Your Questions

Q

Hi Bernard Just wondering what your plans are post Azincourt, which i am looking forward to immensely by the way. When will we see Sharpe and Uhtred again? Just read the Arthur series again!!! What a read. Neil

Hello, Just wanted to know when is the next Sharpe book coming out? thank you Ian

A

Don't know for sure - too busy with the current book. I would guess Uhtred next....Can't say when there might be a new Sharpe.


Q

JUST FINISHED THE NEW BOOK SWORD SONG AND OF COURSE I LOVED IT. I HAVE READ ALL THE SHARPE SERIES ACTUALLY SOME MORE THAN ONCE AS WELL AS ALL YOUR OTHER BOOKS. YOU HAVE PROVIDED ME MANY HAPPY HOURS AND I WANTED TO THANK YOU! HAVE YOU EVER READ THE RICHARD BOLITHO SERIES OF BOOKS BY ALEXANDER KENT? THEY RANK RIGHT UP THERE WITH SHARPE FOR WONDERFUL READING. REGARDS, DAN

A

Thank you. I did enjoy Mr. Kent's books.


Q

Hello Bernard, I'm a very big fan and am trying to obtain all your books. My favourite series is the Saxon series. In the series you use the phrase "fate is inexorable" with the translation " wyrd bid ful aread". I was hoping for info on this. eg. what language, period, is it a true translation etc.. thanks and please keep writing. Luke Coulter

A

It's a phrase from an Old English poem - so it's genuine, and the translation is mine.


Q

Hi Mr Cornwell, Just like to start by saying I'm a huge fan of all your work, especially the Sharpe series.I've read as many of the books that I could get my hands on and have one query.I recently read Sharpe's Enemy and am wondering if Sharpe's daughter Antonia makes any further appearances in the series and if her faith during and/or after the war is divulged? Donncha

A

I have no idea what happened to Antonia . . . . and I know people keep asking me and I keep making the same unsatisfactory answer. Maybe one day I'll find out (the only way to do that is to write it, and I'm not planning on it yet).


Q

Mr. Cornwell, I know that Ivar the boneless was a real and successful viking leader, and one story I have heard about him was that he suffered some sort of disability were he was unable to walk on his own and had to be carried around on an upturned war shield. I was wondering if you used this in any way when you were describing his son Ivar Ivarson"s condition when Uhtred and King Guthred first met him after his defeat at the hands of the Scots in your novel Lords of the North? humbly, Jared Hess

A

There are so many stories and legends, and I confess I had not heard that one! I do like it, though.


Q

Hi Bernard! I am eagerly awaiting your next books! So here is the question. What was a "Blue Light Admiral/Captain" etc? The only other mention I can find of this is about Stonewall Jackson, calling him a Blue light elder. Your thoughts?
Jim Watanabe

A

I have no idea! 'Blue light elder' was a nickname given to Stonewall Jackson as a young man, or so I seem to remember, and it had something to do with his strict religious beliefs, but beyond that I really know nothing. Sorry!


Q

Hi Mr. Cornwell. Do you have any method in your writing of describing a sword fight in a thrilling manner that puts the reader there between the combatants? I am finding this to be a real challenge. I have been looking at fencing manuals and they have a lot of Italian and French terms for various lunges, parries, and cuts. I suspect that these would only be meaningful to experts. Can you give me any pointers? Alan Kempner

A

I've no idea how to do it, except imagine yourself in the place of one of the combatants and describe what happens! You're absolutely right about the fencing manuals, they're more or less impenetrable except to an expert, and I'm not wholly convinced that the most refined and subtle fencers of the 16th Century onwards would have managed so well with the heavier weapons of an earlier era . . . which is not to decry the skills of that early period (there is a very early German manual which implies sophisticated technique with heavy battle swords). In the end, put yourself in the place of your hero, and fight for your life!


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, I see that Azincourt has a U.K. release date but nothing yet for the U.S. please tell me there is going to be a U.S. release, Thank's, Andy B.

