Bulletin Board

Q

Hi Mr. Cornwell, I really truly love your Saxon Series. I am 50 not a reader and listen to them on audio. The history and battles are amazing. I would love to go to England just to look at it's history. Amazing. Tried to listen to the monk stories and got bored. Sorry, after Thor it doesn't compare. Thank you for your time and your knowledge and for sharing your English history. Sincerely, Gerald Huculak


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, I am writing to thank you for writing your books. I have been an avid reader all my life, but history books have always left me cold. A favorite of mine is the obscure Steppe by Piers Anthony. In his end-note, he laments, History fascinates me, but evidently it doesnt interest publishers, so I had to mask it as space opera. I am part way through the autobiography of Uhtred the King Maker, your Lords of the North, and Im glad you didnt have to mask it at all! I have noticed some things about your writing. Since Uhtred is telling the story of his life from a perspective many decades in the future, he is allowed to provide the bigger picture at points that help me, as the reader, to understand, and keep my interest. You chose key points in history where everything changed, and our modern brains instinctively want to bring order to the undoubted chaos. You wind those threads of chaos around Uhtred, making our common history (I too was English, until a mere 375 years ago) comprehensible and compelling. I would have to rate your use of the three spinners, as a repetitive literary feature, as absolute brilliance. The spinners bring order from chaos, serve as transition from one disconnected event to another, while (I presume), immersing us in the Danish belief system of the time. Your own family once held Bebbanburg. That fact and motivation lends an authenticity to your writing, and in the same way, an authenticity to my reading. In reading a thoroughly enjoyable heroic-adventure epic, I am learning about my own familys history. I grew up, and was educated, on the USAs west coast. I therefore have but the vaguest knowledge of world history, the term we still use for anything that happened prior to 1700 AD or outside the continental United States. I discovered the late Patrick OBrian and discovered that history could actually come to life. That led me to Dewey Lambdin, who has taken pains to tell his rogues adventures from perspectives NOT found in our history books. Thanks to Dan Browns recent popularity, I now know that the Knights Templar actually did exist, and their mission as bankers/protectors changed a civilization. Thus The Last Templar caught my eye, and I discovered Michael Jecks. I love heroic adventures, and I love detective fiction. Jecks takes setting and social condition, and places his mysteries in that context. The stories are quite enjoyable, and from their context, I learn something of the social conditions of that pivotal time in the 14th century. Last winter, in picking out a Clive Cussler book at the library, The Archers Tale caught my eye, thanks to Jecks. (Cornwell books are alphabetically shelved close to Cussler books.) The spinners at the roots of the earth laughed out loud, knowing how Cornwell hated that title, and knowing how much sleep I would lose before consuming even a single dozen of his books. I must say, your American publisher knew his audience. Harlequin would never have conveyed the right (or any) information to my brain. I sincerely appreciate how you taught me to understand the English long bow, the reason for its rarity, and how it affected the course of history. As a child, of course, I knew the tales of Robin Hood, and I knew Ivanhoe. But I had no context. These were childrens tales from a foreign land, the same as Hansel and Gretel, and Sir Lancelot. I truly did not know, until this week, that King Alfred, and King Arthur, were not even of the same people! Thanks to reading The Grail Quest, I am now part way through The Saxon Stories. Jecks takes a specific point in history, and what is known of the social conditions, and tells a great story in that setting. You, on the other hand, take what we do know of that time in history, and tell that history as it might have happened. Of course I would prefer that every fact, every action, was independently verified by notarized contemporary records. Indeed I might have a greater understanding if I personally read the extant histories of the 9th, or 14th, centuries. However, I doubt it! To me, it is far better to truly understand Uhtred Ragnars Son, and Thomas of Hookton, their lives and motivations. Wikipedia tells me that Arthur may not have actually existed, and is mostly a 12th-century creation of Geoffrey of Monmouth. I look forward to reading your favorite books, and learning your portrayal of the era. I consider myself educated, but my knowledge of English history is so sketchy that I was surprised this week to re-discover that Hadrians Wall is in England! That was actually a bit embarrassing; I should have remembered that. So, again, I sincerely thank you for enabling me to learn our past in such pleasant fashion. I am just now starting chapter nine. Hrothweard the drama queen delays the ride to Dunholm. Who cares if these specific events, or this specific conversation, did or did not historically happen? In this one bit of annoying drama I can see the forces which actually were present, the integration of Danes, Saxons, Britons. And then& Bury him. Who would ever search for a corpse in a graveyard? I love it! Clearly you, too, have spent too much time subject to the humor impaired. As I read more of Uhtreds story, I realize that I have long known bits and pieces, but had no context. I see many echoes of what J. R. R. Tolkien was teaching, and Katherine Kurtz. Andre Norton, in her Witch World series, spoke of Axe Weddings by proxy. Whether it was an axe wedding or a piece of trivia about the origin of Friday the Thirteenth, the pieces have always been in front of me. But it took Bernard Cornwell to present a delightful series of adventures which make sense. I am sorry this note became so long. Thank you for staying with me. I thoroughly enjoyed explaining the threads which brought me to your work. Again, thank you! Kind regards, Edward Barnard( Cannon Falls, Minnesota

