Your Questions

Q

Hi Bernard, my name is Andrea, I'm 28 and I'm Italian. I'd like to know when The Pale Horseman will be available also in Italy. Thanks and bye. Andrea ps if you come to Reggio Emilia and you want to eat Italian food call me I'll be glad to let you discover our cusine. Andrea Burani

A

Thank you! I love Italian cusine! The Pale Horseman will be released in Italy in autumn 2007.


Q

I love your books. Ive always been a big fan of stories written about the Dark Ages, Medievil Times etc...so naturally I've read your Warlord series, Grail series and I'm waiting for Lords of the North to reach the states so I can read more of Uhtred. I finally made myself buy Sharpes Tiger and well...2 weeks later I'm on Sharpes Prey. Anyway, my question is about the size of the armies in your Warlord and Saxon series. Roman Legions had some 5-6 thousand soldiers, yet the major battle in the Warlord series had 2 thousand Celts vs 3-4 thousand Saxons? The number seems low to me. Is that because its easier to keep up with fewer people in books or were not that many people soldiers during these times? Thanks Josh Raines

A

Because the Saxons did not have nearly the logistical experise of the Romans! Anyone can assemble a huge army, but it takes boring bureaucracy to feed and equip it, and keep it fed. The Romans had a civil service adequate to the task (and a much larger catchment area from which to recruit). The Saxons did not. I'm still guessing, or course, because there are no reliable sources, but all the evidence points towards smaller armies.


Q

Mr. Cornwell -- Just a quick note to say what incredible enjoyment I've gotten from reading the Sharpe series of books. I first heard of "Sharpe" on a BBC America commercial, eventually watched all the movies, and noticing that each was "Based on a story by Bernard Cornwell", decided to pick one up at my local Barnes and Noble. Since that first purchase, I've purchased every Sharpe novel available (including Fury). I'm burning through them at a pace of about one book every 2-3 days. The bad thing being that soon, I'll be finished with the series. The characters you've created are wonderful, and I wanted to express how much I am enjoying the series. Much to the detriment of other books I've purchased lately by Clive Cussler, or L.E. Modesitt, Jr. After finishing the Sharpe series, I think I'll be exploring some of your other works as well. Again, thank you for the hours of enjoyment; and I'll hope to see a new Sharpe book next year. If I might ask... I noticed in your FAQ that you mention that publisher's tend to change the titles of some novels (Harlequin -> The Archer's Tale). Are there any other differnces between the US and UK versions? Thank you. -Irving Gilbert

I love your books very much and am eagerly looking forward to the next Saxon novel. Why is it published so much earlier in England? Is there any actuall difference in the text? And why different covers in the US and UK - which do you prefer? Will we have the same US lag time for the next book in the series? Wonderful books - thank you very much.
Geoffrey DeWeese

A

because publishers are separate! They might both be HarperCollins, but they operate as separate entities (more or less) and a cover that works in the US might not work in the UK (and vice versa). So they prooduce covers which they think will work in their own markets. I don't think there'll be a time lag on the next book - and as to which I prefer? Generally speaking I like the British covers, but that may be becaue I have British taste? US are fine, though - British marginally better. There is no difference in the text aside from the Americanising of the spelling of some words.


Q

dear Sir, I was wondering what issue of musket the British army was issued with during the Napolionic wars? I know that there were several issues, but I know the army doesn't always equiped their troops with the newest wepons; there was a regiment in the Crimia was equiped with smoothbore muskets. thankyou for you time (once again) Chris G

A

Hard to answer - basically it's the good old Mid 18th Century Brown Bess musket and, yes, you're right, various patterns were made of this (though fundamentally its the same weapon throughout). The lock changed, but records are not good of when the changes are issued. You want to get technical, you have two kinds - Land Pattern musket (most common) and India Pattern. Then there's Late Land Pattern. I recommend getting hold of a copy of British Military Longarms, 1715 - 1815, by D.W. Bailey (Arms and Armour Press, 1971), which will tell you all and more than you need.


