Your Questions

Q

You're currently writing the next book of Uhtred's story. This is going to be the last one, or it will have another one?

All the best to you.

Alexandre

A

It’s certainly not the last one, though right now I’m not sure whether there will be one more or two. I suspect two . . . but we’ll see!


Q

Hi Bernard!

I've been reading your Saxon tales series and just finished "The Burning Land". My question is, in the battle of Beamfleot, the Saxons use bees as a way to distract and hurt the Danes, was that a tactic the Saxons really used in their battles? I love your books and can't wait to read more!

Rachele

A

Not as far as I know! I made that up.

 


Q

In further to what you said, I have to ask, will you write about Burgos and if so what will you call it Sharpe's Beating ???

Will your Sorauren book feature the battles of Roncesvalles and Maya at all ?

Also Fredrickson was at San Sebastian and even tells Sharpe about in Sharpe's siege. Are you planning on doing a Fredrickson spin off around San Sebastian without Sharpe ?

Regards

Geraint

P.S How about getting Sharpe and his son together at this battle https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Windmill

A

Sharpe was a prisoner during that siege, so it would be hard to write another book about it. As for the rest? I never know what will be in a book till I write it, so I have no idea!

 


Q

Hi

I really enjoy your books, but I feel that in 'Sharpe's Fortress' page 363 you should have given at least the forename of brave Captain Campbell - Captain Colin Campbell, son of John Campbell of Melfort and Colina

regards

Ed Brumby

A

I certainly give Colin Campbell his due in the Historical Note, though why I never mentioned his Christian name? No idea!


Q

I have just finished watching all the episodes of Sharpe on Britbox and loved them all.  I was disappointed that he never returned for his daughter born to Teresa, his first wife.  Any reason why you omitted this part of his life?

Margaret Rabon

A

I don’t remember why! I haven’t entirely finished with Sharpe, so maybe I’ll correct that omission?


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I'm terribly sorry if this question has already been answered (I'm sure it probably has, several times!), but I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of some good books on early historic warfare? In particular, I'm looking to learn about the experience of war between Celtic Britons and Anglo-Saxons in Northern Britain in the 7th century AD. Equipment seems easy enough to find info about: less easy is trying to understand the tactical, strategic, and operational considerations that would have driven decision-making on the battlefield. I hope this isn't too specific! I am a huge devotee of your work.

Many thanks,

David Colledge

A

I really can’t point you to any sources!  We know extraordinarily little about the Saxon invasion of Britain, except that it happened over many years. The one salient point of that long war was the Battle of Mount Badon and we don’t even know where that was fought, let alone how it was fought. When I wrote about it in the Arthurian books I presumed, on remarkably little evidence, that it occurred near Bath in Somerset and as for the strategy of the victorious Britons I borrowed it entirely from Wellington’s tactics at the Battle of Salamanca! I’m sorry to so unhelpful.

 


Q

Hi Bernard,

Currently rewatching the Sharpe TV series, good television based on exceptional books.

Sharpe uncovers that the South Essex recruits, steals the pay of the recruits, then sells them on to other regiments. Crimping.

I would love to know more about this, but it seems difficult to find information about this happening in the British army? Could you point me in the direction of more details. I've honestly looked and can't find anything. Hence, ask the author!

Also, I'm from Bangor, Ulster. Did you ever visit when you lived here?

Craig

 

A

Oh lord, I wrote the books so long ago – and I’ve long lost my notes. I certainly read about crimping – Richard Holmes’s Redcoat, perhaps?  That’s the best source I can think of!

Many times! And I have fond memories!


Q

Hi Bernard

It feels slightly odd sending you a question that isn't related to Sharpe's father (but I imagine you're glad that that's over with).

Sticking with Sharpe, I am very keen for another book and the idea of the few days post Waterloo excites me. Also if Fredrickson could make an appearance that would be nice.

To get to my question though have you considered doing Sharpe's origin story? You've touched on his upbringing through out the series and I think the timeline could work well for it's own novel. From son of a whore, to orphan, to pick pocket, to getting in some trouble where the only way out would be to accept the King's shilling from a recruiting party led by Hakeswill. "Sharpe's Shilling" could be a working title.

Seeing I've done most of the hard work for you with the plot already, what do you say?

Edward Taberner

A

Fredrickson?  Wouldn’t it?? I’ll think about it!

I'm not inclined to take Sharpe back in time again....but never say never. Perhaps a short story one day?


Q

Would you consider writing a book with multiple first-person POVs? I've only read thirty-odd books from your bibliography so I'm not 100% sure if you have before, but I do recall you briefly touched on that concept in The Empty Throne, when we followed the narration of Uhtred's son briefly before returning to our hero. Would you ever consider doing that on a somewhat larger scale in the future?

Christopher Jarvina

A

The quick answer is ‘no’. I’m not a great fan of changing 1st person points of view, I’m not even that fond of doing it when I’m writing in the third person. My own feeling is that it distracts the reader. That may just be a personal prejudice, but alas, I’m stuck with it.


Q

Dear Bernard

it's often said Wellington never lost a battle but surely this battle is a tactical defeat ?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Redinha

For the next Sharpe book, please please say its Albuera. Dulong was there and he Sharpe need to meet again. Besides I always wanted Sharpe to me Thomas Pearson, very much a Welsh version of Sharpe :)

Geraint

A

It certainly wasn’t the Duke’s best moment, but he did succeed in his aim, which was to turn the French flank (as he did at Pombal, I think on the same day) and forced the enemy to continue their precipitate retreat. So no, I wouldn’t call it a defeat – an expensive skirmish, yes, but Wellington possessed the battlefield at day’s end and the enemy was gone. If you want to look for a defeat (though admittedly not a battle) then surely the failed Siege of Burgos is way up there.

Probably not – sorry – but who knows? I might want to write another.