Your Questions

Q

Dear Mr Cornwell, at the risk of repeating fellow fans, thank you for your wonderful books. Thanks to you my whole family has developed an interest in history (a task that several local schools failed in to do). My favourites are the Grail Quest and the Arthur books, as I have ever been a sucker for heroes and warriors. Before I stumbled upon your books (a delightful accident), I was an avid fan of an author called Morgan Llywelyn whose writing style is very similar to yours. She writes largely concerning Irish mythology, eg Cuchulain, Brian Boru. I was wondering if this is a subject you would be tempted to write about. Also, have you ever read any of her books and what is your opinion of them? Finally I have to add my voice to the many fans who would like to see Arthur on the big screen. Thank you for the hours of entertainment you have given both my family and myself. Keep up the good work. Dominic Kenny

A

I fear I haven't read Morgan Llywelen, but obviously I should. Many thanks for your kind message.


Q

Dear Sir, I have just seen that Sharpe's Eagle is going to be published in the new style cover like that of Havoc and your new book Escape is this correct? If so is the whole series going to be published in this format? Eagerly waiting for Escape to hit the shelves. James

A

So far as I know yes. Five of them have been rejacketed in the new style, and I guess the rest will follow - this is only in Britain.


Q

I love your books and eagerly await each new addition. I know that Nate Starbuck is on the shelf for an indefinite time but I, for one, cannot wait for his return. Will a television series / movie be made based on the newer Sharpe novels? Andy Bertorelli

A

Nothing in the works at the moment.


Q

I am doing a charity quiz and one question has me stumped. In which novel, short story or play does Brother Bernard tell Jorge and Alvarez of the advance of a French army from Valladolid? I thought that it might be from one of your Sharpe novels and most likely Sharpe's Havoc - but on getting this from the library I find that this is not the one. Is it from one of your books? Are you able to help identify the answer? Many thanks. Malcolm

A

I'm almost certain it isn't a Sharpe book because 1) I don't remember it and 2) I would be most unlikely to call a character Brother Bernard. But I could be wrong! Anyone else know?


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, I've been a very big fan of yours for some time now. I became interested in your books when I stumbled across information that you had written a novel about Waterloo. Though I have yet to read said novel (due to the fact that my local bookstores due not have copies), Waterloo, and with it Napoleonic Warfare (all warfare in actuality, as it is my belief that Warfare brings out both the best and worst in humanity.) are subjects that draw me to novels. I hope you can understand that last sentence, lol. I'm from Alabama, and we tend to not speak very clearly. But back to the subject, I began reading you're Sharpe series, not realizing that they were the background for Waterloo. Then I stumbled across your Arthurian books. I am a large believer in Arthur, and your books fit the image I had very well. It showed an Arthur who might really have existed, and the circumstances that led to his rise to legend. I thank you for these three amazing books. I have also read Stonehenge and the first two books in the Grail Quest series, though I'm waiting for the third book to come out in paperback before I purchase it as I can't afford hardback. But of all your books I find the Arthur series the crowning acheivement. It is beautifully written, not only in the storytelling ability but in the writing itself. It is rare to find an author who can pluck you from your seat and transport you to the fifth century, in the black years of Britian. It is beyond words. I was thinking recently that of all books, the Arthur series has the potential to make the greatest movie of all time, surpassing even Lord Of the Rings in power and scope. This ability lies in the books truth: That a man in the fifth century rose to power in Britian and fathered a legend that has endured for over a thousand years. It is a story of Arthur as it probably was, with the only magic being a man's ability to drag himself from his bastardly birth to greatness. If the movie had a directer like Peter Jackson, it would be a breathtaking classic of unimaginable power. It would be all the more potent because of it's believeability. I'm going to wrap this up because I'm sure you are rather tired of my ramblings. What I mean to say is thanks for bringing the Arthur tale even closer to truth, and I dearly wait for the day I am able to go to a cinema and ask for two tickets to see "The Winter King" (I think that, like Lord Of the Rings, if made into a movie the Arthur series should be a trilogy, just like it is in book form.) Also, is the War Song of Beli Mawr an actual song sung by warriors so long ago, or is it an invention of your own? If it is real, where can I find information on it? A loyal reader, Austin

A

Many thanks for all your kind words Austin. I'm afraid the War Song of Beli Mawr is totally my invention.


