Your Questions

Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, Just finished Heretic.....what can I say that hasn't already been said, a great read. I was interested in your thoughts about Dorset, my GG G/father was born in Beaminster Dorset in 1828. He was with the 76th regt. for 22yrs. culminating in Colour Sgt. I visited a book site today that said your real name is Bernard Wiggins, is that true? I hope you don't mind a personal question. Rgds Robert Marsh

A

I was born Bernard Cornwell - and that's the name on my first birth certificate, but then I was adopted into the Wiggins family, so received a substitute birth certificate, and last year I changed my name back to the original (because I prefer it). Complicated? Ah well. I wish it were a Dorset name, but I don't think it is.


Q

to the Honerable Mr. Cornwell. You may remember me inquiring upon Hagmans' death in "Sharpe's Waterloo". I have written to you again to ask you if the first three books "Sharpe's Tiger", "Sharpe's Triumph", and "Sharpe's Fortress" have been considerd for television? I would love to see those three within the Sharpe TV series. Also, while in my local bookshop, I noticed that you have written "The ultimate Sharpe Companion". I also read in "Sharpe's Honour" that you did not get any complaints about Sergeant Hakeswill's death, to be honest, I liked him as Pete Postelthwate played him spectacualy, I also would like to know if you have written anything on the Crimean War? as that would be another Cornwell Masterpiece, in any case, please keep writing yor novels, you are the reason I enjoy literature and you are also the reason I have already written four books of my own Yours very respectfully, Martin Knox

A

I have not written on the Crimean War - no plans for it at the moment. And no plans for any more Sharpe films right now either. I did not write The Ultimate Sharpe Companion, the author of the Sharpe Companion books is Mark Adkin - and they are truly wonderful books.


Q

Hello Mr Cornwall, I started reading Enemy of God when I was 14, and now 6 years later, I have read all three of the Warlord Chronicles at least 12 - 13 times each, no joke. I love them, as well as the Grail Quest and Stonehenge. My room mates always ask me if I will ever tire of reading about Arthur, and I don't think that I ever will. I read Uther by Jack Whyte, and altough I enjoyed it greatly, it simply wasn't like the Warlord Chronicles. I want to know if you ever thought of writing about Derfel after Arthur left? He lived for many years after, and I would like to read about his life. Thank you for creating something that I look forward to everytime I open the cover, no matter how many times I have read it. Veronica

A

Have I thought of it? Yes, but will I do it? Not likely - I feel the story has been told. I'm glad to know how much you enjoy the books. Thanks for writing.


Q

I was rummaging through the web sites selling books and I noticed there was one listed under your name with the title, "Gallows Thief 2". Is this a mistake (also they had Sharpes Escape down as well) or am I the one to stumble across this closely guarded secret. If this is true or not can you let me know. Thanks. William Carter

A

It is a mistake - there is no 'Gallows Thief 2' (although there may be a sequel some time in the future, I haven't decided that yet). Sharpe's Escape is not a mistake - it will be available in April of this year.


Q

Mr Cornwell, I wanted to write and let you know how much I've enjoyed your books. I've recently read Heretic and An Archer's Tale and am currently working on Vagabond (Long story on why I've read them out of order, but let's just say that the best description would be 'opps'). I've always enjoyed historical Europe, and while my interests lay more in the German history of the 16th century, the English long bow has always fascinated me. Being able to see it from the eyes of one who may of lived (or at least someone like Thomas) has been immensely enjoyable. I do have one question, however. In the stories, you've mentioned different saints, and while I've been aware of some of them, one in particular escapes me- St Gallus, the patron saint of poultry. I've been unable to find a reference for him in my studies and would love to be pointed in the right direction on how to find more about him, if he is actually a holy figure. St Guinefort is a character in a children's story that I've always enjoyed, and his story is familiar to me, but Gallus is completely new to me. I'm in the Society for Creative Anachronisms, which, in case you haven't heard of us, is a historical recreation society, which attempts to recreate the romantic feel of what medieval history could have been. One of the things I love to do is to tell stories, and the story of St Gallus would be a wonderful story to use when entertaining my friends, but I'd like to have some historic information about him. Thank you for the wonderful books, and I hope to begin buying the Sharpe series when I finish the Grail series. Sincerely, Brian Beezley

