Your Questions

Q

I have enjoyed reading all your books for over ten years and although I got into your writing due to the Sharpe tv series, I have only begun reading the SHARPE novels. I have just finished reading SHARPE'S HAVOC which was excellent and I was wondering why you picked the name "SEAN DONNELLY" from Derry as the name for the only rifleman to die when Sharpe and his men take the fort on the hill(page 181).My brother in law is called Sean Donnelly and the name Donnelly is a strong Derry name. Was the name just a random name or did you know someone from Derry with this name?.
ANTHONY HEGARTY

A

I wish I could remember!! I spent a fair bit of time in Derry when I lived in Ulster, but I have a feeling that the name was plucked from nowhere. Which is an entirely unhelpful answer for which I apologise!


Q

Hi it's Luke. I have a few ?'s as always; do you have to be a certain age to go on any of the s.a.s trips and how much would a trip cost? Secondly have you ever studied up on Beowulf and or watched the newly released movie? I just want your opinion on things like that.

And lastly, have you ever been inspired to write about WWI or WWII? Luke Wynes

A

Hi Luke! I honestly don't know if there are any age restriction on the SAS trips - but if you contact the all-knowing Christine Clarke you'll be sure to get the correct information (chris@southessex.co.uk).

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

No, no plans for either WW.


Q

Hi, Me and my father love all your books and we have no preference to which series. Will you be doing anything on Sharpe's early years as a child as I could imagine there would be some great stories to tell from the streets? Can you please tell me what or who a fugger is (not the German bankers) as I cannot find any historical reference. I believe it has something to with execution. Regards Murco

A

Never heard the word till I read your question . . . and I've never come across it in a lifetime's reading. Sorry!

No plans for Sharpe's childhood years.


Q

Hello Bernard, I wanted to ask a very specific question. I've read quite a few historical novels now and I have noticed a trend. This is relation to height of characters. I've noticed you and many other authors including Conn Iggulden never give specific heights of characters. Now I suspect this is because it is hard to gauge the height of a man in say Saxon times, though they tend to think that 5'7" is roughly average height of a man. But my only problem with not being specific is that it sometimes is hard to gauge the character's height. For example in your Alfred books, you have Uhtred who is referred to as a strikingly tall man, then there are other tall men that are not as tall as him like Pyrlig and Arthur himself. Then we hear of Clappa who is taller then Uhtred, then there is mighty Steappa who is head and shoulders above everyone else. Do you see what I mean? so in my mind a modern man of 5'11-6' is quite tall, 6'1-6'4 noticeably tall and anything above that freakishly tall. But it's hard to tell if say Uhtred is a tall man, like 6'1-6'4 or taller still or shorter still. You have to assume Steappa is some kind of monster, as being head and shoulders above everyone is some feat, the average head size being 9-10 inches. So is there a very specific reason for this vagueness? Ben

A

Well, they probably didn't have exact measurements, so I don't use them. I leave it to your imagination, where it should sit quite happily. I think I sometimes refer to a character as being the height of a bowstave, roughly six feet. Besides, all the younger generation only talk about metres these days and I don't have a clue what those are.


Q

Mr. Cornwell- It seems that in every book one innocent, wonderful little boy gets killed in some sad, violent way. Each time it makes my heart heavy and I need to put the book aside for an hour or two. And I'm not even sentimental or emotional by any definition! I just had to wonder...are you manipulating us on purpose to make a statement about history or mankind or...? If you are employing this device to that end, I understand. It works. For the truth is, although it's a work of fiction, I know that down through the ages many innocent little boys have been killed for poor reason. That makes it all the more painful. Wonderful blank palates of potential they are. To cut one down...! Anyhow, I love the books. Truly. I am taking the "a little boy was killed" break from Redcoat and thought I would write. Sorry for the length. -Chris Hosfeld

A

Those poor boys do die rather frequently in my books, don't they? The truth is that some poor lad was killed in my second novel, Sharpe's Gold, and my editor was stricken by this, so just to keep her on her toes I tend to do it too often. The boy lives in Sharpe's Trafalgar!!


Q

Mr. Cornwell: I have only lately started to read your Sharpe novels. I was first introduced to your work with the Arthur trilogy. Now I find myself waiting for each new episode in the life of Uhtred. I noticed in the Further Reading section of your page a number of books about the background for Sharpe's campaigns and I was wondering if you came across any good books about the Scottish regiments both in India and under Wellington's command. I am writing a dissertation about Scottish regiments in the English army and would appreciate any leads you may be able to offer. I am looking forward to Sword Song and I hope you have some more Sharpe novels in store. Thank you very much for your time. Stephen Young

A

I have this vast Napoleonic library, but I realise on reading your question that I don't have any book specifically about the Scottish regiments or on a particular regiment. So I can't help, and I wish I could. Apologies.