Q

Dear Sir I am a huge fan of your writing and have read every book you have written. The last series I read was the Starbuck Chronicles which I enjoyed immensly, my favorite series is probably the Sharpe series and I was wondering if the Lassan, the French General/Colonel Cavalry officer, was Sharpe's son? and if he will feature in the Sharpe series (or his own) at all? Is Sharpe's Devil definitely the last (in chronological terms) in the series? And will the next Starbuck book be the last one (I assume it will be about the battle of Ghettysburg) or will Starbuck exist as a character outside war? I realise this a lot to answer and so will be appreciative of any answer I get. Thank you very much. Will Hoffman

A

You are right about Sharpe's son, but I have no plans to feature Lassan in a series. Sharpe's Devil is the last book, chronologically, of the Sharpe series now and I don't think that's likely to change. Don't know about Starbuck until I get there. Thanks for your message!


Q

First off I want to say I love your style of writing. I just finished the Grail series and I got to say that is one of the best series I've ever read, and I don't want to brag but I've read a lot. I'm going to start the Warlord series, but I would like to know if you would ever start a last novel on it because I feel as though you left a lot of questions unanswered. Also I want to know if the warlord series is anything like the Merlin trilogy books by Mary Stewart? Frank Deansec

A

I don't think there's a close resemblance, except they're both about the Arthurian period and I suspect my books are more rooted in reality, but the only way to find out is to read them! I hope you'll enjoy them. No plans for another Arthur book.


Q

Did Hakeswill die in Sharpe's Siege? He turns up in some of the later novels how? Ps I asked you not long back about how I could get hold of the Sharpe video series in Australia your advice was very helpful and I am now the proud owner of the first two videos in the series. Looking forward to the new book. I hope it comes out in Australia soon. PPS I've read A great deal of historical fiction and yours is by far the best. Any more Starbucks on the way? Lee Brake

A

Hakeswill died in Sharpe's Enemy - daftest thing I ever did. He should have lived forever. No Starbuck just yet.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell, I have recently been reading Hannibal by Ross Leckie and I thought it was rubbish. It was so bad I was actually impressed by his ability to turn what is a fascinating real life story into boring uneventful dross. When I was reading it I kept thinking how much better it would have been if you had written it and with such a wealth of quality material would you consider writing about Hannibal as well? Amy Wilson

A

Hannibal? I'm not tempted by the Romans - or, by extension, the Carthaginians, so it's not likely, but never say never!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell, I have just enjoyed reading "Vagabond" - thank you. However a couple of little points of detail bother me. 1. The French assembly is now called "Parlement" not "Parliament". I wonder was that true in the time of Edward? 2. At the battle of Agincourt - iron tipped arrows were used. Was steel available to Edward's archers I wonder? You need not bother to respond to these trivial points - I just wanted to get them off my chest. I hate clever dicks as a rule! With kind regards, Tony Jones

A

Parlement would have been right, I just 'translated' it - dunno why. Yes, steel would have been available, but not as we know it - it was simply iron hardened by carbon, usually by laying the red hot iron directly on the glowing charcoal and letting it be 'contaminated' - the very first recorded use of the word steel is in Beowulf - the eighth century - and the OED gives frequent citations over the next 5 - 600 years, so steel was certainly available in mediaeval times and, by then, smiths were very expert in judging how to harden iron by adding carbon even if (as is probable) they weren't sure what chemical process was going on. It's not, of course, modern steel - but they called it steel and that's good enough, I think.