Your Questions

Q

Hi Bernie! (Or is it Bernard ?) Are you working on the next book in the Grail series? When do you expect the next one to be available? Will you have Sharpe have any more adventures after the war? I know there may come a time when you are simply out of battles for him to win in the Peninsular War, and I am sure after he and his Irish friend returned from South America they weren't done wreaking their own brand of havoc on the British Empire and Europe. That Sharpe fellow is much to anxious to ever really settle down.There must be loads of opportunity for mischief for those two to get into. Thanks for replying. Joe

A

I feel the Grail Quest series is done - at least for now. More mischief for Sharpe and Harper after the war? There probably is - but whether I'll do it? No plans at present, but who knows? I like writing Sharpe so if I run out of Napoleonic enemies I might have to find others for him.


Q

Dear Bernard First off all I read recently with pleasure that there was a memorial service recently given to the British war dead on the Corunna campaign. A truly horrific campaign if ever there was one. Second inregards to the Starbuck chronicals may I ask what first started off your interest in the U.S Civil war if you do not mind me asking and why put the main charachter on the losing side (though it is a nice contrast to Sharpe whose on the winning side)? Lassan said his Nephew wanted to join the fighting will we see Sharpe's Grandson in action. Will Starbuck ever find out that it was Delenay not Ridley who had Sally raped and beaten and of course his attempt to kill him in Copperhead? And will he get back with Sally (Julia Gordorn was not as interesting in JMO). Chickamauga (aptly named river of death) was a slaughter yet had some of the best soldiers on both sides there (Longstreet,D.Hill,Hood,Cleburne and Forrest for the South and Roscerans,Thomas and Sheridan for the North) will Starbuck get to there and Knoxville with Longstreet's Corps. Or will he be with the disasters at Bristoe,Rapphanock station and Kellys Ford against Meade? 3) Lonsgreet considered Lee to be great defensive general but that he would lose his head on the offensive (There does seem some truth to this even though he was villlified for uttering it) what's your opinion on Lee abilities tactically and strategicaly? Geraint

A

What got me interested in the US Civil War? Living in the US. And why put Starbuck on the losing side? Because it's more interesting - by the end the north is a behemoth, and the south is struggling, and he probably knows he's on the wrong side, but that makes it all the more interesting and, of course, as you say, it's a contrast to Sharpe. I won't know the answers to all the rest of your questions regarding Starbuck until I get there - sorry!


Q

Are any of your books available in Canada on video? My son and I enjoy your work and would like to see them on video. Michael Robert

A

I do believe you can obtain all the Sharpe films on video through Amazon.ca.


Q

Hi, I live in Tokyo and spend a lot of time on trains on my way to fix peoples pains, I'm an exercise kinesiologist. Anyway, your books have really made my long trips enjoyable. thank you. I have a simple questions though, the cover picture for your book Redcoat is the same as Jefff Shaara's book Rise to Rebellion and I'm just wondering if that's a coincidence or you guys are pals? A stupid question but had to ask. Anyway if your ever in Tokyo let me know Jeffrey

A

Never met each other, I guess that the two art directors had similar ideas.


Q

Mr Cornwell, you may have been asked this, but why in Sharpe's Eagle do you talk of Harper following Sharpe over many years, and then in Sharpe's Rifles you write of their first meeting, which chronologically is a few months before Eagle? Nick Ramsell

A

Because I forgot what I had said in Eagle by the time I wrote Rifles. Sorry.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell, I have just finished reading Heretic and I must say it was absolutely brilliant! The ending was fabulous and I can honestly say that I felt sad when Sir Guillaume died - he was my favourite character. Just a couple of questions: When Thomas killed Guy - he put four arrows in his body - one for Eleanor, one for Planchard, one for his father and another for himself - why did you miss out Father Hobbe? Are you planning on doing another story starring Thomas? Thanks for the excellent novels, Lewis Young

A

I guess he didn't think of it at the time! Meaning I didn't. Sorry. I'm not planning another Thomas of Hookton story at this time.


Q

Any chance of a few more stories about Sandman? I relly enjoyed Gallows Thief and would like to read more. Michael White

A

It's a possiblity, but I don't know when.


Q

Hello. Firstly let me once more thank for your great books!!!!!!!!! I am right now reading Sharpe's Sword and I just wondered how many of the Sharpe characters were purely fiction? Also I have not been able to find any info on the Southe Essex!!!!!! HOW COME?! Furhter more I would like to comment on the fact that the 95th are mentioned in the Hornblower series as a light foot regiment of redcoats under Major Sir Paul Edrington - which is correct? The mention in Hornblower or that of the Sharpe series????!!!! Best regards Christopher

A

The 95th were always Greenjackets! The real characters? I think I tell you that in the Historical Note at the end of the book, but if there are any characters you're uuncertain about, do write again and ask specifically. Why can you find nothing about the South Essex? because I made them up - I needed a regiment that I could move around to my heart's content - not a real regiment which would trap my story in real history.


Q

Dear Bernard, to do original, I want to congratulate you. I just finish the Warlord trilogy and I am speechless, that so FANTASTIC!. Sure, I read it in French, so I assume it was not completely as good as in English, but it was still great!!! I start to think to read it in English now& I really enjoy the way you saw and described the story and the way you did not follow the standard story& I got questions for you (quite a lot, I am sorry for you&). The way you describe battles sounds like you did some research. Is that right? Did you make a lot of research before writing books like that? Could you let me know where you found your major data? Is the way they turn their shields to explain they are not coming for war historically true? Are all those types of details historically true as well. (Sorry for my small knowledge on the subject&). Like a lot of persons I am fascinated by Arthur story but I know it was probably not real. As you describe the way Igraine might have change the story to make it better, the real story might have been completely different. That is why I would like to know if you found some other historical information about Arthur that you did not describe at the end of the trilogy? If yes, could you let me know what are they (references) to enhance my small knowledge of the subject? I apologize for my bad English. I hope you could understand me& Thank in advance for your answer and thousands of thousands thanks for your stories. I will dream of them for a long time& Emeline

A

Merci beaucoup for a lovely message! Yes, I did a lot of research, but there are not many sources saying what it was like to stand in a shield-wall - horrid, I should think - so much of it is imagination. The detail about turning the shield upside down as a sign of truce came from a very old Welsh poem (I forget which one) so is probably true. Most of my sources are in the end-notes - I did use a lot of very old Welsh texts which I didn't mention - The Laws of Hywel Dda, the poems of Iolo Goch, Y Gododdin, and others - these are available in English translations (there's a wonderful series, The Welsh Classics, published by the Gomer Press), but I don't know of any translations into French. I took lots of details from those books, and from collections of old folklore - the Oxford Dictionary of Superstitions, edited by Iona Opie and Moira Tatem is very good on that. Thanks again.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell I am a great fan of your Sharpe books. I notice that you often refer to the French pas-de-charge as "Old Trousers" and wonder where this strange name could have come from? I'd love to know. Looking forward to "Escape"! Caroline

A

So would I - in Sharpe's Escape I claim that it's from a song, but that was honestly a wild guess. Does anyone know the real answer?