Your Questions

Q

I am reading "Excaliber" at the moment. I read Morris books are well. I noticed, that in your point of view, Sir Lancelot appears to be a coward, traitor, and all bad things. But in other King Arthur legends, they are saying Lancelot is a greatful, wonderful knight. I was wondering, where did you get the idea of Lancelot being a "bad" knight ? (I enjoyed your Sharpe's series, Starbuck, Holy Grail, Redcoat, Stonehenge, and etc.) I enjoyed reading the short stories. Alex

A

I fear from my own imagination, nowhere else. He has always bored me.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, Thank you very much for posting chapter one of Sharpe's escape. I notice that our Sharpe begins the book in a very bad mood and that got me thinking--I believe he is in a bad mood at the start of almost every book in the series. Has this become a tradition or inside joke for you or is our Sharpe just a very bad tempered bloke? Regards, Joy Parker

A

Horribly tempered, unspeakably awful and desperately in need of psycho-analysis, anger-management therapy and sensitivity training. I'm not going to change him though.


Q

I would love to go to a lecture series by you. Do you plan to give any in the near future on the West Coast of the U. S.? Robert Manes

A

Not this year, perhaps at a future date?


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell I'm not sure but I think I've found a fact that does not match your book very well. In the book Winter King the character Norwenna was a Powysian princess and was married to Mordred ap Uther. So would not that marriage have created a peace treaty between Powys and Dumnonia? your every curious fan-Justin :)

A

It was probably supposed to, but it didn't! Think how many English Kings married French princesses and that never worked either - we went on bashing the hell out of each other. Ditto with Scottish/English marriages!


Q

Dear Mr.Cornwell, I am one of what must be a very rare breed of readers who have only lately come to an appreciation of your fine historical fiction writing. I recently read Stonehenge, and Waterloo, and I consider them as good as any work in their genre that I have seen. If I may presume to trouble you with a (no doubt) silly qestion: in Waterloo, the battle scene description was satisfyingly gripping, and in some ways reminded me of the account presented by Victor Hugo in Les Miserables. I was hoping to find mention of that chapter in your notes at the back of your fine book, but, not finding any, I imagined that in your own view M. Hugo's depiction was not worthy of inclusion in your list of worthwhile references, possibly because it is more fictitious than factual. Am I justified in this assumption, or is it the case that the French author's account elides material facts that would have been appropriate for the events as you described them? Thank you for your patience, and I intend to read more deeply into the great canon of your writings. Respectfully yours, M.Bart

A

It's a shameful admission, but I've never read Les Miserables, which is why I didn't make reference to it!


Q

Any chance of a main character in a sharpe novel being Welsh? Norman Rees

A

Sure, but don't forget that the most of the main characters of the Arthur books were all Welsh - so I've paid some dues.


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell. I'd say I am a recent reader of your novels. I began with the Warlord series, followed by the first two books in the Grail series and recently completed Redcoat. I don't see a lot of feedback regarding this story and was curious to learn about your thoughts about the novel. Where did the idea originate? Why the Bristish point of view? Interesting idea. Where does this novel rank in your writing style, skill and maturation? Well, now I'm onto Starbuck. Sincerely, Adam Wesoloski Pulaski, WI

A

I was asked to write a story for a Hollywood producer who had an idea to make a movie of the revolution from the British point of view. I did my bit, and I'm still waiting. As to your last question? I honestly don't know. Don't think about things like that.


Q

Dear Bernard, I am currently reading Sharpe's Prey & I wanted to tell you that I am absolutely loving the relationship Sharpe has with Sir Arthur Wellesley. Every encounter they have (e.g.. Sharpe saving his life in Sharpe's Prey) my heart races. I can't wait to see what Sharpe & Wellesley get up to in Waterloo! Just a few questions. 1) Do you have a favorite lead character from your novels? (e.g., Sharpe, Thomas, Derfel, etc) 2)Do you have a favorite side character (e.g. Arthur Wellesley, King Arthur, Merlin,)? Thanks for answering all your fans questions, you're a top bloke! Regards Michael Sydney Australia

A

My favourite character? Derfel and Ceinwyn together. Favourite side character? Obadiah Hakeswill.


Q

In the past I have noticed and enjoyed discussions on your site regarding movies based on historical events. I recently viewed ( again) "The Bounty". Which I really enjoyed. I thought the detail authentic, including the pre-1801 flag, but I was puzzled by the use of the "loot" pronunciation when" lieutenant" was spoken, ie as opposed to "left" tenant. I always thought "loot" was the US pronunciation while "left" was UK. Perhaps you could throw some light on this? Rgds Robert Marsh

A

I think you're right and 'leftenant' is Britspeak and 'Lootenant' is US, but was it always thus? I don't know. It comes from the French, of course, lieu meaning place and tenant a holder, so a lootenant is a place holder, which doesn't help much. But the Oxford English Dictionary, as usual, comes to my rescue and says that a Mr Walker, in 1793, gives the pronunciation as Leftenant but he hoped that the correct pronunciation Lootenant will in the end win out. So it looks as if the Brits always said Left, and were wrong, and still are, and so were the folk who made the film.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, This is one of those "Have you ever thought about writing a book about..." questions! How about extending the Napoleonic coverage to the War of 1812? Specifically, the Battle of New Orleans, where the 95th Rifles were engaged. I believe Sharpe was busy elsewhere at the time, so it could be an independent novel like "Redcoat". A good reference book is "The British at the Gates", by Robin Reilly. He's a former British Army officer, living in New Orleans. I've visited the Chalmette Battlefield and found it fascinating. Anyway, please add my voice to the ever-growing demand for more Starbuck novels. Best regards. Ray Lemke

A

It'll go on the list - but no promises!