Your Questions

Q

I wondered whether you had read The Great Siege, Matla 1565 by Ernie Bradford. Having been beaten in Rhodes the Knights of St John base themselves in Malta. Which is then attacked in 1565 by the Sultan of Turkey with 40,000 men against six hundred Knights of St John and 9,000 men from Malta. It's a compelling read and a storyline crying out for further development. Mark French

A

I have the book, and have read it at least twice, and you're right - it's a magnificent tale and it is calling out for a novel - so who knows? I've had it in mind for years, but that doesn't mean I'll ever do it, alas.


Q

I have always enjoyed your books, particularly as the places referred to where I was born & brought up (Essex & the Thames Estuary) & where I now live (Mid Devon). One question though, were you influeneced in your writings by the novels of George Shipway? Richard Knightley

A

Probably yes, but a distant influence because I read them so long ago - but I thought them utterly brilliant and compelling, and I'm sure they served as a template for the sort of book I hoped to write. The only problem with Shipway was that he didn't write enough!


Q

Just hazarding a guess - would Wellington be Sharpe's father? Tim

A

No cigar. Wellington was only 8 years old when Sharpe was born!


Q

Just discovered your website and am very impressed at the level of interaction you are able to maintain. As a big fan of all your historical time lines and past member of the sealed knott (pike not musket I'm afraid) I can really feel the passion you have for military life. Keep up the good work. I do wonder what new and different military period you will conquor next, the mighty Roman Empire perhaps? James Stevenson

A

Probably not - Conn Iggulden does such a good job with it, best I leave it to him.


Q

dear sir, I am a history undergrad at the University of South Carolina and am working on my thesis. I am researching Lord Cochrane's role in the independence movements in Chile and Brazil. I read Sharpe's Devil and was fascinated by Cochrane's attempt to rescue Napoleon from St. Helena. The books I am using allude to the idea of him hatching a rescue, but they do not go into specifics. I was wondering if all this was fiction or is this fact? If it is fact, where can I find materials on this? Looking forward to your next book. Patrick Gillespie

A

I'm pretty sure that my references all came from Donald Thomas's biography, Cochrane, and have a half memory that the material on the abortive rescue scheme was deposited in the British government's Public Records Office in Kew . . . there is a more recent biography - maybe there's some help there as well?


Q

Dear Bernard, I was wondering if you have ever read any of Wilbur Smith's novels, and if so, do you have a favourite? I sense you would enjoy him. Thanks. Paul, County Cork.

A

I have read and enjoyed him - not sure what my favourite is though.


Q

Dear Bernard, greatly enjoyed the Grail Quest and now reading the Arthur trilogy. If you could go back in time to any one day where and when would it be? just curious, regards Martin

A

Probably, right now, I'd choose 25th October, 1415, mainly because I'm reading an advance copy of Juliet Barker's book Agincourt, which is utterly brilliant, and it would (with hindsight) have been a great day to witness. Waterloo wouldn't be bad either.


Q

Mr. Cornwell, I would just like to add my thanks for many hours of great reading and listening of your Sharpe and Starbuck books. I do have one question you probably have gotten quite often. I know Sharpe was with the 33 West Yorkshire Regt. And the South Essex. But have not been able to find out the Regimental number of the South Essex. I have seen the flag on the videoes but can't see the number on the flag. I would be grateful if you could tell me the number of the South Essex. I hope sometime soon you will consider writing more of Starbucks adventures. thanks. David C. Klose

A

It doesn't have a number, which is odd, I know, but deliberate. The next vacant number in the Wellington era army would have been the 105th, so I could have chosen that, but it sounds far too French! To have used a smaller number - i.e. the 45th or 63rd, would have been to poach from an existing regiment, so I decided they would be uniquely numberless.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, 1) Thank you very much for being the most polite, helpful, and available to the public author of large stature that I've ever seen - 2) Have you ever considered composing a story surrounding Alexander the Great? Thanks - excellent work - cheers - shane

A

Thanks! No, no plans for Alexander the Great.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, I will echo the hundreds of thousands who enjoy your books and say that you are one of my favorite authors. I hope we will be entertained with your works for years to come. At the end of Waterloo, Wellington tells Sharpe that the Prince of Wales's Own are his. I took this to mean he was promoted to Lt. Col. in the British Army (not the Dutch). My question is did the Horse Guards approve of the appointment or reject it like his earlier gazette? When he intoduces himself to somebody in "Sharpe's Devil", he refers to himself as a Lt. Col. Darren Ivey

A

I assume he took it as a brevet appointment - i.e. temporary, which is all the Duke would have been empowered to give him on the spot. In truth he reverts to his old rank afterwards, but courtesy would allow him to use the brevet rank.


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