Your Questions

Q

While living in that limbo between books, (particularly your books) I'm facing the prospect of a holiday with nothing new to read. So Im thinking about revisiting the Warlord Chronicles as we’ll be in Cornwall and well… you know Arthur and Cornwall (sorry Kernow)… It got me thinking, of all the landscapes of mainland Britain I think Cornwall still holds the faintest of echoes from the Iron Age. While the rest of Britain has been transformed and stamped by the Germanic tribes it is nice to hear the whispers of our Celtic ancestors in the place names, and in the ragged sunsets of Cornwall that stirred their imagination as much as it still does ours today.

I always loved the way you had woven the Pagan and the Christian into those books, mixed with the fading glory of a great (Roman) empire and the looming threat of the Germanic invasion… It is I think reflected in modern Britain today with Brexit and anti-Europe propaganda, a religion undergoing a huge change and a move to and indeed away from a united Britain…. All find themselves mirrored in those 3 books, im sure you can draw similar comparisons in all of Great Britain’s ages… (7 according to the lovely Bettany Hughes!) I suppose though when those book were written Brexit, 9/11 and all the world shaping events that have happened since to shape this great isle of ours into the Britain of 2020 were things one would never have imagined possible… For all the long years you have spent living quite literally in the past do you ever emerge back into the 21st century and think (gladly or sadly) that History is indeed cyclical and if we’ll ever learn by our past mistakes? – But then again “wyrd bi₫ ful arꜳd”

James Shoebridge

A

I suspect we never will learn from our mistakes! We’re human and horribly fallible, and too many seek the simple answer to a complicated question – always have and always will – and if a leader comes along promising the New Jerusalem (‘build a wall!’) he or she will find avid followers. Life is horribly complicated and we love simple answers. I confess I’m appalled at what is happening on both sides of the Atlantic, but no doubt Britain and the US will survive, just as they’ve survived even more massive upheavals in the past. Much easier to live with Derfel!

 


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

If, sitting here right now, you had the chance to explore and develop another series that would produce a dozen + books and take decades for you to develop, research and write what do you think it would be about? I know that probably isn't realistic at this point but I'm curious to know what you would like to explore.

Appreciate you taking the time to indulge your fans.

All the best,

Mike

A

Oh lord . . . . . . pirates? I know that sounds a bit Jack-Sparrow(ish), but there really are some fantastic stories to be told!

 


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell

In your book Waterloo (i read the german translation) you write that Sir William Ponsonby survived the french cav. attack and died in 1837 ag the age of 53 years, but i read that he died on the field of Waterloo. So whats the truth?

Best regards

Stefano

A

The truth is that he did die at Waterloo – mea culpa – I think I confused him with another officer.

 


Q

Hello,

The legacy of the U.S civil war is still visible with statues of Confederate generals like Lee being removed from public places and restrictions on flying the Stars and Bars. Having read and enjoyed the Starbuck novels, I understand why you wrote them from the Confederate side. It gave the series an edginess. Did you ever have any concerns when writing the first of the Starbuck novels : Rebel! that sections of the public and or media might construe your writing from the Southern viewpoint as having pro-confederate sympathies or any worries that  Confederate groups would use the novels in some way to advance their viewpoints?

Regards

Adrian.

 

A

Really not – mainly because Nate Starbuck, though he’ll stay loyal to his Confederate comrades, realizes full well that he’s on the ‘wrong’ side – and I hope that provides the edginess you speak of. If Nate was a proponent of slavery and a hater of the North then I would run the risks. I confess I was very influenced by The Children of Pride (Yale, 1972) edited by Robert Manson Myers, which is a vast (1800 pages!) and fascinating book containing the letters of the family of the Reverend Charles Colcock Jones who was a slave-owner in Georgia before and during the Civil War. There can be no doubt that the Reverend Jones and his family are in the wrong about the issues, but there’s equally no doubt that these are very good, highly moral and serious people. We should all of us wonder what we believe today which, 150 years from now, folk will find absurd!

 


Q

Hello Bernard

Within The Slave King Chapter Three there is a reference made to the fact that 'Alfred had spared his traitorous cousin's life after Ethandun.'

Who was Alfred's cousin. I can find no reference to this (or am I going mad!)

