Your Questions


In Sharpe's Regiment, you mention a song that Sergeant Harper teaches the men as they march: "Drummer Boy".

Was this an actual song? I've search and searched online and keep coming up with a Christmas song. Harper's song, per your book, mentioned exploits, and the colonel's wife (so probably not a Xmas song) Thanks for the many hours of enjoyment your writing has given me.

Josué Barros


I’m sure that was fictional – I have collections of soldiers’ songs from the period, but all are far too bowdlerised to be typical, so I resorted to fiction!




I finished reading the Arthur series a little while back, absolutely adored them, and there's been something that's interested me for quite a while. I noticed, as I was reading, that Merlin spoke quite similarly to the way that Terry Pratchett writes - another of my favourite authors - fairly frank, intelligently and conversationally. I believe the two of you were aware of each other, enough that he wrote a foreword for one of your books, though I may be mistaken. But I was wondering if the similarities between Merlin's speech and Pratchett's writing were intentional, or a happy coincidence?




I think it has to be a happy coincidence. I’m a huge fan of the late lamented Sir Terry, but I’m fairly sure I wrote those books before I discovered Ankh-Morpork. I’m very flattered you should see a similarity though! Thank you!



Good evening Mr Cornwell, I have somebody very dear to me who enjoys your kingdom books immensely. Would it be at all possible to add in a redheaded warrior called Frecks? Or something similar? I know it's a long shot and probably not your decision but I thought I'd ask. Thank you for your time..



It might – note the ‘might’ – red hair no problem. Wait and see!


Hello Bernard

I just had to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your five sailing thrillers.They are the most exciting books I have read in a long time They reminded me of books I have read when I was young. Authors like Allistair Mclean  Hammond Innes and Desmond Bagley. Your books like theirs, I just could not put them down. You also have a good working knowledge of boats and the sea which makes your stories really authentic. Do you have any plans to write another of the same type, as I am not really into historical novels Keep up the good work


Donald Stewart


Glad to know you enjoyed the books.  Not sure if I'll write another.....maybe?



Thank you for all the stories I can read from you. I really enjoy it.

I have a little question about Uhtred Standard. I don't find any historic references about the wolf standard related to bamburg History. Did you chose it on your own, based on Uhtred proper story, or is there an historical reference about this choice ?

Thanks again,

Best regards,



I chose it.  You can see the coat of arms of his descendants here:,_1st_Baron_Ughtred and I deliberately didn’t use anything like that because my Uhtred wouldn’t have displayed a cross on his shield. He’s so stubborn.



As the hero in your "Saxon Tales" considers his helmet almost as valuable as his sword, does it seem odd to you to see the actor(s) portraying Uhtred & company in the filmed series fighting bare headed?

Michael McKittrick


They have to be recognisable! Sadly Uhtred and company didn’t foresee television or they’d have been more accommodating!


Mr Cornwell,

Has anyone ever approached you about a grail quest film or series?

I can’t imagine anything I’d love more than a historically accurate and true to the take representation on screen.

I’d write it now if I had any idea about getting a script made and the minutiae of the inevitable legal processes.

I’ve yet to read something of yours I didn’t struggle to put down,


WRC Prior


There's been talk of it....but will it ever happen?  I honestly don't know!



just curious if you have any planned book tours/signings coming up, especially with your new book coming out? My wife always goes to these book signings at Anderson books in the Chicagoland area and it would be awesome if one of my favorite authors came.

Rob Sieber


Sorry, no book tours planned for this year.


Hi Mr. Cornwell, I'm your fan and I love your books, specially The Saxon Stories.

I have a lot of questions!


1º: In The War of the Wolf Snorri spoke a prophecy and mentioned that Danes and Saxons would united themselves and Uhtred's family would lose Bebbanburg. In Historical Note you said that this alliance will happen in 1016 (the year that Cnut take English Crown). However, I saw that this family keep Bebbanburg until 1085, with the Earl being only saxon in the Norman England. Uhtred's family keep the Bebbanburg until norman conquest?


2º: Since the Main Character of story is based on your ancestor and in the first book you mention that you advanced him a bit on the timeline, do you intend to close the Saxon Stories with the Canute invasion?


3º The Saxon Stories will finish with Uhtred, or will the Uhtred's family fight against danes with King Edmund Ironside??


4º Do you have plans to War of The Roses? Will your writing skills that would be a WONDER Story!


Thanks Mr. Cornwell!



I have no idea where you saw it, and maybe you’re right? All I know is that in 1016 the then Uhtred was lured to a meeting where he was ambushed by Earl Godwin (at the behest of King Cnut) and that, according to the stories I heard from my branch of the family, was the end! The true tale is told well in Bloodfeud, by Richard Fletcher.


No! It will end with the Battle of Brunanburh in 937


They finish with Uhtred, unless I change my mind.


No plans for the War of the Roses.



Hello Mr. Cornwell!


First, let me say that I love your books! I discovered you through The Last Kingdom television series, and as soon as I realized it was based on your books I began reading The Saxon Tales. I'm almost done with book 10, and look forward to moving on to all of your other books once I've caught up with Uhtred's latest exploits. Thank you for sharing your brilliant imagination with the rest of the world, it has opened a curiosity in me about my Anglo-Saxon heritage that I never knew I had.


I do have a brief question for you, if you find the time to respond. Do you have a recommended resource for translating Modern English into Old English, and vice-versa?


Thank you very much, and keep up the great work!


Kyle Williams


I really don’t!  I learned (well, tried to learn) Old English when I was at college which is many years ago, but a little stuck – really not enough! But I can manage from OE to modern English by using a dictionary – I use A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary by J.R. Clark-Hall which was published at the beginning of the 19th Century – but a good reprint is available. I also find the glossary at the end of Eight Old English Poems, edited by John C. Pope and revised by R. D. Fulk very useful, and with those I struggle through. But translating modern English into OE?? Oh good lord, no! I have to confess that my (long retired) Professor who taught me OE did send me a charming letter chiding me for getting a word wrong. Of course I blamed his teaching.