Hi Mr. Cornwell, I recently read Sharpe's Battle, excellent as usual. Some questions, which you might not be able to answer as it has been awhile since you wrote it. I don't know if you remember me, still looking for a publisher for my Napoleonic series from the French perspective. Book 2 is nearly done! Anyway, I know it is fiction but you refer to French cuirassiers being at the battle of Fuentes de Onoro. I have been able to find no references to cuirassiers being at the battle. For most of the Peninsular War there were no cuirassiers in Spain except one regiment with Suchet in southern Spain. I'm not even sure if the British ever faced French cuirassiers except at Waterloo. You also mention the rifleman rate of march of 108 steps per minute (which the retreating 7th Division was using) as being faster than the French and the standard British step but the French rate of march was 120 steps per minute. The French were noted for their mobility. I don’t think the 7th’s escape was due to steps per minute but a well done withdrawal. Wellington considered Fuentes de Onoro a draw and noted that if Napoleon had been there, he would have lost. (I would submit that would have occurred far more often if Napoleon had bothered going to Spain). I agree with him that it was a draw and wouldn't chalk it up as a victory. Also, the British did try and stop the French breakout from Almeida, they didn't sleep! Their pursuing forces were ambushed by troops from the French VI Corps.
I sense in your replies about Starbuck that he is more on your mind of late, and that he might be the next book after this Uhtred that is coming out in October. Am I reading too much into your words? PLEASE put him at the top of your list. Just think of the happy readers and how you would stop being pestered about it! One last thing. Do you know why the Sharpe TV series is so expensive in the U.S? $236 even on Amazon. I bought it brand new from the UK for less than $30 including shipping, then bought a region free DVD player and saved $170! Granted you don't get the letter opener and wooden box but that's not worth $170 extra, I'm afraid. I hope fans who've wanted to buy it but are put off by the cost take that route. Plus having the region free DVD player means you can play all kinds of DVDs from Europe unavailable here. (like the original Four Feathers from 1939) Sorry about the length of this missive. Art