Search Results for Uhtred

Q

I hope you won't be embarrassed by having an octogenarian fan, who incidentally was a fan of the real Richard Sharp 60 years ago! I have just read “Sharpe’s Assassin” – delighted he’s back!

I have also finished "War Lord" but the Epilogue was a bit previous (the appropriate northern expression). Æthelstan died in 939 just two or three years after the Battle of Brunanburgh. Olaf Guthfrithson returned to Eoferwic (York) as King of Northumbria and then conquered 5 boroughs of Mercia. After Olaf’s death in 941 Æthelstan’s brother and successor Edmund took back the 5 boroughs, then in 944 Northumbia, thus becoming the second King of Englaland.

And how did Olaf die? At the hand of Uhtred? And how did Edmund succeed? Impossible without the active assistance of Uhtred, but which Uhtred? Is Uhtred Ragnorson either too old or dead? Or is his son Uhtred Uhtredson the new Lord of Bebbanburgh? He was the “I” in the Prologue of “The Empty Throne” and been prominent in subsequent events?

I am sure that you already have these idea so I am not suggesting but requesting you make them your next priority. I was always disappointed that George Macdonald Fraser died before he had completed The Flashman Papers. You are younger than and I’m sure will outlive me, but I would be equally disappointed you had not completed the Saxon series before I die.

Richard Faber

 

A

I do not have plans to add more books to that series.


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Q

Hello,

This is a question I've had since I recently finished the Saxon Stories. In the last few books, Uhtred spends more and more time pondering his childhood. More specifically, he talks about advice his father gave him about war and strategy. It may have been me not reading close enough, but I cant tell which father he is talking about. Is it Uhtred or Ragnar? Both? I don't ever remember Uhtred talking about his birth father like he was an amazing leader, it always felt more like he was good but not great. Whereas Ragnar was portrayed as more of a warlord of legend. If you could clear this up I'd greatly appreciate it.

Ameen

A

I think he’s usually referring to his birth father.


Q

Hi Bernard,

Hope you are well? I recently listened to sharpes assain during a work trip and found my love for him reignited after focusing on uhtred for a long period.

First of all i wanted to comment on how amazing your research is and if you knew that the historical community holds you research in high regard? I was actually allowed to reference your historical epilogue for sharpe's honour as a source in one of my history assignments at University.

Secondly did sharpe ever tell jane the real cause of her brothers death? I know they wouldn't whilst he was in love but did he ever let it slip subtly at some point during there estrangement?

Jim

A

Almost certainly not!


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Q

Good morning sir,

I have enjoyed your Sharpe and Saxon series VERY much. I see many similarities between Uhtred and Sharpe. Their military prowess (and perpetual luck) is matchless in their own stories. Who do you suppose would be the superior warrior between the two? Let's suppose that both are in their prime and fully geared for battle. If Sharpe was to be transported from the skirmish line into Mercia as Uhtred is patrolling (but not already in danger), and they both decide that the other is a threat, what happens? Would one win, or would they expertly beat each other to a pulp, then ironically become close friends?

Thank you for all that you do!! Have a great day.

 

-Michael

A

They're as good as each other, which is all you'll get from me!


Q

Good morning, Mr. Cornwell!

I'd like to know, what happened to the Uhtred family in the next centuries (12-20) of history? How long did this family hold Bebbenburg/Bamburg?

Thank You.

András Kiss from Hungary.

A

On the whole they thrived, and still do.  They lost Bebbanburg in 1016 thanks to treachery, a story well told in the late Richard Fletcher’s excellent book Bloodfeud, Murder and Revenge in Anglo Saxon England. The family removed to North Yorkshire where they owned land. One fought at Crecy where he distinguished himself, another was a royal chaplain, and still another a professor of mathematics at Cambridge University where he is said to have designed the slide rule and evidently ‘died of joy’ at hearing of the restoration of the monarchy in 1660.  One branch of the family emigrated to western Canada in the early 19th Century where they developed mining machinery with much success, and that’s the branch from which I am descended.

 


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

Out of curiosity, what do you envision is the time frame between the end of The Winter King series (Derfel as an old monk) and the beginning of The Saxon Stories (Uhtred as a child)?

Thank you!

Caroline

A

The Winter King begins in 480 AD, so let’s assume the trilogy finishes in about 530 AD, and Uhtred’s story begins in the late 9th Century AD – so about 350 years.

 


Q

I have loved The Last Kingdom series (I wish there was one more book honestly to wrap it up).  Are there plans or have you thought of writing a book about Uhtred's ancestor that first came to Bebbanburg (as Uhtred mentions in the series)?

Craig Johnston

A

It's not in my plans at the moment....


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

I first wanted to say thank you for you amazing books. I loved the Saxon Tales and Uhtred is a great character, but Sharpe is one of my all time favorite characters and the Napoleonic era is one that fascinates me. After finishing Sharpe’s Assassins, I listened to your interview with Dan Snow on HistoryHit podcast and you said you’d like to do more on Sharpe. I was wondering if you’d ever go back to Sharpe’s first campaign in Flanders in 1793 under the Duke of York. I know this campaign was a disaster in many ways for the British, but I’d love to read about Sharpe’s first days in the army. I also must say Id love to see  the Duke of York as a main character, I found your portrayal of his brother the Prince Regent to be one of the best moments in the whole series. I was laughing out loud reading his sections. Julian Fellowes was amazing in the series too. Did you have as much fun writing those parts as I did reading them?

Last question is if you’d ever think of delving into Marlborough’s time and his campaigns against Louis XIV? I could see you having a lot of fun writing Queen Anne as you did the Prince Regent.

Thank you again for your books I have the Grail Series on my shelf I just purchased and will read as soon as I finish a biography of Edward III I’m reading.

Thank you

Jack Tilghman

A

Ah, Flanders!  It was certainly a lesson in how not to do things and Sharpe would learn a lot. I have thought of it, so maybe it will be written, but no promises. As for the Duke of York and his mistress, Mary Clarke? Why not – I’ll think about it!

 

I have thought about it, but am resisting the temptation. I’m getting too old to embark on a whole new series!


Q

Hi Bernard,

hope life is good..

I've noticed Uhtred increasingly looks for omens, and by War of The Wolf he's more superstitious than previously.

By the time he prepares to take revenge on Skoll he's searching for omens everywhere, and feels cursed.

What was it do you feel that is making Uthred increasingly superstitious? Could it be his increased age and a sense of judgement day approaching?

I find it fascinating how you have given your character such depth that there is a sense of increased vulnerability within him..

This is one of the finest series of historical novels I've read.

Thanks so much for writing them.

Best wishes

Toby

 

 

 

A

I think you’ve hit on most of the reasons – he’s getting old and feels more vulnerable so is constantly looking for omens that will relieve those worries.  Thank you!

 


Q

Hiya, I have been thoroughly enjoying reading The Saxon Chronicles. I am currently on The Burning Land.  I like to read each novel deeply, paying really close attention and sometimes rereading parts. Everything has made perfect sense to me throughout all the books so far but I just have a few questions. Why was Uhtred’s horse called Smoca in Sword song but Smoka in The Burning Land? Also in The Burning Land it says that Haesten had escaped him 5 years before so I’m assuming there is a 5 year gap between book 4 and 5.  However Osbert Uhtred and Gisela’s 3rd child is only 2 years old and she was pregnant at the end of Sword Song, it does not mention timescale that seems not to align. I would be most appreciative if you could clarify.

Louisa Lennen

A

Smoca, Smoka ..... seems the author might have been a bit careless with the spelling....

Uhtred can't seem to accurately remember his children's birthdates (I can never remember how old I am either!).


Q

Mr. Cornwell!

My curiosity had grown too great, so I had to ask- are you aware of the profound inspiration the tv series of Last Kingdom has had on the Milwaukee Bucks organization in the NBA, specifically Jrue Holiday? Holiday has taken it on himself to evangelize his teammates to watch the show. It’s taken a strong root in the meme culture of the team right now as it makes another playoff runs, destiny is all, t shirts with players super imposed on the shield walls- the whole thing has been featured in local news and recurring in social media many times over.

I’m a Milwaukee resident (and lifelong Bucks fan) so to see this intersection of two beloved interests was an auspicious and unexpected delight. If the tales of Uhtred and company can help spark my team to back to back league championships, I will owe you an even larger debt of gratitude beyond your wonderful writings.

-Sean, a Bucks fan-

A

I did know about it!  Sorry it did not work out for you.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I've devoured the books of the Last Kingdom Series.  I've admired the brilliant way in which you have developed the storylines, and with them the carefully constructed characters of the protagonists and their interactions.  These have formed powerful images and expectations in my mind: Uhtred, Brida, King Edward, Stiorra, Sigtryggr, Father Prylig, King Constantine, and so many more ... I know it's just fictionalised history but ... Where did second son Uhtred get to?  Why have not only the storylines but also the characters been steered so fundamentally off-piste by Series 5?  What was wrong with what you had so meticulously crafted?

Yours sincerely,

Simon Mainwaring

 

A

I do not have any input into the TV series. Yes, they did make some drastic changes, but I assume the constraints of TV production dictated those and I enjoyed the series anyway! It’s rather as if you get a whole new Uhtred story, and why not?  And I am looking forward to the movie Seven Kings Must Die.


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

I love historical fiction (and non fiction) and you have become a favorite author. Uhtreds story is the first one I ever read, but I’ve read Sharpe and the series about the archer too. I also read the one about Shakespeare.

I have enjoyed The Last Kingdom on Netflix, but as it always happens, it falls short of the books. I was wondering if you have ever thought of having it made into an anime cartoon series? I could see the Japanese liking the story. It’s just an idea I had and I really think it might be very successful. For one thing, your characters can be illustrated or computer animated to be exactly as you made them. I think the Mad Bishop would be a wonderful cartoon character. The old animated Hobbit turned out better than that farce of a movie they put out a couple years ago. Anyway, thank you for your consideration and time and your wonderful stories.

Lindsey Wehr

 

A

I haven't, but I guess I should consider it?


Q

I just heard that you Uhtred the Bold is part of your ancestry, as he is mine. Ealdhun is my maternal grandfather about 31 generations back. Watching the show has me digging deep into my ancestry and learning so much. I look forward to reading you r books and have told my brother about it as well as he is a much more expeditious reading than me.

Could I ask how Uhtred fits into your family tree? Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

Bradley Conley

 

A

I really don’t know too much about my ancestors – the Uhtred of the books is invented (though there was a man by that name in that period).  What I know was discovered by a member of my birth family.  The surname is distinctive enough to make them quite easy to trace through a tangle of records. I haven't double-checked the Oughtred family's research, but there is a genealogist in the family, and his researches do appear to be accurate, and we have records of the family stretching right back to the post-Roman period.  The family never lost its high status (an Oughtred was one of the founding knights of the Garter), and high status does often seem to go with such record-keeping.


Q

Hello there, and thank you for so many many hours of being able to lose myself In your magnificent storytelling. I'd just like to ask whether your own initial image of any character has changed after seeing an actor casted as a character in the TV adaptations. I know from myself, I read all the Sharpe books with a certain image in my head for Richard Sharpe himself, and initially found it strange seeing Sean Bean as this character. However, as the time has gone by, I don't think there has ever been an actor so suited to  role, or even actors suited to the roles for Richard Sharpe and Patrick harper. Oh and Dan Hagman,  also I found was incredible casting.

I struggle a little more with the casting of Alexander Dreymon for Lord Uhtred.  I don't know why, regardless of the amazing job he has done bringing him to life, I just imagine Uhtred as a larger, fair haired hold giver.

 

Many thanks.

Mathew Phillips

Wyrd bid ful araed

A

I’m quite hopeless at casting . . . and luckily there are wonderful experts who do a great job. I’m constantly amazed at the qualities the actors bring to their roles, and thus to the story.  And Alexander is superb as Uhtred!


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

I very much enjoyed the series, but one thing that perplexed and disappointed me was that Uhtred's patron(ess) disappears without a trace somewhere in the middle of the series and we never learn how he makes it to the monastery(?) where he presumably spends his final days, or at last writes his memoirs.  Why did you decide to abruptly terminate the frame story, if I may ask?

Alex Relyea

 

A

I thought there was an explanation of how Derfel (not Uhtred) disappears into the monastery, but I wrote the books so long ago that I don’t remember what it was. Sorry.

 


Q

Dear mr. Cornwell.

I have finished your well told story about your ancestor Uhtred, with love.

You say that you tell the story of the birth of England. As I see it, the battle of Brunanburh, is the moment when the seed 'England' is planted. Every thought about England, before Brunanburh is just dreams about planting a seed.

Two danish kings - Swein Forkbeard and Canute the Dane - came to the English shore and if Harthacanute, son of Canute the Dane and Emma of Normandy, didn't screw it up, England would still have been a part of Denmark today.

The Danish dream of the English throne, was finally extinguished in 1066 at Hastings. By my knowledge, Wilhelm was a hard lord, who took a lot of Saxon properties, so how can it be, that the lord of Bamburgh Castle could keep their property after 1066?

PLEASE, mr. Cornwell, finish the story about the Oak tree, that is known today as England. let your ancestors, the sons of Uhtred, tell the story!

With hopefull regards, Jens Eggert - a fan of a great Skald!

 

A

The short answer is that they didn’t keep it. King Cnut in a conspiracy with Earl Godwin took it from them in 1016.

 


Q

Reading this book (The Pagan Lord) again and noticed you make a brief mention of Kettil and Eldgrim having a friendship going "far beyond mere liking" and Uhtred threatening anyone who questioned it (very progressive for a 10th century Lord!).  Are we to assume they were lovers?  If so I think may be the only time in your books you have included a gay character, at least that I can recall.  Was this common in this era, I cannot imagine the Christian Saxons approving!

Chris Horry

A

I think you can assume it, and everything else you say is correct – the church would have disapproved, which may be one reason why Uhtred didn’t care. Was it common? I imagine as common in that era as in any other!


Q

Hello Bernard! I hope you're doing well. I wanted to ask you a question about Ragnar (Uhtred's adopted father). Would Ragnar have been saddened to see Uhtred and Brida become bitter enemies? Especially because he had once intended for them to be married.

Best regards,

Joshua from Ohio.

A

I’m sure he would have been disappointed, and consoled himself that fate is inexorable and sometimes sad.

 


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

I'm writing to you from Germany just to tell you, what a great Story you've been telling over the years. Starting in 2004, the first part was published here in 2007, guess i followed it since then or maybe 2008.

What was it, that made this story to be more than just another viking story? Well, i call it the speed. It was the undertone, the story was told in every single part. It began with the tone of an old man and his first memories of childhood were fury and fast, just as childhood can be. Followed by the tone of a young man (testosterone heavy) in the next parts and going on. Uhtred getting older, getting settled, getting self-assured. I never found this anywhere else. Great thing, thank you, Mr. Cornwell.

Well, just finishing the last part in 2021, i recognised on tv, that in Bamburgh castle there was found an old sword dating back to the 7th century. Found by Brian Hope- Taylor in 1960 and refound after his death in 2001. Well, this sword is unic but it was never mentioned in the saxon series. Wasn't it? I guess, news about it were published after the series was out. What i really would like to know from you: How does this feel?

I mean, imagine someone getting this story on paper. The many strong and wild characters, the places, the weapons... Serpentbreath... Negotiations with publishers, the initial release and then you realise, there was a sword buried in that castle and it was not any sword, it was made of six strings, not four, a sensation of that time and of our time, it isn't older than Serpentbreath could have been but so outstanding, that anybody must ask: "How come, that Uhtred doesn't knew??", it has found no place in that story..... I'm not mocking at you, please don't get me wrong. That's what i felt. How was it to you? Did you felt like it is in a way ironic?

 

All the best, stay healthy

Ulrich

 

A

I was simply delighted that the sword was found, and that it was a pattern-welded blade like Serpent-Breath. I didn’t feel any need to put it in the books – there must have been scores of such blades in Bebbanburg and it could have been any one of them. The only ‘weapon’ that exists and is in the books is the small knife (not much of a weapon!) that Uhtred misplaced at Bebbanburg, which I mentioned solely because the archaeologists exploring the battlefield were kind enough to give me a small knife discovered there!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I have always loved how the Uhtred books explore  the juxtoposition of Christianity and older Pagan (for want of a better word) beliefs. Have you ever considered a book about Penda of Mercia? As "the last pagan king in england" I've always been fascinated by his (barely recorded) story. A Pagan Angle allied with the Waelisc and bearing a brythonnic name raises all sorts of possibilities!

Dave Crook

A

I never have considered it, but you’re right – it does raise all kinds of possibililities, so consider it being considered now – but no promises!

 


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I'm still a huge fan of your books, and just now got to finishing the Saxon series. In War Lord, Uhtred counts Egil as his only ally and not even once mentions Sithric and all of Dunholm's might. So I'm just wondering what happened to Sithric?

Kind regards

jonas

A

I mentioned Sihtric in War Lord!  It’s true that he rather fades from the series, which is my fault, but he is there even if Uhtred rather rudely ignores him much of the time. And Sihtric is still Uhtred’s man, sworn to him by oath, so he’s not an independent figure like Egil, so not so much an ally as a follower.


Q

Your work has been of interest over the years and I have read some of your material (to about the fifth book?). It helps stir my own interest in the matter as well as my own family history, which I thank you for.

 

I write you today to ask about the family of Ravn and Ragnar the Fearless. Is this family, or anyone in it based on historical men/women? I cannot find such an answer online. Many seem to think that you fabricated Uhtred even, but as far as I can tell he is based on Uhtred the Bold and is directly related to you, thus your inspiration for the story.

 

Thanks for your time and work!

Tyvar Ingeberht

A

They’re really fictional, only their names are taken from history.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I'd like to start by saying I am a huge fan and you are my favorite author. I'm an avid reader and love historical fiction and you are just the best. I've read most of your books (I'm working my way through the Sharpe novels rights now) and have gone through the Uhtred and Thomas of Hookton series twice.

I have a bit of a personal question for you... and feel free to ignore me! I've noticed that you do so well with the religion of your characters. Uhtred is a worshipper of Thor and Odin in a Christian world. Thomas of Hookton is an educated bastard. Sharpe is essentially and atheist and yet can be very superstitious and believes in fate. The most evil of all your characters are the very strict and legalistic priests, especially the Dominicans who torture Thomas. And some of your best characters are the priests who know how to compromise (like Pyrlig and Beocca).

Here is the question: What is your personal religious background and belief? I have wondered this for years and you clearly are well versed in Catholic and Anglican belief systems. Super personal and probably offensive to ask, but I am a Christian myself and would love to know.

Thomas Allen

A

I am a non-believer.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I am Giacomo Cecchin, one of his passionate Italian readers.

I am writing to thank you for Sharpe's latest story: it is truly magnificent.

I missed Richard Sharpe and Patrick Harper, and although I have strong sympathies for Boney and the French, I find them really interesting.

I just add two things:

1) The feature that I like most about Sharpe is that he is a 3D character that is not perfect: he gets angry, kills and does everything that an English officer of his time would have done (and maybe even something more ).

2) Will there be more Sharpe stories? maybe he can't tell me but I'd like to read more and who knows if Sharpe doesn't decide to go to Italy too. In this regard: have they ever contacted you from Mantua to participate in Festivaletteratura www.festivaletteratura.it ? Meeting you would be a dream come true for me.

Thanks for everything you wrote (I loved the Grail trilogy very much) and best regards.

Giacomo Cecchin

 

Mr. Cornwell,

I’m a great admirer of your novels. I think, to date, I’ve read all of them. I just finished (“devoured”) your latest “Sharpe’s Assassins” in two days flat. I’m a history buff and I’ve learned quite a bit of history through your novels. I particularly enjoy the historical notes at the end of each of your historical novels where you set the record straight. I a curious to know if we will see Sharpe and Uhtred again or maybe you will present us with a new hero/character in a new series???

John Balian

A

Thank you.  I think my next book will be another Sharpe book.  And I'd love to return to Italy some day!


Q

Hi Bernard -

I am Chris, a 32 year old aspiring writer from Canberra, Australia. I found your work a couple of years ago when TLK first made it onto Netflix and immediately started to tear through the written series (loved the last one by the way, Fantastic!). I am currently writing a fantasy series, that started out as a Historical Fiction and evolved from there. I have been re-reading your TLK series again for inspiration, I'm taking more time this read through to focus on arcs, particularly the friendships of Uhtred with Leofric and also Brida. But mainly I find it difficult to write fight scenes. I find you are able to describe them so effectively, and your work has helped me to improve in this area so much! I was wondering, when you write a fight scene, do you have a process for planning the fight out before you start to write? Do you play it out physically with somebody else, or some other process to visualise the action, or are you able to come up with it as you go just with an end result in mind?

