Your Questions

Q

I have read the 4 volume series of Starbuck twice and really enjoyed it both times. When will you be releasing Volume Five? You say on the last page of V4 ..."Starbuck will march again.".

Thanks for all your great books, especially the Sharpe's Series, my Grandson is now enjoying them.

Gary Brown

 

Hi Bernard,

I recently finished the bloody ground and I am wondering if we will ever see more of Nate and Truslow? I understand you are busy with the excellent tales of Uhtred (and hopefully bringing Sharpe out of retirement!). Given this I wondered if you had ever considered allowing another author to finish the tale, or is a novel too personal to hand to someone else?

Thanks for the many hours of entertainment so far,

Sean

 

A

I hope to return to Starbuck someday....but really can't say when that might be.   And if I can't finish a book (or series) then I expect it will stay unfinished!  I really don't want to have someone else write them for me . . . .it isn't that I think that's a dreadful idea, just wouldn't work for me!


Q

Really enjoyed the Last Kingdom series, which I have read and purchased (doubtless you are happy to hear) over the years. How much longer do you plan on keeping it going?

Paul Alan Thompson

 

Hello Bernard,

Will the Uhtred book you are writing now be the last of the series?

Separately, the correspondent asking for a series about Wales would enjoy Sharon Penman's series, Here Be Dragons, Falls The Shadow and The Reckoning.

Cheers

Chris

 

A

Well, I am writing the next book of the series now....and we'll see what comes after that!


Q

Good afternoon,

i'm a great fan of your books, especially the Uhtred saga. Now i have one question regarding the last book:

As Uhtred's daughter and grandchildren are all dead, how shall the prophecy be fulfilled, that his daughter will be the mother of kings?

And i must say that i'm really sorry for Eadiths death as i liked this figure. I have no idea why she had to die too, but i'm sure you'll have one.

Greetings from Berlin and looking forward to the next book

Peter Ansorge

A

The prophecy was wrong....prophecies often are.


Q

I love this series and have just finished your last book, Sword of Kings. Will there be another book after this one in the series?  I particularly like this period in history as to how England is borne.  I believe that you did hint in your last book that Uhtred would live to see the unification??

Would appreciate hearing from you.

I have so enjoyed your Last Kingdom series. The have brought me many hours of reading pleasure.

I am from Wales now living in Canada. I would love to learn about the history of Wales and how we became to be a principality of the UK. Have you thought about doing a novel on that particular piece of history?

Regards,

Linda Marshall

A

I am writing the next book now!

I have not! And I suspect it’s a novel best told by a Welsh writer? It isn’t that I’m not interested, but I shiver to think of the research that would be needed – principally some basic knowledge of the Welsh language and, ideally, a fervent sympathy for the Welsh cause!


Q

Dear Bernard,

Firstly, can I just say how much I love your Last Kingdom series of books, and the current TV series based on the novels.  Not only I do I find the history of the Vikings and Saxons fascinating, I also find Uhtred's dry sense of humour highly amusing and very like my own!

Secondly, I have a query regarding your novel, The Pagan Lord.  You make reference to two place names, Tettenhall and Wednesbury in the West Midlands.  I understand that there is some debate regarding where a famous Viking battle took place - however as someone who lives in Wednesfield in the West Midlands, I am certain this is where the battle was fought.  You will notice that it makes more sense for 'Odin's Field' to be Wednesfield - not Wednesbury, which would actually be Odin's 'burgh'.  Wednesbury is about 15 miles from where I live.

Interestingly, I also live just off a road called 'Waddensbrook Lane', which makes me think this could be referencing Woden's brook.  There is indeed the remnants of a brook along this road, which I am certain would have been much, much wider 2000 years ago.  Could the Vikings have travelled along this brook to meet their fate just a few minutes from my home?

I hope you don't mind me questioning you, but Wednesfield as a small village, is often mistaken or overlooked in favour of the small town of Wednesbury.  I would be extremely disappointed if this was reflected in your TV series.

I know deep down the place where I live has some historical significance and I feel the road names support this.

Thanks again for your wonderful writing,

Kindest Regards,

Angie

A

I have no idea whether you’re right, though I’m perfectly prepared to accept that you are. There’s always a problem of identifying long lost battle-fields and until the archaeologists dig up spear-heads and broken swords the arguments continue! The classic case, at least for Uhtred’s period, is to determine where the battle of Brunanburh was fought – and places as far apart as Yorkshire, County Durham, the Solway Firth and the Wirral have been proposed, almost all based on place-name  identification, but I think I’m giving away no secrets to say that Wirral Archaeology have recently unearthed a mass of finds (spear-heads, arrow heads, broken swords) that will probably (hopefully) end that argument once and for all. I hope you can do the same for Wednesfield!

 


Q

Hello Mr Cornwell,

thank you for another excellent installment of Uhtred's adventures. As I read Sword of Kings I started wondering if perhaps Uhtred's adventures at his age were getting a little silly, even for a fictional hero. After all, I think Uhtred turned 67 in 924, the year of Edward's death.

Then it dawned on me that my father-in-law is 79 years old, drinks like a fish, eats terribly, yet visits the gym every other day where he bench-presses weights that most men half his age can't cope with. On reflection, Uhtred seems far more believable a character than my father-in-law, and I see no reason for him not to be quite literally fighting fit at 80 years of age by the time Brunanburh comes around. Even then, he'll still be a good decade or more younger than Cohen the Barbarian!

