Your Questions

Q

Dear Bernard

Have you ever considered doing a Captain Chase Spin off from Sharpe ?

There is the fascinating Battle of Lissa in 1811 that most people have never heard off. Or You could send him to North America and fight in the War of 1812. Cockburn Campaigns at Washington and Baltimore are pretty fascinating and I think its such a shame you neglected the War of 1812. Even Patrick O'brien got Aubrey and Maturin to that conflict why not Bernard Cornwell  ?

If you've not read it, I recommend reading Andrew Lambert The Challenge on the Naval side of the War of 1812

Do you think you will ever return to your Hundred Year war Series. Nick Hook is waiting and  there are many battles post Agincourt to write about. Many British fans of your books and Military History Generally seem to think the War ended with Agincourt when in fact it had really only just begun

What if question, but if Henry the 5th had lived and faced Joan of Arc at The Siege of Orleans who do you think would have won ?

Have you read Jonathon Sumption latest edition Cursed Kings its very good

Regards

Geraint

A

I have not considered a Joel Chase spin-off, though he’s a character I like.  And Sharpe was too busy to get to the war of 1812 – sorry!

 

I have thought of Nick, done some research and I suspect it’s a strong possibility.

 

Well, Henry didn’t do too well at Harfleur, even though he won in the end, so I wouldn’t rate his chances against Orleans, with or without Joan.

 

 


Q

Bernard,

Love your books and have read almost everything you have written. However, imagine my surprise when in the middle of this book (A Crowning Mercy) my family name occurs. It is one I seldom encounter and I am curious to know how you associated it with Cromwell’s time. Did you come across it in research or was it just a haphazard choice?

Sir Richard Lapthorne

 

A

I suspect it’s a haphazard choice – when searching for a name I often resort to an index of a book, so I suspect that’s where I discovered the named – but which book? I have no idea, sorry!


Q

Dear Bernard

While Nelson of course is remembered and celebrated fir his victories such as the Nile and Trafalgar, what's less well known is his role at Naples. I wondered what your thoughts were on the subject. By modern standards it would be dubbed a War crime and even at the time he was condemned in Parliament for his actions. What is your opinion on the subject ?

Geraint

A

I don’t have an opinion as I know pathetically little about his activities in Naples, other than seducing Emma Hamilton – and I certainly wouldn’t disapprove of that.

 

 


Q

Dear Bernard

I wondered if you'd ever consider getting Sharpe to the rather forgotten Battle of Tordesillas 1812 on the retreat from Burgos . Souham had fought and beat Wellington in the small fight at Aldea De Ponte and he seems to have done the same here too. He had a very good record against Wellington  it would seem.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Tordesillas_(1812)

 

If you've not read can I recommend Andrew Bamfords book on Grahams final Campaign in Holland as something to read over Christmas. It would of course feature  The Prince of Orange pre Waterloo and tragically for Graham his final Action the Siege of Bergen Op Zoom which would end in bloody defeat.

I wondered if you'd ever been tempted to write a story set in this campaign at all ?

Regards

Geraint

 

A

I’ll spare Sharpe the tale of that retreat – and unless I’ve forgotten my own books he couldn’t be present anyway, being detained elsewhere.

 

I have the book and I’ll re-read it – but no promises!


Q

I just finished Fools and Mortals, and what a wonderful book it was.  Do you have plans on doing any more similar novels?  Perhaps Chaucer deserves a look?

I also hope all is well with your health, this must come before your writing and we are happy to wait.

Chris Horry

A

I don’t plan any more – sorry!  I have looked at Restoration Theatre, but that research hasn’t ended in a plan. Chaucer?  I Don’t see any opportunity there – not for me, anyway.


Q

Hi

I just wondered if you ever thought about writing a book based around the events of the Peasants revolt in 1381.

If so which side would you possibly align the main character with, plus you could possible link a couple of the characters to the novel 1356 or Azincourt.

