Your Questions

Q

My husband and I listen to your audio books (we have also read most of your wonderful books). PLEASE! David Case the best ; but who is the phlegmy voice on one or two of the other Sharpe novels? Can't abide the voice. Unable to listen to the tape! Do you have a say so? J. F. Holmes

A

No, sorry, I don't. You may want to contact the publisher directly to express your concerns.


Q

First edition hardback copies of Sharpes Sword are way beyond my budget. The high prices are usually blamed on a low print run (500). I wondered why the run was so small? Yours Andrew McLaren

A

I believe the print run was 3000 - still small, presumably because they didn't think they could sell more.


Q

Hello. Thanks for the Sharpe series - they've displaced Hornblower as my favourite "rereading in the loo 'till I get pins and needles" books. I'm looking forward to "Escape", (I prefer paperbacks, so it may be a while). Like many others, I'd love to see a sequel (or even a prequel, perhaps) to Gallows Thief. I've got it on tape, which is excellent - a TV adaptation would be marvellous, as long as Carlton weren't involved. I've only seen positive reaction to the series, but I'm not impressed so far, having just bought the DVD set and watched Sharpe's Eagle. I noticed you don't watch TV (nor do I, on the whole - the DVDs were an excuse to be more sociable, as I tend to hide upstairs when the telly is on!), but have you seen the Carlton stuff, and what do you think (I guess you may have to be circumspect if you didn't like them)? Thanks again. Graham Nicholls

A

I was, of course, delighted to see the books turned into film and quite pleased with the results.


Q

Hello, Mr. Cornwell, We met a couple of times at the Sharpe convention. I have never joined a fan club in my teens because I thought no one was really worth such adoration. Well things have changed since I was made to read a Sharpe book. I am addicted! I have always written stories starting with children's tales and gone on to older audiences (I wrote for my children) but I have never had the courage or conviction to get them published. However, my question: How do you keep track of all your "players'" characters and idiosynchrasies? Do you keep a journal? (I have tried this and still made mistakes three books later). Do your proof readers pick up any mistakes? And has it happen you had to rewrite parts of your books because of it? Keep writing, PLEASE! Your insights are fantastic. Thank you for your books and your time! Susanne Young-Hotz

A

I don't keep track, which throws up huge problems - I try to - I have 'post-it' notes stuck everywhere, and other notes, and files on the computer, but I still lose some, and yes, I rewrite constantly, endlessly. Stick with it and someday you may get published. Good luck!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell, I have been a great fan of yours since seeing the Sharpe TV series, which lead me onto the books, although when I read them I can't help but picture Sean Bean, not a dark haired, scarred Londoner. I have read all your books, except the Starbucks, which I hope to read soon. My favourite are the Warlord trilogy. My first question is about the Arthur film that is to be released later this year, which has been billed as a more 'factual' version than previous renditions. Is this based in anyway on your books? My second question is about the grail quest. Hookton is described as south of dorchester, which currently, is the town of weymouth. Although Hookton was destroyed, at the end of Heretic, thomas returns there at the time the black death is in europe. Historically, the black death was first in england 1348, melcombe regis, a borough of weymouth. Are you implying that Thomas was responsable for the black death in england. Am also looking forward to the new sharpe, will there be anymore? Rgds, Paul Childs

A

No! If you remember, when he returns, the black death is already in England. That Arthur film is not based on my books.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell, First let me thank you for all the pleasure that reading your books has given me. I find your notes at the back very interesting. (The last, Gallows Thief, I read in NZ and passed it on to a Kiwi friend fascinated by English history!) I was interested in your notes in this book, about the almost carnival atmosphere at a public hanging. My late mother left me a collection of lace bobbins; the shaft of one is decorated with the name 'W Worsley hung 1868'. She found that he was William Worsley but I haven't found out anything more about him. Do you know whether commemorative bobbins like this one would have been made to peddle at hangings? Or might this have been an occasional thing, for relatives of the victim perhaps? I'd be interested to hear what you might know - many thanks, Juliet Lewis

A

I've never heard of it (doesn't mean it didn't happen) and William Worsley would not have been publicly hanged in 1868 because by then executions had long been transferred to the inside of prisons, so there would probably have been far fewer souvenirs made. I suspect, and this is only a guess, that poor William was a weaver and the bobbin belonged to him and his family carved it as a memento - but that's only a guess.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, please could you tell me the inspiration for the name "Sharpe" in your marvellous novels. Many thanks, Sue Winch

A

He is named after Richard Sharp the great rugby player - all I did was add an 'e'.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, I am a long-time fan of your work (esp. the Sharpe series-alas , I have no valuable 1st editions as I am too frugal-alright cheap to buy hardcovers). I was gratified to see a new 'Sharpe' is on the horizon. I just finished "Gallows Thief". It was a great read and Rider Sandman looks like a character with great potential. How was it received and do you plan on continuing Sandman's adventures? Thanks from a historical junkie Michael Ruskey

A

There's a good chance of another adventure for Sandman, but I'm not sure when I'll get to it.


Q

Hello. Just a quick note to say that I first read your books when I was at boarding school. It was a grim time sometimes but I do remember finding a battered copy of Sharpe's Gold in the school library, hurray! I spent many a dull weekend following Sharpe and Harper all over Spain and India. I even managed to convert some of my mates who also read the books, and my copy of Sharpe's Trafalgar was well read by about 20 people and is heavily re-inforced with cellotape! Anyhow, I've read the bulletin board and I've noticed that there is a glimmer of hope in rousing Sharpe from Lucille's Farm after Sharpe's Escape is there a possibility in Sharpe strapping on the sword belt for one last time? James Walkerdine

A

It's possible - always possible, but likely? Don't know. It's something for a few years away.


Q

By my reckoning, Richard Sharpe would be76 by 1853, not to old for a British general in those days. Was he involved in the Crimean War at all? William W. Gill

A

Give the man a break! I know Blucher was fighting away in his 70's, but I don't think Sharpe was. Still, never say never.