Your Questions

Q

Under the pseudonym Susannah Kells you wrote A Crowning Mercy, Fallen Angels and Coat of Arms, which I was led to believe was a follow on from the first two. I tracked a copy down, and found out that it was not. Is there likely to be any more books set around Lazen Castle? Steph

No mention here of a book I found recently with your name as co-author with Judy Cornwell (pseudonym - Susannah Kells) titled "A Crowning Mercy". Brought it, read and enjoyed it. Any intention of more books set in the Cromwellian period of English history? David Coote

A

I doubt it - not unless my co-author (Susannah) persuades me.


Q

Hello Mr Cornwell, I was watching a fascinating programme on UK TV recently dealing with the possible illegitimate claim to the English throne of Edward IV in 1461, and this has prompted me to write to you. As I'm sure you know, Edward VI was supposedly the eldest son of Richard, Duke of York and was born in Rouen on April 28, 1442. To cut a long story short, records in Rouen cathedral clearly show that Richard was not with his wife in Rouen at the time of Edward's conception around the 1st week of August 1441 - he was on campaign in Pontoise (several days march away) from July 14th-Aug 28th. Edward was a very tall man who bore little resemblence to Richard and questions regarding his paternity were raised by prominent people of the time (Richard Neville - Earl of Warwick, George, Duke of Clarence to name a few). It was suggested that his real father was an archer called Blaybourne. Do you anticipate extending the 'archer' series to include this period and the Wars of the Roses - with the aforementioned archer perhaps being one of Thomas' descendants? Kind regards Mike Woffinden

A

Never heard the story, but it doesn't surprise me. A.N. Wilson, in his splendid book The Victorians makes out a very cogent case that Queen Victoria (and Prince Albert) was born 'on the wrong side of the blanket'. Still, William the Conqueror was illegitimate, so it started off that way. Thanks for writing - I don't know if the series will get that far, but your information is very tempting.


Q

Mister Cornwell you are a legend. I read the Winter King (By far your best book) as a 15 year old and was tranfixed. Since then I have gone on to read as much of your works as possible and joined the growing number of fans you have here in Australia. Your books have in many ways inspired me and, as many who love books do, I have began my own novel. That all aside my question is this: The Sharpe books (i have only read the first few) seem to follow a distinct pattern such as loosing/finding jewels/woman etc. Do you agree and if so is it intentional? Mike Tyler

A

Someone once said there were only 7 plots. No idea if it's true, but I think I used all 7 in the Sharpe series - read on - things change!


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell- While reading the Grail Quest series, I was quite taken with your description of medieval swordsmanship. Though Thomas has obviously had no professional training, did you research this aspect of medieval culture through documents like the Talhoffer manual? I own it myself (a must for a reenactor) and was totally blown away by the number of wrestling moves involved. I'm sure these were rarely used in actual melee (when dropping your sword was a very bad idea) but I was still curious whether you took a look at them. Thanks for your time, Rob Rath

A

I did look at them, and was left a little confused - mainly because most experts claim there was no technique in mediaeval swordplay - just bashing away - which never really made sense to me, because if your life depends on a skill (even bashing away) you'll try hard to hone it. So I found the manual persuasive, but was a bit chary of the prevailing opinion that claimed it was bash and crash stuff.


Q

Firstly I would like to say I love your books. I got hooked on Sharpe when I was at school whilst watching the series and after reading Sharpe's Eagle was let down by the series then after. However I do have all the films and almost all the books (but I must say the books are a lot better lol) and as the Napolionic era is what I study and collect (mini figures etc..) I am a fanatic of Sharpe. I agree with you about the Warlord Chronicles, they are fantastic and I am just about to finish Excalibur which is exciting and saddening because once I have finished I know it will all be over. It would be great if they made a movie trilogy but I would hope it would be done as an epic and not as a tv series if it is ever undertaken. I have also read Harlequin and am looking forward to the other novels in the series as again this is a period in history I love and your novals allow your readers to live a part of that period. I have also read a few Starbuck Chronicles, but will return to them in good time. I must say that Stonehenge threw me back as I got totally confused with names and so have laid that one aside for the time being as well. I am attempting to write a novel at this present time (don't worry I won't take any storylines from your books, I look to history especially medieval and biblical for inspiration) and just wanted to let you know how your books have inspired me and given me great Joy. I would like to know if there are any illustrations or paintings that accompany any of your series? and if so how can I get hold of them if it is possable for me to do so? Once again thank you for your excellent books and I hope you will continue to write for many years to come. Ben Edwards