Appreciate you taking the time to read this

Again, love your work Mr Cornwell, thank you so much for all the inspiration and countless hours of entertainment!

With regards -

Chris Edwards.

A

It probably won’t help to say it depends on the fight. If it’s the description of a real action, say the Battle of Salamanca, then I follow the historians and embroider onto their accounts the actions of my fictional characters, but if the action is entirely fictional I make it up as I go along, with constant revisions as it develops.  I like not knowing how such sequences will end (though I’d be astonished if Sharpe or Uhtred lost), and I suspect that uncertainty gives an added tension to the narrative? As for visualizing the action – it’s all in the imagination.  If it’s a large battle then you must begin by making sure the reader has the geography in mind so they can follow the movements, but after that you’re free to focus in on individuals and describe what they see, hear, smell, feel and do! Read John Keegan’s great book – The Face of Battle – which will tell you what the reader needs to know!


Q

Dear Sir,

I have much enjoyed the Uhtred series, all the way to The War Lord.

I am left with a vexing question - why is Gisela never mentioned as being in Valhalla, as opposed to all the lords Uhtred fought with and against? Are women excluded?

All the best,

Marie-Claire Perrault

A

They’re not excluded – a heaven without women would be hell! Though admittedly Valhalla does seem to be a male preserve (other than the Valkyries), so Gisela probably went to Helgafjell which was a mountain where the goddess Freyja ruled over a feasting hall open to both genders.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell

 

Thank you very much for your books. I've just finished reading the Saxon Chronicles, and I'm very grateful for all that time I spent with lord Uthred and King Alfred the Great. Before reading your books I had no idea about the role of King Alfred in creating the English kingdom. Now he is one of my favorite historical characters and I'm very proud of the fact that Wessex royal dynasty (Alfred's legacy) was connected with Rurikids by princess Githa who, as you may know, found the new home in Rus and became the first wife of grand prince Monomakh.

 

My actual question is about the Uhtred way of thinking. Just like Galahad in Arthur books Uhtred thinks the world falling into darkness as he is surrounded by ruins of roman civilization which cannot be restored by Saxons or Vikings.

 

But what would he think about Constantinople if he had a chance to see that magnificent city?

 

In the times of Uhtred Constantinople was a capital of the Byzantine empire, it was still a great Roman city. It was also a center of eastern Christianity. The sight of Hagia Sofia and other churches inspired russian prince Vladimir to choose the Orthodox faith. So what would be Uhtred's and maybe Derfel's or Galahad's impression? Would these characters change their pessimistic point of view?

 

Please excuse my English. I don't have enough practice in Russia.

 

Best Regards,

Dmitry from Moscow.

A

Uhtred would have been astonished by Constantinople!  And impressed!  And there were connections between his England and Constantinople, but sadly he never followed them. They are brilliantly described in Cat Jarman’s book ‘The River Kings’, which you may enjoy.  And your English is a million times better than my Russian!  С новым годом!

 


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Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I have recently started reading your books on Anglo-Saxon England with Uhtred. In one of your interviews about your book War Lord, you mentioned that you read a lot Saxon poems.

I was curious what poems these would be? I'm developing a deep fascination for the Saxon era and wish to learn more about the stories from that time.

Thankyou very much for your time and hope you are keeping safe in these crazy times.

Kind Regards,

Max Tatton

A

There’s a lot of Anglo-Saxon poetry available – both in the original language and, mercifully, in translation. Perhaps the famous poems are The Wanderer and The Seafarer, while for a battle story there’s Beowulf and The Battle of Maldon,  I do like Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf, while the other three I’ve mentioned should all be contained in any decent anthology of Anglo-Saxon verse.


Q

Dear Bernard

I have read and loved all the books of Uhtred. thank you so much for creating them and bringing to life a period history that I barely knew existed.  I'd love to learn more.  Could you recommend a history book that would cover the early history of England. Maybe a few hundred years either side of the period you've written of. Or even a bigger book! if there is some thing wonderful.

Thank you again

Best Regards

Aziz

A

This is a good general survey which covers the whole period of the Anglo Saxons up to the Norman invasion.  There are other books which go back farther, but I suspect   Britain after Rome: The Fall and Rise, 400 to 1070 by Robin Fleming is what you’re after!


Q

Hi Bernard,

 

Longtime fan of the books and TV series of both Sharpe and Uhtred.

 

Just finished Assassin - thanks!

 

Have you read my favourite novel "The Skystone" by Jack Whyte which tells the beginning of the Arthurian legend?

 

Regina

A

Yes!  And I also enjoyed it!


Q

Hi there!

I'm currently re-reading the Saxon Tales and I recall you stating that you have direct lineage to the family of Uhtred of Bebbanburg and I was very curious as to how you were able to track your ancestry! I have been attempting to track my ancestry for years but I can only find definitive records as far back as the sixteenth century. I find it so interesting that you're able to connect yourself to a family from a millennia ago!

Sarah Whitaker

A

I really don’t know too much about my ancestors – the Uhtred of the books is invented (though there was a man by that name in that period).  What I know was discovered by a member of my birth family.  The surname is distinctive enough to make them quite easy to trace through a tangle of records. I haven't double-checked the Oughtred family's research, but there is a genealogist in the family, and his researches do appear to be accurate, and we have records of the family stretching right back to the post-Roman period.  The family never lost its high status (an Oughtred was one of the founding knights of the Garter), and high status does often seem to go with such record-keeping.


Q

Dear Bernard,

I have two questions (if that’s allowed). I’ll keep it short. One is sensible, one is.. not so sensible. The sensible question:

The battle of Hastings, has it ever been or ever will be in your plans as either a stand alone novel or series?

The not so sensible question:

A prime Uhtred of Bebbanburg and a prime Richard Sharpe are drinking in the same tavern. They get into a brawl. Who are you putting your money on?

Best wishes,

Luke

A

I have given Hastings some thought....but it is not high on the list.

They're as good as each other, which is all you'll get from me!


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

I do not know how to begin this message, but I felt compelled to contact you. I am a 23 year old male from Houston Texas and I have fallen in love with your Saxon Tales series. I am an engineer by profession, but I have always loved history and reading and I have never experienced a series of books that interest me so much. Your series has quickly become my favorite of all time. I am currently on book 11 in the series and I look forward to reading it every night before bed. The way you show the progression of Uhtred's life in a realistic way I find very interesting. I feel like I am actually sitting and listening an elder tell me a story about his warrior days. It makes me sad to hear in passing from Uhtred when a character like Beocca or Ragnar the younger. However, I do appreciate this way of informing the reader of their deaths because it makes it feel more realistic. Most people in real life do not go out with a dramatic sword to the back. I do have a question about Odda the elder. I apologize if I have missed this, but I do not recall a resolution to his character in the books. What happened to Odda the elder?

I could write all day about things that I like about the series,  My favorite book so far is still the very first one.

Thank you,

Michael Diaz

A

In truth I have no idea – he sort of faded out of the books and the TV series made a lot more of him. I suspect he died of old age.

 


Q

Hi, Bernard.

Over the years I have been an avid reader of almost all your books. It all started with a given book of one of the Sharpe's series. I especially enjoyed your books that had characters of the "Long Bowmen". This has led me on a crusade to form some study of the Bow. It seems incredible that the big war bows had a pull of 130lb plus. Now I have a question that you may have heard of the answer to. It refers to the "Bodkin arrow". It was said that it could pierce plate armour, But to do this it had to hit directly square, otherwise it would glance off. In 2011 I was on holiday in Northern Ireland & visited Carrickfergus castle in Belfast. On display there is a collection of some long bow equipment containing Bodkin Arrows. I entered into a discussion with the curator there & we talked about the arrows. I mentioned about them having to hit square to penetrate, otherwise glancing off. He said that they overcame this problem by putting a small ball of wax on the tip & this evidently solved the problem. Have you ever heard of this in your researches?

I would like to thank you sincerely for many hours of fascinating reading & a great deal of history lessons. I have just finished the final book in the Uhtred  of Bebbanburg, "War Lord". I hope Netflix make it the final to the :Last Kingdom Series"

Kind Regards,

Dave Green.

A

I’ve never heard of the ball of wax and I’ll try to discover more.  A bigger problem was that the bodkins were often made of inferior steel and simply crumpled when they hit, but there’s no doubt that the warbow could pierce armour when the arrowhead was made by a smith who knew his business.

 


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Q

Hi,

I just finished reading the Saxon Chronicles, although I tend to think of them as the Uhtred Saga. I would love additional books about Uhtred, Finan or really anything regarding the Anglo-Saxons, Danelaw, Vikings in Britain, etc; however, I recognize you have previously said you're unsure about that.

 

My actual question is about things you mention in your historical notes: that the pre-Norman conquest history of England is often overlooked, even in England. I was wondering if you have any idea why that is?

 

In high school (USA) I had a literature class where we read Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and the Canterbury Tales (all translated to Modern English). One of the things I liked about that class was that it was as much about the historical context as the literature itself, which is also why I appreciate that you include a historical note with each novel!

 

Take care,

Liam

A

It seems to stem from the assumption that English history began with the Norman Conquest in 1066.  The pre-Norman period is taught, or was when I was at school, but sketchily, and it’s only after 1066 that the curriculum became more detailed.


Q

Loved the Last Kingdom series from the first book to last and it has inspired my thirst knowledge of all things late Anglo-Saxon period. Just reading Marc Morris' superb new(ish) book "The Anglo-Saxons" and in the section about Athelstan he refers on several occasions to an "Ealdred of Bamburgh" - especially in respect of the gathering in Cumbria that Athelstan integrated. Is this same person as Uhtred? Is Ealdred merely an alternative name for Uhtred in AS times? Intrigued as Michael Wood also referred to the same event in one of his TV programmes and clearly referred to "Uhtred of Bamburgh (or Bebbanberg).

Phil Whitehead

A

Ealdred was a son of an Uhtred, but I try to explain the name’s prominence by naming a character after him in War Lord.  I was rather trapped by insisting that the eldest son was always named Uhtred (many were, but not all), so I had to do some tricky work to get round that.

 


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

 

I'm currently reading "The Flame Bearer" (Saxon Stories, Book #10).

 

In the last couple of books in this series, as Uhtred ages, it occurred to me that he's like Odysseus - a great warrior, but as likely to outwit his adversaries as to outfight them,  always trying to get home (Bebbanburg), etc.

 

Did Odysseus cross your mind at all as you created Uhtred and plotted his journey through life?

 

Thank you for decades of wonderful books and countless hours of reading pleasure!

 

Sincerely,

 

Susan

A

I fear he didn’t – maybe he should have, but he really was no inspiration.


Q

Hi Bernard,

as a 13 yr kid watching Sharpe got me into your books. I have at 41 started re-reading the books in chronological order, I feel that there is room for a new series. I am currently watching Rifles and feel that after reading India, Denmark, Trafalgar etc, that sorting put a new series would be awesome (sure you get this all the time).

Telling the story of Sharpe from his Origins (as a kid) to an officer would inspire a new generation of young people. Sharpe epitomises the struggles of society that still echoes today. Add in new elements and it could be modernised to a certain extent.

Please tell me a new Sharpe could be in the offing (though replacing Bean, would be hard)?

Well I don’t expect a response, but I hope in the future a new Sharpe series could be done with anyone but Netflix (don’t have a subscription) not caught up with Uhtred since it moved from BBC.

Carry on writing and even after 28 yrs

These books still resonate.

Steve Millar

A

I don't know of any plans for new Sharpe films.


Q

Hey Bernard,

Over the past few months I've started reading your last kingdom series, its been a major driving force in reading becoming a big hobby for me. I just recently finished Warriors of the storm so I don't have many books left to go until the end!

One of my favorite recurring characters so far has definitely been Haesten but I guess I won't be seeing him anymore! I was curious did you always plan for him to die in the way he did? I was hoping he would last until the end of the series and become one of Uhtred's final challenges, especially until at least this point I think he was the most recurring antagonist and always managed to find a way to escape.

I also recently took a trip to Chester while reading Warriors of the storm so it was really interesting to be able to walk along the roman wall and then have characters mention it in the book.

I also loved the final confrontation between Cnut and Uhtred, the whole battle was so intense and the ending to Pagan Lord has been my favorite so far.

At least up until the point I am at in the series there always seems to be a one on one fight at the end of each book, without giving spoilers past Warriors of the storm if possible what are your favorite 1 on 1 confrontations you have written?  My two personal favorites are Ragnar vs Kjartan & Uhtred vs Cnut.

I'm excited to finish off reading the rest of the series and to see what happens to Uhtred. I look forward to hopefully hearing from you but I understand you are busy! I love the series!

Kind Regards

Kurtis

A

Sorry about Haesten!  Not sure that I have a favourite – except possibly Sharpe versus Lanier at the end of Sharpe's Assassin – I know that’s the wrong hero, but when I was writing that chapter I told my wife ‘Sharpe always survives what I throw at him, but I’m not sure I can get him out of this one.’

 


Q

Hi Bernard.

I’m a big fan of the Uhtred series and have been going to Bamburgh and the surrounding areas on family holidays for 30 years. I was wondering if you have drawn a map or picture of Uthred’s Bebbanburg I would love to see how you thought it looked.

Patrick

A

I don’t have a map or a picture, but you can take the castle’s present outer walls and imagine them made of great oak-trunks instead. Then put the Great Hall roughly where the present keep is built.


Q

Hello Bernard,

firstly I’d like to say I’ve really enjoyed the last kingdom series. The Netflix series doos not do the novels any justice what so ever. Secondly is it likely that we might hear more about Finan, before he meets Uhtred? Lastly thank you very much for taking the time and the effort to write such fantastic work. I’m incredibly grateful

Best wishes

Drew Smith

A

I am not planning to add more to the series, but I'm glad to know you enjoyed the books!


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

Hope this message finds you well. Just wanted to thank you for the hours of entertainment. The Saxon Stories have become my favorite books and re-awakened my childhood passion for reading, specifically historical fiction. Uhtred is an extremely interesting and relatable character and his dynamic with Alfred was intriguing to say the least.

I know that you are done with Uhtred (and rightfully so - I love how his story ended) but you do that era so well! Have you considered another series in Saxon England, or following any of the other Germanic people of the era (Carolingians? early Normans? something set in Scandinavia?).

Thanks again!

Jordan Kinsey

A

I’m not sure I’m entirely done with Uhtred, though that might be wishful thinking. I haven’ considered another series in Saxon England, but might fill in some of Uhtred’s story. Or I might not. Don’t know.


Q

Hello Bernard,

It was near a year ago that I wrote to you about my father who had read all your Sharpe books.

You actually emailed him and told him of another one coming soon. Thanks for that.

Since then, I was given a copy of The Last Kingdom. I was dubious that anything could rival Sharpe and at first I did not read it. No offence. In fact, take it as a compliment. I just didn't want to be disappointed. However, one day, I felt as if that book called to me. I took it out and looked at it. Then began to read...

To me, at that time in my life, it was even better than Sharpe.

I was once a naive and very skinny 17 year old boy in the Royal Marines. Scottish too. I’m not given to fancy but there have been times in my life - and I hope in yours too - where the world does not hold so tightly to it’s solid foundations or rules, and reality peels a layer or two to show us something else.

Uhtred and the old gods opened up something in me. As an innocent child, I was forced to be a catholic by my parents. I did not like it. I hated the morbid pictures of saints and the “son of god” dying on a cross. I remember that. It gave me an unsettling feeling. Their tedious prayers and beliefs quelled a natural fire in me that, as I read about Uhtred, realised was still there and wanted to burn again. Perhaps it was the simply the right time, but the Last Kingdom Books opened up old memories, possibly of an ancestral nature, that made the candle light grow into a flame. It might sound strange to you, but my legs seemed to become more solid and more connected to the ground.

You may laugh, or raise an eyebrow when I tell you I had a bronze hammer amulet made up by a Norse craftsman whereupon the old fierceness and power I’d felt as a child before I was confirmed to the “nailed God” came back to me. My life and circumstances have improved markedly since reading your books and having my amulet. Of course, it’s down to my choices and actions, but these have been affected by the power that surged through me. It filled me up. I performed a small ceremony around fire to renounce christianity completely. I saw it fly off me into the smoke swirling around my body - and then I laughed. The next day I swam in the clear blue sea here in Sydney and cleaned myself of all those old beliefs in sin and shame which did me no service and instead subjugated my true nature under feelings of guilt and repression the Ragnar Lords would have belly laughed at. My humour has come back to me in the most useful and wonderful ways.

And so, for this I thank you. You had a part to play.

I think you can tell much of the nature of a person in how they write. Little clues, subtle intuitions or visions come through at times - I like to stop reading at those time, close my eyes, and let the message through -  I wonder sometimes if you are not Merlin himself in another time.

I have not read your Arthur Books, yet.

I’m saving them for when I return to the UK. I will take a trip to Cornwall and Wales and read them there. I get a strong feeling in the celtic regions and so it’ll be more enjoyable there.

There is one question, I would ask you - I hope you will answer me.

It is simply, have you read Mary Stewart’s Merlin Trilogy?

And what you thought of those books, if you had.

That is all.

And thanks again for sending a message to my dad. He couldn’t believe it. We had a good laugh about this. He was also very pleased to hear another Sharpe novel was being written. As was I.

I wish you and your family all the best,

Stephen

A

I have not read it – when I wrote my own Arthurian stories I deliberately avoided all other novels about the Matter of Britain, with the exception of T.H. White – I didn’t want to be influenced.

 


Q

Hello!

Your Saxon Chronicles books saved my sanity during lockdown!  I cared for my mom for many years and wasn’t able to read much.  After she passed, I was adrift!  Then I found TLK on Netflix!  I needed to know more so I devoured the 12 books in three months!  Amazing craftsmanship!

My question is:  who is the woman Iseult mentions as being Uhtred’s shining light?  Many claim it was Aethelfled, but I thought it could be Bernadette.

Thank you for these beautifully written books!  If I were still teaching, I’d do study guides for them as I love history and great literature!

Holly Stevens

A

Uhtred would probably say either Gisela or Benedetta,

 


Q

Although it is somewhat difficult to say goodbye to Uhtred, I look forward to the new Sharpe story and wish to thank you for returning to him.   Unfortunately Sean Bean is most likely too mature to portray a 'young' Sharpe, perhaps you might be enticed into writing some stories about a more mature Sharpe that can then be transferred to the screen? Hopefully allowing the original actors to return to their iconic roles.

Dan McCarry

A

Sean was the perfect Sharpe, but whether he’d want to take Sharpen into his dotage? I doubt it.

 


Q

Hi,

I have a question about your writing. Why/How did you decide to write the Last Kingdom series through Uhtred's perspective only versus switching POV's (like from King Alfred to Uhtred to Æthelwold, etc). You have a big world, so I'm asking how did you make that decision? Or, what factors helped you to decide? Thanks in advance!

Alex

A

I rather got into the habit of telling stories in the first person after trying it with the three Arthurian books – which I enjoyed writing so much that I abandoned third person. You’re right, of course, that the third person gives more freedom to describe other characters, though some readers find the changes in points of view a bit off-putting. I do find first person easier, though it can get tedious writing phrases like ‘I later heard that . . . .’ . Perhaps it’s because the protagonist’s voice comes through much clearer?


Q

Dear Bernard!

Despite having countless women, Uhtred (according to my count) “only” fathers four children in his lifetime. What are your thoughts, are there more and they go unmentioned, did Uhtred take active measures against spawning more offspring or did it simply not fit into your story that he’d have more? I’m especially curious if you think he’d have any “random” illegitimate children without his knowledge.