A

Can't help you very much, I fear. My source (such as it is) was The Book of Days, a two volume curiousity published in 1864, and which bears one subtitle 'oddities of human life and character'. It's full of weird stuff, and I rip it off mercilessly. It was published by Chambers, totals about 1700 pages, doesn't have an index, so it would be almost impossible to find Gallus again - but that's where he came from (and I'm sure he's mythical because he doesn't make the Penguin Dictionary of Saints and, lord knows, they have some strange ones in there). I like the sound of Creative Anachronisms - story of my life, really.


Q

Hello Mr Cornwell, After reading a message on the website from someone who suggested changing the sort of titles you choose for Sharpe books (something about "the campaign where nothing went right") may I suggest Sharpe's Misfortune? Also, have you ever come across a female writer who has written anything remotely in the style of Sharpe, Mallnson, other army or navy heroes of the time? I was wondering because the female authors I've come across writing about the Peninsular War are using it as a backdrop for Regency. The closest is Georgette Heyer with Spanish Bride (the real-life story of Harry and Juana Smith) and An Infamous Army (the ending of which takes place at Waterloo) but again they are romantically-based. One last thing - loved the talk you did at my home town of Poole a while back and still proud of my signed copy of Heretic - thought it would be mean to lug any of your other books along when I knew there would be lots of other people waiting! ;) Vive Sharpe! Marie

A

I haven't - but if anyone else has I hope they let us know.


Q

When is Sharpe going to meet Flashman? Thanks. Peter Day

A

Only when Flash is out of copyright, which will be long after I'm dead, so I think they're doomed to stay apart.


Q

Hi again, Bernard, Do you know if Sharpe ever found out that it was actuallly Hakeswill who murdered Sharpe's friend McCandless? If I remember rightly, he enacted his revenge on another bloke? thanks - Tim Harrison

A

I don't think he ever did find out. I never told him!


Q

Hello. I am not a literary writer but am writing a science fiction book/story. I have a couple of questions regarding the phrase "Fate is Inexorable" found in your Warlord Chronicles. 1) Where did this phrase originate or did you create it? 2) What is the edicate or protocol for a writer using a phrase that another author has previously used? Sincerely, Mike Michaud, Ottawa, Canada P.S. I truly enjoyed reading Gallows Thief, the Warlord Chronicles and the Grail Quest series ... Thanks.

A

The protocol is Don't Be Found Out. In fact the phrase comes from an anonymous Old English poem, The Wanderer, from, maybe, the 8th or 9th century, and in the original the phrase would have sounded something like 'Wyrd bith ful arade' which is English, believe it or not, and is usually translated as 'fate is relentlesss', but I preferred inexorable. Don't steal from authors in copyright unless you have an unusually skilful lawyer.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell. I have enjoyed most of your books, but I wonder if you could put my mind at rest. In Fitzroy MacLean's 'Eastern Approaches' (wonderful book by the way) there is a description of the 'bespectacled and cunning' French Communist, Jacques Duclos. Is your Major Ducos based on him in any way, or is it nothing more than strange coincidence? For the reader that requested Sharpe against the Thuggee, I would like to suggest 'The Deceivers' by John Masters, who was an officer in the 4th Gurkha Rifles. It is part of a series about India told through the adventures of the fictional Savage family. Alas, not in print anymore, but a second-hand book shop ought to turn up an old Penguin paperback (if they haven't all fallen apart). In fact, anything by Masters is well worth reading. Allen Hansen

A

Couldn't agree more - I have all of Masters's books, and Fitzroy MacLean's Eastern Approaches, but I confess I'd forgotten Jacques Duclos. Don't think I borrowed the name, but perhaps I did.