Your Questions

Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell

Me and my son enjoy very much The Last Kingdom Series. We miss Uthred!! So we would like to know when the last two books of Uthred, War of Wolfs and Sword of Kings will be available in Spanish version.

Thank you so much and kisses from Argentina.

Lucrecia

A

I believe War of the Wolf will be published in Spanish translation in Spring 2020.  No word on a Spanish translation of Sword of Kings yet - but I suspect that will be 2021.


Q

Good day sir,

Have you ever been approached to adapt Azincourt to a mini-series?  I think it would be fantastic three or four series.

I thought it was an outstanding book and have read it several times as it is one of my go to books while traveling.

Jim

A

There had been some talk about it, but I haven't heard anything in awhile....


Q

Hello from a big fan!

In all your years of research, have you seen or can you recommend a book about the training of British officers in the Napoleonic era? I know they purchased commissions, but in all the historical fiction I've read I've never seen anything about their training?

Thanks and I truly enjoy your books!

Steve

A

On the whole there was no training. A staff college was established during the Napoleonic Wars – it was initially run from a pub on Hampstead Heath!  Artillery officers did have training, but I know very little about that. The ‘average’ infantry officer was basically expected to learn on the job. There were manuals, privately published, and I have one or two of them, and most would probably buy such a book. He would be expected to know the army regulations. It was, of course, quite different in the Navy where examinations were held and purchase was impossible.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

i discovered your excellent works after watching the Last Kingdom series on Netflix. I read all of the Kingdom series up to now and  am eagerly anticipating The Sword of Kings in November! I have read all the Grail Quest and The Gallows Thief, I thought Gallows Thief was excellent by the way, and think you should do more period mysteries. However, though I have thoroughly enjoyed everything I have read so far, and marvel at your historical research, my absolute favorite series was the Arthur books. I love how you took what historical facts that are were known using all the sources and wove a very plausible tale of Arthur. I think it would make an even better series for Netflix than The Last Kingdom. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED the Kingdom series and learned so much about the period I was inspired to do my own research into that fascinating era. But in my humble opinion the Arthur books are your masterpiece, at least so far! Any chance it might make it to Netflix? Any thoughts on doing something from The period of Henry VIII and the reformation?  Regardless of your future direction I just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed your work and look forward to starting the Sharp series as I await the coming of Sword of Kings.

Best wishes,

Morgan Pinkerman

A

I have no idea if the Arthur books will ever be made into films or be on Netflix????

Henry VIII?  No. I think other writers have dealt with it quite brilliantly – obviously Hilary Mantel is wonderful as is C.J. Sansom’s series about Matthew Shardlake. I think it’s also true that we write best about what interests us and I can’t get excited about the Act of Supremacy or the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Sorry!

 

 


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

I am a huge admirer of your writing style and the way you consistently incorporate the themes of your novels into the story line of the series as a whole.(ex. Wyrd bid ful Araed and the theme of Fate in The Last Kingdom Series). When you sit down to start to tell a story, like Uhtred's. how do you select the themes that you want to weave into them? And as a follow up does the themes you wish to use have any weight in the historical era within which you choose to explore those themes?

Best,

Jeff

A

Well I hope those themes carry weight in the original era I write about, and indeed they usually spring from research into those eras. I don’t think I consciously select a theme. I like stories to tell themselves to me as I write and inevitably ideas emerge – and equally often they surprise me! It isn’t the most efficient way of writing, I suspect, but the only way I can do it!

 

 


Q

Dear Sir.

Please could you confirm if Sharpe used a version of the sword that had been modified with a point and double cutting edge or did he use single edge heavy cavalry version. Apologies if a daft question - I need to reread the books again one day. Thank you for your time.

Kind regards,

John

A

A very sensible question!  And I know the answer is in some of the books, but to save you searching – he uses a heavy cavalry sabre where the back edge has been ground down to make a leaf point. That was very common, as was sawing off the lappets from the hilt to stop them grinding into a trooper’s hip. I’ve never heard of the back edge being sharpened and suspect that would have been impractical.


Q

Someone has told me that there is a stand alone book called Fredrickson's Memoirs.  Can you confirm that please .....and will you marry me ?

Deborah Massey

A

Dear Deborah, if there is a stand alone book called Frederickson’s Memoirs then it isn’t by me. Sorry. I know that having disappointed you with that answer you’ll no longer want to marry me. My loss!


Q

Could you please give a Nepali Gurkha the Bernard Cornwell treatment?!

Josué Barros

A

It’s a great idea. I think I’m too old to learn gurkhali, which is a problem, but thank you for the suggestion.

 


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

As a British man who has lived in the United States for an extended period of time and whose wife is an American, I was curious to know what your overall view of the American Revolution is and whether it has changed over time. Your novels 'Redcoat' and 'The Fort' have characters from both sides of the conflict who provide their own points of view, but I was wondering what your own thoughts on the revolution are?

Ethan

A

That’s rather a large question! Let’s start by saying it was inevitable thanks to the stupidity of the British government (nothing changes).  After I wrote Redcoat I had a couple of letters (pre-email days!) from Vietnam veterans thanking me for writing their story, and there really are parallels. The British never had forces big enough to hold the whole country, a fact that prompted an irascible letter from the 1st Duke of Wellington when, after Napoleon’s first abdication, he was asked to lead British forces in the War of 1812. He wrote to the War Office saying it was impossible: too big a country, too small an army, offer refused. The redcoats often, indeed usually, fought extremely well and won a lot of set-piece victories like Germantown, but they only ever controlled the territory they occupied. The rebels also fought extremely well, astonishing the world with their great victory at Saratoga and that, of course, brought France and Spain into the war on their side. In 1976 the French issued a postage stamp commemorating the bicentenary of 1776 and the stamp shows a bare-breasted Marianne (symbolizing France) beating down a mangy British lion. At her feet is a tiny baby with a sash reading ‘Etats-Unis’, and there’s a kernel of truth in that. I find most Americans don’t want to know that the largest army at Yorktown was the French, the second largest was the Continental Army under General Washington and the smallest was the British. None of that detracts from Washington’s achievement – the French would not have been there had not the rebels proven that the British could be beaten. And, of course, the revolution was a prime opportunity for the French to seek revenge for their losses in the Seven Years War (in which Washington fought for the British!). Americans forget it was a world war, preferring to believe that gallant (and they were) rebels took on the mightiest power in Europe and won! And why not? They did! As a founding myth it has proved durable and useful. And, of course, the great loser of the American War of Independence was France. I stood at the place where Benedict Arnold (still a patriot) took the battery at Saratoga with an act of insane bravery, and thought that the whole world turned on its axis at that moment. If he had failed the battle would have been lost, if the battles was lost the French would not have joined, but they did and the expenses of the war bankrupted the nation which in turn led to the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. The seeds of Waterloo were sown at Saratoga! And all because a makeshift army of rebels took on an empire!

 


Q

Hi Bernard

Are you planning to visit Bromborough? I believe there is new and promising archaeological evidence to prove that this was indeed  the site of the Battle of  Brunanburh of 937AD. I understand that battle will feature in your last book in your Last Kingdom series. Is that where Uhtred will  finally meet his end?

Best regards

David Brewer

A

I’ve heard the same about the new archaeological evidence and it’s really exciting, so yes, I will be visiting sometime soon.