Dear Bernard,


You are easily my favorite author of historical fiction, and I’ve been reading history and historical fiction since you and I were about 10 or 11 years old. I’ve read most of your history-based novels (Uhtred’s saga, the Grail Quest series, Azincourt, The Fort) and thought they were excellent. The Warlord Chronicles are a superb and highly plausible retelling of the Arthurian legends (and I say this as a student of medieval literature!).

However, my favorite series is the one that recounts the adventures of Richard Sharpe. I discovered the Sharpe novels soon after developing an interest in (my wife would say obsession with) the military career of the Duke of Wellington, and I’m intrigued by the relationship between these two men.

I noticed recently on your website that no one has yet correctly identified Sharpe’s father. To me the most logical answer is C. S. Forester. You’ve stated that you started writing about Sharpe because you wanted to do for Wellington’s army what Forester’s Hornblower novels did for Nelson’s navy. And there are several tributes to  Forester in your work. Rifleman Matthew Dodd, for example. And the British naval lieutenant named Forester in The Fort. Plus, the fact that Sharpe participates in the battle of Trafalgar, which Hornblower missed, is a major tribute in itself.

If I’m wrong, I’ll quietly wipe the egg off my face while I’m waiting for your account of Waterloo to arrive from the UK. I’ll have more questions another day. In the meantime, Keep up the Great Work!


Bill Forsman