Thanks for Sharpe. I’ve listened to all twice, At 74 I’m reminded of my dad who would watch an episode of tv series Mash on Monday, laugh out loud; watch same episode on different channel Friday and laugh just as hard. Only great thing of memory loss with age is no repeats.
Each time I listen to Sharpe I’m surprised and impressed with the marvelous texture.
I just found your book and loved it. Sharpe's Rifles took me into battle from the first sentence. Thank you!
Elvira O McIntosh
I just wanted to say a brief thank you.
I read the book by Marc Morris on the Anglo-Saxons, and was interested to dive deeper. I wondered anything in historical fiction would compliment my understanding of our forefathers. Then I luckiky discovered your Saxon series.
I am hooked. Although I'm only at the end of 'The Lords of the North' with the first 6 books purchased in a bundle so far, I will be purchasing the rest, and reading the whole series with pleasure.
Thank you kindly
I hope this email finds you well. I'm just about to finish The Warlord Chronicles. I've enjoyed your work so much I felt the need to reach out. You are a master story teller, absolutely brilliant. The world youve created in this series is incredible. I've also just purchased the first 6 books in the last kingdom series. I'm looking forward to reading and adding every book you've written to my home library. I know you have been writing for quite some time, but I just discovered you. You have an incredibly gift, thank you for sharing it with the world!
Your newest fan!
Sharpe's Command arrived in Las Vegas today from Amazon UK and on p.105 already!. Discovered Sharpe in the Air University library at Maxwell AFB AL when I was working as an historian there 1983...As an NCO I was wing historian at RAF Lakenheath 71-76.. Got an MA and was finally commissioned as a 2nd Lt--but I didn't have to save a peer's life like Sharpe. But I did retire as a USAF Captain. Like you I was born in London 1947 but emigrated to Phoenix in 1963 I got a green card!. I own virtually all your books. Re-watching Last Kingdom on Netflix. I own all that series too. Thanks so much. Only book I had trouble with is Only Fools & Mortals--but I persevere..
All the best.
Just read your latest book, Sharpe's Command. I have waited with hope that you would release Sharpe and start up further escapades which were retired some years ago.
Hopefully more books of Sharpe will be released in the future. They are all a fantastic read which take the reader back in time and the latest just carries on from the last book so long ago.
Please keep up the hero that Sharpe is.
Dear Mr Cornwell
I’m writing in praise of your Sharpe books which I am currently reading (just finished Sharpes Sword, surely the best so far), I came to these after devouring your Last Kingdom series. When I started the Sharpe series about 3 years ago (I’m a slow reader) I was enjoying them simply as well written and detailed historical novels. However this year they took on a more personal significance for me as I discovered that my 3x gt grandfather James Biggins had been an infantryman in the Peninsular War.
At age 18 James joined the army in Sheffield in Jan 1808, behaviour quite unlike any of my other ancestors (we are not a martial family). I had thought James was Irish, as my gt gt grandfather William Biggins had been born in Limerick, but it turns out he was actually in the army for 18 years, latterly in Ireland where he had 3 sons. Quite why James joined up I have no clue, all his immediate family were blade forgers, grinders etc, he himself was a filesmith.
He joined the 43rd Regiment of foot, 2nd Battalion, and must have been astonished to find himself in Portugal later in 1808. I’ve been through the paylists at the National Archives and have roughly sketched out his career but as he never rose above the rank of Private there is absolutely no information about what he did, what battles he was in etc. He is in the paylists for the 2/43rd from March 1808 onwards. His battalion went to Portugal with Anstruthers 7th Brigade, who arrived just after Roliça, but were involved at Vimeiro where the 2/43rd suffered heavy casualties.
He seems to have somehow avoided the retreat to Corruña, and stayed in Portugal - must have been with a detached company, so he was then in the 1st Battalion of Detachments, rejoining his Regiment after Talavera, thereafter he appears in the paylists of the 1/43rd. I’m pretty sure he must have been at many of the battles you describe so vividly including Côa, Fuentes de Oñoro, Buçaco, Ciudad Rodrigo. The 1/43rd formed part of Craufords Light Division.
At times he listed as sick, including for all 3 musters covering the period when the battle of Salamanca occurred so I guess he missed a few battles including that one. It is frustrating not knowing exactly where he was and how he managed but of course there is no detail on individual non-officers at that time. This is partly why I find your accounts so fascinating. Also of course the battles were extremely complex affairs and difficult for a non historian like me to understand from the standard military descriptions, but you describe them so well.
Anyway James remained with the 1/43rd right through to the battle of Toulouse, his regiment then being sent briefly to America. After that they returned to England but too late for Waterloo it seems (dodged a bullet there I guess). By then James had done 7 years and was then in the 2/43rd for a couple of years. Then at point of discharge he volunteered for the 23rd Welch Fusileers. There followed many years in Ireland and ultimately in Ireland with the 1st Royal Veterans Battalion.
He is discharged from the army after 18 years. His discharge papers give a brief physical description and state his conduct was “very good”. One year later, back in Sheffield with 3 sons born in Ireland, and one in Sheffield, and he is dead at the age of 38. Strange to think that he survived so much danger in Portugal, Spain and France only to end up dead within 18 months of discharge to civilian life. I often wonder if he got into a fight in Sheffield, or maybe an old injury caught up.
Sorry for the length of this letter. I just wanted to mention a couple of other things: First in one of the Sharpe books you mention that Richard was drinking at the Queen in the Ponds in Sheffield. Well this pub would have been very well known to James and his family. The rest of them lived all their lives in the Ponds area. My Gt grandfather Henry Biggins was born on Creswick Walk, about 20 yards from the (what is now) Old Queens Head. Second, I know the Iberian continent very well, I started learning Portuguese in 2000, and Spanish in 2016 - not completely fluent in either but can certainly get by and have travelled quite extensively in Spain and Portugal. Am currently writing this near Vigo in Galicia.
Once again many thanks for your books and scholarship which have added so much colour to my understanding of James Biggins life.
Sorry again if it's a bit dull, you must get a lot of this sort of stuff!
Thank you! I enjoyed reading about James Biggins!
Just finished Sharpe’s Command….excellent read, as always. What I particularly enjoy is that at no stage do you ( or Richard Sharpe ) appear to be going through the motions of churning a book out for churning’s sake…….I found Major Sharpe every bit as fascinating in this book as I did Private Sharpe all those years ago. With his talent for mischief I’d love to see Richard making a visit to Horse Guards in person some day.
Hopefully there’s still plenty of inspiration to keep Sharpe going for a few more years yet.
Hi. Big fan from the USA. You write the best battle action of any writer I know. Thank you!
Roger D Deal
Thank you for the stories of Alfred and Utrhed. They give colour and context to the history books. And they make a much better read at bedtime.