Best wishes and thank you very much for your books

Paul

 

A

Oh he has many bastards, so many it's not worth mentioning.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I am on book 3 of The Last Kingdom series (after a recommendation from James Dellingpole)  There was a discussion going on his chat (which is nominally Christian) about whether Uhtred was fashionably anti Christian or not. Someone commented that the Christian characters are like modern day snivelling civil servants.  I don't think i quite agree and while as a Christian i don't quite feel i'm in the same safe pair of hands that i am reading say CS Lewis or Tolkein i accept that the protagonist narrator is a pagan and accept seeing the world through his eyes and here and there the Christians are seen in a 'redeeming' light.  Overall i enjoy the books and feel i have got over my slight hestiancy over whether i should be letting your narrative voice into my inner being !  I hope that doens't sound precious but reading for me can be intimate and i am sensitive to books that are (especially today) filled with politically correct virtue signalling and some of this is often (for example) pro Islam and anti Christian - eg films and books about the crusades.  I do NOT think you are guilty of this and i am enjoying the books immensely.  However i am led to assume that you are substantially more sympathetic to the pagan view point.  I hope you are self critical enough to know that often modern ideas of paganism can be grossly romantic though i don't think you're guilty of that as your books seem pretty realistic.  I am curious to know what your response to this would be and i think us Christian sympathtic readers who you have not quite alienated would be interested to know to what extent your writing is a reflection of your world view or to what extent you feel they are purely written from the perspective of the pagan Uhtred.  But i actually meant to just ask you for some good history books covering the period of the Last Kingdom so i could understand more about this fascinating period.  I live in Northumberland so am in the midst of the setting of these books.  3 or 4 really good books covering this period but if possible focusing on Northumberland especially in relation to the followers of St Cuthbert and also how Northumberland and it's leaders related to the wonderful King Alfred.

Thank you for your time

Dan Ashton

Northumberland

 

A

I don’t think Uhtred is ‘fashionably’ anti-Christian – he’s perversely anti-Christian, which is a perfectly reasonable stance designed to rattle cages. Christianity, to him, is a new religion and usurps a much older tradition which he clings to not because he’s a passionate believer, but because he dislikes the new religion – it’s too prescriptive, too fanciful and inimical to his destiny. And how much of that reflects my views? Probably more than I care to admit.

There’s a new book published called The Anglo Saxons, A History of the Beginnings of England, 400 AD to 1066, written my Marc Morris and published by Hutchinson – It’s a splendid account and I suspect its bibliography will point you to other sources on Northumberland.


Q

Hello Mr.Cornwell

I hope you are having a good day. My question is would Uhtred's fortress of Bebbanburg still be active around during the reign of Cnut the Great in 1016. Also what do you think Uhtred's reaction would if he ever visited to the Rome.

Tevin Daniels

A

It was still formidable which is why it had to be captured by deception rather than by siege. And I suspect Uhtred would have been fascinated by Rome, hugely impressed by its ruins and somewhat saddened by its dilapidation.


Q

Dear Bernard

I hope I find you well.

(Sadly) I have just finished War Lord. I say sadly as I will miss the exploits of Uhtred & Co having followed his path from the very beginning from The Last Kingdom to Warlord. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole Warrior Series (and others you have written).  As Uhtred has now become my favourite historical fictional figure, taking over from Horatio Hornblower(!), I was pleased to read that you did not "kill" him (or dear Finan!) off at the end of your book.  No doubt I will read the whole series again as there is so much to take in.

I also found your comments at the end of the book about the period of great interest.

Sad to read despite all his efforts poor old King Athelstan only lived 3 years after the great Battle of Brunanburh and Anlaf returned to rule Northumbria & Mercia for a short period before King Edmund drove him out. I wonder what Uhtred, if he had survived (or his son) would have made of that?

One fascinating fact. If Uhtred fought with Alfred at the Battle of Ethandun in 878 and he was around 20 years of age, by the time he finally fought at Brunanburgh in 937 some 59 years later he would be almost 80!

You and I met very very briefly at the Winchester when you attended their History weekend a few years ago. You signed my copy of "Waterloo" - which I am happy to say I have read once again. At that time, I suggested a character for a new series of books for the future you might consider – William Marshall. He had such a long and eventful life that you could easily do another long series as you did for Uhtred – only this time it would be more factual than fictional. It would even be better if it were written in the first person like Uhtred as it would be fascinating to read what he thought of the 4 Kings he served and the turbulent time he lived in.

I wish you well and thank you the books you have written (and continue to do so) which have given me hours and hours of enjoyable reading.

Andrew Weldycz

 

A

So long as the family held onto Bebbanburg (which they did), Uhtred and son would put it down to perverse fate. Wyrd bið ful āræd!

 

A number of people have made the same suggestion and Marshall is an intriguing and fascinating man. I can’t promise to yield to the temptation to write about him, but the temptation is there – so who knows?


Q

I was determined not to be this person.  I have read all of the questions and comments on this site and have seen over and over people asking for more Nathaniel Starbuck, and over and over again your reply that it was not likely.  So much so that I only read them out of desperation for more of your books having read everything else.  I wasn’t even going to read them because I didn’t want to find myself here begging for more.  That being said and knowing the answer to the question of if you will ever bring him back, I would like to know why you are no longer interested in continuing that series. I have many theories.  One being that it is kind of politically incorrect at the moment to have a confederate hero.  I am somewhat conflicted myself having grown up in the south where there was a lost cause love for the southern cause (of states rights).  To now being a fully educated and informed adult realizing that it was a cause better lost than won, and that romanticizing the southern plight has only lead to a prolonging of problems within the nation.

Thank you for your time,

Whitfield Brackett

 

 

Hello Bernard,

I have to ask a question that you are probably tired of answering , are you planning on finishing the Starbuck Chronicles? The series is some of the best I have ever read about the American Civil War and although I know it has been 25 years since the last book in this series I am have just now finished the first 4 books. Great stuff to say the least.  I have read every single book series that you have written (all within the last year) and you are now one of my all time favorite authors , not trying to blow smoke just telling my truth.  I do see that you have another Sharpe book coming which is fantastic news , I watched the TV movies a couple of times before reading the books (which were as usual when comparing a book to a movie or TV series so much better) and eagerly await the new one.  I also cannot wait for the new Uhtred book (The Saxon Stories) , I am assuming that it is coming sooner than later?

But back to my original question , will you be completing the Starbuck Chronicles? I and am sure many others truly hope you do. They are brilliant!

Sincerely,

Robert Nelson

 

You really need to write another Nathaniel Starbuck book.  One of my favorite book series.

Paul Kroth

 

Do you intend to let us know what becomes of Nate Starbuck?  I've been immersing myself in American Civil War literature, particular historical fiction, because I (unfortunately) see many similarities to that era and the present times, and after reading the Starbuck Chronicles to date I am left wondering what happened to him. I really appreciate your portrayal of him: not a comic book hero, but very human, yet heroic at the same time. I, for one, would really enjoy it if you chose to return to the series and continue it, but I also understand the tightrope any author would be walking in the current climate if writing anything that even resembles the slightest praise (or even a lack of condemnation) for anything "Confederate".

John W Theisen

 

Hi Bernard,

I expect you stopped reading at the subject as I do not suspect but know that you have been asked this question a hundred times before... nay a thousand. You could give me the same three word answer you give them "Rule nothing out" However, just between us you do know if you are ever likely to return to him. You may not want to commit yourself but as I am just a nobody fan who has read everything you have ever written and have been doing so for what seems like most of my life and will continue to do so for what remains of  that life it would not commit you to anything to tell me your gut feeling on the subject. Indeed I would understand when the "my=use" has gone it has gone. There have been many wonderful stories since and I pray many more but I would dearly love to know if I can maintain a brief hope or if I must resign myself to the fact that Nate has ridden his last.

Thank you for you consideration and may I once again thank you for many many hours of adventure and history.

Yours sincerely,

Stuart Dangerfield

 

Dear Bernard

Now that you’ve completed (?) the Last Kingdom books (which are even better than the Sharpe novels, though the Arthurian books remain my favourites), when are you going to return to the Starbuck series? They seem very truncated! I’ll also be interested to see how you deal with a hero who inevitably must end up on the losing side.

Thanks for all of your work, most of which I’ve read more than once.

Cheers

Nigel

A

I’m not certain I can give you a coherent answer – I think Starbuck just rather faded with me and I don’t have any real interest in finishing his story. I know that’s unsatisfactory, but there it is. I suppose that could change some day?

 


Q

I have loved many many of your books.  Will there be any further tales of the great Lord Uhtred or is he out to pasture?

Roeney E Brooks

 

Is the war lord book the last in the series of the last kingdom?  I've read a lot of your books and really enjoy them

Simon Cromwell

A

The War Lord is the final book of The Last Kingdom series.


Q

Just about to start reading War Lord. Will be sad to see the last of Uhtred. Not sure if you have "naval" interests but would love to see you writing about the RN in the Napoleonic War times - I am sure you would rival Patrick O'Brian and Alexander Kent if you put your mind to it!

Barry McNamara

A

I doubt I'll ever write another naval story - they're incredibly difficult because you can't shift characters out of each other's way - they're all stuck on board a ship. Writing Sharpe's Trafalgar hugely increased my respect for CS Forester and Patrick O'Brian.


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Q

Mr. Cornwell:

My name is Sam Tyndall and I am from the United States. Let me start out saying my wife and I are big fans of The Saxon Stories and The Last Kingdom programme. I know your protagonist is fiction, but loosely based on historical accounts. I have read that you are a descendant of Uhtred the Bold and in doing research I have traced my lineage back to the Tyndales of Northumbria area and around the Tyne River. It is suggested that the Tyndales intermingled with some of Uhtred’s clan but I can’t find any proof of this. Uchtred, Lord of Tyndale whom married Bethoc Canmore of Scotland and lived around 1100 is as far as I can go. His sons were Uchtred Fitz Uchtred and Robert de Tyndale. I’m sure the name may have been common, as in Michael or David today, but maybe there is a shared connection. Adding to the mystery is the timeline, as Uchtred was born around 1074, long after Uhtred the Bold passed and leading to the slight possibility that Uhtred’s offspring may have intermingled with my family? Descendants of The Tyndales also spread from Northumbria to Ireland with a faction of the clan settling there. My DNA profile (if you believe those) is overwhelmingly Scottish, northern England and Northern Europe (Denmark).  I was just curious if, in your research, you came across any known links to the two families.

Thank you for the entertaining reads. Many blessings to you and yours.

 

Cheers,

Sam Tyndall

A

Sorry – I haven’t come across any such evidence, but as two prominent northern families it would be odd if they didn’t coincide somewhere.

 


Q

Hi Mr. Cornwell,

I just want to say a huge (and belated) thank you for giving us the Warlord Chronicles. I was just ten years old when i started reading them and now I'm 21 and doing a degree in Medieval History. It was your stories that first got me interested in Anglo-Saxon England and i honestly don't know what I'd be studying now if I'd never come across them (probably something incredibly dull!)

I know we've probably seen the end of Uhtred, but would you ever consider writing about Anglo-Saxon England again? I'm sure your fans would love to hear about Uhtred's grandchildren for example!

Arman Razak

 

Hello Bernard,

I just finished War Lord and I am both melancholic to see Uhtred who has been with me since I was five and my mum read me the Lords of the North every night before bed and happy to finally get to see his story end. I am now twenty-three, I wear an amulet of Thor around my neck and when I am afraid, I always clasp it and ask myself, "what would Uhtred do?" I thought your choice to end his story with Brunanburh was perfect and I remember years back when you first introduced Æthelstan I wondered if that was where Uhtred’s story was leading. The question I had was whether you had the aspirations to make any further novels in the Anglo-Saxon period? I think of Æthelred the Unready and his son Edmund Ironside being faced by Canute the Great. Surely the Lords of Bebbanburg continued to rule in the 11th century? Even if you do not, I think these stories have done something great. I major in History at Carleton University in Ottawa and my studies have been in no small part inspired by years of reading your novels and I imagine there are many others who have fallen in love with history thanks to you. Looking forward to reading Sharpe’s Assassin and thank you for inspiring me down my educational path, I don’t know where I would be if I had not read your books but as Uhtred would say, wyrd bið ful aræd.

Warm regards,

David Damas

 

A

It’s possible!  I never know what I’ll write in the next couple of years, but I do sometimes like to revisit old characters so I won’t totally abandon thoughts of Uhtred. No promises, though!

 


Q

so, there i was enraptured with your series when i get some information on my family history that includes the names thorkil and uhtred. and while many of my family sites claim to have been there around the time of william the conqueror i was wondering if you had encountered the name cleveland, cleaveland, or de cliveland. i know you have much better and more important things to do, so thank you in advance for seeing this.

 

i am a cleveland descended of moses who came here in 1635; the northern branch. i actually met someone who was from the southern branch (cromwell's mistress) as a traveling notary - go figure;)

 

from of all places, tempe, az.....

sincerely,

tom hencz

A

I’m so sorry, but I haven’t – though I do have close friends called Cleveland and I’d be delighted to find they’re relatives! Thank you!

 


Q

Hi.

Just a big thank you as a dyslexic child of the 70s I only ever read one book. The machine gunners by Robert Westhall. At 15 I was lent the first Sharp, I read it (hard when you struggle) it went straight on my Christmas list for a reread. I have had everyone of your books for Christmas or birthday when they come out since. I now read other authors but always yours first. Looking back I think unexpectedly for me the Warlord Chronicles are my favourite but also can't wait for Thomas and his bow to get back into action. I know you repeatedly say no more Starbucks, so please don't leave them both. I probably would never have read another book without sharp so thanks again. Please keep going.

Kind regards

Ian

 

Thank you so much for the adventures of Derfel and Uhtred.  Truly two of the greatest protagonists to come out of literature.

Regarding other great protagonists...would you consider, at the least, a short story that might provide closure to the Starbuck Chronicles?  Having grown to care for the characters it would soothe my mind greatly to have a vague idea of where they found themselves at war's end.

Thanks again for the hours of entertainment, distraction, and inspiration.

Shep

 

 

A

Thomas might pull his bow again, though I think Starbuck is in for a long retirement, sorry!

 


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I have recently started the Last Kingdom Series and I am really enjoying it. It's a period of history I've found fascinating for a long time. I have one question that's been bugging me a little-- not in a bad way, I just can't stop wondering. Finally, I realized I could just ask you!

The Dane who adopts Uhtred is named Ragnar. This could cause some confusion, since a man named Ragnar was also the father of several other characters in the book. You fix this problem by calling them 'the sons of Lothbrok'. It isn't what they would have been called in history, but saying 'sons of Ragnar' would make us think of the wrong Ragnar.

My question is-- why did you name Uhtred's adopted father Ragnar? Are you just a big fan of the name? Is there some historical precedent I've missed?

I'm dying of curiosity to know your thoughts!

Last of all, thank you for your time, and for writing these wonderful books I cherish. The Warlord series helped me get through the isolation of COVID and I'll be forever grateful.

L Cohen

A

A name plucked more or less at random, and yes, I should have chosen another because it is confusing.


Q

We do understand a lot about the formation of the so called "church" that was in Rome that is actually a very wicked deceitful lie. We really like how you expose the hypocrisy. We do get very annoyed and angry when characters like Hild says to Uhtred, " don't kill him he is a man of God" which he is not. He is an apostate follower of satan. We were wondering if you are aware that during that time, those who were members of the true Body of Christ how they were murdered and killed by this apostate false copy. There is a great book you can even read online called "The Pilgrim church" that tells the true church history how the body of Christ since its birth was hunted down and killed by the fake evil church, The Roman Catholic church. Kings back then were not anointed by God even though they claimed that. They also proclaim false teachings like the 10 lost tribes of Israel which are and never were lost. The apostles and Christ spoke about the 12 tribes. Anyhow, we really enjoy how you mixed history and made a great story out of it. I am a history buff and love history. What is funny when the so called queen and king, Alfred and his wife call Danes pagan, they are also pagans them self! They are unbelievers that follow a false God. Anyhow, my husband and I cannot tolerate organized religion. It is evil and apostate and even now is a falling away. I had another question about my favorite catholic priest, Purlig. When he blew on Uhtred when he was baptised again, where you making references to Benny Hinn!! Hee hee! it was hilarious. I told my husband, his guy has observed "Benny the Hunn" I call him doing his religious fake crap when he blows on people! I wanted to know that too. Thanks so much for writing such a thorough in depth adventure.

Desma Jones

A

I hate to disappoint, but I wasn’t aware of Benny Hill’s blowing trick, sorry!  Nor am I sure that the Christians of Uhtred’s time were followers of Satan, which seems a bit harsh. I’m no lover of the church, but their sins were mortal and mainly motivated by greed and ambition. The church nevertheless did enormous amounts of good work, whether looking after the sick or sheltering orphans.  I imagine that the history of Christianity has always had a tension between greed and the desire to live a Christ-like life, and it’s probably still there.

 


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Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I wanted to reach out and tell you how much I enjoy your stories! In fact, you are probably my favorite Author of all time.  Your imagery craft is astounding. We like a lot of the same things. (adventure, intrigue, history, fighting and women). Not necessarily in that order. From a small age I was always drawn to knights fighting glorious battels. Sometimes I wonder if I should have been born in 1400, sword in hand and wind on my face, or under a stifling helmet. This could be a secret but who is your favorite hero? There are so many to chose from. I am drawn to the time period of Uhtred but Sharpe is my favorite by a mile. I am a commercial real-estate broker in Richmond VA with 4 boys. Thanks again for all your work!

Isaac

A

I think it has to be the first Duke of Wellington!

 


Q

It's taken a while but here it is the last the last Uthred was perfect  thank you. As for time scales check out Aubrey his last ten books were questionable to say the least and Flashman made it to Rourkes drift, (the word fiction is the clue).

I am starting Sharpe from the beginning again next  AWSOME.

Just to clarify Defel beats Sharpe (just ) then kicks seven shades out of Stabuck and is narrowly beaten by Uhtred who is then bested by Steappa.

I have just finished G M F WW II biography and wondered if you are as in awe as I am?

Mike Davidson

A

Totally in awe – and for anyone who hasn’t read George MacDonald Fraser’s second world war memoir – Quartered Safe Out Here – it’s a terrific read!!!

 


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Dear Bernard,

It is probably every authors wish to produce a "page turner" to enthrall and stimulate their readers. You certainly do this, but not all authors have this ability.

I myself am guilty of skimming forward on a novel to see what is going to happen next. I profess that having got my copy of War Lord i skipped to the end to see if Uhtred and Finan had made it to the end. Then i could relax and enjoy the novel knowing he was going to be victorious over his enemies.

We all love a happy ending

I have watched like a lot of people the end of the series of "Game of Thrones", but unlike your books the tale has not been completed by the author and there are at least two more books to come.

I have no doubt that George R R Martin has supplied HBO with a plot outline for the ending, but would you like to write novels that someone else has already finished for you?

I'll stop bothering you now, i would'nt want to slow down the release of your latest pager turner!

 

John B

A

No, I don't believe I would!  I regard other stories about Sharpe (such as the episodes on TV) as apocryphal, which means I try not to contradict them, but at the same time don’t feel constrained by them.

 


Q

Why isn't Aelfric, as the younger brother of an Uhtred, named Osbert?

Howard

A

The tradition only applied to the elder brother – the rest could have any name.


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Sir,

I have finished all 13 of Saxon Tales and the Grail Quest books to include 1356. Amazing writing and stories, your historical Note at the end of each book is wonderful.  I am now starting the Arthur Books.  I know the 13th book of the The Last Kingdom/Saxon Tales is the last of that series but will you be bringing back Thomas of Hookton?  I hope so, like Uhtred, he is a special character.

All the best, stay safe and healthy.

Jim Soiles

 

A

I am not planning more for Thomas right now


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Dear Mr. Cornwell;

Like many of your readers, it was both a pleasure and an emotional culmination to read the last words of War Lord, quickly followed by listening to them read by Matt Bates (whose voice so clearly resonates in my head as that of Uhtred), The series is my all-time favorite and I find that I would like to have a proper set for my bookshelf.  I would love to see a leather-bound commemorative set created, or at least an attractive matching set in hardcover.  Can you tell us if any such plans are afoot?

Thank you for the many hours of blissful reading (and listening).  My best to you.

Douglas Lambell

A

I am not aware of any plans for it....but maybe that will change?


Q

At the risk of taking up some of your valuable time I firstly wanted to thank you! I’ve read all your books except the Sharpe books (I’m about to start them!) and quite frankly I’m speechless! I started the last kingdom series when a difficult period of my life began (which also hasn’t ended yet), however working my way through Uhtreds story, then Derval’s, Arthur’s and Saban’s! your books have helped me keep my head above water and honestly keep my life on track! Uhtred and Arthur, although they have their flaws (as all good protagonists should) as you tell their stories, they are men to be revered.

Having said that my most burning question is will we ever hear from Thomas of Hookton again?

