Your Questions


Dear Bernard

you've written about the Hundred Years War but only the English victories such as Crecy and Agincourt etc. Given the English actually lost the Hundred Years War would you consider writing about the defeats from the English perspective?  I suspect most English people who read your books have probably never heard of the defeats of Patay or Formigny. I think it would be enlightening for them as they know through your works of the victories but not the defeats.




I always assume my job is to entertain and not to educate, so I’ll probably not try to cover the whole Hundred Years War – it’s been too well described by Jonathan Sumption.



I am absolutely ecstatic that you are returning to good old Sharpie and am bursting with anticipation for Sharpe's Assassin.  I noticed that Wikipedia already lists it as the last in the chronology of the Sharpe novels which (on the assumption that this is correct) got me wondering about Sharpe's early life.  I read through the whole series in my 20s and have recently been through the audiobooks (which, by the way, Rupert Farley performs to absolute perfection and I hope you can get him for the new one) and it gives plenty of tantalising details of Sharpe's childhood.  Is there any chance that we will ever get to visit that part of his life?

David Gwilliam


Having taken Sharpe backwards in time once I'm not inclined to do it again, but who knows? Maybe as a short story?  One day?


Dear Mr Cornwell,

Thoroughly enjoying all of your books, all the time. The Arthur-series are definitely my most favourite ones, reread them multiple times (what do you mean in your article about "writing advice", when you are talking about "compressing the story"?)...

I noticed on IMDB, to my great joy, that besides a fifth season of the last kingdom, that "The Winter King" is in development? (for a movie or tv-series i guess?) can you tell us something about that? is that truly happening?


with regards,

Naut Hulst

The Netherlands


Keep it moving! I dislike long passages that don’t advance the story. Some are inevitable, but every page should sharpen the plot. That’s all.

A TV series I believe, but I have no updates, sorry!


Dear Mr Cornwell,

First, may I say how much I enjoy your work. Your book, "Warriors of the Storm" is of particular interest as I lived for many years on Eddisbury Hill. In this book, in the opening chapter, you use the term "wolf light". I cannot find a definition for this anywhere, though perhaps I should have been able to figure it out from the text.

I have also enjoyed the TV series "The Last Kingdom" based on your work. However, what a series "Harlequin" would make.

Kind regards,



I suspect I made that up – just meaning the grey light of dawn and dusk. I’m sorry it wasn’t clear.



Hello Bernard,

It was near a year ago that I wrote to you about my father who had read all your Sharpe books.

You actually emailed him and told him of another one coming soon. Thanks for that.

Since then, I was given a copy of The Last Kingdom. I was dubious that anything could rival Sharpe and at first I did not read it. No offence. In fact, take it as a compliment. I just didn't want to be disappointed. However, one day, I felt as if that book called to me. I took it out and looked at it. Then began to read...

To me, at that time in my life, it was even better than Sharpe.

I was once a naive and very skinny 17 year old boy in the Royal Marines. Scottish too. I’m not given to fancy but there have been times in my life - and I hope in yours too - where the world does not hold so tightly to it’s solid foundations or rules, and reality peels a layer or two to show us something else.

Uhtred and the old gods opened up something in me. As an innocent child, I was forced to be a catholic by my parents. I did not like it. I hated the morbid pictures of saints and the “son of god” dying on a cross. I remember that. It gave me an unsettling feeling. Their tedious prayers and beliefs quelled a natural fire in me that, as I read about Uhtred, realised was still there and wanted to burn again. Perhaps it was the simply the right time, but the Last Kingdom Books opened up old memories, possibly of an ancestral nature, that made the candle light grow into a flame. It might sound strange to you, but my legs seemed to become more solid and more connected to the ground.

You may laugh, or raise an eyebrow when I tell you I had a bronze hammer amulet made up by a Norse craftsman whereupon the old fierceness and power I’d felt as a child before I was confirmed to the “nailed God” came back to me. My life and circumstances have improved markedly since reading your books and having my amulet. Of course, it’s down to my choices and actions, but these have been affected by the power that surged through me. It filled me up. I performed a small ceremony around fire to renounce christianity completely. I saw it fly off me into the smoke swirling around my body - and then I laughed. The next day I swam in the clear blue sea here in Sydney and cleaned myself of all those old beliefs in sin and shame which did me no service and instead subjugated my true nature under feelings of guilt and repression the Ragnar Lords would have belly laughed at. My humour has come back to me in the most useful and wonderful ways.

And so, for this I thank you. You had a part to play.

I think you can tell much of the nature of a person in how they write. Little clues, subtle intuitions or visions come through at times - I like to stop reading at those time, close my eyes, and let the message through -  I wonder sometimes if you are not Merlin himself in another time.

I have not read your Arthur Books, yet.