A

Thank you for your kind words.


Q

Hello Mr Cornwell :) I'm an 18 year old British fan of Sharpe (in the extreme) and I look forward to moving onto your other work when I've finished with him. Like most 18 year lads I'm a pretty big videogamer and have a real love of the Total War series. You control a particular country (trade/technology/government etc) over a course of a number of years and try and expand your empire. One of the most recent versions of the game is Napoleon Total War. It has stunning real time battles where you control units and act as the general of the particular army. It's not massively accurate (every army fights in lines, regimental colours aren't really represented etc) as the game is aiming to be fun... but for a lover of Napoleonic military history it is fantastic fun. You have to take note of morale, troops tiredness, terrain, experience etc. It's massively rewarding to play well, you can force infantry into squares with cavalry and bombard them with cannon, rout units with bayonet charges etc. Here's a video of somebody playing a game online against somebody + his narration. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fshYC8ZXa1Y. You'd need a pretty good PC to run the game, but whenever I'm playing I just can't help but think that you'd get a massive kick out of it. Best wishes, A massive fan, Will Hazell.

A

Thanks!


Q

Mr. Cornwell I absolutely love your books! Particularly The Saxon Tales. You carry us along an amazing adventure to a point where surely Uhtred is finished, but the Norns had not yet weaved those threads. Thank you for providing me with hours of excitement!

Cindy Sommer


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I recently discovered your books and have promptly read all available. Your Richard Sharpe has to be the best military character in historical fiction with Starbuck a close second. My compliments and please write more books.

Phillip Howard


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I wanted to thank you for your work. Thank you!

Peter Cavanaugh


Q

Hi again, Mr. Cornwell. I want to recommend to you an excellent series of graphic novels I have been reading. The title is "Northlanders" and the publisher is Vertigo Comics. They deal with stories of the Vikings throughout their history. The author, Brian Woods really captures the bleak savagery of Norse life. There are various artists, all excellent. The battle scenes are gut-wrenching. They accomplish through their pencils and inks what you accomplish when you write. It would be so incredible to see the Uhtred novels depicted this way. Northlanders is currently available in six volumes of trade paperbacks from Amazon.com. Check them out, you won't regret it. Alan Kempner

A

Thank you.


Q

dear Bernard - having failed miserably to get you to write any more Sharpe stories I have had to resort to reading your other books instead - however after reading death of kings and the fort I find myself suffering from withdraw symptoms so would you mind knocking me something off over the weekend Athelstan is my favourite English king and you seem to have left him on a diet of milkshakes .... as you may gather I have greatly enjoyed these Saxon Stories so I do hope we will see some more in this series. sincerely Hope that all is well with you and yours and thank-you so much for all the entertainment and pleasure your work has given me over the years. with appreciation, Chris Gyngell


Q

Started with Fort that whetted my appetite not bragging but I know good when I see it. I have all but two of the Sharpe's that seem hard to find or all of your works that intrigue me. I was a history major and retired Army. I have all but a few of your works and look forward to many happy hours. I have an unusual job that allows me to read for much of the time--mostly to keep my mind active. I work only weekends and have all week to shop for books. When I was young and foolish I spent a lot of money on firearms that did not enhance my thinking. thanx glen r. Wickboldt San Antonio, TX


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I got sucked into the Saxon tales books by a nook freebie offer for book 1. I have in the past 2 weeks bought and read all of the rest and must commend you and share that my most favoritism part (and yes I am aware and intentionally using poor grammar) was when the priests declared in book 6 that angels (whores and goose feathers) had given a prophecy. I have not stopped chuckling! Many thanks for that! Best karma ever!

Alynn