Your Questions


Hello Mr. Cornwell,

First of all I would like to say that I am a wild fan of your work.

Do you intend to write a book about pirates? I would love to read a story about Blackbeard.




It is very tempting....


Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I first read "1356" and was hooked (pun intended) on Thomas of Hookton.  He is a compelling character and I am enthralled by the history of the period as a result of reading that book.  So I've gone about this backwards and had to go back to the beginning of the Grail Series to experience the origin of the character.  Now I'm two books into the Saxon books.  Uhtred is a marvelously conflicted character and I'm looking forward to the remainder of the series.  Of course I had to have a look at Agincourt in the interim and there was one thing that struck me immediately: By your naming the protagonist Nicholas HOOK I  wondered if an unstated relationship with Thomas was being hinted at; not important, really, just curious.  So I have a new hobby, namely, to read as many of your books as possible except that it seems you are writing them faster than I can read them!

Best wishes.

P.S. Are you performing Shakespeare this summer?


I didn't intend to hint at a relationship - I took the name from the muster roll of the archers who really were at Agzincourt and it just happened to be the name I liked best and, by coincidence, shared the Hook with Hookton.


Yes!  I'm hoping to be back on stage at the Monomoy Theatre this summer.





Dear Bernard,

Firstly I would like to thank you for inspiring my love of reading, I started with the sharpe books which I still love. Obviously Sean bean was greatly cast for the tv role and this is what initially sparked my interest. However sharpe was left behind when I read the stories of Thomas of Hookton and Starbuck, and of course now especially since I'm from the north east and a regular visitor Bambrugh as a child, Uhtred I think is your greatest creation to date. I just wondered how you felt about the casting of Uhtred, no doubt a talented actor but I can't replace the image I have had in my head for years. I look forward to hearing from you.

Keep up the great work

Steven Forth


I think Alexander is doing a tremendous job, and I can't wait to see Season Two!


Hello! First of all, I'd like to start apologizing for any english mistakes. I'm brazilian, and even though I've been studying english for a long time (not to mention reading in english and movies/music/tv shows), I have never practice with any english speaker. I hope I can make myself understandable!


Second, and of course I need to say it, I love your books! Especially The Saxon Stories (and I'm looking forward to start The Sharpe Stories). One day I'll have all of your books on my bookshelf ;)


But currently, I'm reading "Waterloo". Now, I can't quote exactly because I'm reading it in portuguese, but it's about this passage: "Great Britain had just fought a war against the United Stated and most of its best regiments - veterans of Wellington's victories - were still across the ocean. They were coming back, and some battalions found themselves traveling directly from America to the netherlands" (I'm so, so, so sorry for this poor translation. By the way, there are some words missing).

What I want to know is this: in 1814, how long it took to travel from USA to Europe? I thought it was something about a month. But the american war ended in january, and Waterloo battle took place in june, so I can't really understand how the army was traveling still. Am I missing something?


I really hope I hear from you!

With the best wishes,



No, you’re not missing a thing!  It simply took time, a lot of time! To arrange the transports! Some troops marched north into British North America (Canada), others waited in camps for the transport fleets to arrive.


Greetings, Mr. Conrwell.

I hope you are doing well!


I believe I have sent you a message before, but I am unsure if this is the case. At any rate, I would like to say great praises to your stories. I was introduced to your works back in Mid 2011, my senior year at school. I read the first book of the Arthur Series, The Winter King, and was overjoyed to read a very gripping tale of fiction. I wasn't an avid reader at that point (having read only J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books until then). But thanks to you, I was able to get great inspiration as well as a good motivation to read more. My grandfather, being an avid book reader himself, recommended more of your works, and that's when I bought the remaining Arthur books, The Enemy of Good and Excalibur, and read them. I have only good things to say, and it is a great book that mixes lots of themes well, being Leadership, Compromise, Friendship, Allegiances and so much more. By 2014, I began reading The Saxon Chronicles, and dare I say, it is my favorite series of ALL time. The story is forged with blood, battles, betrayal and non-stop action, and I truly love it! I have all the 10 books so far, and I plan on getting the first 5 ones in hardcover (I am not sure, I am a great fan of hardcover books, and I consider it a sign of... "respect" to a series I like so much?). I truly love many characters in it, Uhtred, Gisela, Finan, Alfred, Aethelflaed, Ragnar, Leofric, Steapa, and so many others. I believe one of the best antagonists you have done (with the exception of the 10th book, as I have not read it so far!) is Skade, Cnut Longsword, Erik Thurglisson, and Kjartan. Skade and Kjartan for being cruel villains, who wouldn't think twice to torture their victims before death (Hell, Skade is seen flaying Edwulf, and it was a very striking scene to me. I am not sure why, but I see flaying/skinning as one of the worst tortures ever to exist, and I can't help but to love and hate the characters who do that.). As for Cnut and Erik, while not related, they seemed more like the anti-villains, two characters you can get used to and like their ideals, despite being on the "opposing team", and this is very nice for a story, as it is possible get behind the Saxons as well as the Danes, not being a "Black and White" moral fiction.


With all that said, I truly look forward to reading the Sharpe novels, as well as the Starbuck Chronicles, as the Napoleonic Wars and the American Civil War seem like great periods of time, and sadly, two that I don't know much of!


