Been reading Sharpe since 1984 when I picked up a hardback copy of Sharpe's Gold in the remainder pile at Waldenbooks. (Remember Waldenbooks?) I now have them all on my shelf in one form or another and I'm in for the long haul. As well as the Last Kingdom, Winter King... everything you've written. Thank you for the hundreds of hours spent in the imagined hills and parched fields of Spain and other places even more exotic. You keep well and carry on.
Favorite bit - Sharpe and Nairn sharing ham and toast on the occasion of Sharpe's promotion to major. The TV series did not do justice to the delicious richness of this scene. Ham (with mustard) and toast has become a favorite standby snack.
Your books are captivating. All young men should learn from you. Thank you for your teachings.
I have been reading your books for more years than I care to remember. It started with Sharpe's Eagle in what I think may be a first paper-back edition. I have them all, plus the Starbuck stories, the Grail series, the Arthurian series and many of the stand alone books (Waterloo, Azincourt, Stonehenge, Poitieres). I also have all the Last KIngdom stories on my KIndle.
During lockdown I took the opportunity to re-read them all, in order, (some probably for the 3rd or 4th time) and as always got immense pleasure from them. I also read all the Alexander Kent 'Bolitho' books in order, just for a bit of variety.
So apart from the usual plea to re-visit Starbuck (I am sure there is enough material available, but am equally sure you have a good reason???) I just wanted to thank you for the way your stories They have thrilled, amused, terrified (at times) and informed me and for that I will always be grateful.
Doug Sutton UK
PS if you ever do a book signing in the UK let me know, I have about 40
Hello Mr. Cornwell,
I am writing only to express my deep thanks for providing the hours of happiness I have had enjoying your work. I started with the Warlord Chronicles, really picking up the first book not knowing there were more or having ever heard of the author. The Sharpe books and the Saxon series are also books i would mark my calendar for the release dates. I hope you still have many stories to tell. Please enjoy your summer.
its a bit late but this video on the fighting at Fredericksburg and Salem Church during the Chancellorsville Campaign, will be of interest.
After the Battle the Union Commander Uncle John Sedgwick would be blamed by Hooker along with Howard and Stoneman as being responsible for his defeat.
Dear Mr. Cornwell,
My name is Bill Fayers. I was born in the village of Orsett, Essex in January 1954 (69). I wanted to take this opportunity to say, “thank you”.
It is only relatively recently that I finally ‘discovered’ your literary output and I began with the Grail Quest series. I was hooked.
Most recently I have thoroughly enjoyed reading of the exploits of Uhtred in The Last Kingdom series.
Being a resident of Orsett I was only 12 miles (as the arrow flies or the Southend-on-Sea to Fenchurch Street train travels) from Benfleet. Consequently, the family days out to Chalkwell or Southend took us through the railway station at Benfleet, although that was as much of Benfleet as I would see until the time that I got my first car and travelled to the beaches via the old A13. Dad could never afford a car, hence busses, trains and day trips.
My brother, sisters and I would eagerly look out of the train window as we approached the Thames estuary at Pitsea Creek to see if the tide was in or out, it would make the difference of us spending much of the day paddling in either water or mud.
The history of Britain and its people interested me from an early age, so it was most intriguing to read of the Viking / Saxon battle that took place on the Benfleet shore. I had never heard about it before.
It is a pity that the history taught at school came across as dull and boring. Or perhaps that was just my youthful appraisal of the subject and of my teachers? I can confess to being a ‘late developer’.
I looked up the battle in Wikipedia, my ‘go to’ font of all knowledge, and read with some surprise that the remains of burned long boats were discovered at the site of the battle during the construction of the railway line. That certainly didn’t come up in our history lessons, I would have stayed awake for that!
Nine years ago, I escaped from Essex and moved to Somerton in Somerset.
Somerton is an old market town and lays claim to having once been the capital town of Wessex. There seems to be no definitive proof of this other than a sign on the road into Somerton that declares it to have been so.
It is certain that the county jail, (built c.1280), stood in Somerton until it was relocated to Illchester.
Wikipedia has this to say about Somerton.
The earliest written reference to the town is in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which records that in 733 the King of Wessex, Æthelheard lost control of Somerton to Æthelbald, King of Mercia. Somerton was the site of the 949 meeting of the witan, a form of Anglo-Saxon parliament.
The town returned to West Saxon royal control in the ninth century, and it was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Sumertone".
The Church of England parish church, St Michael and All Angels, has origins which date from the 13th century, with a major reshaping in the mid-15th century, and further restoration in 1889.
It is said there are bullet holes in the timbers [of the roof] caused by soldiers who camped in the church in 1646 before the Battle of Langport.
Having read that King Alfred, (and Uhtred), had retreated to ‘the trackless marsh lands of Somerset’ to escape the enemy I decided that I ought to pay homage to Alfred by visiting the King Alfred Monument, located in a field behind an old farmhouse at Athelney. I had the site all to myself, it’s rather off the tourist trail.
It was a strange feeling to think that, to a large extent, it was from this spot that, with Alfred’s determination and persistence, England grew!
Athelney is only about nine miles from Somerton, so I think it must be highly likely that Alfred knew of and possibly visited Somerton at some time. It’s a nice thought.
Once again, the only thing that I remembered being taught at school about Alfred is that he was the King who burned the cakes. He was certainly much more than that.
It is very obvious that you meticulously research your topic before constructing a story around the facts, and that makes the story so much more interesting.
So again, thank you for the hours of pleasure that your books have given me, and the hours of pleasure still to come.
Very best wishes,
Thank you for sharing your story!
I wanted to say thank you. I have thoroughly enjoyed the Netflix series and the last movie that just released but then came across your book series.
I was not aware of those and will start to dig into them as well as keep an eye out to see if you are available sometime for a book signing. Bucket List :)
Thanks again and I just have to say what an emotional journey it must have been to write these and think of the people and what they went through for freedom and a united country.
The last kingdom was great, along with the seven kings; they must die! Just as good as the Viking's six seasons. Need more Viking movies and stories; they are the actual Indians of the land.
I've been reading Sharpe's Tiger...and your writing is simply fantastic. I can't put the book down.
Dear Mr. Cornwell,
You have a new reader. My husband has read all the Sharpe novels (going to considerable length to track down those unavailable from the publisher), as well as the Arthur books, and of course we have both enjoyed watching The Last Kingdom series.
I felt the battle scenes in the books would be more bloodshed than I could bear, but when I found some titles of yours in our favorite used bookstore, I picked them up for my husband.
Lucky for me, I had stumbled across “Gallows Thief” and “Fools and Mortals,” both excellent tales wonderfully told, something woefully underappreciated and underrepresented in fiction today.
Both my husband and I are grateful for your wit, imagination, and painstaking research, and for the many books in your catalogue we have yet to discover.
Your new fan,