As he did not die at the end of 1356, It seems a shame to hang up Thomas’ bow (or at least Thomas’ family’s story!) there is undoubtedly more cathar treasure to be lost?

If not Thomas then perhaps a continuation where we see his son Hugh move through the ranks! Then even Hugh’s son?

Where the warlord chronicles clearly had the storey told in the trilogy, there’s so much more of the Hundred Years’ War to tell, and specifically through Thomas and his descendants! I understand every story must have it’s end, but I can’t help but ponder whether there is more to Thomas’s tale? Is his tale and/or any potential continuation from his sons/grandsons totally out of the question?

 

All the best,

 

Tom Pratt.

A

I am not planning more for Thomas right now...but you never know.....


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I first discovered your writings with the Warlord Chronicles during my interest in the Arthurian legend stories.  I loved how you took what we know historically and wove the tapestry of historical fiction, bringing to life an ancient tale.

Then I discovered the Saxon Tales/Chronicles which I have greatly enjoyed these many years.

Before or just as you begin to write your novels, to what extent do you create backstories for the core characters and events as you/we follow Uhtred’s journey?  Do you develop a chronology before or during the writing as the main narrative progresses?  If so, how detailed is it?  Do you primarily allow the historical facts as you discover them provide all that you need to develop the story?

It seems at times Uhtred knows exactly what is happening and planned, then at times he is surprised as an event unfolds to which he must adjust.  These adjustments are serendipitous events as the story moves along and reaches its climax.

Thank you.

Michael Dotson

A

I should have back-stories for them, but usually don’t. It’s only when the plot gets into an inextricable mess that I try to develop a back story, though usually that doesn’t help at all. As for historical facts – I treat them with utter carelessness because the story is the most important thing, so accuracy often flies out the window to be replaced by imagination.

 


Q

Afternoon Bernard,

I’m currently reading my way through the Last Kingdom (Warrior Chronicles) series. I wondered about your choice of writing in first person- from the point of view of Uhtred. Why did you choose this method, and not say, in an omniscient way which would have given an insight into Alfred and other characters from their point of view. It works brilliantly by the way but I wondered if you felt like you became limited in some ways? Thoroughly enjoying them, being from Durham.

Peter Groark

 

A

I rather got into the habit of telling stories in the first person after trying it with the three Arthurian books – which I enjoyed writing so much that I abandoned third person. You’re right, of course, that the third person gives more freedom to describe other characters, though some readers find the changes in points of view a bit off-putting. I do find first person easier, though it can get tedious writing phrases like ‘I later heard that . . . .’ . Perhaps it’s because the protagonist’s voice comes through much clearer?

 


Q

Hi Mr. Cornwell,

I will keep this brief as I am sure that you get untold thousands of these messages. I have just finished reading the Last Kingdom series of books, I have enjoyed many of your books and series over the years, I have also read the Warlord Chronicles, the Grail Quest series, 1356, Agincourt, The Fort, and 5 of the Sharpe books, I plan to read the entire Sharpe series, but having two small children it may be a couple years before I can get to all of them. Having said all of that every one of the characters in your books brings a unique experience to the reader, that makes reading your books a real joy. I must say that Uhtred is my favorite character of the many great characters you have been responsible for bringing to life. I started reading the Last Kingdom series when I was in high school, and Uhtred really became like a brother to me. I sat and reflected over the many hours I have spent enjoying these books over the years after I finished War Lord, and I just want to thank you! You have added color and untold hours of enjoyment into my life through your books and Uhtred specifically (Thomas Hookton is not that far behind him on my list). I do have a couple questions for you and I am sure these are not unique to me, but while reading War Lord the Saga of Beowulf is mentioned and it dawned on me how similar the great Uhtred and Beowulf were to each other. I know the Last Kingdom was your retelling of the forging of Englaland, but did you gain some inspiration for Uhtred from the saga of Beowulf? Was his story in some way a retelling of the great saga of Beowulf? Please don't take offense to that question, I hold that Uhtred is a greater character than Beowulf in literary history, and am in no way accusing you of anything other than being the greatest writer of historical fiction alive today.

Lastly I am sure you get asked this a lot, who is your personal favorite of the characters you have brought to life in your books over the years? Or is that too much like picking a favorite from amongst your children? If you can't answer that, allow me this question for you. Which of the characters has been the most enjoyable to write over the years? Thank you again for all the long hours of deep enjoyment you have given to me through your writing, I have truly benefitted from your books. When my two year old son is of age I will introduce him to Uhtred and I am sure he will be to my son what he has been to me all of these years. Please don't think me too much of an earsling for my basic questions, and how long I have gone on.

 

Blessings,

Ben

A

I can’t see the parallels, but am hugely grateful for your kind words! And yes, I did get some inspiration – mainly, I think, the realization of how old (ancient!) Beowulf was when he fought his last fight – which helped take some sting from Uhtred’s old age.

 

I have many favourites!  Sharpe, Uhtred, Derfel and Ceinwyn from the Arthurian trilogy.  Aethelflaed, and Lady Grace from Sharpe's Trafalgar, and, of course, the wondrous Obadiah Hakeswill.


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I suspect, like any other people, I have often wondered " what if (name) had made the other choice?". I'm curious if the thought of writing Uhtred's story from the perspective of if he had sided with the Danes and the alternate resulting timeline has ever given you pause for thought.

 

Best wishes,

 

Andy

A

I’ve never given it any thought – sorry – though I’m sure Uhtred did!


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

 

I just finished "Warlord" and feel well- satisfied at the conclusion of the Last Kingdom series. When I read the first book, I estimated that Uhtred would have been born in about 857AD and so would be around 80 when the Battle of Brunanburh was fought. Is that right? If so, there was never a more vital octagenarian.

 

As for the battle itself, I've read that a group calling themselves Wirral Archaelogy has identified the Wirral peninsula as the likely site of the battle. Do you agree with them?

Keith Biesiada

 

A

Oh, he is old!  I deliberately kept it vague. I can’t remember how old I am either.

 

I do agree with them! And had the pleasure of visiting them before the Covid stopped all travel. They’ve discovered thousands of objects and at least one grave-pit, and I’m convinced they’ve discovered the site of Brunanburh.


Q

Hi Bernard,

my name is Dan and I’m from Snotingaham. I use the word amateur lightly, it’s a hobby, I’ve never published anything.

When I was 9 I was diagnosed with an Austin spectrum disorder called Asperger’s syndrome. One of the symptoms of this disorder is obsessions. History is my obsession. It so happens that the periods I favour, you’ve written about! Henry V and Agincourt is a favourite of mine, and your book on Agincourt was incredible. However, The Saxon stories remains my all time favourite book series. Warlord was incredible and an amazing way to finish the series! Thank you for so many hours lost in that amazing world..

I’m wondering whether you have any plans to write anything set within the golden age of piracy? It’s another of my favourite periods, but I’m sure you’ve got far better ideas.

Thank you for taking the time to read this if it reaches you, and once again, thank you for creating the Saxon stories, I can never tire of Lord Uhtred and his men.

Dan Smith

A

I have given it some thought.....


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Is this the end with War Lord  and Uhtred? Can’t bear it. Totally enjoyed this series and always looked forward to the next chapter. He is still too young and so am I at 83. I am looking forward to your next creation.

Paul R

 

Is War Lord the final book in the Last Kingdom Series?

 

Paul G

 

ps I think I have read everything you have written. With one exception I loved them all

 

 

A

War Lord is the final book of the series.


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Sir Bernard,

I read your books and I became a big fan of your books sir, thank you very much!  I have a question and wanted to share it with you.  in a Derfel vs. Uhtred battle both at the height of their lives who would win that 1x1 battle in your opinion?  big hug take care!  here in Brazil book 12 of the Saxon chronicles just arrived and I'm reading!

Artur Pedroso

A

They're as good as each other, which is all you'll get from me!


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

 

First off, congratulations on finishing up The Saxon Stories! It was bittersweet reading the last book, so I can only imagine how you must have felt writing it. I greatly enjoyed the way you wrapped things up for Uhtred (and Finan).

 

My dad and I have been fans since the first book came out, and after 16 years I've decided to surprise him with a trip to England to see Bebbanburgh in person. We live across the pond, so it's a bit of a journey. I'm looking to add some historical stops to our trip, in addition to Bamburgh Castle; any suggestions?

 

Regards,

Ryan McCormick

A

You might as well explore the old kingdom of Northumbria! There’s a lot to see there and it’s magnificent countryside. So do visit York, where there’s a splendid Viking museum, and add Durham to the trip. There are plenty of other magnificent castles in the region – Alnwick is well worth a visit, and make sure you treat your father to decent ale in the pubs!

 


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I’m a tremendous fan, and I can’t wait for the next Sharpe!

 

Because I know you are a student of Shakespeare, I wanted to share one of the lectures I remember from college. It goes like this: part of Shakespeare’s genius was casting the wrong character for the unique problems they faced in the play. For example, if you take pensive, contemplative Hamlet (or Brutus) out of his play and drop him into Othello, he would have smoked out Iago’s schemes and we wouldn’t have a tragic ending. But take decisive and vengeful Othello (or Hotspur) and put him Hamlet, and we have an action adventure story where the prince never doubts the Ghost and instead seeks vengeance against Claudius. It’s been a fun mental exercise ever since: swap the characters (with all of their flaws and strengths) and see what happens!  And so I found myself wondering the same thing about Uhtred and Sharpe. If Uhtred was in Sharpe, on account of his status, he likely would have been a senior officer. Maybe he would have been someone like Black Bob Crauford?  I’d like to think he wouldn’t be some braggart cavalry officer charging into the guns.

 

I can’t recall which of your books it was where you acknowledge the point, but I remember there’s one where Sharpe realized that in Napoleon’s army, he might have wound up a flag officer.

 

So my question is this: if Uhtred (Alfred Lord Bamburgh?) was born in the late 18th century, and found himself in Spain, would he and Sharpe have become friends and allies or would they end up killing one another?

 

Can’t wait for the next book!

Jack

A

I think there’d be mutual respect, if not outright friendship. Certainly allies!

 


Q

Good morning Bernard,

I am attempting to delve into the history of a Saxon manor in Gargrave North Yorkshire. What I have discovered so far is the the Lord of the manor was Gamal son of (C)Karli, who in turn was the son of Thurbrand the Hold, the feller that, at the behest of King Cnut assassinated Uhtred the Bold. I have managed to piece together the chan of killings down to what appears to be the last act which took place at Settringham in 1073. Trouble is, I am no historian and I have no idea where to keep looking. I was intrigued by the similarities of events that take place in your book The Last Kingdom, which actually stimulated my interest in the swampy field that is all that is left of Gamal's manor house. Would it be too much for me to as if you have any suggestions as to where to find out more?

 

Best regards,

Donavon

A

I know that Richard Fletcher mentions Thurbrand in his book Bloodfeud, Murder and Revenge in Anglo-Saxon England, which is a tale of the then Uhtred’s betrayal and death, I’d suggest starting with that book and following whatever he suggested in the bibliography. It might be difficult finding a copy of Bloodfeud – it was published by the Penguin Press in 2002, but there will be a copy on Abebooks.com!


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Well Mr cornwell,

what can i say other than what a beautifully written ending to my all time favourite series. That ending was spectacular. I've often wondered and worried how uhtreds story was going to an end and you did it remarkable justice. I cried. I cried because be was alive, he was happy and he got his happy ending. We've met a few times at book signing and ive told you before that i adore uhtred more than my own boyfriend and you even signed my book "To Zoe, who uhtred would adore" which I'll always be proud of haha. My qiestion to you is; did you always have that ending in mind for uhtred are was it a last minute thing?

zoe

A

The Battle of Brunanburh was always my end point, so it was planned.

 


Q

Would you ever consider using a descendant of Uhtred to tell the Story of the battles of Stamford Bridge and Hastings?

Peter Brown

A

It's not in my plans at the moment.


Q

Dear Bernard,

I hope you are well?

I have literally just finished your new book War Lord.

I started reading The Last Kingdom on the advice of my father in 2004 at the young age of 14, before this novel I had only read a mere 4 books from cover to cover (3 of them being your Warlord Chronicles because my love of King Arthur) this was down to my severe dyslexia and I missed over a year at school as I was recovering from a broken neck. I picked up the hardback and admired the front over, flipped it over to read the blurb and was my instant reaction was "Nah not for me...." Long story short, about a week later I struggled my way through the first chapter and from then until now I have been hooked.

Being a born and bred Northumbrian I feel invested in Uhtred's story, I grew up with him. I am devastated now the novels are over.

I wrote to you some time ago about how Id like to see Uhtred's tale end and I suggested possible spin off novels about Uhtred's descendants (i.e. his grandson Uchtred the Bold and the blood feuds of Northumbria etc) the part they played in forming England's history. You replied saying you were long in years and starting another series of novels about the dark ages seemed daunting to say the least.

My question to you is a simple one, given the choice would you prefer a bed death, hoping that gripping a sword hilt, wishing your past deeds and reputation is enough to see you into the halls of Valhalla as you slip away peacefully or would you prefer to don the war paint of the úlfhéðinn and charge the centre of a shieldwall and allow the Valkeries to lift you straight to Valhalla?

Kurt the Northumbrian

A

There’s no real choice – die in bed!


Q

I really loved War Lord, and was genuinely surprised with how you incorporated the historical Ealdred into Uhtred's story. Just before War Lord was released I found my father's biological family through a DNA test and found that I too am a descendant of Uhtred the Bold (I suppose you and I must be distantly related), I already loved your books before and though I know they're fiction it definitely made me feel more connected to the story. I'm glad Uhtred, despite being ancient, managed to shoulder his way into the shieldwall one last time.

I was wondering if there's any historical find in particular you imagine to represent Serpent-Breath? I'm sure Ealdwulf would've given her a proper Anglo-Saxon hilt?

Best wishes ,

Teryn

A

The Bamburgh Castle sword is as good as any. It’s much too early, of course, but it is a pattern-welded blade. Serpent-Breath would have had a longer blade and I’ve no doubt Ealdwulf gave her a traditional hilt.


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I just want to start off by thanking you for writing your amazing series about Uhtred. They are by far my favorite books!

Just curious if you have any plans to release a box set of all 13 books in the future, because I would love to purchase that. I have been purchasing and reading all of your books on my Kindle, but it would be great to own a physical copy of the full series.

Once again, thank you! I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.

Bobby

A

That isn’t my decision, but it is a distinct possibility. The Flio Society have just started boxed editions of the Sharpe books, so perhaps they’ll be inspired to follow up with Uhtred? I hope so!

 


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Dearest Mr.Cornwell,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you! Your response is not something I seek. I only wanted to thank you. Your stories are truly a worthy diversion. I use to love reading but I'm to damn busy, so therefore I haven't read anything other than your titles. I have however listened to many, including The Last Kingdom series in its entirety. I love your wonderful characters and Uhtred's story is an exciting adventure. It has distracted several me into burning supper or letting a cow, meant to be kept penned, slip by.... I don't watch much tv and I despise social media. I tried Facebook and I have to confess it does have some good points but all too often left me feeling like my favorite Uncle Kyle. He's a truly grumpy and often outright unfriendly old hermit. I love him, he's one of my favorite people even if he is angry with me at the moment. I had a sick cow dying and he came over to look at her. He made an angry comment about how the man I had bought her from had ripped me off. His anger was caused by the belief the cow was so old she was missing half her teeth. Well I hadn't noticed that so I went out to look again. Her gums were almost white and pulled back from her teeth but the teeth themselves looked as strong as any I had seen and I had this sinking feeling that my uncle, a man who has lived his entire life in the proximity to cattle, did not know that cows have no top front teeth..... I commented that scrap of knowledge a bit carefully and he vehemently denied my knowledge, although I detected a bit of doubt for a second. He was so determined for just a fraction of a second I doubted myself. But I remembered all the baby calves I've bottle feed and the pet milk cows I've fed left over cake and pasta to and knew I was right and he was wrong. My husband gave him a ride home and Chet said the minute they were headed down the driveway, Uncle was on his phone looking it up and made the comment he owed me an apology. I have not heard that apology. We could have made peace but he got in a feud with a man I'm friendly to. On hearing his rant, I refused to join the feud and when he got mad, I lost my temper and told him I had already bee to junior high and didn't feel any need to join his hissy junior high girl fight. He has not forgiven me..... Oh well, it's funny I guess.

Even my husband has grudgingly found himself engrossed.... I'm still waiting for him to listen about the mouse and the battle cry in her honor. He'll enjoy that.

I have one book left of the Arthur trilogy, I'm so delighted that Jonathan Keeble is the narrator for my audible account. He did 3 of the first 4 Kingdom books and that he didn't do the entire Kingdom series is the only complaint I have. I also started the Sharpe series and was very excited but there are so many missing I've decided to wait.... Hint, hint, nudge, nudge......

Anyway, all I wanted was to give you thanks and well wishes. You're a gentleman and a scholar.

Once again, Merry Christmas and may your 2021 be happy, healthy and successful in any of your endeavors!

Thank you,

Lindsey Wehr

 

Sorry for pestering you again. I'm sure you've much better things to be doing but, I realized I was wrong. I have a huge complaint. Why couldn't you make Pyrlig immortal. Couldn't you make him appear in every novel. I love Steapa and Finnan and Clapper and etc etc etc but none are as loved by me as Pyrlig. I mean even if you put his face in a cloud Monty Python style, following Uhtred about as his conscience or some corny thing.... I resent the disappearance of Pyrlig.

Lindsey Wehr

 

A

A bit late to make him immortal, though I always regretted that he rather faded from the books. Ah well, I’m sure he lived to a ripe old age!

 


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Reading The Warlord I was more than a bit surprised to read the words” malochio it ha colpito” . I remember from many years ago my grandmother performing the oil and water ritual of the malochio for a neighbor. My grandmother, a Sicilian like all of the family, had her dark side, like all of the family. Witchy stuff.

Never thought I might read those words in a book about about Uhtred of Bebbansburg. Another coincidence is that my name is  Benedict, or Benedetto to my grandmother.  I love all your books, and thanks for many happy hours of vicarious adventure.

Ben Mazzullo

A

Thank you for that! I discovered the malochio ritual from an Italian friend who lives in Puglia – and her name is Benedetta (unsurprisingly!) As you say, witchy stuff, but irresistible. Thank you for your message – and stay on the right side of the witches!

 


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Dear Bernard

Very much enjoyed the Uhtred books. Have you ever seen the Bedford (UK) War Memorial on the Embankment by the river Ouse?

https://www.tracesofwar.com/sights/19782/War-Memorial-Bedford.htm.

Unusually the memorial statue is of a Saxon lady in a cloak. The sculptor was I have heard depicting a warrior queen from the dark ages. It seems to me a depiction of your 'Lady of the Mercians' commemorating her conquest of Bedford from the Danes. so she was not forgotten even 100 years ago

David Craigen

A

She presides over a war memorial, yes? To the dead of the two world wars. It may well be that she’s meant to represent a warrior queen, and it would be good if she was a depiction of Aethelflaed, but better if she was named on the plinth?

 


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Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

Hope this finds you well and in good health, in these disturbing times!

I just finished reading the first 8 installments of the Saxon Stories in record time, and I have to say this is the most gripping and entertaining historical fiction series I've ever laid hands on. My deepest respect and sincere congratulations on this exceptional work.

I have one question though which does not stop bugging me, and it concerns the fate of Ragnar Ragnarson. When (in The Burning Land) Uhtred left the Danes in Dunholm to ride to the rescue of Aethelflaed, Ragnar was still planning to attack Wessex by ship together with Cnut and Sigurd. However, as Uhtred continues his quest and becomes the sword of the Saxons once more, Ragnar is no longer mentioned, and only Cnut and Sigurd's failed efforts to capture Wessex are briefly discussed. Ragnar is only recurring after his death due to sickness. What was the reason for you to more or less remove him from the tale, without providing any more details on his later years?

Hope this question does not come across as unjustifiably critical, I'm more curious than anything else, what your motivation was.

I cannot wait to continue reading this exceptional series!

All the best, and good luck for 2021!

Reinhard Wagner

A

I think it was simply one sub-plot too many – and having him join Cnut and Sigurd would have forced Uhtred into a different decision.

 


Q

Although separated by a considerable period of time, would the earthen work dyke built by the Mercian King Offa  (Offa’s Dyke) have played any part in the tales of Alfred and Uhtred either as a territorial marker or a military barrier?

