Your Questions

Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell- While reading the Grail Quest series, I was quite taken with your description of medieval swordsmanship. Though Thomas has obviously had no professional training, did you research this aspect of medieval culture through documents like the Talhoffer manual? I own it myself (a must for a reenactor) and was totally blown away by the number of wrestling moves involved. I'm sure these were rarely used in actual melee (when dropping your sword was a very bad idea) but I was still curious whether you took a look at them. Thanks for your time, Rob Rath

A

I did look at them, and was left a little confused - mainly because most experts claim there was no technique in mediaeval swordplay - just bashing away - which never really made sense to me, because if your life depends on a skill (even bashing away) you'll try hard to hone it. So I found the manual persuasive, but was a bit chary of the prevailing opinion that claimed it was bash and crash stuff.


Q

Hello!! Just finished Trafalgar - BRAVO!!! My favorite Sharpe so far!! Being a huge fan of Hornblower and Aubrey/Maturin, I feel that your Trafalgar is every bit as good a sea story as anything by Forester or O'Brian. I was wondering, in planning the storyline for Trafalgar, did you consider having Sharpe onboard the Victory during the battle? If so, what changed your mind? Best Regards, Tom

A

I never did consider having him on the Victory, because then I'd have been restricted to tellling only what happened to that ship (which, God knows, was exciting enough), and I wanted a bit more freedom - so invented a ship.


Q

Sir: Am enthralled with GALLOWS THIEF. Am wondering if this will become a "series"? Am an avid bibliophile with my own two story library. Only appreciate hardboud books, therefore, will HarperCollins Publishers continue to produce hardbound copies of the Sharpe series in the future? Thank you in advance for answering me & most especially thank you for your wonderful books. You've got a gift. Regards, FA Krull, MD

A

There may be a follow-up to Gallows Thief, but I'm not making any promises. As far as I know, HarperCollins will continue to publish hardbound copies of any new Sharpe books - books already in print are published in paperback after the first year of publication.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, First of all, allow me to wish you a very happy (and productive!) new year. You've made my 2003 enjoyable due to my discovery of your books and your terrific web site, and I'm looking forward to more great reads! I took a little detour from Sharpe to read Redcoat. Enjoyed it very much. It's very different from the Sharpe books in that it focuses more on relationships than battle. Sharpe's Revenge does, too, and I think so far that's my favorite Sharpe book. I'm still loving the Image gallery; I wonder when you'll add to it?? Also, in some of your books you've mentioned other texts from which you've gleaned information, and I was wondering if you could put a bibliography of sorts on the website for those of us who want to read more about the history of India, for instance, but don't know where to begin. It seems that whenever I write to you I ask you for something! I hope you don't find me too annoying! Thanks so much for your time. Carol Okano

A

I'm glad to know you like the pictures - maybe there'll be more, but I don't know when. Do take a look at the 'Suggestions for Further Reading' pages on the website for more detailed information about some of the resources I've used.


Q

Thanks a lot for clearing up my confusion in respect to Sharpe returning to Wapping. I have one more question for you, what ever happend to Angel from Sharpe's Honour. or is one of those Situations where I'll be forced to use my imagination? thanks a lot - Chris Horgan

A

I can't remember. Did he die? If not, it's over to your imagination.


Q

I am a big fan of your Arthur trilogy and the Grail Quest Series. I was wondering if you are planning to write novels about World War II? If not, I was wondering what other story plot ideas you had in mind? Matt

A

No plans for that, but I do have other things in mind. I don't wish to say too much for fear someone else will then write it first.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell First of all I would like to thank you for making my Dad's Christmas. I bought both Sharpe's Skirmish and Sharpe's Christmas via the Sharpe Appreciation Society. He had no idea that these books existed (not having access to the Internet), so it was a wonderful surprise, especially since you had taken the trouble to sign them both. I am now waiting to see him again so that I can read them myself! I am writing to ask whether there are any plans to release Sharpe's War on DVD. Dad did record it for me, but neither of our video recorders were up to the task of watching it! Both are older than Sharpe I think. It would make a wonderful Father's day present for him, not to mention a "to me from me pressie" Looking forward to reading the rest of Sharpe's Escape. Any plans to come back to Lincoln to publicise this? Yours Helen Heywood Friends of Lincoln Castle Longbow Group

A

We don't know yet about the plans for 'Sharpe's War' on DVD - but we will be sure to post the information once we get it. I'll also post the itinerary for the Sharpe's Escape book tour to the Diary page once we know it.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, best wishes to you and your family and I wish you a happy new year. I noticed on your diary page that you were planning a Canadian leg on your tour promoting Sharpe's Escape this spring, any information on where you will stop, or when that information would be available? Also, as an author who has read C S Forester's Hornblower books what do you think of the recent TV miniseries based on them that have been made over the last few years? All the best and thanks again for the great stories. Zachary Mallett

A

This is probably a terrible confession, but I don't watch TV, so I haven't seen the series. I don't know when we'll get the information regarding the Canadian tour, but I will be posting it to the Diary page, so check back on occasion.


Q

read all your non-Sharpe books - now on #9 in Sharpe series - reading in chronological order which raised this question: the first books published dealt with the penisular campaign but in those books there were references to Sharpe's adventures in India and Denmark - had you planned to go back in time with now published stories and planted those details or was this just background material that later developed into those earlier stories? Rob Rose

A

It was the latter - it was background material that was later reworked (and sometimes changed when it didn't work, alas).


Q

Mr. Cornwell, I purchased Sharpe's Eagle when it was first published in 1981. I have since collected, and loved, every one of your historical novels as soon as they were available. However, whenever I look at my "Cornwell" shelves I am annoyed by the paperpack edition of Sharpe's Tigers. I think it is one of the best of the Sharpe's novels, but it apparently was never released in a hardbound edition in the US. So it sits among my First Editions looking like a poor relative. Why did this happen? Or am I wrong and a hardbound edition escaped my notice? Gregg Singer

A

You're annoyed? So am I, but HarperCollins US never issued a hardback edition - why? you would have to ask them. Your best bet, I fear, is to get a UK hardback edition in the second hand market - they're not expensive and it will look a lot better than a paperback.