Your Questions

Q

I'm re-reading The Fort after a several year hiatus. As with all of your books, I find myself looking up place names, locations etc. on Google maps as I move along.

 

After the fleet departs Boston, the leaders of the expedition anchor and meet in Townsend. I cannot locate either a Townsend NH or a Townsend ME. I live in Princeton Ma, a bit southwest of Townsend MA. It would take a substantial high tide to put in there.

 

Is this a town that changed it's name later on or am I just suffering a  mild case of the stupids?

 

Also, from a Sharpes book; 'An' howitzer? 'An' Bibi? Is that a British thing? I'm not being critical, you're the professional. I lived for some time in London so I understand the subtle differences. As I read those words, my fifth grade English teacher leaped fifty some years into the future and rapped me on the knuckles.  Just a curiosity.

 

Hope all is well.

 

Cheers!

MP

A

I’m sure you’re not stupid!  And it’s entirely my fault for not making clear that Townsend was the old name for Boothbay Harbor. I’m not sure when the name Townsend was abandoned, but it was certainly in use during the Revolutionary War.

 

I imagine ‘an Bibi’ is a mistake, but I’ve often seen ‘an howitzer’, even ‘an hotel’ or ‘an historical-novel’. It’s a pronunciation thing, some British accents drop the initial ‘h’, and thus ‘an’.

 


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell.

Thank you for the very enjoyable books I've read over the years .

Your books and adaptations have renewed my interest in history to what it was when I was early into school. Local to me are Broadclough Dykes which have long been thought to be part of the battle. However present concensus is that it happened on the Wirral . Regardless the dykes (which I still haven't been too even though its only 20 mins away). are close so I started looking at old maps of the area . Lockdown has given me time to study the way I wish  had in younger days .I found a map by going off in tangents as you do on the net which is from a book in 1909 which shows the area where the battle was alleged to have been fought and even discusses buildings which were recently demolished to build a factory (1909 recent ) The Old Danes House where it was said that King Anlaf rested on his way to the Battle.

below is a sample text

 

We are told that Anlaf entered the camp as a spy, and ascertaining the position of Athelstan's tent, formed the night attack for the purpose of destroying him. Athelstan, however, leaving for another part of his position on the Brun, gave Wersthan, Bishop of Sherborne, the command.

 

I would not be so presumptuous to send you all the link as you may be very familiar with this. However if it is something you haven't seen and are interested in reading I can copy the link to you.

The book covers Vikings in Lancashire and Yorkshire and the perspective is from over a hundred years ago.

My plan is to go for a look around the area there are roman roads on the 1909 map that aren't on any recent maps of suspected roman roads and any army from York would come through the valleys either side of the penines rather than travel further south closer to enemy territory.

A long winded way of asking advice on research but when you have been researching the fact behind your stories have you found any sources better than others ?

Regards

Glenn P Gavan   Haslingden Lancashire

 

A

By far the best source is Michael Livingston’s book ‘The Battle of Brunanburh, a Casebook’, published by Liverpool University Press in 2011. I believe Michael Livingston will be publishing another, perhaps more accessible, book on the battle with Osprey soon. As far as research on the Wirral you cannot do better than get in touch with Wirral Archaeology - https://wirralarchaeology.weebly.com/about-us.html - who have been exploring the Roman road layout for years! They’re a very approachable and friendly group!

 


Q

Dear mr. Cornwell,

In the Netherlands, season 4 of the Last Kingdom is broadcast by BBC first. To Pick up the thread again, I re-read the Pagan Lord. From the attack on Bebbanburg, everything is different in the movie than in the book. Quite confusing, and certainly a lot less exciting. It started already with the cast, Uhtred supposed to be a large, ( one of the largest in England) and fair haired, and in the series turn out to be fairly small and dark haired. Although I think Alexander is pretty good.

My question is: to what extent do you influence the scenario?

 

By the way I can’t wait for volume 13 of the series, and I hope that one day, the more than excellent Warlord Chronicles Will be filmed too.

 

Kind regards

Mas Peters

A

My involvement with the films is limited to cheer leading.


Q

Just discovered these books.  Reading 1356.  Any more of Thomas?

Anthony Kennard

A

No plans for more Thomas now....but never say never!


Q

In the first book, there is a paragraph that briefly describes the Cathars and how the Vexilles were that. Do you think Guy Vexille would consider himself "Perfect"? The Perfects were Cathars who abstained from wine, meat, intercourse, and a few other things. This question might even be stupid but it was something I wondered. Guy seems to take his religion seriously.

Brianna

A

I doubt Guy was a ‘perfect’, but that doesn’t stop him taking his religion seriously – and your question is far from stupid!  I’ll confess I’ve forgotten the book, but I do remember that most Cathars delayed the ceremony inducting them into perfect status until the end of their lives (understandably), and I suspect that applied to Guy Vexille.