Q

Are you a descendant of the Hamlin/Dunham family of Barnstable, Mass? That is my family and I have noticed that in the Grail Quest and the Saxon Stories books you have many characters based on ancestors of that family. Notably William de Bohun in the Grail Quest. Just curious. Thanks --SWH

A

Fraid not! Am descended from the Oughtreds and Cornwells!


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell. Just to say thank you for giving me so much enjoyment reading your book's. Could you give any indication as to how many Susannah Kells, A Crowning Mercy (1983)were produced & were they H.B.or P.B.! Very grateful for any imformation you could help with. Best Wishes. J. Mitchell

A

There are three Susannah Kells titles A Crowning Mercy; Fallen Angels and Coat of Arms (retitled The Aristocrats in the US). All three were released in hardback and paperback - and A Crowning Mercy and Coat of Arms have been released recently.


Q

Dear Bernard, I've read many of your books. I started when I was about 15. It was then that I picked up a jolly old novel entitled "The Archer's Tale". I continued to read the remainder of the Grail Quest series, and then I moved onto Sharpe's Eagle. I enjoyed the book, but never felt that I grasped the meaning of it. Instead of following that book with another Sharpe novel, I switched over to Stonehenge. Enjoyed that tremendously. I received the Warlord Trilogy for Christmas one year, and read all 3 books in under 2 weeks. I then devoured Gallows Thief and then read the 3 Saxon books, and loved them to. But now, discovering the next Saxon book isn't due out until next October, I've decided to give the Sharpe books another go. I've read all 3 of the India books and have found them most entertaining. Which leads me to my question: Would you recommend reading the Sharpe books in chronological order? Or would you recommend reading them in the order you wrote them? Thanks. Pim P.

A

I generally recommend reading the Sharpe books in chronological order. For the complete listing, click on the Sharpe books page of this website. Hope you enjoy them!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell, I, like thousands of others have fallen in love with your books. So far i have read the saxon stories and have just finished the arthur seires. Awesome. My question regards the phrase 'fate is inexorable'. I was just wondering where it came from. Is it something you made up yourself or is it a family motto (for want of a better word)? I really like the phrase and would love to hear if there is a story attached to it. Many thanks, Scott

A

It comes from an Old English poem, The Wanderer, which is very beautiful and rather sad, and is the thoughts of an exile wandering the earth. Curiously the poem is thoroughly Christian, yet it persists with the more pagan idea of fate as a pre-determinant (and suggests a lingering mindset from pagan days). If you can find a copy then you'll find the quote at line 5.


Q

Hello Bernard, I have a question that I haven't been able to find the answer to through my usual means. In a few of the Sharpe books you refer to American ships as "Jonathans". I was talking to an American friend and she hadn't heard this term before. We have also been discussing it at www.hookton.com with no success. Could you enlighten us on this term please? Many thanks. Tony Blackwell (Tonyblack)

A

It was a very common nickname for Americans in the early 19th Century and the OED suggests that it originated in America, and sprang from George Washington referring to Jonathan Trumbull, Governor of Connecticutt, as 'brother Jonathan'. From that it became a nickname for all New Englanders and, once in British hands, began to be applied to all Americans. Weird, I know, but the best explanation I have found. One source says it was originally applied by British to US vessels - and I do seem to encounter it most in naval records - but it also applied to people. I'm not surprised your friend hasn't heard it, the term dropped out of use long before the 20th Century, The earliest citation I can find is 1780 and the last 1849.


Q

Grail, brilliant. Sharpe, superlative. More Starbuck please! Thanks for many hours of entertainment. Have recently bought and enjoyed Mark Urban's 'Rifles' Bearing in mind the popularity of Sharpe, are you happy that people want to know more about the RGJ's? Silly question, I know. Again, Thanks. Jim

A

I'm delighted! It's a good book!


Page 856 of 1,128« First2008558568571,000Last »