Your Questions

Q

Dear Mr Cornwell, Was Sgt/Ensign Charles Ewart, of Waterloo fame, part of the inspiration for Sharpe? I was deeply moved by your interpretation of his action in Sharpe's Waterloo. I had to reread the section several times before I could move on. As a very reluctant conscript in 1970 I became the full stop at the end of long line of Ewart military heros. I am proud of their exploits but I am bloody glad I did not have to add the the family "glory". Thank you! Rob Ewart

A

I don't think Sharpe is based on Ewart - except that both men got commissions as a result of unbelievably heroic actions. I'd read of Ewart before I wrote Sharpe, so I'm sure he was in my mind, but I never tried to find out much about Ewart's character. So you're the last Ewart hero?? I hope you get free drinks in the Edinburgh pub named for him!


Q

Dear Bernard, please don't ever stop writing! do you have any plans to do a signing at W.H.Smith's in Paris-or any other bookshop in Paris? And lastly, are Lady Grace Hale's Selbys related to Dorian Gray's? I seem to remember that his mother (like Grace, the daughter of the Earl of Selby)fell madly in love with and married a Sharpe-ish type character who was an infantry soldier and most definitely not a gentleman,and she died in childbirth like poor Grace(but sadly the child didn't and grew into the appalling Dorian). Did you have anywhere particular in mind when you wrote about Lucille's house in Normandy? My husband, who is French and has a very "large and penniless farmhouse with a very inconvenient ditch around it" in Normandy, has always been extremely jealous of the amount of time his wife spends with Sharpe was slightly mollified to learn that Sharpe in later life doesn't like to travel further than Caen (about half an hour awayfrom us) I think he also hopes that if Sharpe can grow to love Normandy then maybe even his wife can!

Elle

A

I read that book so many years ago that I'd forgotten there was a character called Grace in it!

I really didn't have anywhere particular in mind, other than a generalised picture of pretty places I'd seen while touring Normandy! And I suspect Sharpe does become a Norman in the end (but don't let the British know that).

No plans for a book signing in Paris any time soon.


Q

Greatly enjoyed Sharpe (nearly all-not read/got short stories;) Read Peninsular / Waterloo background, so went onto Grail Quest. Now "hooked" on Thomas of Hookton, and read them all! So what next, if anything, for Thomas and Genevieve? Keep writing please. Richard Neale

A

Alas, the Grail Quest series is done. Thomas of Hookton may be back, but not anytime soon.


Q

Hello Mr Cornwell, I am (like probably most others who contact you) a big fan of your novels. I have copies of most of your novels as well as all of the Warlord Chronicle as Audio Books which are wearing out so I must purchase more copies. As a teacher of Design and Art I like to draw a lot and I have recently begun to combine my love of drawing, fascination for King Arthur and my love of your versions in a series of illustrations for my own pleasure. This lead me to wondering if anyone had thought of producing a graphic version of your novels similar to those produced from many films. I'm sure such a version would prove popular to a whole new audience that would not read novels (most of my pupils will not look at a novel outside of an English lesson but love seeing my efforts at illutration). Also, I note in your historical notes that you have reintroduced many early Arthurian characters such as Derfel and Ceinwyn yet whenever I try to find such characters in my Arthurian reading I cannot find any reference to them. What sources in particular did you use to find these? Finaly, I have often wondered about Derfels story after the events in Excalibur. Do you have plans for a fourth novel to the series chronicling Derfels story and the turmoil Britain would have gone through following Arthur's death(?). I for one would find this equally fascinating as the actual Arthur novels.

Hi Mr Cornwell, I wrote to you a few days ago and in this email I asked about the origins of Derfel Cadarn in the Warlord Chronicles. Since then I have found a Catholic website naming a Sait Derfal Gadarn who was Bishop of Badsey and was one of the few survivors of the BAttle of Camlan, and may have fought according to other sites (EBK amongst these) the have fought at the Battle of Baddon Hill. Is this your inspiration for the character Derfel in your books? Andrew Moore

A

That's the same Derfel, and in some of the earliest writings about Arthur you'll find him mentioned. But I wrote the books so long ago that I don't remember now where everything came from, sorry. No plans for a fourth book.


Q

I was wondering where the line "Be sure your sin will find you out" is in the Bible? Wendy Zimmerman

A

Numbers 32, verse 23.


