear later who you had written had first met sharpe in INdia and such like. It s incredible how everything seems to match up. Had you always planned to write these earlier books about Sharpe's early career, and thus deliberately left people gagging to find out about his exploite during this time? Also, are there any plans to write about his exploits in Flanders before India, or between Copenhagen and Spain, and Waterloo and 'Sharpe's Devil'? Or even post 1820/1? David Berry

A

It's very kind of you to say so - in fact not everything does quite fit, but that's because I never planned to write the earlier books so the edges are a bit rougher than I'd like. Flanders? No. I think I'll keep going forward from Sharpe's Escape, but probably won't write anything after Waterloo (or maybe I will, don't know!)


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell Did you know from the beginning that Sharpe's marriage to Jane would be a disaster, or did you at first intend them to live happily ever after and then realise a book or two later that that wasn't what happened (perhaps when you introduced Lucille)? Carole PS - I love the quote from Lincoln about lawyers on your contact page. Carole

A

I fear Lucille was the fly in that ointment - I never intended Sharpe to fall for her, but he did, and I was helpless.


Q

Bernard, a quick question - where did you find the name "Ceinwyn" from? It's a lovely name but haven;t seen it in any baby-name books (and I have reached that stage in life!) Marcos

A

Ceinwyn occurs in the early stories of Arthur - she dropped out of the later legends, which is a pity. I was chided the other day for not spelling her name Ceinwen - so maybe that's what it ought to be.


Q

Loved your Desert Island Discs. In particular the story about meeting the Literary Agent in New York. Who was he? ... and does he still represent you? Neville Burrell

A

My agent still represents me - after 25 years. He hates that story. It's true, though.


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