I’m saving them for when I return to the UK. I will take a trip to Cornwall and Wales and read them there. I get a strong feeling in the celtic regions and so it’ll be more enjoyable there.

There is one question, I would ask you - I hope you will answer me.

It is simply, have you read Mary Stewart’s Merlin Trilogy?

And what you thought of those books, if you had.

That is all.

And thanks again for sending a message to my dad. He couldn’t believe it. We had a good laugh about this. He was also very pleased to hear another Sharpe novel was being written. As was I.

I wish you and your family all the best,



I have not read it – when I wrote my own Arthurian stories I deliberately avoided all other novels about the Matter of Britain, with the exception of T.H. White – I didn’t want to be influenced.




Your Saxon Chronicles books saved my sanity during lockdown!  I cared for my mom for many years and wasn’t able to read much.  After she passed, I was adrift!  Then I found TLK on Netflix!  I needed to know more so I devoured the 12 books in three months!  Amazing craftsmanship!

My question is:  who is the woman Iseult mentions as being Uhtred’s shining light?  Many claim it was Aethelfled, but I thought it could be Bernadette.

Thank you for these beautifully written books!  If I were still teaching, I’d do study guides for them as I love history and great literature!

Holly Stevens


Uhtred would probably say either Gisela or Benedetta,



Although it is somewhat difficult to say goodbye to Uhtred, I look forward to the new Sharpe story and wish to thank you for returning to him.   Unfortunately Sean Bean is most likely too mature to portray a 'young' Sharpe, perhaps you might be enticed into writing some stories about a more mature Sharpe that can then be transferred to the screen? Hopefully allowing the original actors to return to their iconic roles.

Dan McCarry


Sean was the perfect Sharpe, but whether he’d want to take Sharpen into his dotage? I doubt it.



Years ago Zane Grey books were put out as a set.  Why don't you do that with the Sharpe books?  Incidentally, I am a 78 year old that enjoys everything you write.


Judith Sellers


I guess it's possible the publisher will do that....but probably not until the series is finished.  The next Sharpe book - Sharpe's Assassin - will be published later this year.



I have a question about your writing. Why/How did you decide to write the Last Kingdom series through Uhtred's perspective only versus switching POV's (like from King Alfred to Uhtred to Æthelwold, etc). You have a big world, so I'm asking how did you make that decision? Or, what factors helped you to decide? Thanks in advance!



I rather got into the habit of telling stories in the first person after trying it with the three Arthurian books – which I enjoyed writing so much that I abandoned third person. You’re right, of course, that the third person gives more freedom to describe other characters, though some readers find the changes in points of view a bit off-putting. I do find first person easier, though it can get tedious writing phrases like ‘I later heard that . . . .’ . Perhaps it’s because the protagonist’s voice comes through much clearer?


Hi, just wanted to write a quick note to thank you for writing such captivating books.  I just finished book 4 in the Starbuck Chronicles and thoroughly enjoyed them all.  I don't suppose there's a chance you'll be continuing the series?

Anyways, wishing you the best,




Dear Sir,

Several years ago I wrote to you to ask about the status of your American civil war series. You had abandoned it, just before Gettysburg, my most interested in battle. I implore you to resume the series at least through Gettysburg. How about it?




Dear Mr Cornwell,

I very much enjoy your books, I have been reading them for nearly 20 years now and I haven't found one I didn't like. I just finished War Lord and it was a fitting end to the story, I was worried you might kill him off at the end! Must have been fun for you to get to appear in the show.

Now that his story is finished I was wondering if you might be moving back on to Starbuck? I found those books incredible and have been hoping for him to march again for a long time. I am sure you have many other great ideas you are writing about but if you could fit in some more Starbuck Chronicles it would be amazing!

Yours sincerely,

Oliver Colston


Hello Mr. Cornwell, I hope you're doing well.

First, I must say I would never ever try to dictate what you should or shouldn't write about. Second, I would like to ask you a question concerning the Starbuck series. Yes, yes! You've been bothered so many times with questions about writing more Starbucks, and the answer is usually "probably not", but, this time, I wonder if I have a backup that may persuade you?

So, I was watching an interview you gave on Cheltenham Festival, back in 2018, to Julia Wheeler, and someone in the audience, AGAIN, tried to ask you about Starbuck, and your response was the usual "No."

BUT, later on that interview, you mentioned how beautiful Charleston is, and the fact that, everytime you walked the dog, you said to yourself "Oh god, it would be wonderful to set a novel here. It would have to be another Starbuck."

Then, because of that, suddendly, you changed your usual "No" to "Possibly"!

Then I kept wondering, about upcoming Starbuck novels, the asnwer is still a "Possibly"? Or is already a "Yes"?

And if not, can you please talk about future projects?


Greetings from Brazil, love your work.


Eilton Ribeiro



Not much of a chance, sorry!