Anyway, a quick question (which I understand you may not wish to answer!). Have we now met Uhtred's future and final wife in Sword of Kings - the lady he likes to have a bit of a moan about from time to time when he narrates in the present tense...?

Phil Dean

A

No no no, you haven’t. It’s possible she’ll remain a figment of his (my?) imagination. Benedetta, a curious creature, refuses to marry him, which leaves me in a quandary. It might remain . . . meanwhile Uhtred, like your father-in-law, continues to amaze!


Q

Historically sitric cáechs children ruled Dublin, limerick, Waterford and with amlaíb cuarán being both king of Dublin and Northumbria, I have loved the well mixed fiction and historical events in this series, but as of the end of sword of kings and with stiorra's children dead of the plague I don't see how amlaib cuarán can be in this story despite being quite essential to the idea of "englaland" after the death of æthelstan?

I hope I'm not pushing onto a plot line from a future book, I am just genuinely confused, also the fact of gisela's prophecy that stiorra would be mother of kings?

One last light note.....how the hell is uthred still alive at his old age?

Will we ever see more of uthred uthredson, ravens beak and attor?

Do you have a favourite character to write?

Finan the agile is one of the best characters I've ever read so a massive thank you for him I apologise greatly if this is an unwanted, annoying message.

Thank you for years of enjoyment, there is not any one else who writes a battle like you do

William Philp

A

Read on . . . . .

He’s not impossibly old! I agree I’m disguising his age in a friendly Northumbrian sea-fog, but I promise you that, though exceptional (he’s a hero!), he is not vying for the Guinness Book of Records. He’s just lucky.

This is a cop-out, but honestly? Whatever character I’m writing about at any given moment. At the moment that’s Uhtred, but next year? Probably someone else.

It’s a fiercely desired and anything-but-unwanted message. Thank you for it! I’m fond of Finan too.

 


Q

I recently purchased War of the Wolf and so, of course, had to read through the whole series before opening the new read. My wife laughs as I read through these books for the third time but I just smile and enjoy myself.Thanks for that.

I'm a retired High School History teacher and I share your love of Saxon Britain but even more the period of Roman Britain. I keep hoping you will turn your talents to that period. After all, Uhtred is an admirer of all things Roman,no? Rosemary Sutcliffe, as I'm sure you know, did a wonderful job of that period in her books.

I know you must feel a strong connection with this series due to your ancestry and I am "proud" to say I too have an ancestry that I feel connected to. I am a 9th generation Ranger living in Quebec. Hubert Ranger arrived in New France in 1686 as a soldier in the Carignan Salieres Regiment sent to protect the settlements. He then married a "Filles du Roi" and settled as a tenant farmer on the Ste. Anne Seignury on the west end of Ile Montreal. The ancestry makes me feel connected, even proud.

Finally, this was mainly to thank you for your contribution to Historical Fiction and to wish you many more adventures. Thanks for the entertainment!

I got so caught up with my ancestry note I just sent that I forgot the other reason I wanted to write you...Alfred's Dream!

As I live in Quebec continually caught up in the English/French language debate I recently reflected on the success of the English Language. Wouldn't Alfred the Great be amazed at this success? I wish some Quebec Francophones would remember how important English is on a global scale.I am a 9th generation French Canadian comfortable in both languages and wish all Quebecois would respect & embrace our 2 founding languages!

Huzzah for Alfred!

Paul Ranger

A

Alfred the Great would be astonished, amazed! Especially as, by the year 878 AD, the Saxon control of Britain had been effectively shrunk to the Somerset marshes. Why Britain doesn’t now speak Danish is a miracle! I think your message is extraordinarily generous – merci! My father was Canadian, from BC, but alas, my command of French is at the level of ‘La plume de ma tante’, a phrase I remember learning at Junior School, but why? Are French aunts famous for owning pens? Je ne sais pas! And never will!

 


Q

Mr Cornwell,

Thank you once again for Uhtred's latest adventure. The poor old boy is a bit like me; bits dropping  off him, every joint aching!

I was wondering if we could look forward to another BBC series of Last Kingdom. It seems a long time since the last one. Can we also look forward to one more Uhtred battle?

Thank you for so many hours' of reading pleasure.

Best wishes,

Carol

A

I am writing the next Uhtred book now.  And season 4 of The Last Kingdom TV series is in the works as well!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell

I recently finished Sword Of Kings. Another very good addition to the series.However upon finishing the book i'm left with some questions that I hope you can help clarify.

Firstly the whereabouts of Sihtric, I'm not certain if this is answered in a previous book that i'm simply forgetting but is he still alive and a warrior of Uhtred's, and if so can we expect to hear from him again?

And Secondly on the final page of Sword Of Kings Benedetta states to Uhtred that "You did not want her dead" and he responds "But I did". Who exactly is he talking about here because my initial though was Eadith but that seems rather cruel even for Uhtred.

Regards

Callum

A

Last I heard of him he was In Durham – so yes, he might show up again.

It’s honest of him!  Cruel?  Maybe – but he’s confessing to something shameful.