Your Questions

Q

Dear Sir,

I have much enjoyed the Uhtred series, all the way to The War Lord.

I am left with a vexing question - why is Gisela never mentioned as being in Valhalla, as opposed to all the lords Uhtred fought with and against? Are women excluded?

All the best,

Marie-Claire Perrault

A

They’re not excluded – a heaven without women would be hell! Though admittedly Valhalla does seem to be a male preserve (other than the Valkyries), so Gisela probably went to Helgafjell which was a mountain where the goddess Freyja ruled over a feasting hall open to both genders.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I am an avid reader of the Sharpe series, to the point, occasionally, of rereading some, particularly Sharpe's Waterloo. I own the Fontana paperback edition (1991). I am hoping that you might clear something up for me. On the top of page 232, there is this exchange between Sgt Harper and Sharpe:

Harper: "The Germans will be here by early afternoon, eh? Where will they come from? 'From over there', Sharpe pointed to the west, ...beyond the left flank of Wellington's line.".

I was under the impression that Blucher's forces were east (not west) of Wellington's, near Wavre. after the battle of Ligny. This seems to be confirmed by Sharpe's reference to "beyond the left flank" of Wellington. Is it possible that the use of "west" here is an editing error, or am I confused and mistaken?

Hoping to hear from you.

Sincerely,

Russell Copeman

Montreal, Canada

 

A

You are not confused, but I am. For some inexplicable reason I confuse east and west whenever I’m writing. I never do when I’m sailing, thank God, but my manuscripts are replete with easts when it should be west and vice versa – so that’s a mistake we didn’t find when the book went to press. I’m sorry!

 


Q

Do you have any plans for another Rider Sandman adventure?

Michael Allen

A

I have given it some consideration....


Q

Did you read the novels of Rosemary Sutcliffe?  Her series on Roman Britain was of the Young Adult variety, but Sword At Sunset was straight up adult fiction.  I discovered them in the school library in the 6th grade and devoured them.  I can honestly say that they were beginning of my love of British history to this day.

Victoria Alvey

 

A

I think I read Sword at Sunset many, many moons ago.  I remember thinking it was a great title!


Q

Having just finished one book by one of your fellow authors I finally got round to starting Sharpe’s assassin. On page 24 you say Sharpe thought he was around 38years old and had decided that August 1 would be his birthday as that was easy to remember. Was it a random decision to choose Yorkshire Day as Sharpe’s birthday, or was it a nod to Sean Bean who as a fellow South Yorkshireman, I was born in Dinnington which is not far from Sean’s home city of Sheffield?

Thank you for bringing Sharpe and Pat Harper back. Can we expect any more stories involving the battling friends?

Adrian Leigh

A

I confess I had no idea it was Yorkshire Day, but I’m delighted to learn that it was. I made the arbitrary decision that it would be Sharpe’s assumed birthday years ago and suspect I made it on August 1st!  And I’d placed Sharpe in Yorkshire long before the excellent Sean Bean came along so that was a happy coincidence.  And remember Sharpe begins his military service as a private in the 33rd – a Yorkshire regiment. I don’t have any personal connection to Yorkshire and only chose the 33rd because that was the Duke of Wellington’s first battalion command – but Sean made it all much more believable!


Q

I am interested in the truth behind some of the gifts bestowed to other kingdoms and warriors, such as in ‘Enemy if God’, after Arthur orders the head of Cadwy to King Mark, he then sends a tribute of polished turtle shells ‘that had washed up on the shores of his wild country’. Were items like this truly viewed as prizes or of some significant value, possibly a gift of the ‘Gods’ or a treasure of the wilds? I wonder at the historical truth behind this.

Ross Brodt

A

I honestly can’t remember about the turtle shells, but suspect I picked up a reference to them in some archaeological paper, and I’m sure they were considered valuable gifts simply because of their rarity.  Some items, like auroch’s horns, were known to be treasures of the wild, but others? Who knows? I suspect some were considered supernatural, but anything rare would be considered valuable and a worthy gift.


Q

Hi Mr C

Hope you and yours are all keeping well and safe at present!

I’ve just reread The Arthur Trilogy and The Grail Quest during my isolation and I’m just wondering what the plans are for your next book and if you have any definitive plans for a new series?

Should we expect another Sharpe? Or have you another one-off novel in the pipeline? Or is there another grand series to look forward to (fingers crossed)?

Would love to read your version of the Norman invasion and/or your version of the 2nd Scottish War of Independence.

Have a Merry Christmas and best wishes for the coming New Year!

Patrick

A

The next book will be another Sharpe. I had planned something different, and that might yet happen, but I so enjoyed being back in Sharpe’s grumpy company that I decided to stay with him for a while longer.


Q

PLEASE, please, please, Sir,  In the Grail Quest you touch on the treatment of the Jews in both England and in Europe, now I would like to know more about why, how and the consequences.  You do such wonderful research and make these times come alive.  This is Not an idea for a book, just a plea to expand on your "teaser" which I found fascinating.  Haven't watched the Last Kingdom, as I have all the books and just can't see the wry humour coming through in a condensed script.  Thank you for the pleasure your writing has bought me.

Cheers,

Meredith Holla,

Australia

A

I’m glad it fascinated you and I’ve thought of going back and adding to those books so perhaps I can expand on that. In truth the treatment of Jews was pretty shabby almost everywhere, including England, but whether I can write a book round that theme, I don’t know. But thank you for the suggestion!

 


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell

 

Thank you very much for your books. I've just finished reading the Saxon Chronicles, and I'm very grateful for all that time I spent with lord Uthred and King Alfred the Great. Before reading your books I had no idea about the role of King Alfred in creating the English kingdom. Now he is one of my favorite historical characters and I'm very proud of the fact that Wessex royal dynasty (Alfred's legacy) was connected with Rurikids by princess Githa who, as you may know, found the new home in Rus and became the first wife of grand prince Monomakh.

 

My actual question is about the Uhtred way of thinking. Just like Galahad in Arthur books Uhtred thinks the world falling into darkness as he is surrounded by ruins of roman civilization which cannot be restored by Saxons or Vikings.

 

But what would he think about Constantinople if he had a chance to see that magnificent city?

 

In the times of Uhtred Constantinople was a capital of the Byzantine empire, it was still a great Roman city. It was also a center of eastern Christianity. The sight of Hagia Sofia and other churches inspired russian prince Vladimir to choose the Orthodox faith. So what would be Uhtred's and maybe Derfel's or Galahad's impression? Would these characters change their pessimistic point of view?

 

Please excuse my English. I don't have enough practice in Russia.

 

Best Regards,

Dmitry from Moscow.

A

Uhtred would have been astonished by Constantinople!  And impressed!  And there were connections between his England and Constantinople, but sadly he never followed them. They are brilliantly described in Cat Jarman’s book ‘The River Kings’, which you may enjoy.  And your English is a million times better than my Russian!  С новым годом!

 


Q

Dear Bernard

I wondered of you'd thought of sending Sharpe with Gérard and get him involved in the Belgian War of independence ? He'd be going up against the Prince of Orange properly this time.

https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Ten_days%27_campaign

A

I never have thought of it, but you’ve sparked my interest so we’ll see! Thank you!!!