Your Questions

Q

Hi Bernard - I've been waiting for a while to see how Sharpe will respond to the Rifle training. I'm interested in his reaction to the green coats, the new culture of a different kind of fighting and discipline which arises from a new kind of weapon. This is clearly where he finds his metier as a soldier. You've said a couple of times that you don't plan to go back in time again, does this mean that you don't plan to write this story? I'd love to see it written, as it feels to me like a missing piece of the jigsaw of who Sharpe is. Do I also remember Sharpe losing the last of the Tippoo's jewels to a woman (of course)? Memory says it was a schoolmistress at Dover, but it was just one line I read some time ago... This is a really good site. Thank you! Anne

A

I remember that line too. I wonder whatever happened to her? I hope Sharpe got his money's worth. I am disinclined to go back a second time, but never say never.


Q

Dear Sir, I just wanted to thankyou for hours of terrific reading in the Sharpe series. I have finished the series and I am reading it again. Do you know of any other books that are like the Sharpe series but about a Frenchman? Thankyou again Sir, for the countless hours of enjoyment Sean Gooley

A

I believe there is a series out there, but I can't remember the name of the books or the author's name at the moment. Can anyone help?

Sean Gooley wrote in a May 21 posting, inquiring about a series of Napoleonic War novels from the French perspective. The series is by Richard Howard, and each title begins with "Bonaparte's" (Sons, Invaders, Avengers, etc.) They chronicle the adventures of a group of French dragoons under their sergeant, Alain Lausard. IMO, they are vastly inferior to Sharpe. The characters are superficial, and undergo no development from book to book. The battle descriptions are only so-so, and there are few if any subplots to the main campaign. The publisher has seemed to agree with this assessment, and has dropped the series after six books. Sean, if you've read through all of Sharpe at lest twice, plus all of Cornwell's other stuff, and are absolutely desperate, you can give Howard's books a try, otherwise, don't waste your time and money. Alan Kempner


Q

I'm looking forward to your new novel about England during the reign of Alfred the Great-a good period of history to write about. Have you considered a novel about William 1 and Harold 2 and the Battle of Hastings? Also, what about the Black hills war of 1876 in the U.S., as I think the great Sioux war leader, Crazy Horse, was one of the most admirable warriors in History. Hope I haven't given you too much work! Kindest regards, Paul.

A

None of the above - sorry. Not much sympathy with either Harold or William, and will leave Crazy Horse to the writers who have a passion for native American history.


Q

Hello again, Mr. Cornwell. My question this time is concerning Sharpe's future adventures. Are you planning to write any more like Enemy and Siege, where the historical backdrop is ficticious? Or will they all be centered around real battles and sieges like Albuera and San Sebastian? Do you have plot ideas for Sharpe's future exploits worked out in your head now, or will you figure them out when you start writing about him again? Sincerely, Alan Kempner

A

I really don't know whether I'll do any more totally fictitious Sharpes - probably, but I never know quite what will happen in a book till I write it - and I certainly don't have any plot ideas ahead of time - wish I did - but I have to discover the story as I go along.


Q

Dear Mr.Cornwell, I chanced about 'Vagabond', wanted more, and drained amazon, as our bookstores keep only small stores of english books. I read, so far, several of the'Sharpe' series, looking forward to more. 'Gallow's Thief' was excellent, Rider Sandman certainly has potential, as others have remarked. I am currently 'living' in 'Heretic',and found one the few flaws that I could detect in your books so far:i.e.,making a longbow out of a green yew sapling, painting or laquering the bow to keep the sap in. UH-no. yew for longbows was cut only in winter, when the sap was down, then seasoned, after a rough shaping, the steps towards the final bow being made in a time schedule of 3 to 4 years, with sometimes a year between steps. I am not an archer, but an historically interested layman, but I bet no archer would have touched Thomas' concoction.Truly the devil's work. don't take me for a pedantic stickler, though, I greatly appreciate your generally thorough research ,the drawing of the characters as children of their, rather than our time,and especially the fighting scenes are so vivid, that they truly make one glad NOT to be there. Putting aside one of the rules you understandably (I am a lawyer)made, I could imagine reading a series about an Elizabethan pirate of your hand to be very enjoyable. Kind regards, Christian May

Mr. Cornwell, My parents and I love your work. They have read many of your books and I have read the Grail Quest series. From this series comes my question; In the third book, Heretic, Thomas gets a new bow. The thing about this is that he doesn't season the wood. I was wondering if you could provide me with some information on this because my father has been making his own bows for about 35 years now. Thank you for your time and keep up the good work. Andy

A

He didn't season the bow because the writer forgot about it. My fault. Oops.


Q

What happened to Sharpe's daughter he had with Teresa? Does he keep in touch with her? Will she pop up in a later book like his son Patrick Lassan? Jonathan Mullins

A

Antonia, I'm quite certain, lives happily ever after. I don't know if she'll show up again, anything's possible.


Q

I know that ideas for future books are advised against BUT... I'm half way through the Sharpe Books and am anticipating Sharpe Withdrawl when I'm finished. Okay, here it goes: What about a book on Patrick Harper from his entry into the British Army until he meets Sharpe? Guy E. Orr

A

Interesting idea, but I'm not planning on such a book at the moment.


Q

Any chance you'll ever be coming to the San Antonio area for a book-signing? Also, I teach Oral Interpretation at a local univeristy and was wondering if you've ever done any interpretive readings of any of your works which might be available on video? Have found all the books to be entertaining -keep it up! Richard West

A

I didn't even know such things existed! And I fear I don't. Sorry. I don't know if I'll be in San Antonio - certainly not this year but perhaps in the future? Check the Diary page on occasion as all appearances will be posted there.


Q

I think I have probably read everything you've published and look forward to many more books. I am an advanced collector of Canadian Army Cap Badges and a half a century ago, was a junior officer in the Canadian Army. Nearly every book of the Sharpe series, except when he was a new officer, contains what I believe to be an error. Gasp! You don't make many of them. He is frequently referred to by his men as "Mr Sharpe". I was taught....and learned the lesson the hard way...that only officers below the rank of captain and Sergeant-Majors are referred to as " Mister" (and Officer Cadets) The correct term for an officer above the rank of Lieutenant is the Rank, followed by the name (e.g. Captain Cornwell) and when face to face the suborinate always address an officer as "Sir" and never by rank. The exception is when he is calling to him and the rank and name is always followed by the word "{Sir"...e.g. Captain Cornwell, Sir" I once heard a recruit address an officer by his rank with no name and it cost him a week of C.B. Please stop calling Captain (and above) Sharpe as "Mister" Regards, Lorne Newson

A

And you think that was true in 1812? I have my doubts, but I'll try and find out.

In response to Lorne Newson's note about Sharpe being called Mister, my limited experience in the British army says you were right and he is wrong. Maybe different that side of the pond, so many things are. Officer Cadets are called Mister but not Sir. Other Officers are often referred to as Mister when talking to them but usually just rank and sir. CSM's and RSM's I only ever heard referred to as Mister by Officers not other ranks when addressing them. Regards Nigel James


Q

Mr. Cornwell, I have recently become a fan of your work and thoroughly enjoyed the 100 years war trilogy. I currently devouring the Sharpe series. I was wondering if you know of similar works regarding African mercenaries or the African civil wars of the mid 1900's. I just finished The Dogs of War (forsyth) and it has created some interest in these events. Sean Frick

A

Sorry Sean - I'm afraid I don't know any such books. Perhaps someone else has a suggestion?