Bob Kent

A

I think it certainly served as a territorial marker through the whole Anglo-Saxon period. There’s little doubt that  it was intended to be a defensive work – the ditch is on the Welsh side as an obstacle, but there’s no evidence that the Dyke was manned, or that Mercia had the manpower to garrison the whole length. But as a territorial marker it was useful. Cross the dyke and you’re dead is the message!


Q

(Spoiler Alert)

Hello,

A teacher recommended your first Saxon Chronicle book to me my first year of high school.  You touched off a powder keg of reading historical fiction for me.  While Uhtred is by far my favorite, Derfel and the Arthur series is usually the first I recommend to people.  I think the thing I liked most about Uhtred is that he is unabashedly an Asatruar, one who practices Asatru, a pagan in a changing world.  Being an Asatruar myself I was amazed to read a pro-pagan story, even at times an anti-christian story!  I've read other authors that have done this, but then vilify their character for their beliefs on the last page, even if those beliefs have been conclusively proven false.  I know you've said here before when someone mentioned Asatru that you had not heard that term before, but I was convinced reading these early books that you were a believer.  I think that helped me connect to it more.  Perhaps if we ever do get an Uhtred short story you could mention something very few authors have included when they do Norse paganism?   Only half the warriors who die in battle go to Valhalla, the other half go to Freyja's hall in Folkvangr.  In fact, both Gisela and Stiorra would almost assuredly have gone to that shining field since they both died in battle, and if you know anything about the Norse cosmos, Valhalla and Folkvangr are just across the tree branch. This is mentioned in both Poetic and Prose Eddas, I know it is simply easier to say they just all go to the Spear-Hall so I guess it is just a pet peeve now.

 

Why didn't you include Uhtred's death? I had prepared myself for it, and Finan's, but they never came.  His story almost seems unfinished because of it.  I really expected him to die, possible betrayed to hold up to history, and to have him describe the Valkyrie, of course looking like Gisela, her image rushing back to him in death, leading him on her winged horse to the All-Father. Perhaps it is better in my imagination.

 

As good as these books are I have to say, in my opinion, that the Netflix show is one of the worst adaptions of a book.  It is right up there with how badly they did American Gods.  I know you have said you don't have any say in that venture but you have to get them to drop "Destiny is all" in favor of Wyrd bið ful aræd.  They've changed too much.

 

Thank you for all these wonderful books, I look forward to reading them to my daughter, whose middle name is Stiorra.

Anthony Lombardi

A

Oh nurture your pet peeve!  You’re right to point it out and I agree my depiction of the after-life in Nordic paganism is vastly simplified and I deserve your peeve as a reward.

 

Mainly because he’s telling the story and way back in the earlier books there are lines like ‘I am old now . . .’ which suggest he did not die in battle, so the ending of War Lord stays true to those earlier claims. Besides, I like the man and didn’t want to kill him.

 


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell

First of all, I would like to inform you that I am your ardent fan. Thanks to your creativity, I have an aim to learn English, and I also became a fan of reading books, which is very rare in our time. Getting to know you as a writer, I started with the trilogy "The Saga of King Arthur", and to be honest, after reading it, I was still thinking about this story for about a week.

After reading the trilogy I decided to continue reading about “Inglaland” and bought myself all the books from the Saxon Chronicles.  Today I am reading the book "Wars of the Storm" and, for me personally, this book plays a key role in the history of Uhtred, as I see that Uhtred, with age, has become more of a general, miltary leader, as Iseult had predicted, rather than a warrior.  I want to note that after reading 8 books, I have practically any question or misunderstanding.  But... It was not in vain that I mentioned the trilogy “The Saga at King Arthur”.

As we know, this trilogy and the Saxon Chronicles are united by the presence of such a people as the Anglo-Saxons.  In the trilogy, the Saxons were described as an aggressive nation looking for new territories to live in.  In the chronicles there are no descriptions about Anglo-Saxons, because the history itself is conducted from a representative of this nation.  However, we can notice that this nation has become more peace-loving and believing.

My question is: Can a parallel be drawn between the Saxons from the trilogy and the Anglo-Saxons from the Saxon Chronicles?  If so, what do you think turned the Saxon barbarians into those people who truly believe in God and pray for life in the peace?

I would love to see your answer.

Yours faithfully,

Oleg Buiko

 

A

What turned Saxon barbarians into peace-loving farmers? I fear the answer is Christianity, which is one reason why Uhtred is so opposed to it. There’s also the truism that once the Anglo-Saxons had gained what they wanted – land – their new priority is to keep it, defend it and make it profitable, so they pass from being invaders into being defenders, and one of the tools of defence is the law. So religion and a legal framework became important to them.

 


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I just wanted to thank you for ALL the many books you have written...  I was gourd by my pet Jersey Bull a couple of years ago and started reading one of your Sharpe's Rifle books ...  took me a bit of time to get them in order and finish reading them, but well worth it.

After that I read most of your other books and then found the Last Kingdom Series - OMG...  one Great collection of stories...  just finished your War Lord book and I thank you for Uhtred and the way you finished the series without him dying - gives me the chance to let him live on (even though I know there are no more books about him coming from that pen of yours).

I have a local community college that is open to clever 1 credit class ideas - my question to you is:  Have you even put together an outline of English history (from King Alfred to the War of 1812) that you published (or would publish) for use as the framework for such a class or series of classes?

Thanks again for proving once again that the pen is mightier than the sword.

Dan

 

A

I have not, and it would be a daunting project! I’ve written one non-fiction book – Waterloo – and the amount of research was massive and still there are errors in the book. I’m appalled at the thought of covering almost 20 centuries of history! Still, it was kind of you to ask!

 


Q

Dear Bernard.

Paul here from Liverpool UK.

Avid reader if your wonderful work.

Now the final story of Uhtred is ended to all our disappointment and thrills.

Having covered the American Civil war before would you consider an epic in that genre ?

I am originally from Crosby in Liverpool.

The work of one Captain James Dunwoody- Bulloch, Confederate Naval Intelligence Commander and associates is raising new attention in our area. Even the pub he plotted in with his associates away from eavesdropping in Liverpool town, the Liver Hotel in Waterloo a few miles away from town knows most of the story.

The Alabama and the Shenadoah's stories are yet to be told in historical fiction.

Many seamen were lured away from the seamen's ghetto on a promise of a 6 month tour to the Azores yet left their families for years once on the Alabama.

We recently unearthed how the Shenandoah had still been attacking Union shipping off the coast of Alaska months after the war was over, realised their mistake and made a 9000 mile journey back to Liverpool to surrender to the Lord Mayor.

You are the master storyteller

This tale is far superior to the film 'Master and Commander' Bernard. Please consider.

 

A

Consider it under consideration, but no promises. I’ve read a fair amount on the Confederate commerce raiders and knew of their connection to Liverpool – and yes, they’re great stories, so maybe? But really, no promises.


Q

Hello Bernard,

 

I just finished the final installment of the Saxon Stories on Audible last night, and today I am moved to express my appreciation for Uhtred's remarkable journey. He has been my constant companion through many sleepless nights, and now that the journey is done, I feel like I have lost a dear friend.

 

It is a marvel to me how you wove fiction with historical reality to create an astonishingly seamless story that never felt inauthentic or fanciful, never felt like it went too far. Sometimes Uhtred was at the heart of the historical action, but many times he remained on the periphery, a restraint that felt like a genuine life lived in turbulent times.

 

The final battle for Englaland was masterfully done. I was nearly sick with apprehension for Uhtred and Finan in the thick of it. But the decision to leave Uhtred to narrate Aethelstan's  victory from afar was sublime. Uhtred's time was over. What a poignant realisation.

 

I have read Homer's Iliad countless times - it is my favourite thing in all the world. I just love those vividly detailed battle scenes, unflinching in their grim ugliness, tragic and heroic, but above all else the humanity shines through it. When I first started listening to the Saxon Stories, I was struck by your battle scenes - there are strong Homeric resonances. I have wondered if you were influenced by The Iliad when you wrote those battle scenes?

 

Tonight, I will probably begin again from book one, because I am not yet ready to leave Uhtred's world and I fear I will not find another story quite like Uhtred's conflicted loyalties, amid the broader historical landscape of religious and cultural conflict.

 

So thank you for the many hours of gripping story-telling that kept me so enthralled and immersed in the world of Saxons and Danes that it conquered the everyday demons of anxiety, and made night times something I looked forward to instead of dreaded. My thanks also to the Audible narrators who both brought the world to life.

 

Wishing you and your family all the best,

 

Margaret Dean

A

I can’t say the Iliad was an influence, though I have read it more than once. I always recall the small details like the sound of arrows rattling in their quiver as a man walked. He’d been there and heard that!


Q

I'm rereading Empty Throne, and I was wondering where the hostility between Aethelflaed and Uhtred the Younger comes from? Didn't she raise him?

 

Also, Uhtred remarks that he had 'made Alfred's dream come true' when he spared Berg in Wales. Was this because of the help he would later get from Berg's brother Egil?

 

Hope you're well

-Teryn

A

I don’t think it’s any more than some resentment at her influence over his father. More like sibling jealousy than anything serious. It doesn’t really affect the story.

Exactly that, yes.


Q

I am a big fan from Brazil of the The Last Kingdom series and have just bought the Warlord Chronicles.I just wanted to thank you for all the work you put in your books, your style of humanizing historical figures as people with as many great qualities as horrible flaws is incredibly captivating. You sir are by far my favorite historical fiction writer.

And the question: Do you plan to ever write a book about the roman period? Majorian reminds me of an Alfred whose Uhtred (Ricimer) wasn't nearly as loyal or honor-bound.

Felipe Prata

 

A

I don't have plans for the Romans - I'll leave that to others.


Q

Sir,

I am writing to ask if you have any plans to finish your wonderful Starbuck series? I’ve been a lifelong fan of your work, and as an Army officer, can’t help but love the Sharpe and Starbuck series!

My sincere thanks for your wonderful work.

Kind Regards

James

 

Hello

Any chance that you could revisit The Starbuck Chronicles?  It was a brilliant short series.

Best regards

Terry

 

When Sharpe is laid to rest can Starbuck please march again?

Robert McDermott

 

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

The Last Kingdom series is fantastic and I am looking forward to reading War Lord when it comes out in the United States. A few months ago I discovered your Starbuck series and I just finished Bloody Ground. When you have wrapped up the Last Kingdom series may I humbly petition that you recall Starbuck from his vacation?

Very best regards to one of the best story tellers alive.

Matthew Beazley

 

Hi Bernard,

I have just finished book 4 of the Starbuck Chronicles. PLEASE tell me you are working on no. 5 !!???

Starbuck must get revenge on Blythe!!

Can I just say, that I love your books. Sharpe was fantastic (got and read all of them) whilst the Uhtred books are awesome too. Just waiting for latest one to come out in paperback!

Keep up the great work.

Best Wishes,

Sean

 

Esteemed Mr Cornwell,,

You have reignited my passion for reading. Thank you. Your stories will always have a special place in my heart.

I hope you can one day bring Nathaniel Starbuck back out of retirement.

Much love.

Gonzalo

 

A

I'm afraid Starbuck will be continuing his extended vacation for at least awhile longer.....


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I have just finished the last of Uhtred’s adventures and I am simultaneously exhilarated but saddened to see his journey has ended.  With each of your novels, through his eyes I learned much about the birth of Englaland.  I have laughed at his impetuousness, which has gotten him not some serious trouble, admired his sense of honor, cringed at his lack of discretion, but always happy to see him find a way out of predicaments often of his on making.  I do have a question though.  At the end of Sword of Kings, Uhtred sadly thinks of Folcbald who dies at the Battle of Crepelgate. But at the end of War Lord,  Folcbald, unless he is a different Frisian, is fighting alongside of Uhtred with Wibrund right after Aethelstan has killed Thorfinn.  Is this the same Folcbald or a different warrior of the same name?   I have also read the Arthur stories, the Grail series as well as Stonehenge, and Agincourt.  Thank you so much for all of the research that gives birth to so much inspired story telling.  And I agree that Alexander Dreymon is Uhtred!

 

A

Let's say it is another warrior with the same name - I like that solution!


Q

Hello! I am a great fan of all Saxon Chronicle books! And now, when the saga is over, I'm feeling like I've lost a part of my life...There is nothing to wait. I'm sure I'm not alone. I'd like to ask whether there'll be any books about Uhtred the Younger?  I'm so much eager to read further....

Eleana

 

I just finished War Lord the final book in your last kingdom series. I’m sad that Uhtred’s story has ended,  but I knew it had to end in this final battle. I’m wondering if his son has what it takes to fill his father’s role for a future novel?

Tevin

A

I do think about ‘passing the torch’, but a small inner voice (Uhtred’s) growls at me whenever I do. We’ll see!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell, I am 75 and live in Norfolk, England. I have just finished the final part and want to tell you I feel bereaved at the loss of Uhtred although the ending was lovely. We have all the books and my husband has enjoyed them as much as I have and we are sorry that is the end. Thank you so much for a wonderful character, even better than Sharpe. Like you, I was taught nothing about this period of our history and it has been fascinating. Thank you again for the Uhtred years.

What next Please?

Yours

Hilary Baker.

A

Next is Sharpe!


Q

I have read and enjoyed your series on the making of ‘England’ and the exploits of Lord Uhtred, indeed, I think I am now word perfect!

Surely you cannot leave us here? Surely you must record the events that took place in Sept/Oct in 1066.  Surely an Uhtred must have stood alongside Harold on Telham Ridge.

I have read the amazing book by Sile Rice, Saxon Tapestry, which chronicles the life of Hereward the Wake and the events of the Great Battle.

Can you not work your magic and bring to life this period for us? The death of Anglo-Saxon England truly deserves your master's touch.

I am sir, yours sincerely...........

John Davie.

 

A

I have given it some thought....but it's not high on my list.


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

I have been a huge fan of the last kingdom. I have watched it many times. I have been puzzled by the fact that the son born to Uhtred and Gisela is not mentioned. What happened to him? Will he make an appearance in season 5?  Just wondering?

Thank you for this wonderful story!!!

Sharon Nelson

A

I don't know!  I have no involvement in writing the scripts for the tv shows; guess we'll just have to wait and see!


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Q

Dear mr. Cornwell,

 

First of all, I love the last kingdom books and currently I am reading 'the empty throne, all in English by the way, helping me a lot with increasing my knowledge of your language!

 

I am from the Netherlands and I really like reading these action packed stories about people that could have been my distant ancestors. My mother's family originates from Friesland and my father's from Saxony =). Anyway, on to my question..

 

Uhtred keeps referring to himself as a Saxon, yet his family stems from Northumbrian Bebbanburg. Wasnt Northumbria settled by the Angles instead of the Saxons, thus making Uthred and his family Angles?

 

Would love to hear from you.

 

All the best,

 

Vincent Imhof

Utrecht, the Netherlands

 

A

I have explained this in some of the historical notes, but maybe not enough. We talk of the Anglo-Saxons and we basically mean the two major Germanic tribes who invaded Britain after the Romans abandoned the island. There were also Jutes! And some other minor tribes. I call them all ‘Saxons’ because it simplifies the story – Uhtred, properly, is an Angle, but conflating the two tribes isn’t too much of a distortion. That’s what their enemies did – to the displaced Welsh all the invaders were simply the ‘Sais’, the Saxons.  The West Saxon (Wessex) dynasty eventually united all the Saxon (and Angle and Jutish) lands and the mystery is why they named their new country Englaland, or why the said their language was English. But they did!


Q

Hi Mr Cornwell,

 

I've just finished War Lord and I have read Uhtred for over 10 years. I've loved the books and have read them all more than once each. However I can't seem to recall what happened to Osferth in them? I don't remember reading a page which told of his passing or what he had decided to do but maybe I just missed it. Can you shed some light on this? I thought for certain he was going to turn up at the final battle in War Lord akin to Steapa.

 

Also in terms of Young Uhtred, I was slightly disappointed he didn't play a more prominent role in the final battle as well. Uhtred & Finan have always done the major killing's in the books normally but by my reckoning Young Uhtred hadn't really killed anyone of note since Sigurd in The Pagan Lord some 6 books ago. I just wondered why you chose Uhtred & Finan to kill Cellach & Domhnall when Young Uhtred might have been more fitting to show he was the future Lord of Bebbanburg?

 

Finally I just want to thank you for the many hours of pleasure you have given me reading the Saxon Stories, so thank you :)

Jonathan Boal

A

Osferth?  Let’s just say he lived happily ever after. I was aware that I left his story unfinished, but I just wasn’t able to find a way to shoehorn him into the book, so yes, happily ever after!

I didn’t deliberately ignore him, I just gave the starring roles to Uhtred and Finan. Maybe one day I’ll tell the younger Uhtred’s tale so it must wait till then!

 


Q

My first time writing to you.

 

I have just finished reading War Lord and I am sad to see the end of Uhtred’s tales. I happened upon The Last Kingdom by chance and now have many of your works, which I love to reread regularly.

 

My question is of Aethelstan. Appreciating that I have only read through the book once and I may have misinterpreted your writing (sorry if I have!), but I came away with the impression that he may have been gay. Was this your intention? Of course it’d be near impossible to confirm if he was/ was not, but was this a rumour of the time/ in history? I think he did not marry and did not have any (known) children, but is there more in history to suggest on this? Would people of the time have talked about this; true or not, and would it have been a scandal of the day (or alternatively have I just totally misread your text)?

 

Many thanks

Scott

A

You have not misread the text and yes, I did intend him to be gay. That’s a hell of a supposition, I know, and the only clues are that, as you note, he did not marry and sire an heir (which was extremely unusual in early mediaeval kings), and a comment in one ancient chronicle that he twisted golden ringlets into his hair – which, of course, might just mean that he was vain about his appearance. And yes, it would have been, if not a scandal, certainly something which was despised, if for nothing else the attitude of the church which found biblical justification for condemning homosexuality, Sadly, some still do.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

first of all I want to congratulate you on your fantastic books.

I wanted to ask you when is the next new publication in Italy?

We have been "orphans" since 2019.

Thank you

Francesco Clementi

 

Good morning Mr. Cornwell,

My name is Salvatore and I write from Italy

I wanted to express my appreciation for several of your works including the adventures of Derfel Cadarn, Thomas of Hookton, Uhtred of Bebbamburg.

I really appreciate the style, how the era is described and the way in which it manages to involve the reader and live situations.

About Bebbamburg's Uhtred, I have been waiting for a while in Italian for the translation of the volume "War of the Wolf".

I was wondering if you know when it will be translated into Italian.

Thanking you in advance, I offer you my best regards.

Salvatore Italy

 

A

I've recently learned War of the Wolf  and the three books of the Grail Quest series Harlequin, Vagabond and Heretic were all published in Italy in November.  I hope you have found them!


Q

Hello, Mr. Cornwell.

I'd like to thank you for the countless hours of pure joy whilst reading The Last Kingdom series. I've just finished reading Warlord and even though the ending is just perfect I'm so gonna miss Uhtred and, mainly, Finan.

About Warlord, I noticed that Uhtred says he's fighting with Folcbald by his side, which is intriguing since Uhtred himself said he had died during the Crepelgate battle in Sword of Kings. As the story is told by an aged Uhtred, has his memory failed him some how?

Thank you again for the great series!

Renan Eduardo Chiulli

A

Hmmm....that's kind of you to suggest it is Uhtred's memory that may have failed him!


Q

Hello Bernard,

Love your work especially the Uhtred sagas but recently have been introduced to the bernician chronicles by Matthew Harffy.

The similarities are striking.

Have you, I wonder, read any of his work and if so what is your opinion?

Anthony Barry

A

I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read them, indeed did not know about them until your message. Thanks! I’ll repair my ignorance.

 


Q

Just finished your last Uhtred!  Wonderful and thanks for all the great books over so many areas of interest.  I know people will argue over the location  of the battle of "Brunanburh", but is the name so very far removed from the current "Bromborough"?  It had to be nearby.

Robin Goodhand

A

I’m sure you’re right – that the arguments won’t die, but I do believe the archaeological evidence really clinches it. The place-name evidence has always been strong (as you point out), but it’s also led to claims for places like Burnswark (Dumfriesshire), Bromswold (four places called that in England), Brinsworth (Yorkshiore) and Bourne (Lincolnshire) – and doubtless there are others!  But the finds near Bromborough really should settle the argument!


Q

Hello Mr Cornwell,

I have just finished War Lord, and not surprisingly it was fantastic.

