Your Questions

Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I have been waiting patiently for the next Starbuck Chronicle series, I last heard that were giving him a holiday, surely it's time to bring him back to life. When can I expect the next book, it's been along time in the waiting.

kind regards

Ian Newbold

A

I hope to return to Starbuck one of these days.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I have listened to the audiobooks for every one of your books and have enjoyed them immensely. I recently finished up the Saxon series and was confused as to why Uhtred of Bebbanburg became Uhtred of Bamburgh in the last two volumes of the series? I don't recall seeing this explained in The Burning Land and was curious as to the reason for the change. Thanks.
Phil Reedy

A

I honestly have no idea - it's Bebbanburg in the books so I can only assume that the reader or the producer preferred Bamburgh?


Q

Sharpe - Can he please retire in comfort surrounded by a loving family and with plenty of money in the bank?
Phillip Livingstone

A

I imagine he would like that....


Q

Bernard
I'm sure I read a quote in one of your historical notes from a French general after a battle along the lines of "they were beaten but did not realise it". It was such a great quote because it sums up one of our great qualities - doggedness. Can you tell me the correct quote and who said it? Many thanks. P.S - still hoping for a son of Sharpe book to take us into a new military era.
Philip Hoy

A

You did! It was Marshal Soult who said it after the (ghastly) battle of Albuhera in 1812 - it was a bloodbath, and Soult failed to lift the siege of Badajoz. The British and Portuguese were commanded by Beresford and they were lucky to survive, but the French also took horrific casualties and afterwards Soult said ‘the enemy was beaten, but did not know it.’


Q

Dear Bernard
Have you got any information about the possible translation of the two last books of Uhtred's adventures in French?
Regards
Christophe Koelie

Dear Mr Cornwell,
Leaving in Huy/Belgium, I'm reading your books in french. Why was "the swordsong" the last book from de Saxons stories translated in 2009 ? I'm really so disappointed !
Can you ask your "agent littéraire" to make more "lobbying" ?
Best regards
Margarete Balsiger

A

I'm sorry I have no news regarding French translations of the latest Saxon stories. Hopefully soon?


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell
Whilst my normal reading material would be termed as "factual historical" I have thoroughly enjoyed reading every book of yours that I have picked up. You paint history, and interpret the gaps to produce fascinating books. I have just finished Excalibur and have a very simple question. Do you consider it likely that you will add to this storyline to paint in the remaining story of Derfel following the final battle in "Excalibur "and what happens to him up to, during and possibly even after his cohabitation with "the Saintly Sansum"? Whatever the outcome please accept my thanks for a splendid series of books (Warlord and Warrior Chronicles and the Grail Quest, not forgetting Sharpe of course). Stonehenge is next.

Kind regards

Richard

A

No I will not be adding to the story.


Q

Hi again, Mr. Cornwell.
Is the new book you're going to write next year the first part of the Elizabethian series you've wanted to do?
Alan Kempner

A

Yes!


Q

Hi Mr Cornwell,
I don't want to waste your time, as I know you will be busy, but I was just wondering if there will be a follow up to 1356? I really do enjoy the books, and I would love to see more Grail Quest editions.
Thankyou,
Ben

A

It's not in my plans at the moment.


Q

Hi Bernard

This is not the first time I have written on here so I apologise if once more it is like the Spanish Inquisition.

Firstly it is my birthday soon and once more my present list is made up mainly of your books.
I notice often that you mention the influence of Hornblower in your work (particularly Sharpe) and it made me wonder 2 things, do you still read the books often, and secondly were you ever tempted to cheekily have Sharpe and Hornblower meeting in one of your novels? Would be an interesting meet though am unsure if the two would get on :-/.
When it comes to your novels do you normally have an idea come to mind, eg Starbuck - a Yankee fighting for the south, and then simply start writing or will you do some extensive research in the Civil war and the background, maybe even social surroundings of the era to give you a solid foundation to work with and potential situations/battles/campaigns to place your character in?

One final question, I recently read Redcoat and it reminded me of History A-Level at college. We did a module on America and our teacher was of the opinion that the War of Independence could have easily been won by the British (before France and Spain entered the war) had we had more compotent commanders. What are your views on that?

Look forward to your reply and no doubt will continue to enjoy your novels

Yours
Liam Murphy

A

I do re-read them, yes, and had the pleasure of writing forewords for the whole series when they were reissued a few years back. I’ve never been tempted to let them meet, mainly because there could be copyright problems with the Forester Estate. Probably not, but why give a lawyer a chance?

Research first! And you hope some story ideas spring out of that research. But it would be almost impossible to start writing a story without a fairly solid groundwork of research (though I admit I get bored doing it and tend to start writing long before it’s all finished).

Well, odd to say. But our commanders were, on the whole, more competent than their commanders! It’s not a war in which you find high levels of military competence on either side. I think there are two things. The Americans knew they could always trade space for time, and they did it again and again, just as the Russians did to Napoleon. The country was simply too big and the British only ruled those few patches they actually occupied. If the rebels massed somewhere else the redcoats had to abandon one patch to capture the next, and the rebels moved in behind them. The second thing is the surrender at Saratoga, which really was a shocking defeat to the British and, of course, that defeat was directly responsible for bringing the French and the Spanish into the war on the rebel side. The man who made that victory possible was, possibly, the most competent commander on either side – Benedict Arnold, and there’s an irony for you! During the war of 1812 the Duke of Wellington was offered command of the British troops in America which he turned down on the grounds that you simply couldn’t win there, at least not unless you raised an army ten times bigger than the one he had marched through Spain. So, could it have been won? Yes, possibly, if Saratoga had not happened and if the British had scored a crushing victory at the outset, but even crushing victories like Brooklyn and Germantown (and dozens of others) made no difference


Q

Hello, I wanted to know when you will publish the seventh delivery of Uther de Bebbamburg's adventures
Thanks and sorry because my english is not very good
Edward

Dear Mr. Cornwell,
at first I am a fan of your Saxon stories. These are the best books ever. Most exciting is the description of the war scene, it's written so detailed.
Now my question, when do you plan to write the next part? I hope that Uhtred will be find the way home to "Bebbanburg".
Best regards
Tom

I'm a professional (retired) military historian, and got hooked on the Sharpe series, although my interest in British military history began with John Masters. I did my dissertation on the Indian Corps in France in WWI. I'm also a retired American army officer. As such, I loved "The Fort." Anyway, I'm looking forward to your next Saxon Chronicles, if there's going to be one.
Jeffrey Greenhut

A

There will be one and you will have it soon! The next book of the Saxon series/Warrior Chronicles is to be called The Pagan Lord, and will be published (in the UK) in September.