Your Questions

Q

Dear Bernard

It seems that they've recently found the body of General Braddock killed at Monongahela in 1755. I wondered if you had any interest the French and Indian War or its battles at all?  Or tempted by Rogers Rangers or Gage Light Infantry Leather Caps. This and not the Napoleonic Wars is arguably the 1st World War

Regards

Geraint

P.S if you've not read it, I highly recommend Fred Anderson's The Crucible of War a truly cracking read

A

My focus now is Sharpe's Command.  Not sure what will come next.....


Q

Hi again,

RS quote from Sharpe's Rifles:

'I was a quartermaster, but I did some fighting'

He was referring to Rolica and Vimeiro ....

Do you think we might read about this fighting in the future?

Best wishes

Dan

A

It’s a possibility – that’s all I can say!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell

Have started reading the Sharpe's books once again and enjoying them very much. However Sharpe's Tiger isn't really the very beginning of the series is it? You keep mentioning in the books about Flanders but never explain just how Sharpe became a soldier and met Hakeswill in the first place!!

Anne Burns

A

Flanders....perhaps a short story one day.....


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

thank you for countless hours of reading enjoyment. I've read every book you've written, the Sharpe series twice.

I just finished Sharpes' Assassin; a good read as are all your works.

But I'm concerned, with the fall of Paris will there be any more adventures with Sharpe and Harper?

My heart goes out to you for Whiskey.

And I thank you for sharing something so personal.

I too am an animal lover, specifically canines. I had a Golden Retriever for 12 years whose death I still mourn.

I hope you are well and look forward to the next Sharpe, Harper adventure.

 

An avid fan

 

Stephen Eide

A

I am writing another Sharpe book now - to be called Sharpe's Command.

And thank you for your kind thoughts - I still miss Whiskey too!


Q

Hiya, I have been thoroughly enjoying reading The Saxon Chronicles. I am currently on The Burning Land.  I like to read each novel deeply, paying really close attention and sometimes rereading parts. Everything has made perfect sense to me throughout all the books so far but I just have a few questions. Why was Uhtred’s horse called Smoca in Sword song but Smoka in The Burning Land? Also in The Burning Land it says that Haesten had escaped him 5 years before so I’m assuming there is a 5 year gap between book 4 and 5.  However Osbert Uhtred and Gisela’s 3rd child is only 2 years old and she was pregnant at the end of Sword Song, it does not mention timescale that seems not to align. I would be most appreciative if you could clarify.

Louisa Lennen

A

Smoca, Smoka ..... seems the author might have been a bit careless with the spelling....

Uhtred can't seem to accurately remember his children's birthdates (I can never remember how old I am either!).


Q

Mr. Cornwell!

My curiosity had grown too great, so I had to ask- are you aware of the profound inspiration the tv series of Last Kingdom has had on the Milwaukee Bucks organization in the NBA, specifically Jrue Holiday? Holiday has taken it on himself to evangelize his teammates to watch the show. It’s taken a strong root in the meme culture of the team right now as it makes another playoff runs, destiny is all, t shirts with players super imposed on the shield walls- the whole thing has been featured in local news and recurring in social media many times over.

I’m a Milwaukee resident (and lifelong Bucks fan) so to see this intersection of two beloved interests was an auspicious and unexpected delight. If the tales of Uhtred and company can help spark my team to back to back league championships, I will owe you an even larger debt of gratitude beyond your wonderful writings.

-Sean, a Bucks fan-

A

I did know about it!  Sorry it did not work out for you.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell

I am very grateful that you wrote all your books.  I believe that I have read and many times re-read them all, each time with the greatest enjoyment.

One question if I may.  Why did you decide to write some of them in the first person and some in the third?  I'm just curious.  Thank you for writing such wonderful stories and for taking the time to answer (if you do).

John McNamee

A

It's swings and roundabouts. You do lose something by writing in the first person- not just the suspense of whether the main character will survive (which he or she usually does even in third person narratives), but also the alternative points of view that can increase suspense - i.e. you can watch an ambush being laid, then watch your hero walking into it. On the other hand there's an immediacy to the first person which can increase excitement and pace. I don't think one is any better than the other - and though most of my books are third person I enjoy doing the first.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I've devoured the books of the Last Kingdom Series.  I've admired the brilliant way in which you have developed the storylines, and with them the carefully constructed characters of the protagonists and their interactions.  These have formed powerful images and expectations in my mind: Uhtred, Brida, King Edward, Stiorra, Sigtryggr, Father Prylig, King Constantine, and so many more ... I know it's just fictionalised history but ... Where did second son Uhtred get to?  Why have not only the storylines but also the characters been steered so fundamentally off-piste by Series 5?  What was wrong with what you had so meticulously crafted?

