Your Questions

Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, are you thinking of doing any more stand alone books, if so do know what thay maybe about? Thanks for the wonderful books. Good luck and good health. Alex

A

I know, but I'm superstitious about telling other people what they're about, so forgive me if I keep quiet - but yes, I do plan more stand alone books.


Q

Hello, my name is Ryan and i live in Hamilton, Ontario. I just read The Last Kingdom for a book report at my school, and after reading i just had to go out and get The Pale Horseman, your writing was great, to tell you the truth i dont read a lot but i just couldnt get over how into your story i was and if the rest of your books are like this i will have to go out and get them. I'm also dying to get a hold of the next book in the saxon series.... how long do you think it will be before the series is complete??
Ryan Welch

A

How long? Hard to say - not for several years at least.


Q

Greetings from Las Vegas, Nevada. About 15 years ago I gave one of your Sharpe novels to my dad, a WW2 veteran whose experiences were, perhaps, somewhat similar to Sharpe's. I believe he now owns every novel you've written. I was wondering about your opinion of George MacDonald Fraser (Quartered Safe Out Here, the Flashman series), whose approach to historical fiction is also marked with meticulous research, but whose Harry Paget Flashman is worlds apart from Richard Sharpe.
Jack Fisher

A

I am a huge fan of George MacDonald Fraser; The Pale Horseman is dedicated to him.


Q

I first started reading the sharpe books when I was in the royal navy, nearly 25 years ago and a rather dogeared copy of sharpes rifles was doing the rounds between the mess decks. i have been a devotee since and thoroughly enjoyed the king arthur series, the harlequin series and am now reading the saxon stories. It is great to hear that Sean Bean is making more films of the books and would be interesting to hear how much influence you had in choosing Sean Bean as Sharpe as I feel that the part could have been written with him in mind as it is an inspired piece of casting. I have also seen your comments on the covers of a series of books about the Roman military by Simon Scarrow. Have you ever been tempted to do a series of books about this period of history? Mark Dunford

A

I did not have a say in the casting of the actors for the series, nor did I want it. I was very pleased with Sean Bean's portrayal of Sharpe as well as the other actors.

Roman? Probably not, but never say never.


Q

Hi again, Mr. Cornwell. If Sharpe had joined the Royal Navy in 1794 instead of the army, do you think he would have done as well? Are there cases on record of ordinary seamen going all the way to post-captain? Alan Kempner

A

There are cases of ordinary seamen going on to become admiral of the fleet. A black man who joined as a seaman in the West Indies ended up as captain of a frigate. The navy was very good at promoting from the ranks - mainly because promotion was examination based - a much more egalitarian outfit than the army. Still not easy to 'come up the hawse hole', as they put it, but definitely possible - Captain James Cook?


Q

The Pale Horseman.On page 92 the women milked cows churned the butter,span wool.I left school at fifteen but I thought that span was distance such as over a gorge.In other words the women spin wool,are spinning wool or have spun wool.I bring this up as it is the third time recently that this word appeares to me to have been misused.In a motor magazine and in the Sunday Times by Jeremy Clarkson both span their cars.Would you agree with me.I do enjoy your books,particularly the Arthur,Grail quest and now the Saxon series.If you find time to reply that would be appreciated.
David Clark

A

Don't know the answer. I'd know if I was in my study, but I'm not - I'm in Australia. Span seems to me to be a perfectly good past tense, but you're suggesting that when wool is spun then it's spinned not span? Don't know. I'll look it up when I get home.


Q

Dear Sir First off - thank you - not for any specific series or novel, but just in general. I really appreciate the way your prose tells a story :) First question - You have said that you do not read historical fiction to relax, as that is what you write - But what or who do you read? I strongly suspect that there is some historical fiction that you do peruse, but what else? Second Question - Aristophanes said that it was the duty of the poet to educate the city; Do you have similar didactic views? Once again thanks for the books. Pete Dean

A

What books do I read? A list that could go on forever! I'm particularly fond of George MacDonald Fraser . I read a vast amount of history. I like good mysteries and detective novels - Ian Rankin, John Sandford, PD James, Dennis Lehane. I could go on and on and on, but I won't. But be sure to check out the Reading Club page of this website - I've posted a few of my favourites there.

Um, no. My duty is to entertain the city.


Q

Greetings from Texas. I am now reading your Grail Quest Series. In Vagabond the characters are discussing the Scots' usage of face paint for battle dress. It is an interesting dialog that seems to be taking a jab at the movie Braveheart. Was this intended? Did any tribesmen from the north of scotland do this? Also, I was led to believe that a group called the "picts" would go into battle naked and spike their hair with urine. Could you clear up any misconceptions I have on this? Thanks, Chris Glynn

A

Maybe they painted their faces in the Dark Ages (Pict, I seem to remember, means 'painted') and they probably used woad, which gave a pale blue dye, but in the middle ages? Never. Yes, it's a jab.


Q

Hello Bernard, I absolutely loved "Gallows Thief"!!!! I would like to ask you if there is a follow up book planned involving the hero Ryder Sandman? I hope so. yours sincerely, Sharan Taylor.

A

It is a possibility.


Q

Hello Bernard I loved the Pale Horseman and am looking forward to the Lords of the North but I am a massive fan of Thomas of Hookton and was wondering if you had made up your mind to write another adventure for Thomas and I am also wondering about the agincourt book you were thinking about writing as being an englishman I feel, we should all be proud of Henrys amazing victory.

I know that you have read the excellent account of agincourt by Juliet Barker and I was also wondering if you have ever read the Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick which is a really good novel about William Marshall probably the greatest english knight of them all. Alan Ralph

A

I am quite keen on Agincourt and hope to get to it before too long. No plans for Thomas right now.

I haven't, but thank you , and I'll look it up.


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