I know you have said Sharpe is next, and I cannot wait to reread that series for a 3rd time

But I can't help but wonder what comes after that?

Uhtred expresses his admiration for the Romans throughout the series. Have you ever considered writing about their conquest on Briton?

Best Regards,

Roger

A

I don't have plans for the Romans - I'll leave that to others.  After Sharpe?......we'll see....


Q

Thank you very, very much for the Saxondale Chronicles.

I had to pause the book I was reading when I realised War Lord had been released!

When I was younger I devoured the first part of the series over and over. I've lost count how many times I read the first two books in particular. The series really came alive for me when Father Judas, Stiorra and Uhtred the younger came into their own.

The final book was brilliant and I must thank you .....

Brunanburh was brought to life brilliantly and I couldn't help but hear whispers of the tactics used at the battle of Cannae.

I must also thank you for finally including Teesside into your tales! Each time a new Uhtred came out I checked the place names at the start of the book in vain to see if any place in the Tees Valley was mentioned and fate gave me my wish in the final book.

Did you have a specific location for the Devil's Fort and were you able to visit any areas when researching?

England is finally made and it brings bitter sweet feelings as I am now greatly looking forward to seeing Sharpe again. I sincerely hope that in this novel Captain Morris and Lord Pumphrey return and receive Cornwellian justice as the hands of Sharpe's boot and blade.

All the best,

James Trethowan

A

You’re spot on – that was exactly the location I had in mind. Sadly the wretched pandemic stopped me making a trip to Barnard Castle to find the best spot, so I worked off Ordnance Survey maps instead. And the burial cairns were pure fiction.

 


Q

Sir,

Thank you for "The War Lord", sad but all "very" good things must come to an end and a very good end for Uhtred, I who have read all your books over the years must ask you what is to come? are you going to call an end to writing, I do hope not, we need your story's, I hope you may bring back Rider Sandman to us all, a great person in a time your books about Sharpe and others have opened to all of us but thank you all the same for Uhtred, Sharpe and many, many others, so I look forward to your further works, thank you and may your god bless you.

Clive

 

I just finished Warlord tonight and have to say I loved it. You are my hero! I’m in the states and always buy your books in the UK so I can get them earlier then if I wait for them to be released here. I was wondering if you could say what you have in mind next. Thank you so much.

Mike Mecham

 

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I believe I have read and own 60+ of your books and loved everyone of them.  My faves are the 'The Last Kingdom', Warlord' and 'Grail Quest' series with Sharpe coming a close fourth.  I thought that 'Fools and Mortals' was an interesting departure from your normal historical novels.  I enjoyed it very much.

I am sad that the 'Last Kingdom' series is ending and I was just wondering what your new project will be after Uhtred?

Many thanks from an avid reader of yours...

Kind Regards

Chris

 

Just finished ‘Warlord‘ having re-read all of ‘The Last Kingdom’ series. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience but now there is a void to fill! What next?

Many thanks,

John Hopkins

 

I have just finished reading "War Lord" , the last "Last Kingdom" book. A stunning end to the series ...

I agree it is strange that the Battle of Brunnanburh has been lost to British history as it appears to be such a turning point in story of our island.

I've been re-reading Sharpe and Thomas of Hookton during lockdown, have you a new character and era in mind for your next series of books ?

Best Regards

David Kellock

 

 

--

A

Next is Sharpe!


Q

Did I catch a mistake in War Lord?

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

I do not mean to nitpick and I could be mistaken however if I am not wrong then I believe you used a character in Warlord that had actually died in Sword of Kings! Folcbald was said to have been killed in the fight and the Crepelgate in London but yet he is mentioned at the Battle of Brunanburh as fighting alongside Uhtred and his men! This is the only mention of him in the book and he has no dialogue. I hope I am not inconsiderate in saying that I hope I caught a slip as that would be rather exciting for me and rather insignificant for you and your team.

 

Your books are my favorite,

 

William Moore

A

Thank you for that! It’s perfectly possible that I made that mistake – I do tend to lose track of some characters, but I hope it didn’t spoil your enjoyment of the book!

 

 


Q

Hello,

I've read the Uhtred series up to volume 11. One day I would be interested in the basis on which Uhtred's statements about Christianity are based. Do you have the roots in your artistic freedom, or do you have historical sources here.

MfG Bernd Klingelhöfer

A

He made so many statements! I’m sure most of them came from me, so call it artistic license if you want to be kind.

 


Q

Just finished Warlord. Sad that the story of Uhtred and England is complete. Thanks for the last 15 years. Wyrd bið ful āræd.

Did Uhtred's line survive until 1066?

James Barrett

 

A

And it still survives. The family owned Bebbenburg until 1016 when it was taken from them by treachery – the story is told in Richard Fletcher’s book Bloodfeud; Murder and Revenge in Anglo Saxon England, and after that the family moved to Yorkshire, where they are still prominent. My branch emigrated to Canada in the 19th Century and thrive in British Columbia.


Q

What happened to Nate Starbuck? At the end of The Bloody Ground” you say he will be back.

I love all your books. My very favourite is Fools and Mortals

David

 

When will Nate Starbuck be seen again? Miss him!

Pat McGarry

 

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

A recent article in the Guardian has you saying you’d hate to start another series and not finish it as you are now 76.  Please don’t go to Valhalla and leave Nate Starbuck where you left him-that’s a tale that begs more telling! Please consider it, and thank you for the many hours of diversion, entertainment and enlightenment you have made available through all your hard work.

DFM

 

Please, please finish the Starbuck Chronicles.......love Sharpe, love Uhtred......I’m awaiting the finish of the last kingdom.....and caught in the middle of the civil war? You left Nat’s enemy and revenge quite frankly unavenged.

Peter Brazolot

 

are we going to have more Starbuck, pleaseèeeeeeeee.

Heather Brown

 

Good evening Sir,

is there any way to continue the Starbuck books? I have to admit that the Uthred books fascinated me, but meanwhile they offer nothing new. A book about one of the great battles of the American Civil War would of course be great, too.

my respect for your work

M. Götz

 

Will there be more Starbuck books forthcoming beyond book 4?

Latrell Cronister

 

A

I’ll consider, but I really doubt I’ll return to Starbuck – sorry!

 


Q

Archers refer to the flight feathers on arrows as fletchings ( origin of the surname Fletcher ). I have found fledgings in “1356”. Is this an alternative you have found in your researches ?  Love the Uhtred books.

Mike.

Oxford, UK

A

Fledging is an alternative – and is obviously related to the word fledge ((unfledged bird, etc). Fletching is, as you say, the usual word, but an arrow could be fledged too!

 


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

 

I've been rereading the Saxon books in eager anticipation of War Lord's publication this fall. The series has given my father and me many hours of joy and something to share with each other, so I thank you heartily for writing them.

 

I have a question, though, that's occurred to me while rereading the series. In The Last Kingdom you mostly use "Destiny is all" as the translation of Uhtred's catchphrase, before switching primarily to the more familiar "Fate is inexorable" in subsequent books. I was wondering why this is so? It seems the tv series has opted for "Destiny is all" as well. I apologize if this has been asked before!

 

Thank you again and warmest regards,

 

Shane Majszak

A

 

I suspect I changed because I felt ‘Fate is inexorable’ is a better translation, though I admit I think the TV series was correct in sticking to ‘Destiny is all’, which is probably more accessible.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell

Thank you for your wonderful novels.  I have read most all of them.  My favorites are the Uhtred's stories and have read all of those.  No, I have no interest in actually living close to him or in his times.  I'm one of those "fussy women" I like indoor, flushable plumbing and people not being offensively smelly.

Your extensive reading and research and then the ability to turn those into the stories we get drawn into, learn from and love is testament to your rare talent.

I have been addicted to reading all of my life.  Absolutely, must have a book.  Historical fiction being the primary interest.  In all of that reading, there was never a book read twice.  Until I met your Uhtred, Finan and company.  Actually, in adapting with this pandemic, I am finding it comforting to re-read some of them even a third time.

But I am puzzled.  Uhtred has told you and you have told us of his fear of the number 13.  Yet, sir, you are leaving him there for all of time on book 13.   Why?

Thank You, again, and please take care.

Renee of Colorado

 

A

Because that’s the end of the series. Simple as that.


Q

Hi,

I have just finished the  wolf hall trilogy and loved it, did you read it? And are you aware that Derfel gets a mention? What was your source for him?

I just have time to reread Uhtred before the last book, will Steappa make an appearance?

And finally what year are you putting Sharpe in?

I have attended your last two book tours and hope you come back soon

MIKE

 

A

I adore the books! The source for Derfel were the earliest Welsh tales of Arthur where he’s frequently mentioned as one of Arthur’s warriors.  It seemed a good idea to bring him back into the tales!

 

He does make an appearance.

 

1815.


Q

Hello, Bernard!

I'm a big fan of yours. I wonder about one thing: The Uhtred character was based on a real person named Uhtred?

Thank you very much! Hugs from a fan from Brazil!

Igor

A

My ancestor was Uhtred of Bebbanburg, but the truth is we know very little about him other than he lived at Bebbanburg as his father and grandfather had done. So my tales of him are pure invention!


Q

Dear mr. Cornwell,

In the Netherlands, season 4 of the Last Kingdom is broadcast by BBC first. To Pick up the thread again, I re-read the Pagan Lord. From the attack on Bebbanburg, everything is different in the movie than in the book. Quite confusing, and certainly a lot less exciting. It started already with the cast, Uhtred supposed to be a large, ( one of the largest in England) and fair haired, and in the series turn out to be fairly small and dark haired. Although I think Alexander is pretty good.

My question is: to what extent do you influence the scenario?

 

By the way I can’t wait for volume 13 of the series, and I hope that one day, the more than excellent Warlord Chronicles Will be filmed too.

 

Kind regards

Mas Peters

A

My involvement with the films is limited to cheer leading.


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Q

Since King Alfred chose his daughters’ husband/ knowing Athelreds weak ,arrogant nature /even so for alliance sake/ then why did King Alfred so selfishly hold to “Dignity of Wessex sake” willing to sacrifice “all” of Wessex for his choosing so wrongly/ not loving his country as Older Odda sacrificed his son for the treason of Wessex !! It just didn’t work in the story line and one other thing / Uhtred and Lady Athelfled! / no chemistry on screen / almost painful watching that match-up/ not believable at all and hopefully steered away from in season 5 as it appears it maybe ,ha!  Thank-you

Sincerely.

Marilyn Z

 

A

Not sure I entirely understand your question. Undoubtedly Aethelflaed was married to Aethelred to cement the alliance between Mercia and Wessex, and what’s wrong with that? And we must just disagree about Uhtred and Aethelflaed, they always seem to get on just fine to me!


Q

Hi Mr Cornwell,

I am currently reading book 11 “War of the Wolf” of the Last Kingdom, in Rome. I take your books on holiday (my reading time) and they have travelled from Ireland to Uganda, Australia and many places in between. What a Journey the Uhtred (Alfred) series has been on. I have also watched the TV series to date and got confused by Uthred’s son. I started reading this series back in 2007 so the earliest books are a bit foggy, but I always thought Uhtred had two sons, one he disowned. Did the TV combine the two sons? I thought I made them up in my mind but then I just read on page 104 a summary of Uhtred‘s children. Are you aware of any sources that accurately list the differences in the TV series?

On a different note, I read My first of your books when I was 18. (The winter King) I am now 41. I was not a reader! I had never bought or read a book in my life (voluntarily) that was not for school. I loved the story of Arthur so I gave it a go. I have now read 17 of your books and love them. (Never read the sharpe ones, but the warlord/shield wall and historic battles I love). It also got me into reading and I have found a few other authors that I have enjoyed across some historical fiction and thriller.. Your still my top one.

Out of interest.  You obviously do a lot of research,  But do you enjoy reading any particular historical fiction?

Just thinking now about going back a reading the Arthur series again (although my books tend to loose pages in the sun heat lol) and maybe starting this series again.

Thanks for inspiring me to read.

Scott

A

I am not aware of any source that lists the differences in the TV series.

I’m a huge fan of George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman books, and my other favourites are the Mathew Shardlake stories by C.J. Sansom.

 


Q

Just completed Book 12 - Sword of Kings. I've been an avid of this whole series and look fwd to the concluding Book 13. The character of Uhtred has certainly mellowed and now he is much more of a thinker than he was and also now a confirmed believer in "fair play" I pick up too. Age seems not to have blunted his ability with the sword though! I was sad to see the deaths of so many of his family, all almost listed (a bit matter of factly!) in the penultimate page - but he seemed very accepting of that. Just one other thought there - linking back to Gisela. Gisela foretold about all of his 3 children and how their futures would enfold - however, she did say that Stiorra would be the mother of kings - given the demise of his two grandsons by Stiorra & Sigtrygger, it would seem that didn't come to fruition?

Phil Whitehead

A

It’s not the end . . . the final book does revisit it (in part).


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell.

I do not make a habit of writing to well-known people, but in your case I had to make an exception.  Principally to say thank you for all the wonderful books you have produced and all the pleasure reading them (several times over) has given me.  I feel a certain connection to your books as an avid family historian.  I (like you) am a descendant of the real Uhtred of Bamborough and of Alfred the Great and his son Edward.  I also descend in the male line from an ancestor who was probably a Norse settler in the Lancashire area in the ninth century as so well portrayed in your Last Kingdom novels.  His descendant a thane called Outi was lord of several manors in the twelfth century, a younger son, Richard, was given one of them called Orrell and was the ancestor of that family.  I can relate to your Agincourt novel as three of my family fought there as Men-at-Arms, (Robert, William and Hugh Orrell) and I can relate to the wonderful Sharpe novels as my five greats uncle, Andrew Orrell was a Lieutenant in the Penninsular War (34th Regiment), he was a friend and neighbour of Lieutenant Robert Knowles who was killed at Roncesvalles and whom I assume was the original of the Lt Robert Knowles who appears in the Sharpe books?    A distant relative John Orrell was a Lieutenant in the Rifles.  Who knows, perhaps an Orrell will appear in your novels one day?

Thanks again for all your work.

Terry Orrell

A

Who knows? Maybe!  And yes, my Knowles was based on Robert Knowles who was a Lieutenant in the 34th and I have a collection of his letters – the last letter in the collection being written by your 5Xgreat-uncle, Andrew Orrell, written on October 4th, 1812. He seemed to be having a good time, describing a ball to which ‘there was a very good turn out of females’, and saying that wine is so plentiful there was trouble keeping the men sober.  The book is called The War in the Peninsula, Some Letters of Lieutenant Robert Knowles, published 1913 by Tillotson & Son, Bolton, and you might find a copy on Abebooks.com.


Q

I have read many of your books but I am particularly interested in the Nathaniel Starbuck series.  Will you be writing another book in this series like Nathaniel at Gettysburg?

Carol Ross

 

Bernard some years ago at the Cheltenham festival I asked if Nathaniel would walk again. Has he been lost in the Civil War or has he been serving coffee? Thanks for all the pleasure your books give. Enjoy the sailing

regards

David

 

Dear Mr. Cornwell:

I've been reading & re-reading your books for the last 15+ years or so.  Your books are like favorite adult beverages where one can savor & consume them each time & never grow tired of them!

I can understand your weariness of the "next Starbuck?" question; however, Nate stands proudly next to your other "sons" Sharpe & Uhtred and he deserves just as much in the writing of his tales.  Maybe 1 (or possibly 2??) book(s) ought to do it?

Kindly consider this as a huge favor to your legions of patient Starbuck fans.

Sincerely yours,

Lorena Hoo Al-Ali

A

Sharpe is the next book.....not sure after that?


Q

Hi Bernard,

Thank you for The Warriors of the Storm and now currently The Empty Throne

 

After a restless life working FIFO (Fly In Fly Out) as an Australian seafarer with no real fixed abode.  I now find myself settling down and benefitting from a terrific local Library in Margaret River Western Australia.

 

It’s taken several run ups following suggestion to find your books. Just a little addictive I might say. I love the honour and integrity of being true to your own core and that of the brotherhood of which you belong, with some dead-set brilliant one liners uttered by your main man Uhtred.

 

I realise now though it would have been astute to have had a notebook handy, to have been logging down names and associations from the start.

 

Is there any chance you would have a character guide already created that can be downloaded, the searching I’ve done so far has not led to any results. It’s time consuming too.

 

Trust you are well, here we’re fortunate to be so far down under and away further isolated to the west to be almost free of the pandemic.

 

Yours sincerely,

Mark Robinson.

A

There is not a guide that I am aware of....sorry!


Q

Hi Bernard,

May I begin by saying how much I enjoy your books.  Starting with all of the Sharpe stories and now those about Uhtred plus one or two others.  I could not get into the Arthur series, sorry.  Uhtred just pips Sharpe for me.

Recently, I finished 'Sword of Kings'  and whilst I know that modern day proof reading seems to be vastly inferior to that of years gone by, yours is usually pretty good, so I thought I should point out an error that is almost more of editing I believe.  Much is made in the story of Benedetta's ordeals and her hatred for, amongst others, Gunnald Gunnaldson and his son  The father is subjected to a painful revenge but, despite opportunity, the son to none whatsoever.  I appreciate that time and circumstance may have been different but to exact not even a painful if swift end makes no sense.  On page 119 of my copy of the book Benedetta tells Uhtred that the son was worse than the father!!!  Only a small point I know but it is surely an unintentional flaw in the storyline.

Apologies if I have misread something but if I am correct perhaps you could alter the wording for reprints.  I wondered if you had intended a revenge on the son but then lost it in editing?

I am very much looking forward to reading my next 'Cornwell' story: for me that will be 1356.

I hope you and yours are well.  Keep safe.

Kind regards,

BoB

A

Unless I’m totally mistaken it is the son who is killed by Benedetta – the father presumably having died some time before.  I just looked through my copy and Uhtred asks his name ‘Gunnald Gunnaldson?’ and is answered, ‘yes’. So revenge is taken!


Q

Hello Bernard,

I hope you are well and safe as can be in these times. Firstly I just wanted to thank you for rekindling my love of reading and historical fiction. I love all the books, but The Warlord Chronicles in particular stands out the greatest take on Arthur. But returning to Uhtred, and to 'War Lord', I was wondering if you planned on returning to the UK to promote the book? I shouldn't imagine you would want to travel unnecessarily given the circumstance, but thought it worth asking anyway, along with my best wishes. Can't wait to read more.

 

Conor

 

A

I do not have plans to travel to the UK at this time....


Q

Hi Mr. Cornwell,

Hope you and your family are safe and healthy with all the trouble in the world right now.

I have a question about the Saxon Stories, if I recall correctly Guthred was rescued in Strathclyde and it was described as wild and lawless, and the folk there were pretty much all Danes (at least those Uhtred encountered, and my memory may be forgetting some lines). The sample for War Lord mentions Owain, and I'm guessing that's Owain ap Dyfnwal. If it is him... where has he been in your story? What have the Cumbrian Britons been up to this whole time in your story? I understand that might be something I gotta read War Lord to find out.

Secondly, are the Arthur books still your favorite? There's a quote from you on my copy saying of all your books, those are your favorite. I love all your writing, but I think I agree. There's something about that trilogy that's just 'magical'.

I'm really excited for War Lord, I have the audiobook preordered already. Can't wait for that and whatever else you choose to write after! (Maybe a 1066 or Anarchy book? wink wink)

Teryn Shaw

A

Strath-Clota was really a Welsh kingdom! The Saxon invasion of Britain drove the native Britons west into Wales and Cornwall, and north into what is now Scotland. And Owain, of course, is a Welsh name. Strath Clota was usually at war with Alba – the main Scottish kingdom, and at odds with Cumbria, notionally part of Northumbria. The Britons of Cumbria were really powerless, being dominated first by the Angles who invaded their land, then by strong incursions of Danes and Norsemen. It was a mess, and one of the last parts of Britain to be pacified.

They still are, and probably because those are the three I most enjoyed writing. That doesn’t make them the best of my books, simply the three I recall most fondly. Some day I must re-read them to see if I still like them!


Q

Have loved & followed this series right through from Book 1 - always eagerly awaiting the next one. Looking forward to Book 13, to what I assume, is the final book in the story of Uhtred. Hopefully, a happy ending in the main!