Q

Hi Bernard, Huge fan of your work, and I agree with you the Warlord Chronicles are my favorites as well, good old Derfell. In addition to Sharpe, & Arthur, another fav of mine is Gallows Thief, Ryder Sandman is an excellent character who has lots of stories to tell. Do you think one day you might write a sequel/prequel? Anyway many thanks for such wonderful writing, you make my daily commutes a just that little bit more bearable. Rod

Will you be writing any further novels with the protagonist from Gallows Thief?
Betsyann Duval

A

I am considering a sequel to Gallows Thief.


Q

Dear Bernard While I love your books I read the comments that after the Viking books another Sharpe novel would be on the way. While the Sharpe novels are fun could he not take a holiday for a bit so Starbuck could take the stage?? It has been roughly ten years after all. Quite a long holiday by anyones stretch of the imagination. Besides after recently re-reading Bloody Ground there are several plot threads left hanging/ Billy Blithe, Delenay as the spy, The Starbuck/Sally/Lassan traingle and Faulconers reaction at the murder of his son.??? And I wondered if you had read either Winter War on the Rhappahonock by Francis Rilley on the Fredricksburg campaingn or This Terrible Sound by Peter Cozzens on the battle of Chickamauga Often seen as the Soldiers battle of the US Civil war. Do not get me wrong I love reading about Sharpe but Starbuck does deserve 1 more book to tie up the lose threads. All the best Tony.

Mr. Cornwell, First of all, thank you very much for many hours of fabulous reading as I traveled along with Richard Sharpe in his chronicles. I have also enjoyed the Nathaniel Starbuck Chronicles, and have recently finished "The Bloody Ground". So, obviously, my question is, when will Mr. Starbuck march again? Again, thank you for your excellent writings, I plan on enjoying your career for a long time to come.
Shawn Bryant

Just like to echo all the messages on the bulletin board begging for a fifth Starbuck book. I can't believe that some people think this series of books aren't as good as Sharpe, I've read most of the Sharpe series (and watched the TV adaptations - before I discovered the books - sorry!) but think Starbuck is much better. Although I enjoy Sharpe, in particular the Indian campaign, and 'Sharpe's Prey' was fantastic, I can't seem to get Sean Bean's face out of my head when reading them whereas Starbuck's features get more ragged with every battle! Thank you and keep up the good work and please - more Nate Starbuck!
Graeme Fayers

I am a big fan of the Sharpe and Starbuck series. Will Starbuck ride again?
Daniel

A

Starbuck will ride again some day!


Q

Sgt Harper's home townland is Tangaveane. Is that the Tangaveane not two miles from Dungloe? ! Dr Declan Bonar

A

I honestly can't remember - it's been much too long since I was last in Donegal and even longer since I first said Harper came from Tangaveane that I can't remember whether I made it up, or named it for a place I once passed through - or what. Sorry.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell, I've read somewhere in these pages that you are writing another Sharpe novel but that it won't be out until next year...I don't think I can stand the suspense!! I am having withdrawal symptoms and the rest of my Sharpe collection is buried somewhere in an MFO (military freight organisation) box, as I have just left the Army. WHAT DO I DO?! Please, please include Sweet William, he is my favourite character in the series (apart from Sharpe and Harper, of course!). And what did Captain von Lossow get up to after disappearing after Sharpe's Gold? Sorry to keep going on, hope to see you this side of the pond one day! Keri (Yes, she of 5/60th fame!)

A

Captain von Lossow? I don't know. Maybe one day he'll appear in another book and I'll find out.


Q

I had a notion to construct a novel on our family in the West Indies Regiments...but the task of creating endless "conversations" which would be totally fabricated seemed really onerous...ie totally fictious.and seems to take up a lot of "time" in the novel...but of course you are writing fiction....this seems in conflict with the purpose of the author whom I assume is trying to instruct some truthful episodes of historical reality...your comments. BC

A

Not quite sure what to say about this! Dialogue is hugely important, not just for delineating character, but also for subtly moving the action along. The trick of it is to make it sound natural, when, of course, it's working very hard to do those two tasks. I like writing dialogue. If I found it onerous I suspect I wouldn't be writing novels. Everything is constructed. Dialogue isn't there to decorate the book, but to make it work, and I suspect you'll have to give it some of the burden that is presently taken up in non-dialogue patches. Good luck!


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