Many thanks and it would be great to here back from you.

Chris Hall

A

I have thought about it, but never been greatly tempted. As for whose side? The Peasants!


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell

hope you are doing well.

My question is what time period do you most want to write a book series in. And also which English hero would you most want to bring to life in your books?

Thank you.

Keigan Spialek

A

It would be rhe Napoleonic period and as for the hero? The 1st Duke of Wellington.


Q

Dear Bernard

Sorry to hear about your recent ill-health  hope you well on the way to a full recovery. In your research for Sharpe have you come across "A soldier of the seventy-first, the journal of a soldier in the peninsular war"  This was originally published in 1819 and I found a modern reprint in a charity shop. Seems to be very similar to the refileman Harris diary so far. Goes from the South American campaign to Waterloo via the peninsular war.

Steven Shaw

A

I have the book on my desk right now – thanks!


Q

I’ve just re-read the first few volumes of the Uhtred series.  (Actually, this time I listened to them as audiobooks.)  It seems to me there’s a sometimes a curious threefold perspective that the reader has to engage in.  I wonder if you’d agree.

I’m thinking of the religious/philosophical conceptions.  So the death of King Edmund jumps to mind.  It’s re-imagined as a dare, and this is a bold and imaginative idea, and what the reality—which is inaccessible to us—was doesn’t matter.  The point is: what can be created out of what we have?  I think that’s an interesting approach, and already familiar from, for example, Robert Graves’s I Claudius.  (In truth, Claudius was likely as much of a thug as anyone at the time, but imagine that he wasn’t, and you get an interesting tale out of it.)

So the triple perspective—there’s the view of the nature of life and reality that Christian Anglo-Saxons might have taken; there’s the view that Pagan Northmen might have taken—and actually those are closer than might at first seem—but then there’s a third view.  This isn’t directly expressed in what anyone says but is situational: it’s the authorial view and it’s there in what happens within the action.  For both Saxons and Northmen the world is an “enchanted” place in which the marvellous can and does happen.  And they’re not necessarily hostile to each other’s conceptions (although some characters in the books can be).  The Danes are people who might be converted in the Saxon view.  To the Vikings, Christianity is perhaps, as the Swedish historian Anders Winroth has suggested, as much as anything, like silver, another exotic and prestigious possession richer cultures further south have that might be worth acquiring.  But the Dark Age Scandinavian warband, with that very practical, laconic attitude that one sees in the poem Havamal, thinks to put things to the test and see what happens.  King Edmund, when he sees how things are unfolding, would rather back out but can’t because (a) he’d lose face and (b) his captors wouldn’t let him.  Is Edmund’s faith wavering when push comes to shove and he has to _really_ think about it?  Or is it that he reflects that he’s been told God “moves in mysterious ways” and can’t be ordered to do this or that, and that God arranges what’s best from the Divine point of view, but that that may not be what he, King Edmund, would wish for?  High drama.  What a situation!

But there’s also the situational viewpoint, the view the author has, I take it—correct me if I’m wrong—this is that miracles don’t happen and Edmund must and will get it in the neck everything being as it is.  And so I think we see the situation simultaneously from three viewpoints at once.

Michael

A

Oh wow, I suspect you’re ascribing something much too sophisticated to me!  That doesn’t make you wrong – maybe I did it unconsciously.  My aim writing that passage was first to recreate an historical event and second to amuse the reader. That was all!


Q

Hi Bernard,

I hope you and your wife are both well and enjoying life.

I have enjoyed reading ‘ The Last Kingdom ‘  books and the TV series was excellent ( I recently visited Wareham as a result ), but my interest in your work started with your King Arthur stories ; I wanted to ask you if there is , or was previously , a possibility of them being made into a TV series ?

Thank you for all the enjoyment over the years.

David

A

There is a TV series - to be called The Winter King - in production now!  Once we hear the release date we will be sure to post it to the homepage of this website.