I have a few questions for you:

1 - The Arthur Series had not only a map detailing every location included on the series, but also a character list. I noticed the absence of that in The Saxon Chronicles, and wanted to know if you do plan on bringing this back on the newer releases? I say that because at times, we can't help to remember every character's name, and having a list of characters on an appendix really does help to memorize the ones present within the story. With that, see this as a personal "request" of sorts, as I believe a release of an appendix would be very much welcome to many readers!

2 - In the later books of The Saxon Chronicles, there is an "absence" of the year the story is set. It must be due to Uhtred getting old (can't blame him! haha) but I confess I am a person that particularly likes to pinpoint the years in which the story is set. With that being said, I would like to know if we could consider the dates the historical characters being on the series? For example: Ragnall Ivarson, that died on year 921 last I saw, and pinpoint that to being where the story is set in The Warriors of the Storm, or not quite?


Also, this is a nice little disclaimer: Your stories has motivated me into getting a new hobby: writing. I will of course, not request you to read the script, as my stories will be set in the present time, and it will be a much different focus as your stories take place, but rather, this is a way of saying "Thank you" for writing such amazing stories and motivating many youngsters to get the taste of literature, and bringing many veterans to appreciate the historical fiction.



Patrick Gainher


We'll keep that under consideration.


That sounds about right . . . I do try to mention the year, but perhaps it didn’t make it into a couple of the books.




I was just wondering if you could give one any insight into book 11 of The Last Kingdom series? I know The Flame Bearer came out a little while ago and you deserve a rest, but I am jonesing for my next hit of Uthred. Which really is your fault for being too good a storyteller!

I'm really looking for a date of release. Or possibly if you are feeling magnanimous a clue as to what to expect.

Finally (groveling horrendously) May I say thank you for the many happy hours I have spent in the world's you have created. Be it assaulting a gun inplacement with Sharpe or roundly abusing some Christian priests with Uthred I find myself most content.




Just finished Flame Bearer. When can I expect the next installment to be available in the USA? Love your books!

John Martel


Hello, I have just finished reading The Flame Bearer which I found as equally addicting as the rest of the series, and I realise it just came out but I was wondering roughly when the next one would be completed and published?

Thank you :)



Dear Bernard,

as we all know that usually every autumn a new book of yours arrives to make your readers happy, I would love to know what you are writing about currently. A new Saxon novel? A stand-alone? Please enlighten us!

Thanks and all best,



I have just finished The Flame-bearer with great satisfaction for Uthred.  My inquiry is what comes next?  I eagerly await.

Bill Brockman


I am currently not writing the next book of The Last Kingdom series - I am working on something else; but I'm not ready to say just what it is yet....


Hi Bernard,


Loved the Last Kingdom adaptation and thought the characters are really well developed in general. I did just have a question regarding Utred's motivation for raiding into Cornwallum despite the peace treaty, and his subsequent surprise at being castigated for this violation of previously peaceful relations. Was he merely in need of bolstering his gold reserves? And given his surprise at being punished, did he really think this would be seen as legitimitate behaviour in law-loving Alfred's land?


Any enlightenment would be great!



Mungo Haldane


Oh, I doubt very much he thought it legitimate. Such things tend not to worry him too much. Alfred might be law-loving, but at the fringes it was a very lawless society. He needed money!



Dear Mr. Cornwell,


I was recently introduced to your Saxon Stories series and have very much enjoyed the numerous hours of entertainment that you have now provided me.  Thank you for that gift.


As I immersed myself in the many vivid battles you described, I found myself asking the question, "Where are the siege craft?" Granted, I am only halfway through the books so perhaps my question will be answered with due time and patience.


I understood that siegecraft (ballista, mangonels, rams and the like) were used by the Danes in the siege of Paris in 885 and certainly these were present in the Roman Empire.  As Uhtred is a clever young dux bellorum, well schooled with the 'modern' art of war for his time and well aware of the benefits of French steel and trade, I am surprised that these have not been mentioned so far.


Siegecraft would seem to provide an opportune solution for Bebbanburg and, if not for the well, the now fallen Dunholm.


Many thanks for the fantastic stories.



They’re not mentioned because it seems the Danish troops in Britain didn’t employ them. They never succeeded in capturing a burh, which they surely would have done if they’d employed siege engines. Such things aren’t mentioned in any of the contemporary sources, and the conclusion is that they simply did not exist. Remember that to employ those engines needed a good deal of organization and expertise, and the rather free-wheeling bands of Danes in Britain appear to have lacked both.



Mr. Cornwell,

Thanks for all the excellent novels, I have read them all. My question is 'what is your opinion of Ossian? Real/False, good  Historical Fiction?

Mark David Gill


I think it’s fake, but only because everything I’ve read about Ossian advances that conclusion, but do I know for certain? No.  Confession: I’ve never read Ossian.


Dear Mr, Cornwell:


How do you go about ensuring that the dialogue in your books "sounds" so authentic to the time period?  A great part of the appeal of your work for me is that the dialogue seems to fit perfectly in the time-period, whether Anglo-Saxon England, the Hundred Years War or the Peninsula War.


Best regards,

Willem Gravett


Keep it simple!  It isn’t authentic, to be honest. The word Sharpe would have used most often is ‘fuck’ and I choose not to use that. Really, just keep it simple!