Yours sincerely,

Simon Mainwaring

 

A

I do not have any input into the TV series. Yes, they did make some drastic changes, but I assume the constraints of TV production dictated those and I enjoyed the series anyway! It’s rather as if you get a whole new Uhtred story, and why not?  And I am looking forward to the movie Seven Kings Must Die.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell

I am a huge fan of your work and really enjoy reading your novels and spending time in the company of Richard Sharpe, and Patrick Harper. I was delighted to see you return to Sharpe and I thoroughly enjoyed Sharpe’s Assassin. I would so much love to see Sharpe’s story continue and I was wondering if you ever considered the following historical events which could serve as the backdrop of a future Richard Sharpe story?

 

1823

The French Intervention in Spain

 

Historical Note:

 

Congress of Verona: 1822

  • Duke of Wellington was the UK representative and opposed French military intervention in Spain.
  • Despite UK opposition. Austria, Prussia and Russia allowed France to invade Spain to restore Ferdinand VII as an absolute monarch
  • The French force was known as the Hundred Thousand Sons of Saint Louis and led by the Duke of Angoulême
  • The invasion culminated with the Battle of Trocadero – 31st August 1823

 

 

1827 to 1829

The Greek War of Independence (Foreign Intervention part of the war)

 

Historical Note:

  • A wave of Philhellenism or love of classic Greek culture inspired many in Britain to support Greek independence. Lord Byron arrived in Greece to help liberate the country and formed his Byron brigade but died from illness (and excessive bleeding by doctors) in 1824.
  • On 7 February 1825, a second loan to Greece was floated in the City of London which meant there was a massive investment of money riding on Greece achieving its independence.
  • When Tsar Nicholas I succeeded Alexander in December 1825, George Canning sent the Duke of Wellington to Russia, and the outcome was the Protocol of St Petersburg of 4 April 1826.
  • George Canning wrote, rather than run the risk of Russia defeating the Ottomans alone, Britain would have to intervene to stop the "barbarisation project" as the British did not wish to see the Russians conquer the Ottoman Empire
  • On the 20 October 1827, the Battle of Navarino is the last major battle fought by sailing ships – a combined French, British and Russian fleet defeats an Ottomon/Egyptian fleet.
  • January 1828 – Duke of Wellington became Prime Minister.
  • August 1828 – a French expeditionary force landed in Greece (the Morea expedition)
  • 12 September 1829 the Battle of Petra, the last battle of the war of independence and the first time the Greek army used European style army tactics having formed into a regular army.

 

 

1830

The July Revolution

 

Historical Note

  • The three glorious days saw the French revolutionaries show amazing military tactics and discipline (mostly due to Napoleonic veterans)
  • The three columns of French soldiers sent into Paris, were surrounded and cut off by a series of barricades. Barricades had only been used briefly in the 1789 French revolution, it was the 1830 revolution that saw thousands of barricades erected all over Paris.
  • When the Swiss guards left the Tuileries Palace, somebody left the door open which enabled the mob to take the palace and thus effectively defeat Marshall Marmont.

 

 

1831

The French Foreign Legion

 

Historical Note

  • Founded in 1831, as a means of (1) dealing with all of the foreign soldiers still in France and (2) sending troops to French Algeria
  • Interestingly members of the legion swear allegiance to the Legion and not France.
  • The legion was made up of rogues, adventurers, and runaways.
  • Dark Green is considered to be one of the main colours of the Legion.
  • The legion saw action in French Algeria and then later in Spain.

 

Thank you again and I look forward to your next book,

 

Brendan from Dublin

A

I’ve considered the first, but doubt I will send Sharpe to that war.  I’d rather leave him happily at home in Normandy.

 


Q

Have you considered an older Sharpe, training up a new company of rifles to fight in the Crimean war. Perhaps where his son and Paddy’s son etc. are part of the new regiment. This may spawn a new series of historic novels, and hopefully a TV series

Michael Belshaw

A

It's not likely....I'm afraid the Crimea War just doesn't hold much appeal for me.