Your Questions

Q

I greatly enjoyed The Empty Throne, (and all the other Saxon Tales) and only complain about how long I'll have to wait before I can read about Uhtred's next adventure. One question: are you familiar with the Cadfael Chronicles, written by Edith Pargeter (aka Ellis Peters) and set in 12th century England? I have a particular reason for asking.

Sandra Berthene

A

Not only familiar, but a fan!

 


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

I love your Saxon Series, Grail Series, and Azincourt. I do not know about the others because I have not read them! But Medieval History is my favorite. I like to donate my books to charity and have done so, however, your Saxon Series is something I want to cherish for a long time.  Do you know if the series will be published in a box set, hardcover, and possible faux leather bound?  If not, it would be a great idea! I still have to read The Empty Throne, and from reading some questions on your site, it looks like Uthred has more living to do. Are there many more books to come in the series?  Thank you for your wonderful stories.

Sincerely,

Lawrence Thomas aka Lawrence The Valiant

A

I don't know is the answer to both your questions - sorry!


Q

Hello, Mr. Cornwell:

Two quick questions regarding names.

I've seen several interviews with you and the interviewers are all over the place on the pronunciation of your name. I assume you prefer the British pronunciation, rather than Ber-NARD. Just wondering.

Also, I'm reading 'Sharpe's Enemy' and when we first meet Dubreton he tells Sharpe his name is Michel. Throughout the rest of the book he is Alexandre. Minor point, and probably a printing error. But I thought perhaps there was some sort of strategy involved. Thank you.

Betty Pannick

A

I'll answer to either.

The only strategy was idiocy. It was plainly a mistake!

 


Q

Hello Bernard,

History only lives in the minds of those alive today and I think you keep a beat in that particular heart better than anyone so well done and thanks.

I'd like to ask your advice regarding when to make an approach to an agent or publisher while working on a book. Indeed, is it best to only do that once the thing is, to first draft stage at least, finished?

I'm progressing nicely on what I'm writing and am over half way through. I still need to move a few Hospitallers from Outremer to Languedoc but I can manage that, and wonder at what point the benefit of input from an agent or publisher should be sought?

I'd really appreciate any thoughts you may have.

Many thanks

Guy Warner-Gladish

A

Send them the finished book!  If they start making suggestions when you’re halfway through then it will only mess your head up. So finish it, write a synopsis, send it then!

 


Q

Dear Bernard,

I am confused, will your next published book be the next Uhtred or the new series you have started? As usual I have to bring Starbuck to your attention, neither of us are getting any younger and I don't want to find out what happens to him from you when we are together in Valhalla. Kind regards

Lee

A

Uhtred is next!


Q

Mr Cornwell

I recently read Gallows Thief, having been concentrating on the other series' before that.

I love how you caught the squalor and harshness of the era. Were you ever tempted to do more with Sandman? He probably could;t rescue another; he wasn't actually that good at seeing the truth was he, but his import business and the surrounding intrigue?

Sandman makes reference to being rescued in Spain by a small company of rifleman; this was not a subtle reference to Mr Sharpe was it?

Loved the latest Uhtred book and liked the way you started the narrative with the son as a means to prolong the story perhaps. We get to read more then!

Thanks and keep up the good work

Steve

A

I have considered a sequel to Gallows Thief but I'm not sure I'll ever get to it.

Could be....


Q

Hello Bernard,

massive fan of your works. I was wondering, now that you're 70, do you have any plans to retire? Or will you keep going until you, uhhh, join Uhtred in Valhalla (assuming he got there!!)

Dan

A

I retired 35 years ago. It’s going fine, thank you.

 


Q

Dear Bernard,

I am a retired light infantry officer. I have some combat experience from Northern Ireland including shooting my way out of an ambush (at night), dealing with the the results of a booby trap bomb explosion and the mayhem of riots. On my first tour I was 23 and ended my last at 43 before command. When I finally retired in 2004 I was ambushed again, this time by post traumatic stress disorder which has now mostly gone.

I am a 'combat veteran' and as such always enjoy reading your books. You manage to capture the feel of combat: the fear; the apprehension; the excitement; the elation; and the sickening 'come down'. Well done. I have particularly enjoyed your stories about the archers and the 100 years war. I also enjoyed and appreciated 'The Fort'. My experience with the Territorial Army and the Ulster Defence Regiment showed me the potential for mismanagement inherent in all part time military forces as demonstrated in your book by the American Forces. I have had to deal with one or two 'Paul Reveres'.

I am re-reading 'Gallows Thief' and enjoyed learning about 'the flash' which is still part of our language (my Mother was a cockney). However, my interest was piqued by learning that Captain Rider Sandman commanded the Grenadier Company of the 52nd. The exploits of the Light Infantry Battalions during the Peninsular War and the 52nd at Waterloo form the ethos of my Regiment, now the Rifles. Did the 52nd, who became Light Infantry in 1803, have a Grenadier Company? Perhaps they did, just the tallest and smartest men. I can find no evidence one way or the other. Certainly the ethos and way of being of Light Infantry Battalions and the Grenadier Guards, both of whom I prepared for Northern Ireland, was even in the late 1970's completely different.

There is really no need for you to reply. I am just passing on my interest and enjoyment of your books. Keep up the good work!

Best Wishes,

Clive Burt.

A

I suspect they didn’t, now that you mention it! Truth to tell, I don’t know (and should).  Thank you!


Q

Hello Bernard,

I have read all your book translated to Swedish. I find them awesome!

I suppose your are familiar with the writing of Simon Scarrow?

In his books the number of fighting soldier seems to be much greater compared to your books describing England some 800 years later.

Did the population decrease or was it not possible to engage people?

Would be interested to have your comments.

Thanks,

Mats

A

I’ve no idea!  I haven’t read Simon carefully enough to know what his estimates are. I’d suggest that the population, by and large, increases with time, though there are localized exceptions. A run of good harvests will increase the population, plague will reduce it.

 

 


Q

Which books or authors influenced you the most when you were young ? What about movies like " King of the Khyber rifles :"

Donald F. DiIenno

A

The Hornblower books. No, never saw The Khyber Rifles!