Q

Hi Bernard I'm a big fan of the Sharpe series. I'm planning a trip to India next year to and hope to do some Sharpe sightseeing and am wondering if you could help me locate Argaum, Assaye and Gawilghur? Can't find them on any maps that I've seen. Could you give me some details, i.e province and nearest big towns? Thanks a lot for your help. Chris Hales

A

Both Gawilghur and Assaye are very difficult to reach. Your starting point would be Mumbai (Bombay) and after that it's a relatively short internal flight - I did this so long ago that I don't readily recall which airport I flew to, but perhaps it was Nagpur? Then it's a hire car and a long drive. Assaye and Gawilghur are both worth visiting - quite striking places. It might help if I give you Lat and Long: Gawilghur 21.28N 77.25E, Assaye 20.15N 75.79E, and Argaum (Argaon) 21.10N 77.04E. Seringapatam is well worth a visit and much easier to reach through the airport at Bangalore.


Q

I love your books, in particular Sharpe and Starbuck series. I know you have been asked this many times, but can we please have more Starbuck books, apart from being very good it is also interesting to have a hero on the "wrong" side that will lose in the end. Kind regards Jon

I've read and own the whole Sharpe collection, think they're great and I was wondering if you were ever going to continue with the Starbuck chronicles. Starbuck is probably my favourite character in all of your books I've read apart from Uhtred (probably because of his bluntness)and always wondered what would become of him? Nick

Could you let me know if and when you will be writing any more 'rebel' books? there are a lot of loose ends to tie up and scores to settle as I know you are aware.

Nigel Brown

Dear Mr. Cornwell, My sons and I have greatly enjoyed the Sharpe series and the Starbuck Chronicles, (loved how Sharpe's son Patrick shows up.) After reading The Bloody Ground, I went to visit the battlefield up near Hagerstown, (we live outside Leesburg near the village of Waterford.) Are you going to continue with Nathaniel? Billy Blythe needs to be dealt with...and a whole host of characters are left hanging....Will Col. Lassan die in glory at the great calvary battle near Brandy Station? Thank you again! Sincerely, Tripp Curtis Waterford,VA

A

I'd like to get back to Starbuck some day, but really can't say when that might be as I just don't know.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, Thank you for Uhtred. I picked up The Gallows Thief a few years ago after reading a nice review of it and later decided to read your other works. I now wait in eager anticipation (it is almost painful) until you publish the next installment in the Saxon series. I do not want to be one of those fans who begs you to hurry up, and I realize that it is unlikely, and even impossible to speed the creative process. Could you please just kind of focus on the Saxons and ignore this Sharpe fellow and the others for a few years? :> I do wonder what you read, or even if you read in your spare time? While I am certainly curious, YOU MUST STOP THIS LOLLYGAGGING ABOUT AND GET TO IT MAN! Kidding. Which authors engage you like you engage us? Lori Elliot

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.


Q

I have finally finished by "smuggled" copy of Sword Song. As always a riveting tale. Are you planning a 5th installment to the tale? With Alfred's daughter returned and our hero still hovering between Christianity and paganism it only seems natural, but your fans would love to know. Thank you as always for the wonderful tale from the ol' country. humble rebel/American, Charlie

hello Mr Cornwell, I was given Harlequin by a friend of mine and ever since then I've been hooked on your books. I've just finished the Alfred the great books and this evening finished reading Sword Song and would like to know if it would be possible to tell me if there are to be more books in the series and when they are to be released? I really hope that Uhtred's uncle gets what's coming to him and he gets to finally go home. Many thanks for your time and I will be hopeful of a reply as I know you're busy making your next outstanding book. Once again, many thanks. Daniel

What's coming and when is it coming after "Sword Song"? I read it already and now I'm eager for the next sequel. I'm German, located currently in the US and ordered the book from the UK. I likely have a reading gap (with the Saxon story) till the next one is being released. Please give me a prospect. Rgds Carsten

What can I say. I love your books. You take me to the times of Arthur and the Saxons, I feel I am living and breathing with them cos I love those times and am an avid reader of all your books. Please write more books of Arthur and the Saxon era. Thank you for taking me back to those years and to the courageous men and woman who fought the hardships and determination. I love Uhtred and would you be continuing after Sword Song? I love the Grail Quest too. I love all your books. Thank you. Tara

A

There will be more to Uhtred's story, but I haven't started the next book yet, so I cannot say for sure when it might be out - maybe 2009?