Thank you in advance

Glenn Lye

A

I think I must have been temporarily mad as I’m sure I meant Æthelwold who was his nephew. Sorry!


Q

Dear Bernard,

I am embarking on my fourth novel, it will involve Saxons and some words will need to be written in the Old English style, for example: wyrd bið ful aræd. Do you have to use a special font or keyboard to achieve this, or do you copy and paste from online? I would like to know so I know how to approach my story.

Thank you so much!

Kind Regards,

Dale

A

I use WordPerfect – always have and always will, and all I need do is press CTRL and W and it gives me all the ‘extra’ letters (like the ash of aræd). I also use QuickCorrect, which is much faster – I programmed that so that when I write thelstan it automatically corrects it to Æthelstan – which is fine for names that occur frequently, for others its CTRL-W. I did adapt the keyboard so that pressing F11 printed Æ and F12 gave me æ, but that functionality seems to have died on me. Good luck!

 


Q

Hi Mr Cornwell -

I wanted to thank you for writing the Last Kingdom series of novels.  They are crackers and Uhtred (and his son Uhtred) are great characters.  In your writing on the Contact page, you said that you don't want ideas for books but here is something that I think that you are up to.  The best novel that I have read about Vikings was/is The Long Ships by the late Franz Bengtsson. There has always been a follow up book meant for this tome; especially what happens to Orm's sons and Cnut the Great.. Once I had a dream to write such a book but, alas, don't have the skills that you have. You are going to be flat out with novels that open the way for Uhtred junior (I hope so anyway).  Maybe you can suggest to other aspiring authors to give The Long Ships sequel a go.  It is terrific that you are writing your novels and I wish you all the best of fortune and good health.  I can't wait to read the next instalment!

Your sincerely

Andrew

 

A

I do think a follow up is a good idea, but not for me. I loved the book and will happily read a follow-up, but I have too many other ideas – and not nearly enough time to write them all!

 


Q

Please write more novels about Thomas of Hookton - he is one of your very best characters.  I like the photo of your dog !  As a professional dog trainer I have trained many C.K.C.'s and really enjoy working with them.....though they are usually very good at training their owners.

Kathryn Gillard

A

I have thought about writing more about Thomas of Hookton . . . . but I probably haven’t thought enough about it. I will, though I need to finish Uhtred’s saga first. As for Whiskey (the KC Cavalier), he’s certainly arranged this house to his satisfaction! I always wanted a ‘proper’ dog (meaning a Lab or thereabouts), but Management insisted on a KCC and I must say she was right! Whiskey is an awesome dog – but aren’t they all? And I promise I will think seriously about Thomas of Hookton! Thanks!


Q

Hello

I have just finish reading the 4th book about starbuck and can't for the life of me find the the 5th book even though the the last line of the 4th book on bloody ground states starbuck will march again .. will there be another book in this series for i feel its missing a conclusion

Yours respectfully Robert Hardie

P.S. keep up the good work

 

Good morning:

I have been a longstanding fan and avid reader of your work. Please know how much enjoyment and indeed knowledge I've gained from your exciting historical fiction over the years!

Lately, I have wished to learn more of the Nathaniel Starbuck story following Sharpsburg.

My inquiry comes in the form of a hungry suggestion: Do you have plans to return to Starbuck? If not, would you please consider it? Thank you!

BucK Levins

 

Hello

I have just finished reading the Starbuck Chronicles for the fifth time, having found them to be exhilarating reads, that open a huge window on the American civil war for me. Sadly I cannot shake the frustration that I have, that these chronicles have never been finished, having invested so much time and emotion with the characters of the stories I feel somewhat saddened that there is no closure to Nate’s adventures fighting for the Southern Army.

The very first book of yours that I bought and read was The Bloody Ground and I have since bought and read almost all of you publications, and although obviously Sharpe is my favourite, the Starbuck Chronicles are a close run second. It would be so appreciated to at least have an ending to the story before I leave this world. As such I was wondering if at some stage you had any thoughts on writing another book in the Chronicles?

Yours Hopefully

Krdgs

Nigel Hayward-Smith

 

 

 

A

Starbuck is not totally forgotten.....but a maybe at this point.....


Q

Will there be any more books about Thomas of Hookton?

Robyn Breedlove

A

I am not planning more for Thomas right now...but never say never!