A

The only illustrations I know are the cover art, plus a few enthusiasts' offerings (and very good they are) - some of those might be found through the Sharpe Appreciation Society - there is a link to it on the Sharpe books page.


Q

Will 'Sharpe's War' be seen in the US on the History Channel? I contacted A&E about this and did not receive an answer. Thanks. John Stevens

Do you have any information on when or if HistoryStations in North America will be showing Sharpe's War? Thom

A

Sorry, but I honestly don't know. If and when we get the word, I'll post the details to this website.


Q

I have just a few questions that I would like answered if you have the time. First off though let me congratulate you on the Sharpe's series. I love reading so I ask all my friends for recommendations. Just before the Christmas break at school my friend lent me the first three books in the Sharpe's series: Tiger, Triumph and Fortress. At first I had other things to do so it took me a good week to finish Tiger, then I proceeded with Triumph, finishing that in 4 days. Now I can happily say that I am reading each book in less than a day. As soon as I am finished with the Sharpe's series I hope to move onto your other books. Anyways, to the questions: 1: Is the only place I can get Sharpe's Skirmish & Christmas on this site or at Amazon.com? The Chapters in my area do not carry those ones. 2: In the Diary section of this site I saw you mention that you would be doing a book tour in Canada. When will you know the places that you will be doing the signing? I live in Ottawa and was wondering if you were making a stop at the Capital? 3: In the Contact section you state that, "the early Sharpe books (especially) are now very valuable." Don't worry I am not going to ask you for one, though I wish you still had some copies, but I was just wondering how much they are worth now? If you have time to answer these questions I would be very happy, but I understand that you might be busy. Thanks. Michael Spiess

A

The short story books Sharpe's Skirmish and Sharpe's Christmas can be purchased through the Sharpe Appreciation Society, and may also be found at a few bookshops - although not many, so your best bet is the SAS or Amazon. I don't have the itinerary for the Canadian tour yet, but it will be posted as soon as I receive it. I have heard that first edition copies of Sharpe's Sword (relatively few were printed) can fetch upwards to £1,500 or more.


Q

At the end in Sharpe's Waterloo you wrote "...the 17,000 prime infantry that the Duke sent away to guard his expected line of retreat" my question - can you tell me which Corps, or Divisions, or just units that were posted to cover his retreat. And where were they posted? It would be a great help to me. Jonny

A

They were posted at the villages of Hal and Tubize (about eight miles west of the battlefield) and didn't fire a shot all day - the troops were the 4th British Infantry Brigade (3/14th, 1/23rd and 51st), the 6th British Infantry Brigade (2/35th, 1/54th, 2/59th and 1/91st), the 6th Hanoverian Brigade (5 battalions), the 1st Dutch Belgian Division (11 battalions), and 3 batteries of artillery. Hope this helps!


Q

dear Mr. Cornwell, I have recently finished reading Mark Urban's "Rifles". I wondered therefore why you decided to attach Sharpe to the South Essex regiment when his 95th Rifles were present in Iberia throughout the Peninsular campaign? Many thanks and am looking forward to Sharpe's Escape, Danny

A

Because if I'd left Sharpe in the 95th then I would have been forced to describe only those actions at which they were present - and, like any novelist, I need freedom to range beyond such arbitrary limits. Good book - Rifles!


Q

Thanks a lot for clearing up my confusion in respect to Sharpe returning to Wapping. I have one more question for you, what ever happend to Angel from Sharpe's Honour. or is one of those Situations where I'll be forced to use my imagination? thanks a lot - Chris Horgan

A

I can't remember. Did he die? If not, it's over to your imagination.


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