Your Questions

Q

Stormchild

A good read, thank you. Although I can locate Chile on a map & a few places you reference (Puerto Natales, Puerto Montt), are the other places fictitious, e.g. Isla Tormentos? You usual insert a map at the beginning so we can track the hero's progress.

John

A

I suspect (again, I wrote the book so long ago that I’ve forgotten it) that I invented the tormented islands – and I guess we didn’t want a fantasy map? I usually visit the places I write about, but, mea culpa, I didn’t visit Chile, though one of my ambitions is to sail that amazing coastline. I think I stole (sorry, researched) the setting from an extraordinary book called The Totorore Voyage by Gerry Clark – an account of his voyages in the Southern Ocean and truly one of the greatest books about sailing ever written!

 


Q

Hi Mr. Cornwell.

In looking over Sharpe's career, I see a gaping hole waiting to be filled: the year 1808, between Sharpe's Prey and Sharpe's Rifles.  The story is still to be told.  It would take two novels, one covering the battles of Rolica and Vimeiro, and one covering General Sir John Moore's campaign towards Madrid and subsequent retreat, including his rear-guard action at Lugo, and ending just where Sharpe's Rifles begins.   I know that you have said that you are "not inclined" to take Sharpe back again, but if you don't, your readers will be denied the chance to learn what happened to Sharpe in that year, and Sharpe himself will be denied the chance to show us!  Please someday write the story of Sharpe in 1808.

Alan Kempner

 

A

You’re right – there is a gap there. But. Hmm. Will I fill it? Maybe? One day? Possibly? Or not.

 


Q

Please, may we have one more last novel starring Richard Sharpe?  I do so miss him!

With gratitude,

Florence Redolfi

 

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I read that you plan a new/final Sharpe novel.  Is that correct?  If so, do you have any idea when it might be released?

I just finished re-reading the Sharpe novels, I would welcome more than one new one...

Thank you for all your books!

Best regards,

Bruce Kincaid

A

It's on the list!


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

First thanks for this magnificent sight with so many questions answered.  Second glad to see Sword of Kings will be out just in time for  Christmas.

About Uhtred carrying and using long a long sword.  I have read or watched on line a lot of discussion about using a back scabbard.  I am sure that you wrote a sequence about the reasons for Uhtred having a long and a short sword and the reason for using a back scabbard.  As I recall Uhtred used the short sword in close quarters and shield walls.  I believe Uhtred describes carrying the long sword at the waist as usual when in towns or castles but across the back when riding.  The long sword itself being useful for combat while riding (not exactly cavalry) and against individuals or small groups.  Also carrying both swords on the back in combat so that either could be drawn during the press of battle.

Could you please tell me where this sequence is in your books and any references you might be able to provide which lead you to give Uhtred manner of using arms.

Separately I have noticed that rubbings or pictures of knights and lords buried with their swords often show the person being buried holding their sword in front of them with two hands (rather like the Academy Awards Oscar statue).  In early and medieval England could this be a lingering belief in Odin?

Thank you,

Peter Brickwood

A

To be honest I don’t remember ever saying Uhtred wore his sword on his back, though perhaps I did? I think the film-makers just like the idea and it certainly makes a good image! I usually describe him as wearing Serpent-Breath in a scabbard at his waist. Maybe I said differently in an early book? So far as I know there isn’t any symbolism in a tomb effigy when a knight is shown carrying the sword (like the Oscar). Sorry!

 


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell.

first of all, thank you for being an extraordinary author, your stories are fantastic, well documented and really funny.

I have the habit to read late into the night, and very frequently, I'm laughing out loud in the bed with one of your great replicas about a priest, a monk or the "new" faith, and I laugh so hard it wakes my wife. After a couple of months with this imposed regime she has started to read your books too. Well done.

Your description of human feelings, about war and love are the most accurate I've read, The Winter King with Derfel and his feelings for Ceinwyn is one of my favorite part, very vivid. I've felt the battle joy only once, and I'm very lucky of it and I couldn't put any word on it until I read your description of the feeling.

Sadly, all of your writings aren't translated in my language. I've started reading in English, but I do hope my fellow countrymen will be able to read the integrity of your work in French one day.

My two favorites historical eras are the early middle-age and the golden age of piracy. I've been wondering for some time if you plan some day to write something about those men, and women, who dreamt the dream of Libertalia. Do you think you'll venture in this troubled sea ? I really hope you do, even a short story would be awesome.

Take care with the terrible heat.

With my best regards,

Pierre Millot

A

I really am tempted – though I need to do a vast amount of research! And I’m so delighted you like Ceinwyn – one of my favourite characters. And thank you for your very kind words!


Q

Mr Cornwell,

Thank you so much for the hours of pleasure that you have given me, and many others, immersed in your books and the series inspired by.

I’ve grown up on your works and I'm now going back through the Sharpe novels chronologically for the fifth time now!

I hope that you feel the Sharpe series, and now The Last Kingdom, do your incredible stories justice; May I please ask which of your other book series, given the choice, you’d like to see potentially created into a series?

I’d visually I’d love to see the Grail Quest or Warlord Chronicles.

Many thanks again,

George.

A

I’m always surprised when there’s TV or film interest in my books – it’s a very nice surprise, of course, but I take the view that my job is to put words on pages rather than pictures on screens. So I really don’t think about it, except I will admit that I’d love to see Gallow’s Thief on our TV – that’s all!

 

 


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I saw you don’t now plan to write the next Sharpe novel, as you had previously planned, because of other events which I hope are only good developments in your life...?  If you are not writing a Sharpe novel next year, maybe you will consider a Sharpe short story or two ?

I saw a very interesting book by another author who writes books in series format as you do.

He wrote a essay about each series, as you did with Sharpe’s Story giving us more information, and a short story from each series too.

Maybe this would give Starbuck and Hookton fans a little more fiction, and students of your work a little more background, on each series you have written ?

All collected together into one career spanning Anthology book of essays and short stories.

If you don’t write a novel next year I hope you might consider essays and short stories ?

I wish you good health!

Ernie

A

It’s a very good idea! Thank you!! Right now I’m beginning the next tale of Uhtred which is taking all my time, but who knows? Next year?

 


Q

Have you ever thought about writing a book about The Battle Of Britain?

Danny

A

It's crossed my mind.....but it's not on the short list.


Q

Hello, I’m about to become a father for the first time and can’t wait to introduce my child to your novels! Would love it if my name became a character(Scottish) in one of your future books! Possible a heroic death or a well earned promotion. Smashing effort on all your work and research!

Stephen McDonald

A

Ah, the gallant Stephen McDonald! His name will be added to the list – yes, there is a list of similar requests, and occasionally I can oblige, though I’ve long forgotten why one of the names has the cryptic ‘KILL’ after it. I’ll try to keep Stephen McDonald alive – but no promises!

 


Q

Absolutely loving The Winter King - the idea of situating such a massive mythical figure in a concrete, historical landscape and culture is terrific and the book reads as if you really enjoyed writing it.  One vowel struck me - I don’t know if typos are of interest but I wondered if “A man could clear land in the happy knowledge that his grandsons would live to tell it.” was meant to be ‘...that his grandsons would live to till it.’ ?? (p. 381 in my Penguin edition).   For years of Sharpe, Azincourt, AND the sailing novels like Crackdown, as well as for the pleasure The Winter King is giving now, many, many thanks.

Duncan

A

Yes, it should be ‘till’ – I suspect the misprint is mine.