Dear Mr Cornwell,
First, let me thank you for the huge reading pleasure that you have brought me over decades. I started reading the Sharpe books many years ago. Then I lost touch with your writing--life moves on and reading with it--to more recently return having found the Last Kingdom series. As a former student of the Anglo-Saxon period, I enjoy your imaginary reconstruction not just because of its powerful plotting and great characters but also because I find it historically satisfying. I really congratulate you on your convincing eye for what ought to have been, and for detail that fills the historical gaps so convincingly that I am now at a loss to distinguish what we do know about this extraordinary period and what you have created. On reflection, I should perhaps curse you for this.
Born and brought up in a house that sits quite literally on top pf Hadrian's Wall, I have always been fascinated by the Roman/Dark Age transition. What were the social and political implications of the withdrawal of the legions, especially as this was initially expected to be temporary? How Roman or how British were the Romano-British? What happened to the administration? How long did it take for the bureaucracy to collapse--or perhaps, more likely, to crumble and decay? What were the local political factions, if any, lying underneath the Roman system? What were the economics of Roman Britain--was the military supply chain the dominant driver, meaning that without it the economy was in disarray? And many, many more similar questions.
So I hope you can imagine my delight at finding your Arthur series. I have especially enjoyed your unpicking of the myths and legends and their translation into a gritty history of real if somewhat larger-than-life people.
This leads to my question. The Last Kingdom Netfllx series has, in my view, achieved the near impossible of translating your work to the screen in a thoroughly enjoyable way (I hope you agree). Are there plans to film the Arthur series too? The characters are powerful, the stories immense--and your take on them wry and human--and, I feel, resonant in another era in which "fact-based" reporting is also at a premium.
With many thanks,
Thank you! There has been talk of films based on the Arthur books....but I'm not sure if it will happen?