A

There will be - most likely January 2009.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, I've been a huge fan of yours since I picked up Sharpe's Tiger back in 2001. I admire your writing style as it puts me in the period in which you write with more vivid description than any history book can offer, as well as the creative license which makes it a more thrilling story. For a while I strictly read Sharpe, but eventually read the Saxon stories, then the Grail Quest and recently finished the Warlord Trilogy and the latter I find the most intriguing of all. I'm a Scotsman by birth and Canadian by bureaucracy and location but as a whole I've always admired Britain as a nation and her origins in Pre-Roman, Roman and Post-Roman times and, though the Saxon stories provide an insight into the beginnings of the country we now know as England, the Warlord trilogy takes me right to the beginning of Saxon Britain. I've come to admire this period of mysticism, violence, uncertainty and adventure above any other even to the point of returning to Britain to go on my own fact finding vacation. Your work has inspired this venture and I thank you for it. What I would like to know is if you can offer my any advice on where to go when I get home? Where gave you the most insight into the period? Thank you for your time. Sincerely, David McColl

A

There's really not a lot of places that you can point to and say 'this is Arthur's Britain', mainly because no one can agree on whether Arthur even existed, and if he did whether he was a northern figure or a western! These are the darkest of dark ages! However, I believe, on what little evidence I found, that he operated out of the west country, so I'd advise you to visit Caerleon in south Wales, because there you'll find a Roman amphitheatre that he must have known. There's a strong legend that 'Camelot' was at South Cadbury in Wiltshire, and that's worth a visit anyway. It's an Iron-Age hillfort, but recent archaeological work has shown that it was re-fortified in the Arthurian period, so it has a strong claim to being a fortress that the Britons would have used in their fight against the Saxons. As for the rest, drift around Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset! Go to Avebury before Stonehenge, they have little to do with Arthur, but they were there long before he was, so he might have seen them. It's really a question of soaking up atmosphere. As for the site of the crucial event in the period - the battle of Mount Badon - no historian denies it took place, but no one knows where. I venture Little Solsbury Hill just to the east of Bath, and that's worth a visit too.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell >From an early age I was fascinated by the Arthur Legends and found your interpretation one of the most original of all. A question I would like to ask you is what is your opinion on the King Arthur Movies ( the one that starred Clive Owen ) as a roman cavalry officer with his Selmation Knights )? As well as a more recent one called the Last Legion which toys with the idea of Excalibur being the sword of Julius Caesar carried to Britain by the last surviving descendant of Caesar at the time of the fall of the Roman Empire?

One final comment: as a Christian and student of Cristian Theology I want to commend you for your accurate account of Christianity of the dark ages in the Warlord Chronicles. I found myself at times wanting to urge Derfel to strangle Sansum as I realize that not only did his kind of Christianity was more a tool to gain power and is one on the reasons that Christianity is sometimes confused as a religion of fear and guilt rather than of grace and love I am interested in your opinion on this matter and what prompted you to the use of the theme of Christianity in the Warlord Chronicles ? Regards Petrus Otto Stellenbosch South- Africa

A

I have to confess I didn't see it. The very idea that Arthur was a Sarmatian was so ridiculous that I decided my brain didn't need to take in more rubbish. It's not impossible, of course, just as it's not impossible that little green men from Mars built Stonehenge. . . . . .

Because Christianity was a powerful force in dark-ages Britain . . . and there's a certain amount of tentative evidence that the early church in Britain disliked Arthur (he's a villain in most of the early Welsh saints' lives). And the period after the Roman withdrawal was a period in which there was no settled religion in Britain; there was (probably) a vestige of the old Druidical faith, though that would have been very weak, and there were the various religions that the Romans introduced to Britain, the chief of which was Christianity, but it was by no means the only one. It was certainly gaining an ascendancy. When religions begin they tend to be meek and mild, but as they get more powerful they start killing people of other faiths . . . and the church was just reaching that state of power. So I included it because it seemed an accurate reflection of 5th and 6th century Britain!