Dear Mr Cornwell,
First, I should congratulate you on another splendid read which made a rather boring holiday in Spain more enjoyable. I hope that you will forgive me if I point out something which I had to correct a few years ago in a letter to the Daily Telegraph. This followed a remark made on the BBC by an admiral in the Royal Navy. He used a Scots word which is clearly completely misunderstood and incorrectly used in England. The Daily Telegraph was kind enough to publish it.
The remark echoes the discussion between Robbie and Douglas in "1356" from page 54 to page 55.
Douglas asks Robbie whether the French king knows that the Prince of Wales "will likely strike north next year?"
"I have told him." Robbie replies.
Douglas then comments, "And he's havering?"
I assume that the following sentences confirm that the French king is being indecisive and that he is "swithering", to use the Scots word. The English equivalent is "dithering" or "shilly-shallying" (a wonderful legacy of Middle English, containing the early pronunciation of "I"). However, as I pointed out in the Telegraph, "havering" means to talk nonsense, which does not seem to tally with what the characters are discussing.
I expect that it is too late to correct it and it may be that many of your readers think that it means something it does not, but I thought it might be helpful to know, at least!
I would also ask, since you mention it, whether you can suggest where I can find a publisher or sympathetic literary agent who enjoys a bit of detective story meets science fiction cum action story (I know. It does sound an odd mixture)? I have a book published on a self-publishing site and I have had nothing but positive feedback from those who have read and bought it. However, neither publishers, nor literary agents seem to be interested, so any advice on who to approach would be greatly appreciated.
(aka Jack Powers)