Your Questions

Q

I've really enjoyed the Sharpe, the Grail, and the Warlord series. They had robbed me of days of sleep. There's one thing about the Richard Sharpe that fascinates me the most. Is "Dick" Sharpe capable of long term relationships with women? He had plenty of mistresses, "acquaintances", wives etc. They are a sizeable and admirable lot. But they all, well, kind of, left Sharpe. So............ Alfonso

A

'Frailty, thy name is woman,' Shakespeare said that, not me. Some of Sharpe's women were so frail they died. Others were introduced in the second series and, because they aren't mentioned in the first, have to go the way of all flesh. But Sharpe and Lucille last for ever.


Q

Dear Bernard, This is a strange question but I have a reason for asking, where do you go to think and which place in UK gave you most inspiration for a book. When I was posted to Larkhill in Wiltshire I use to like running or walking the dog past Stonehenge, over the open fields then back home, it always cleared my head and helped me solve problems. Now, posted to South Wales I clear my head and relax by sea fishing off the sea wall in the Mumbles, Swansea. What works for you? Paul Jeffreys

A

Dorset, first and foremost, and of Dorset, Maiden Castle. After Dorset, Devon. And not forgetting Bamburgh Castle which is a magical place. And I could go on, but those are the chief places.


Q

Mr. Cornwell, I'm a long and loyal fan, read everything you've written, but find the Sharpe series to be my favorite. I have but two questions Sir, What in the bleeding world is a "false dawn" ? and where did the term come from? Love your work, Please keep it up! I remain your humble servant, Joel Raymond

A

A 'false dawn' - it comes, I'm astonished you need to ask, from the Arabic 'subh kadib', and is a transient light which precedes the true dawn by about an hour, a phenomenon common in the East. I didn't know that either, so that's a direct quote from the Oxford English Dictionary, Volume V, p. 699.


Q

Mr.Cornwell: Could you please tell me in which book the character "Lassan" was and is he Richard's son? I'd like to see Richard have some future contact w/ his daughter. I could imagine her as a freedon fighter in the Spanish mts. Will either be included in future books? You are an excellent storyteller. Thank you for hours of incredible time travel. Glenda Lockhart

A

The character Patrick Lassan appears in the Starbuck books (and as an infant in the short story 'Sharpe's Ransom'). My daughter, also called Antonia, would like an answer to this question. I have no idea, is the answer, but it's certainly possible, even probable that she'll make a re-appearance. She ought to, you're right.


Q

Dear Sir, I was wondering why you do not like to read previous books you have written such as Sharpe's Eagle but are still able to tie in old characters to current books that first appeared 20 years ago. I was also wondering why you do not make any appearances in Scotland for book signings and so on, you do have many fans north of the border. We do not hold any grudges against Sassanachs (English) any more, looking forward to you visiting in the future. Chris Pollock.

A

I do make trips to Scotland - with great enjoyment, too, but for some reason the publisher hasn't booked me north of the border for three or four years - maybe in 2005? As for reading old books? Well, when you write them you go through them 6 or 7 times, then you get page proofs, then galley proofs, and by then you've read the book nearly ten times, and it seems enough!


Q

I've read all the Sharpe books plus Redcoat plus Gallows Thief. They are absolutely brilliant, and I joined the 60th Rifles Re-enactment group just because I wanted to wear a green jacket and the 95th don't take women in uniform (I think I'm the only female Rifleman in the UK). There must be loads more Sharpe novels waiting to be written (he was at Rolica and Vimeiro as far as I can work out, so there's two more books) and I wondered if you could put Captain Frederickson and his company into another book? I don't think he got as much 'screen time' as the character deserved! Keri Tolhurst

A

Thank you - and I don't understand the 95th. Sharpe would have welcomed a riflewoman with open arms. And I think we'll see more of Frederickson.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell, I just finished the amazing Warlord Chronicles on Wednesday and I must congratulate you on this fabulous trilogy. They are now my favourite trilogy.The trilogy has really got me interested in the Dark Age and I now believe that there was a man named Arthur even if he wasn't a King. I was wondering, how many of the characters in the story are actual people and have you made up any of the characters yourself? I can't wait for your book on Alfred, will it contain the murderous viking, King Gustav? Thankyou for the excellent books, Lewis

A

How many are actual people in the Arthur books? Arthur, I think, Guinevere, Bishop Samsun, all the kings, Derfel, and that's about it - maybe the historical notes at the ends of the books might add one or two more.


Q

Hello once again, Mr. Cornwell. Like many of your other readers, I am intrigued by the origins of Hakeswill's enmity against Sharpe. Granted, he hates everybody, but even as early as Ch. 1 of Sharpe's Tiger, it is clear that he has it in for RS in particular. Something must have happened between them in the past to turn Sharpe into Hakeswill's number one target. Do we ever get to find out how it all began? Sincerely, Alan Kempner

A

Maybe. Dunno. I think, as you say, Hakeswill hates everybody, and especially those who he thinks might excel.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell, It's funny that I only found your site today, considering that I have been a fan of yours for a long time. I'm glad I did, though, if only to see that you like the Warlord Chronicles the best of all your novels. I'm probably a bit unusual amongst your fans in that I've never read any Sharpe; I started with The Winter King back when it first came out in paperback, and was absolutely delighted to find a good writer of Arthuriana! Since I love King Arthur, I will read any old rubbish that has him in it, because no matter how bad the writing, something of the magic of our once and future king manages to survive. Nonetheless, it was wonderful to read such a convincing evocation of Dark Age life. As a postgraduate medieval studies student I find this particularly gratifying! For many years I've been planning an Arthur story - set, like yours, in the same period, but with a very different storyline. Perhaps one day if I ever manage to the thing published you'll pick it up! Thanks for reading, and I may well come see you in York when you're doing a reading in April! By the way, I know that the reading and signing is principally about the new Sharpe book, but would you object if I brought one of your other books along to be signed? I'm not sure if it's bad form. Thanks, Rachel

A

I don't object at all. But bookshops may have different policies, so it's best to check with them before bringing along an entire collection. And I do ask that those with more than a few books to be signed wait at the end of the line so they don't hold up people with only one or two books. I look forward to reading your published work some day! Thanks for your message.


Q

Have you done any research or reading about Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry? Robert Frommer

A

I fear not.