Have you ever considered bouncing on a few generations (perhaps 4), with an Uhtred descendent (obviously also called Uhtred and still owning Bebbanburg) bound up in the chaos of 1066? An Uhtred sworn by oath (of course) to assist Harold Godwinson to accent to the throne. He could be involved as Harold's army commander and finest warrior in the battles that Harold fought in the mid 11th C, then directly involved in the political skirmish for the throne after Edward the Confessor's death. He would be proud of the exploits of his ancestors - in particular a certain Uhtred, born of Saxons, raised by Danes a 150 years before....and the bitterness of his expunging from the history books - a legacy he wants to correct. A perfect character would be Harold's wife - Edth "The Fair" Swanneck of Mercia - apparently a  great beauty of her time and obviously a perfect target for an affair with Uhtred! This Uhtred's finest moment could be leading the emphatic victory at Stamford Bridge, followed by the breathless dash to Kent to meet the Normans....the fate of the England at stake....Uhtred's own fate at Hastings? a story in the making!

Phil Whitehead

A

It's not in my plans at this time....


Q

Dear Bernard

I have just finished reading ‘Sword of Kings’ to keep up my record of having read all your novels.

I was, however, confused with the section where Uhtred and Eadith were talking with ‘Wistan’.  Eadith left the discussion and returned with Aelswyth.  It states that Aelswyth smiled when she saw ‘Wistan’ but it was Eadith who exclaimed ‘Aethelwulf’ and approached him with open arms,  Surely, it should have ben Aelswyth who recognised Wistan/Aethelwulf.

I am looking forward to the next book in the series and I wish you well for the future.

Kind regards

Kevin Gelder

A

I suspect you’re probably right! Mea culpa!

 


Q

Dear Bernard

I hope you are well in these strange times. My question is have you ever considered Sharpe remembering his past lives (perhaps in a dream or on his death bed) as Uhtred, Derfel etc? It would be a nice way to connect your major character's together.

Best Regards

Phil

A

I confess I haven’t considered it, and to be honest I doubt that I will!

 


Q

Hi Bernard.

Looking forward to/dreading the final Uhtred book this year (Not ready for it to end!).

In the meantime I have been re-reading Sharpe and can i ask does Sharpe's failure to murder Hakeswell in Tiger, Triumph and Fortress lead to his decision to hand him over the authorities in Enemy? And the same later on with Ducos in Revenge? Or has he just simply learnt the value of justice as he grows older?

Also one final question we're seeing lots of reboots at the minute would you be open to a Sharpe reboot? And who would be your choice to play Sharpe?

For me it would be Sam Riley the distinct accent being a key part of this, but that's just me! Although it would be hard seeing Sharpe played by anyone but Sean Bean.

Hope you are well and please keep the books coming!!!

Jim

A

The main reason Sharpe doesn’t slaughter Hakeswill in the Indian trilogy is that they were written long after Sharpe’s Enemy, so Sergeant Hakeswill had to live or else it made a nonsense of his later appearance. I doubt Sharpe has much faith in justice (and I don’t remember what happened with Ducos) except possibly the justice he dispenses himself.

 

There’s been talk of a reboot, but I seriously doubt it will happen, and for me Sean Bean will always be Sharpe. It was perfect casting!

 


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I just finished reading the Saxon stories and eagerly await the last book.

Your books are quite intriguing and gives us a view to that era from prospect of a warrior. Sigtryggar and Athelstan are my favorite male characters. I love how their  personalities are different from the characters around them, specially Athelstan. Thank you for keeping Gisela alive through Stiorra in every book. I must confess I wished you would written more of Stiorra, Sigtryggar and Athelstan. As I finished reading "Sword of Kings" I had many questions on Uhtred's personality.

Uhtred's character hates kids; he finds them irritating including his own son. Which is odd because parents love their children unconditionally.

Uhtred claims to love many women in his life(Gisela, Aethelflaed, Eadith). But he moves from one woman to another with lightening speed. In the page of  "Sword of Kings" he tells Benedetta that he wished Eadith dead. Is it because he liked Benedetta?

Throughout the series Uhtred adopts many happy boys and protects many pretty women. He claims to "love" them. But his love seems feeble and conditional. Is it possible that Uhtred confuses liking with love? After reading"Sword of Kings" I wondered if Uhtred is truly capable of love? I would like to know your thoughts.

Thanks,

SJ

 

A

You think all parents love their children unconditionally? That would be nice, but history seems to suggest otherwise. I suspect Uhtred is capable of love, and does love. He is irritated by small children (a lot of people are), but I’ve never doubted his adoration of women.

 


Q

Dear mister Cornwell,

I have read the last kingdom books two three times ,but I cannot find any description of how Uhtred moved into Dunholm after the death of Brida.

Can you tell me how this happened?

C. H. Cottam

A

Having described the capture of Dunholm in Lords of the North it didn’t seem a good idea to write a similar story all over again. Just assume, as I did, that with Brida’s death her followers abandoned her cause and surrendered her strongholds.

 


Q

Is there any way to bring Gisela back?  She was a wonderful character and showed that Uhtred was capable of true love.

Steph

A

It was capricious of me to kill her – but I can’t see a resurrection, sorry! Maybe in a short story?


Q

Dear Bernard,

 

I just finished Sword of Kings and I very much enjoyed it.  I thought the way Aethelstan killed his brother at the end somewhat mirrored how Norwenna died in The Winter King.  I am looking forward to the final book in October to see how Uhtred copes in war when he's pushing 80!

I have a couple of questions about the Last Kingdom series.

  1. Did you ever consider killing off Uhtred and replacing him with his son as the narrator/main protagonist, for example between The Pagan Lord and The Empty Throne where he nearly dies following his fight with Cnut?
  2. What was the nature of the oath Uhtred swore to Edward in Death of Kings? It is at the bottom of page 165 of that book.

Toby

A

I thought about it at one time, then decided against the idea. I think I was too fond of the father!

 

He swears to support Edward as King of Wessex, basically to please Edward’s dying father, Alfred.


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Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell:

 

Congratulations on “The Last Kingdom” series, and now TV series. I started watching, but decided I’d rather read it first.

 

Just a question on Norse religion. In several places early on in the first book characters state that the Vikingr religion had no clergy. I’m not any kind of expert, but almost all ancient pagan European religions had Some form of clergy/ shaman/ druids/ temple guardians. Weren’t the Norse priests/ priestesses called gothi/ hofgothi? Of course the leaders and nobles might have religious roles as well.

 

Looking forward to the rest of the saga of Uhtred!

 

SAT

Nova Scotia

A

They seem to have been self-appointed, i.e. there’s no religious hierarchy and organization that appoints clergy. I deliberately kept if vague!


Q

Hi Bernard.

My husband and I love your books.  We were very happy to see The Last Kingdom done by the BBC. It was well acted and close to our 'picture' of  Uhtred. We were shocked and disappointed at the last series done by Netflix.  They changed his character and also those around him. We did not mind a change of story line, it was the complete altering of the characters personalities that was so disappointing. It was Uhtred that put Athelflaed on the throne of Mercia and we loved the way he cleverly achieved it. Sadly the writers took Uhtred's clever planning ability from him and made him look weak and helpless -  simply led along.  Uhtred is better than that.  We could not bear to watch.  Could you please get BBC to do the next series?  We have also watched Sharpe and they are good.  Sean Bean is excellent at portraying him.  Thank you for all the great reading we have been able to do during lock down.

Kindest regards,

John and Sandra Hansen.

 

 

I just wanted to tell you that you are by far my favorite contemporary author, having replaced the late Tom Clancy in that role years ago.  I've got all of your series, as well as all or most of your "stand alone" novels.  In addition to loving your topics, plots, characters and writing style, I'm particularly impressed by your exhaustive research and attention to accurate historical detail in every book.

Although the Sharpe and Last Kingdom film series generally followed your respective threads, there have been some significant departures in each of them in some respects, especially with regard to The Last Kingdom.  My question is; did the producers consult you or give you any veto rights or latitude in making those revisions, or was it pretty much on a dictated "take it or leave it" basis?  (My hunch is that they perceived that the tv audience differs from the hard copy readership in what they consider to be entertaining.

Thanks much in advance.

Art

A

I take the view that the TV producers know their business (and I don’t know their business) so I let them get on with it and don’t ask questions.  I worked in television long enough to know that I know nothing about producing TV drama, and any input from me is liable to be either a distraction or an obstacle. If they have questions then they can ask me and I’ll answer, but otherwise I leave well alone.


Q

I just wondered if you have come across The Paladin, The Wolf Time (sequel) and Knight In Anarchy? They're by George Shipway, set in the C11th and C12th, in England and Normandy. I suspect Uhtred would have approved of Walter Tirel and Humphrey Visdelou...thoroughly recommended!

Martyn Kerr

A

I'm a huge Shipway fan (especially Paladin and Wolf Time) - He's a marvellous novelist.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of your books! I have read all your books apart from the Starbuck Chronicles, simply for my lack of interest in that particular part of history, and I loved all of them all. I’m very much looking forward to last books of the Sharpe and Saxon series' respectively. My favourite ones are still the Arthur books though, because I love the way you used the old Magic, with a particular luminous squid coming to mind. Now to my Question though: Am I mistaken, or has Durham/Dunholm lost much of its power, wealth and men since Uhtred made Sihtric the Lord there? Before it always seemed a great force to be reckoned with under Kjartan, Ragnar and Brida, but now barely plays a role anymore(which I regret, because I always loved him by Uhtred’s side, but I suppose he deserved that castle). Also, Sigtryggr Ivarsson seems a lot weaker than all other Nortumbrian lords/kings before him. Why do so many of his southern Lords fail to support him with men? What happened to Northumbria’s power, which in Cnut’s times could field many thousand men and now Sigtryggr struggles to field a few hundred?

Greetings from Colombia

Jonas

A

I’m not sure Dunholm has lost its power – which is mainly its location. A fortress on that hill is almost as impregnable as Bebbanburg, but of course Dunholm is not on Northumbria’s borders so its protected from the north by Bebbanburg and from the south by York. As to Northumbria’s weakness, it’s a small country trapped between two much larger powers. Some of the southern jarls made their peace with the Mercians, while the northern (and especially western) chieftains were seduced by the Scots or Strath Clotans. The final pacification of Northumbria (and its inclusion into England) waits for the 10th Century – and is partly covered in the book coming in October – War Lord.


Q

Hey Mr. Cornwell!

I was curious about the current women in Uhtred's life. Will Uhtred and Aethelfled have another chance at romance after she has been crowned lady of Mercia? Also concerning Brida as a new mother, will she come back into Uhtred's life too?

Erin Threlkeld

A

Ah, read on, read on!


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Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

Firstly, I would like to thank you for a such a wonderful series in the Saxon Series! I haven’t been able to stop reading them since I started last year and look forward to the rest of the books. I was wondering if you have seen Season 4 of The Last Kingdom and what you think about it.

I cannot wait to see you how you end Uhtred’s journey later this year. Thank very much!

- Jaedon

 

Mr. Cornwell,

I have been a fan of your work since 2013 when "Death of Kings" was tossed at me by an annoyed friend. I have been a longtime fan of the classic fantasy genre ever since I picked up a copy of The Hobbit as a kid.  I appreciate your perspective and historical commitment to your characters of the Warlord Chronicles, The Saxon Tales, and the Grail Quest. To me your work neither romanticizes nor vilifies the medieval time period, which is an easy trap to fall into. I have a somewhat eclectic taste in reading material though I find myself often returning to your works I mentioned. Thank you for such entertaining and wonderful stories of adventure that I will enjoy for years to come.

I also want to let you know that while a mild annoyance for you, the Archer's Tale title (I'm an American) was what reeled me in to the series. I found your annoyance with the title on your website worth a good chuckle. On a personal note, I was curious as to your opinion on the Netflix adaptation of your Saxon Tales. I am often wary of screen adaptions of literature.

Best Regards,

Michael

A

I enjoyed it!


Q

Hi!

First off, I absolutely adore your TLK series.  I’ve read the first 10 three times and o catch something new every time I read them.  I just have a question and a comment.  My question is are we going to see Sihtric or Steapa in the last book?  I hope so!

I just finished Sword of Kings.  Great book, but I do have to say I was a little appalled by Uhtred wished Edith death.  I know him being a flawed character is part of his charm, but him saying he wished her dead made my “What a dick!” meter go all the way to the left.

Thank you!  I eagerly await the last book!!

Vanessa Donnelly

A

You will see both, Sihtric glancingly, Steapa more prominently towards the end of the book.

 


Q

Hi Bernard,

I wanted to thank you for creating the Saxon Stories!! I am now up to date on the series and looking forward to the latest book of the series this October. I am sad to hear it will be the last of Uhtred’s adventures!

Saying that I wanted to ask if you have thought about taking on the 11th century of England’s history and writing about William Victory at Hastings in a series to set up the time period and the after effects on England?

Love your writing and will be starting Harlequin very soon!

Thank you again

Robin

 

A

I have given it some thought....but it is not high on my list.


Q

Please write the fifth Starbuck Chronicle. Just read the first 4 back to back..awesome and as enjoyable as Uhtred.

Simon Stevenson

 

I love the Sharpe series and I am thrilled you plan on doing another Sharpe book next but allow me to press you finish Starbuck. I think he only needs 1-2 books. Think you will ever be able to do it for us? Thanks.

Michael Kruckemeyer

 

 

 

A

I would like to get back to Starbuck one of these days.....but no promises.....


Q

I have asked in the past how you felt about changes in your stories when they are adapted for TV - whether Sharpe or Uhtred.  You have always answered that you didn’t mind them and found many of them interesting. I have agreed up to this point. HOWEVER, I am stunned by Season 4.  It in no way remotely resembles anything in the books. I won’t give any spoilers, but maybe 5% of it corresponds to the books. So rather than adapt the books to a TV format, the writer thought he could write a better story and just completely wrote his own. As a serious Cornwell fan I am baffled, disappointed and disheartened.  I have to think your legion of fans feels the same.

Ron Filipkowski

 

Dear Mr. Cornwell

Though I think not, I was wondering if you had any any input into the Netflix "The Last Kingdom" based on your novels?

Season 4 is almost unbearable to watch. Uhtred has been emasculated. He cries on shoulders, needs hugs, and really, his story seems incidental to the story. Most of it is on the King of Thrones-like intrigue of the various courts. In short, Uhtred is weak. I don't know if this dummying down of his character is a sign of the times, or simply just poor artistic direction of the lawyers, but Uhtred's fierce mischievousness and military prowess has has been watered down to something akin to Forrest Gump. It is frustrating. He lacks character. You have plenty, as reflected in your writing. Wish it showed through.

If you have any say at all, please ask the writers of the series to put some steel into Uhtred, as written by you.

Best,

Adam

A

I do not have any input into the TV series, but I’ve received mostly complimentary comments about Season 4. Yes, they did make some drastic changes, but I assume the constraints of TV production dictated those and I enjoyed the series anyway! It’s rather as if you get a whole new Uhtred story, and why not? I just hope they make a season five.

 


Q

I hope to find you in good health Mr Cornwell?

I am looking forward to Uhtred’s final tale which is due to come out this year. I want to thank you for writing these novels, I am a Northumbrian born and bred and we (and our history) are often forgotten up in this part of the World.

I hope in this final novel you will do right by Uhtred and give him the sword death that every warrior craves. Hopefully at the hands of his apprentice and protégé Æthelstan as a reward for his service and sacrifice to Wessex and England. Uhtred’s death in this manner would Symbolise the death of Paganism in a (mostly) Christian Kingdom. However I am most likely way off the mark.

You have commented that you intend to return and finish Sharpe’s story. I hope with ending of 2 Era’s (Sharpe and Uhtred) that you do not intend to hang up your writer’s quill?

Have you/do you entertain the prospect of returning to the troublesome time of the dark ages? You have previously state you are a descendant of Uhtred’s and I remember reading that there had been an Uhtred, Uhtredson or Oughtred at the heart of many conflicts and political events through English history. Would you consider writing a novel or novels about Uhtred’s descendants throughout the chaotic years after Uhtred’s death and 1066 and after?

Or maybe a novel about Uhtred’s ancestor Ida and him taking Din Guarie, maybe even the forging of the Saxon Kingdoms?

Just food for thought...

Kurt Beck

A

It’s a tantalizing thought! But I’m getting ancient . . . and the thought of embarking on a whole new series is daunting. One of my regrets is that when I wrote Harlequin (An Archer’s Tale in the US) I didn’t know that an Oughtred distinguished himself at the battle of Crecy – or else I’d have used him. Too late now. Another was a distinguished mathematician who supposedly invented the slide-rule – a gene that never came to me.


Q

Hello Mr Cornwell,

I have loved your Saxon Stories for many years now. I originally became immersed in the world of Uhtred in the most unusual way. I naively purchased 'The Empty Throne' for a holiday abroad, thinking it was a standalone book. Quickly I realised this was not the case but because I was abroad and it was the only book I had with me I decided to persevere and read it. It was a testament to your writing that I quickly picked up and followed the story. When I finished I was at somewhat of a crossroads, do I start from the beginning or do I continue with the story and read The Warriors of the Storm, the latest one at that point? I decided to continue the story as I was desperate to know what happened next but I managed to read the first books after, in time for release of The Flame Bearer.

Anyway, in my love of The Empty Throne, Sigtryggr quickly became my favourite character. I found him fascinating and my love of his character has only increased with each passing novel. I loved his intelligence, his charm and how he felt different to many Danes in your series and other forms of literature or television. I was also relieved when watching Season Four of The Last Kingdom that the show managed to do the character justice. He was easily the strongest aspect of the season for me.

My question surrounds his death from the plague in Sword of Kings. I haven't found any information online confirming how he died. My question is was his death in the books historical or fictional? If fictional, what was the rationale behind having him die from illness. Apologies for the long winded way of asking a simple question.

Thank you,

Andrew

A

It was fictional, and sickness allowed me to avoid having to give him a violent death which would have demanded Uhtred’s response – and that response would have distorted that story – though maybe it would have made a better one?

 


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.

I merely wish to say thank you for writing the absolutely wonderful Saxon Stories/The Last Kingdom series. I happened upon them after watching the first series of the TV show on Netflix and was captivated by your writing style and brilliantly engaging plot.

Might I also ask if you could tell me the meaning of 'Uhtred' and 'Stiorra' if at all possible please? I am an amateur name etymologist and very much would like to add these names to my list.

Thank you in advance!

Selena

A

Stiorra means 'star'.  But Uhtred? I don’t know if it has any meaning – sorry!  With the ineluctable changes of language it transmuted into Oughtred, a surname you can explore with Google, though I’ve never discovered an etymology that makes sense. I used the name simply because my father’s surname was Oughtred – I met him when I was in my 50’s and he showed me a family tree that went back to Uhtred’s time and beyond.


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

First I would like to say I have enjoyed reading all of your stories from Uhtred to Sharpe and everything in between.  I was re-reading The Saxon Stories and I ended up with a much different perspective about Osferth's behavior at the battle of London.

Uhtred and his men have their shield wall holding the gate. Father Pylrig and Osferth are on the walls above tossing stones and dead bodies on the Danes attacking Uhtred. This is Osferth's first fight and he is behaving somewhat underwhelmingly. He's mostly terrified and so far all he has done is spear a cripple for which Uhtred mocks him. Then at just the right moment, a huge crash of stone falls behind the Dane leader and Osferth "jumps" down behind it to stab the Dane in the leg crippling him.

Heroically jumping off the wall to attack a strong enemy from behind just doesn't seem to fit Osferth's character at all. He's timid and scared, he's been training to be a monk for ages and everyone thinks he fights badly and will die in his first shield wall.  Later on we come to know Osferth's character even better.  Uhtred acknowledges him as a smart and cautious like his father.  When he attacks the slavers in Lundene Uhtred thinks how Osferth disapproves of Finan and his rash actions and attacking before thinking it through.  Also, when Uhtred needs a commander to lure away the Dane's away from Caester so he can visit the Erce's grandma, Uhtred picks Finan because he believes Osferth would be too cautious and retreat to quickly.  Osferth just doesn't seem at all like a man who throws all caution to the wind and jumps.

It seems most likely to me that Osferth was pushing the rocks off the wall and accidentally fell behind Sigurd, but then no one ever says anything about it in the rest of the books and they all think he jumped? Uhtred seems to think he jumped and changes his opinion of him, but I'm now convinced that dude fell pushing the rocks off and just luckily recovered quickly.  Would you be able to share what you think happened?