 

 


Q

Bernard -

there is a passage in Sharpe's rifles in which Sharpe describes his career up to that point in time - he mentions he fought in several battles in Portugal - though he had worked mainly as a quartermaster. Do you have any plans to fill this period of time in? I'm a huge fan of the series and your other works, having spent my youth reading the books almost constantly I have now started listening to them via audio book which I think has given me another perspective on the character and the series. It must be something about hearing the characters speaking outside my own head. I've heard some authors listen to their own work on audio book for a similar reason, do you ever revisit your own works this way? Speaking of other media has there been any interest from a television, VOD or movie studio in a Sharpe TV/movie series reboot? Given the success of the last kingdom series and television programs like Game of Thrones a new outing for Sharpe starting in India would be incredible, and with modern day techniques might do the series real justice (not to say that Sean Bean wasn't iconic in the role). Lastly, the Arthurian trilogy is one of my favourite pieces of literature of all time. I used to regularly read it once a year, and I wanted to say thank you for it. I certainly think it was a huge influence and source of inspiration for me.

Will Hoffman

A

I have never listened to any of my books!  It's the last thing I feel like doing after having written it (and re-written and re-written) and reread the page proofs and the galley proofs!

I don't plan to take Sharpe back in time again.  And I'm not aware of plans for a reboot of the Sharpe films.


Q

I loved reading the warlord  (Arthur) books, really enthralled by them.  Please is there any chance that you could tell me what happened to Derfel?

Many thanks

George Barnes

A

I honestly don't know what happens to my characters once a story is done....and I do not plan to add to the Warlord Chronicles. I guess the rest is up to you to decide!


Q

I've recently re-visited your excellent Waterloo history - this time on audiobook. Can I say how much I enjoyed your narration of the start and end of the book. In recent years I have begun to listen to more audiobooks and good narration can make or break the story. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the pacing and intonation of authors reading their own books is usually excellent. Have you ever been approached to narrate any of your other books?

Jeremy Ramsey

A

I’ve never been asked to record an audio version, except for those brief passages in Waterloo. Nor am I sure I really want to do it! It takes an immense amount of time, and most of that would be spent worrying that I had written such garbled grammar, or even trying to correct it as I went along. It sounds nightmarish!


Q

I am over the moon at the news that's there's going to be another Sharpe and i'm 100% confident it's going to be yet another masterpiece.

 

Knowing already, the time frame you're covering it's already got me speculating and (forgive this next comment) worrying about the fate of some of your fictional characters.  I know that sounds weird.  But a fantastic series does make you feel like its main characters and even the recurring characters are your friends.  Sorry, I know that must sound weird to you.

 

But you find yourself hoping for the best for obviously Sharpe and Harper, but then you just hope that other characters like Price and now even Charlie Weller, who has just linked up with Sally Clayton at the end of the battle, survive and that's something I am going to be anxious about until i get to the last page of what will be a hardback book to begin with:-)  Price and Weller, that is:-)

 

Only sad thing I know in advance is there's going to be no scope to heal a rift that was opened in Sharpe's revenge, as one half of it is on the other side of the world. That's a shame but completely understandable.  It just means I will always wonder.  But that's also the sign of great writing and a great series.  You leave your audience wanting more.  And some questions, no matter how much we want them not to be, have to remain unanswered.

 

I hope there's some possibility of "The estranged one" crossing paths with Sharpe in this book?  Although I suppose hearing of her reaction to the news of Rossendale's fate was the closure to that particular chapter?

Lee

A

I haven’t started to write the book yet, but I suspect the estranged one will stay that way. But who knows? I’m always surprised by developments in a book that I don’t expect. Maybe there will be news of her? But probably not.

 


Q

Since King Alfred chose his daughters’ husband/ knowing Athelreds weak ,arrogant nature /even so for alliance sake/ then why did King Alfred so selfishly hold to “Dignity of Wessex sake” willing to sacrifice “all” of Wessex for his choosing so wrongly/ not loving his country as Older Odda sacrificed his son for the treason of Wessex !! It just didn’t work in the story line and one other thing / Uhtred and Lady Athelfled! / no chemistry on screen / almost painful watching that match-up/ not believable at all and hopefully steered away from in season 5 as it appears it maybe ,ha!  Thank-you

Sincerely.

Marilyn Z

 

A

Not sure I entirely understand your question. Undoubtedly Aethelflaed was married to Aethelred to cement the alliance between Mercia and Wessex, and what’s wrong with that? And we must just disagree about Uhtred and Aethelflaed, they always seem to get on just fine to me!