Your Questions

Q

I once conversed with a published author at the Oakbrook, IL Borders several years ago who stated he was working on a book about Vikings and Britain. Although he gave his name, I did not commit it to memory. I have since been trying to identify the author because his description of his project intrigued me and I would like to read his work. He said he was living in Oak Park, IL at the time. Please let me know if this could be you, or if not, if you might know of this author because of the similarity to your recent work. Thank you for your time. Rob Kepka

A

It's not me, but beyond that I really can't help! Sorry


Q

Sir. I have just finished reading the last of the Uhtred books cannot wait until 2009 your estimate of a new Uhtred book. Question: reading the books it became clear you are not fond of the early Christian clergy any reason? Yours D.D.Ingle.

A

um, delete 'early', delete 'clergy', add an 's', and you're there


Q

Dear Bernard, I doubt you remember me asking about the origin of Mildrith's name...now I have another name question. How is Aethelflaed pronounced? I am guessing Ethel-fled, but since I don't speak old English, it's only a guess. Please tell Sharpe, Uhtred, and the rest of the guys I said hello! Medrith

A

I do remember!

I think you're pretty close. I pronounce it Ethel-flayed, but have no idea if I'm right!


Q

Hi again, Mr. Cornwell. Here I must ask you to speculate a bit. What, in your opinion, would Sharpe think of modern warfare, soldiers with night and thermal vision goggles, assault rifles that fire 30 rounds before reloading, tanks with 120 mm main guns and 4 inches of armor, attack helicopters with mini-guns and rocket pods, unmanned killer drones, stealth fighters and bombers flying at Mach 2, sniper rifles that kill at a mile's range, aircraft carriers the size of small towns, and ballistic missile submarines with enough firepower to destroy whole countries? What would he like most? What would he like least? Alan Kempner

A

I haven't a clue! I think Sharpe would assume that, despite the amazing technological advances, wars are still won by putting boots on the ground and he'd want those boots to fit well. I note that in both the Falklands Campaign and in the Iraq War that bayonets have been used, so the old technology is still needed. I suspect Sharpe would love the Barrett rifle (not sure I've spelt it right), because it's a natural successor to the Baker. As for the rest? He'd still be the poor bloody infantryman who has to take and hold ground!


Q

I'm a little confused over the Susannah Kells name on three or four of your books. I heard/read somewhere that it was pen name for your wife and that you collaborated with her on these books (i.e. "A Crowning Mercy"). I've also read that it's just a pseudonym for Bernard Cornwell. Which is it?

Jack Douglas

A

My wife and I collaborated. Amazingly we didn't divorce.


Q

Dear Bernard In regards to future books or works I was wondering if you had ever considered Monmouths rebellion or the Jacobite wars at all???

You mention your next work will be a Uhtred novel, any chance of him involved in the actions around Chester and the Northwest with the Vikings???

And might I ask are there any good books you would recommend on Banastre Tarleton and Francis Marion at all??? Yours sincerely Tony

P.S If you have not read them both Richard Holmes new book on Marlborough and Joseph Whitehorn's book The battle for Baltimore are excellent reads.

A

I've considered both, plus about fifty other ideas, so will it happen? Honestly I don't know!

Probably not in the next book - I'll know more when I start to write it.

I don't know of any . . . . sorry . . . . I'd suggest putting both into Amazon's search engine and follow their leads!

I just started the Richard Holmes, and I have the other in the 'one day I'll read that' pile. Thank you!


Q

Mr Cornwell, hope you are well. No pressing difficult question for you today. I just wondered as a target shooter myself, what's your experience with firearms, you must have gone down the range some days while writing Sharpe to blast some smoke and shot with a Brown Bess?? P.S. when youre next in England drop me a line and I'll drag you down my range to meet some very friendly Sharpe reading, black powder blowy-upy chaps, and we'll see if you can do three shots a minute with a 'Bess in any weather condition. :-) All the best - great respect Andrew

A

I fired black-powder muskets a long time ago - too long - and then had the chance to shoot with a Baker rifle about fifteen years ago, so my experience isn't extensive, but enough to remember the bruised shoulder! And thanks for the offer!


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell, Thank you for creating several excellent book series. I've read and enjoyed all the Sharpe novels, the Grail stories, and the Saxon Stories. In my opinion, the Saxon stories are the best of all. There is an apparent error in Sword Song that bothers me, however. On page 63, Father Pyrlig removes Sigefrid's sword thumb. Later, Uhtred refers to Sigefrid as "One Thumb Sigefrid." Then, in the battle at Ludd's Gate and again in the final fight that frees Aethelflaed from the Danes, Sigefrid kills Erik.How is this possible? He has no thumb on his sword hand to handle the blade. No mention is made of his missing thumb! It would be interesting to know how this is resolved. Thank you, and I look forward with great interest to the next Saxon story. Meanwhile, I will content myself with a copy of Azincourt when it becomes available in the US. Tom Gill

A

I guess he had enough thumb left to grip? Can't think of another explanation


Q

Well like so many others before me I have finally finished the Warlord series! Amazing! The question now is what happens to Derfel? I know you've probably left that up to the reader's imagination, and it's probably not all that important, but perhaps Uhtred could find a manuscript or something, outlining Derfel's end, while raiding a monastery in Wales? Not that I would EVER think to suggest how/what you should write..... anyways looking forward to Azincourt. Cheers, Mike Bond

A

It's a good thought . . . . . and maybe? The real Derfel founded a church and monastery in western Wales, so I took huge liberties with him. I'll think on it!


Q

Hi Bernard, How you ever written a back story all about Hakeswill? I love the character and always wondered about Hakeswill's life from 1803 - 1812. His life in the Indies where he got his "colouring". What great stories there could be. Would you ever consider a fan based story that you could have on your website? Obviously with the usual disclaimers. Looking forward to your answers. David

A

I've thought about it . . . thought very seriously, as Obadiah is one of my all-time favourite characters. Will it happen? I wish I knew!