Thanks,

Louis

A

I think it happened as I wrote it! But then I would, wouldn’t I? So yes, he seems timid, and a bit uncertain of his choice to be a warrior, but even apparently timid men sometimes astonish with an act of bravery – and that’s what happened. It might have been a fool’s act, but he wanted to prove that he was what he wanted to be.

 


Q

Hello Mr.Cornwell

I hope you and your family are safe from this virus that been plaguing the world. I just wanted to say I've been using this free time to reread your Last Kingdom series I'm currently on the 8th book and I enjoyed how you give a bit of Finan's past in Ireland.My question is in your last book will it be more historical then fictional. I'm sad that your next book War Lord will be the last in the series but I'm excited to see how Uhtred's story ends.

Tevin

A

It will be (is) heavily fictional, though the major events in it (Aethelstan’s invasion of Scotland and the Battle of Brunanburh) are historical – but sadly we know very little about both events, which leaves the door wide open for a heavy dose of fiction!

 


Q

I love your books. I have read or listened to every one of the Saxon stories. I am a big fan of Uhtred of Bebbanburg. I am very interested in Bebbanburg castle the way it looked in Saxon times. I would like to make a model of the castle and also to paint watercolor paintings of how it looked back then. I know you have described the castle and it’s grounds in several of your books which I am rereading to get geographical details. Where did you get your information about the different coastline and geography of the area? I have looked on several websites but can’t find a good map of how it might have looked. Do have any guidance for me? I know that present day Bamburg and it’s coast looks very different than it did a thousand years ago. I would be very grateful for any help you can give me. I would be glad to give you a free copy of any paintings I do and can send you photos of the model I build. Thanks for your time.

Mike Kroes

A

I really can’t remember what sources I used – I started the series over a decade ago, but I do recall reading that the land inshore of the castle was originally a shallow harbor. And that’s really about all I can tell you! The rest, I suspect, is imagination.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell.

I was fortunate enough to read 11 books from the Uhtred series. It is unfortunate that the thirteenth book will be final.

In the ninth, tenth and eleventh centuries, the land of Lothian and the city of Edinburgh were part of the Kingdom of Northumbria. Perhaps Lothian and Edinburgh were the property of Lord Bebbanburg. But in the first book, Uhtred said that the Tweed River was the northern boundary of his possessions. Then who owned Lothian and Edinburgh?

Will the Battle of Brunanburg in 937 be in the thirteenth book?

Thank you so much for Uhtred. These books made me happier.

Best regards,

Dmitry.

A

The frontier between Northumbria and Scotland seemed to shift with time – but for a time it did extend as far north as Edinburgh. I’ve rather ignored that – the whole area was ‘debatable land’ – and it made my life easier to assume a more southerly border. And Brunanburh does indeed appear in the next book.


Q

Hi Bernard I

have been a massive fan for nearly 20 years now. My mother stumbled upon Sharpe's triumph when i was 11 years old and since that day i have been hooked. I have two sons who will be hearing your stories when ready. I have a couple of questions. After the massive success of the last kingdom and sharpe tv series would you consider letting more of your stories become a tv show?.

Who would win in a one to one combat between Derfel vs Uhtred?

Looking forward to the next book in the last kingdom series.

Kind Regards.

Jordan McDonagh

A

Sure, why not?

They're as good as each other, which is all you'll get from me!


Q

Hi Bernard.

Don’t fret this is not yet another “will Nate return” question. I’m using the lockdown to re-read the Starbuck series. For my sins it’s how I read, somewhat superficially so I can find pleasure and even a new plotline in a book many times. So a question that has bugged me since my first reading if you will indulge me, Generally it seems you pick the winners, Sharpe, Uhtred, Arthur, etc. Was there a reason you chose to enlist Starbuck in the confederacy and not have a displaced southerner fight for the north?

Steve Cavell

A

Probably caprice? I just liked the tension between Starbuck’s chosen allegiance and his moral certainty that it was the wrong choice.

 


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

Greetings from Greece. I would like to thank you for your books. I was 18 when I first read Last Kingdom and now I'm 35 with two children...your books have been my comfort through good and bad times and although I knew this moment would come I must say I will greatly miss Uhtred. Nevertheless, I can't wait to read this final chapter of perhaps my most favourite fictional character.

Again, a big thank you!

Ioanna M

P.S: As a woman, I have to say I didn't like the way you treated Eadith. It was a bit unfair...Moreover, I remember Uhtred saying something about Constantin...that what he did to him after their first encounter was much worse. Unless there's been something that I forget so far I haven't read anything about Constantin to justify it. I hope I'm not talking nonsense.

A

Poor Eadith – but life is unfair! Wyrd bið ful āræd!  And I don’t recall any threat that Uhtred made to Constantin – though it’s entirely possible – and if he did I suspect it’s realized in the book I’m writing now.  And no, you’re certainly not talking nonsense! S' efharistó!


Auto Draft

Q

Good morning Mr Cornwell

Firstly, thank you for your books especially the Warlord & Uhtred series. I've read in your responses that you do not plot and I wondered how that worked with a historical fiction series?(obviously quite well!) Battles happen at fixed points in time and space so your characters need to be there also, for example, we are introduced to Kjartan/ Sven/ Thyra in book 1 but that plot/ sub plot isn't resolved to book 3. When you introduce someone like Kjartan is it the case that you don't know quite what will happen, simply that something will depending on events in between? You know the destination of your trip but not how you'll get there - sort of thing?

Many Thanks for all the enjoyment

Simon

A

And thank you . . . and it’s true that I have an extremely inefficient way of writing the books, meaning that I genuinely don’t know what will happen next most of the time, though I justify this by saying that the joy of reading a book is to find out what happens, and for me the pleasure of writing one is the same ! To find out what happens. But I do give Uhtred (or whoever) enemies that might come in useful in later books – and Kjartan certainly filled that role extremely well. And yes I do usually know the destination and it’s simply (simply?) a process of discovering the route there. My method (a word that dignifies inefficiency) is to start a book, tell a story – and it’s reather like climbing a mountain. I get a third of the way up, look back, and see a better route – so back to the beginning, follow that new route which might propel me half way up, when I look back – see a better route – and so on! I really do wish I could plan a whole novel, as some writers do, but I’ve never managed to do it, and even when I’ve tried the plan has fallen apart as soon as the characters come alive. Ah well . . . .


Q

Good Morning Sir,

I hope you're staying safe in this difficult time. I’ve been using the quarantine period to reread your excellent books.

But one major issue seems to have been forgotten - does Uhtred ever make up with his first born son? Surely they will have a moment before the end.

Love your work

Tom

A

Surely they do – I’ve just written it . . . . .


Q

Mr Cornwell.

I love your books, I think I've read/listened most of them; we've  watched/read Sharpe avidly and also the Uhtred saga.   However, my very best favourite is Thomas..

I've just finished listening to 1365 which has left me hungry for more!  (Read The Trilogy before 1365 some time ago...  I think they were the first audio books I ever listened to!)  Surely there's, another book in "the works "?

Thank you very much for your books and for choosing the right narrator!  Looking forward to hearing some good news?

Lucy Swanton

A

I do not have plans for more books with Thomas of Hookton .....but never say never!


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwall,

I read out (edited) the books to my ten year old son - he loves the books as much as I do.

We are wondering why it is you (we think) have chosen the "west" location of Brunanburh on the Wirrall, favoured by Max Adams, and more recent historians rather than the "east" location near Doncaster as favoured by Michael Wood?

Still think Uhtred should have buried a hoard just outside Lichfield on his way to the battle of Tettenhall, but hey, it was your book.  We are partisan, living in Hednesford, not far from Lichfield, Penkridge and Hammerwich.

Are you going to branch into another area of history when Uhtred's story is finished?  I still could see a generational gap and maybe a grandson carrying on post Brunanburh - there's the whole drama of Erik Haraldson (who may or may not have been Eirik Bloodaxe) and the morally bankrupt Wulfstan yet.

By the way, we are wondering what Stiorra's son is called - you told us she called her daughter Gisela, and that they both sadly died at the end of the most recent book.   Or did they? Because the are both niece and nephew of Olaf Guthfrithson, who is going to be opposite Aethelstan next to Constantine over the matter of York.

Rory (my son) likes how you write the landscapes so well. He has aspirations of being an author when he's older.

Best regards,

Lucy and Rory

A

Good luck to Rory! As for Brunanburh – I was originally convinced by Michael Livingston who edited (and contributed much to) ‘The Battle of Brunanburh, a Casebook’ published by Liverpool University Press. Since that book was published there have been extraordinary finds in the Wirral – broken swords, arrowheads, spearheads, and in such concentration that almost certainly the archaeologists have discovered the battle site – more or less at Exit 4 of the M53. I visited the site last summer and saw some of the more than 2000 artefacts, and that convinces me that the Wirral is indeed the battle site.

 

I really haven’t thought that far! I doubt I’ll stop writing – but what about? I have some ideas – but no decisions yet.

 

I can’t remember what his name was! I’m sure I mentioned it somewhere and I’ve looked . . but come up empty. Maybe a helpful reader can tell me?

 


Q

Can you please describe how Uhtred and Aethelred are cousins?

Thanks!

Michele Fernandez

A

Uhtred’s mother, Æthelgifu, was sister to Æthelred’s father.


Q

Hi Bernard,

I just started book 10, The Flame Bearer, and I had a thought about Uhtred's oaths.  He is very aware of his oath to Aethelflaed but did he not swear an oath to Edward on Alfred's deathbed after Alfred granted him that new estate? I don't have a copy to Death of Kings to confirm this but he doesn't seem to mention it in the books I've read so far that take place after Death of Kings. Was it just a temporary oath like in the tv show or was it supposed to be for life?

David Major

A

I’m not quite sure which oath you’re referring to? I don’t remember him swearing an oath to Edward, but he does have a lifelong oath to protect Aethelstan. Sorry, I’m confused!


Q

Dear Bernard/Mr.Cornwell,

I write to you as a friend, we have never met, but I have read so much of your work and have felt so much joy in reading your work that I feel closer than strangers at least. I did sign-up to meet you at a signing in Jorvik (York) once, but such as Arthur or Lancelot, I was driven to a position in France and was sadly not able to attend.

I am from Ipswich (sadly not mentioned in your series so far from what I have read as I always look for it in the place names in the Uthred books), but have family in Whitley Bay towards Bamburgh. Thus, I have had the pleasure of driving up to Bamburgh, and, if I had my way, you and I would share a pint (or a Jameson Whisky as I understand you enjoy) in a nearby pub and would talk for hours about your books and History.

Alas, as I have found love in France, which keeps me here (happily I should add) such as you ventured to America to be with Judy, so I shall just ask a couple of questions.

You mentioned on a live chat once (and in the Sharpe books) that Harper came from your friend and his son in Ireland, and you were about to mention where Finan came from when all of a sudden you were side-tracked by another question, so, I would like to know what you would have said about Finan's origins (is it from your love of Ireland etc.)?

Now that the Uhtred series is coming to an end (and he has done spectactularly well), do you think there will be some continuation or ending of the Starbuck Chronicles? (I understand it is probably an annoying question by now, so feel free to ignore it).

To finish, and if you have made it this far I applaud you because damn do I ramble-on, I just wanted to say that it was The Arthur Books that got me reading you. As many a British boy I'm sure, I am in love with the idea of being a hero, Robin Hood, or Arthur or Henry V or indeed Derfel or Thomas of Hookton. Your take on the Arthurian legend really grasped me in the way characters could hold depth in their stories, and what a story to be a part of. Of course when I read I am there, with Sharpe or with Derfel as their right-hand man.

Apologies for the essay and the bad grammar, I do hope you have the time to read it.

In the hopes I will make a reading one day, I leave you a loyal fan, looking forward to reading more and more.

Best regards,

Alex

A

Oh, Finan is certainly from my love of Ireland! I lived there long enough to be seduced by the Irish, and swore never to have an Irish villain or an Irish caricature. This was tested a bit with Sergeant Lynch in Sharpe’s Regiment, but of course the definition of an Irish villain is his passionate adherence to the British, so that was solved!

 


Q

Hi Bernard,

Will War Lord be the last in the series? You were non-committal last time I asked but your answers to others suggests this will be the end. Can you shed light?

Good luck with whatever comes next.

Chris

 

Hi. I was just wondering how long you think Uhtred has left? By my reckoning he was born in about 857, and by the end of Sword of Kings Edward dies, which happened in 924, so Uhtred is 67! Surely he doesn't have many battles left in him?

Andrew Evans

A

At the moment, yes – the last. But I thought that about the ‘last’ Sharpe too. But probably.


Q

I love the last kingdom series and can’t wait to read the next book. Curious to know - will there be a 13th book and if so when will it be published? No pressure of course - I realize you need to write it!

Cheers

Stacey from Down under.

 

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

I just wanted to take a moment to say to you that the last kingdom series is one of the best I have ever read. I recently came about them after seeing and being recommended to watch the show currently on Netflix. I have always been a medieval time period fanatic. I decided to read the books first ( as always ) and wasn’t able to stop. I have read all twelve books in the matter of three weeks and, just finished the sword of kings a few days ago. I have seen on other questions and comments that you are currently writing a thirteenth! Very excited!! I was curious when might we see it released? Also when Uhtred passes, which I hope is never haha, will you continue on writing through the eyes of his son?

Thank you for your time reading this, I hope to hear from you soon!

Forever Fan,

Doug

A

The thirteenth book of The Last Kingdom series is almost done!  It is to be called War Lord and will be published in the UK on 15 October 2020 and in the US on 20 November 2020.


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Last Kingdom series. Thank you for your creativity. I likely missed it in the series, but what happened to the deaf girl Uhtred’s son had at his farm? What happened to the wife and child of Uhtred’s cousin (also Uhtred). The wife was with Osferth, and her son went back to his father, but I don’t recollect seeing what happened with them. Does Mildreth ever make a return, or is she living her days out in the nunnery?

Thanks,

Steve

A

There are loose ends, I know. Maybe I’ll clear them up? But sometimes they stay loose. I doubt we’ll see Mildreth again. The best assumption is that they lived happily ever after!

 


Q

Hi Bernard.

I have read and loved your books for many years now, not least The Last Kingdom series. Thank you for years of enjoyment, entertainment and historical education. My question surrounds the first couple of books in the series, written in first person by a seemingly aged Uhtred, in what seems like secret solitude. As the series moves on, there is no reference to this any more. Why is this?

I also really enjoyed the Waterloo book. Any plans for any more non fiction books?

Dave Pugh

A

Do they give that impression? It wasn’t intentional and I confess I’m slightly surprised. I’ll go back and look. They’re all written in his (extreme) old age, but solitude? Maybe! Or maybe he’s cheered up since he wrote the first two volumes.


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

I am new to your work and just recently picked up the first book of Uhtred's saga. I've been tearing through it but came to a spot that left me a little confused. When Uhtred meets up with Ragnar the Younger on the beach to set the record straight regarded Ragnar's death, why doesn't Ragnar the Younger (I suppose he's just Ragnar by then) ask Uhtred why he switched sides? Uhtred was nearly a man grown by the time he abandoned the Danes and was so immersed in their world that it must seem like a very real betrayal. Wouldn't Ragnar at least have reprimanded him about that? Or not trusted him since he became a turncoat? Instead he simply asks Uhtred to help him get revenge.

Looking forward to finishing the first book and all the future volumes waiting for me!

All the best,

Ryne Davis

A

I don’t remember that episode . . . and I’m sorry if you feel it leaves out some vital explanations. Much of Uhtred’s career is spent wondering whose side he should be on, and probably there are too many words describing that dilemma. Maybe I should have added more on the beach? Apologies

 


Q

First - Thank you so much for your books. I just finished listening to the 12th Last Kingdom book. I experienced them one after the other on audible in what has felt like a great dream. Now, I must wake up from the dream while waiting for #13.

Still, I must ask you about the women in the book. Honestly, it's a bit of a protest. Did Uhtred really say at the end of book 12 that he was happy Edith died? Huh? So he could have Bendetta? Really? I realize women died earlier in the middle ages and men had serial marriages, but by book 12 Uhtred has had a harem's worth. And they are always strikingly beautiful. Please don't descend into teenage boy fantasy of women.

Gisella and others have been reasonable characters. Some of the gals could use a little more of your attention (what did they do with their time for goodness sake?)  But it seems Uhtred ends by despising his last stupid, pious wife. This is what your foreshadowing seems to indicate.

It does seem sad to spend a lifetime as a kingmaker and end with  such an impoverished hearth. Perhaps your Bendetta can do something with all her orphans?

Whatever you decide, I am looking forward to reading the results. Cheers!

Rorie

A

I’m not sure he was happy, I think he was suffering from a guilty conscience that a part of him had secretly wished for a change? He is human and oh so fallible. And the women he chooses always seem to be strong . . . you should like that!

 


Q

Hi, g’day from the land of Oz. I’ve read the 4 Starbuck books and am holding onto life in the hope of a further book to tie up loose ends, particularly to see Blythe cop his much deserved dues. Any chance of that before I shuffle off this mortal coil?

Wally Bezeruk

 

Hello. My son and I have enjoyed together every Sharpe book, each of the Uhtred books, Agincourt, The Fort, and have recently completed all four of the Starbuck Chronicles. In all, we have bought 41 different stories, many of them in more than once; including print, kindle, and audiobook editions. We also own the box set for Sharpe's TV series, even though we do not yet own a player capable of playing it!

Starbuck is by far your best work. I am writing to encourage you to please, pretty please, write more Starbuck books. As fun as it would be to have more Sharpe, all that we really want to know can be learned from Patrick Lassan; and Uhtred is a little long in the tooth for more war glory. But Starbuck is fresh and just hitting his stride.

We are waiting with bated breath to know how you will tell the story of Marye's Heights, the long hot road to Gettysburg, and then introduce us to Ullyses S. Grant. Stories your readers already know, but want to hear your telling. Please write more Starbuck soon!

Brad Nelson

A

I hear you . . . but I’m getting ancient like Uhtred. I’m not saying I won’t write more of Nate Starbuck, only that it won’t be the next book – or, probably, the one after that. Thank you!


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Hi.

You may have been asked this already. Sorry if you have or ive got it wrong but i thought young Edmind rescued by boat in Kent by Uhtred with his brother mum and bernadette was half brothet to Athelstan with his dad being the dying Edward. Towards the last pages before the feast Athelstan says to Uhtred he will not harm his nephews and their mum when they go to Kent. LOVED the book and instalment. Cant wait for next .

Regards

Mike

A

They’re his half-brothers, yes, my mistake.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I have enjoyed the Uhtred series and hope to read the final novel.

I am writing to you to bring up a point for your consideration.

In all my reading of history, I have never read or seen a reference to the use in England in the ninth century of stirrups.

I appreciate stirrups added to your novels but I believe that while the Normans had stirrups at Hasting (this their feigned retreat) Harold did not.

This is not a criticism as all your novels are terrific.

Regards

Andrew Davis

 

A

My best sources suggest that stirrups came into use in Europe during the 8th Century and we have evidence they were used in Scandinavia a hundred years earlier.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

Best Historical fiction i have ever had the pleasure to read.  I have just finished 'Sword of Kings' and although i believe that Uhtred deserves a long happy retirement in Bebbanberg i believe he may still have some scores to settle? Any plans for a thirteenth installment.  Finan will be itching for a fight by then

Graham

A

I am writing book #13 now.


Q

Hello.

What about Uhtred swearing an oath to Edmund next?  You know it makes sense!  I'm sure you could come up with some skirmishes or set-to's!

Many thanks,

Andrew S.,

Leeds

A

Awww, c’mon!  The poor man deserves a break! No more oaths – just a long retirement with his woman beside him??


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I am a huge fan of your books as I am very interested in British history and I love your style of writing. I am also very interested in mythology, especially Nordic mythology. And here comes my question. In the Uhtred books the sceadugengan are sometimes mentioned. I have tried to find more information on them but these information seem to be very rare. Could you recommend me a good book or webpage where I can find more information and that I could also quote as a source?

 

Greetings from Germany!

Miriam

A

I honestly have no source other than a good Anglo-Saxon dictionary that lists the word and threw up a host of possibilities! The word existed, the idea must have existed, but the rest was imagination.


Q

HAPPY NEW YEAR , Bernard !

Just finished Sword of Kings ! Excellent stuff! Poor Uhtred got himself in quite a pickle there , didn't he ?

One tiny tiny tiny complaint though...

My favourite character was mentioned, but never showed up!

STEAPA!

I was waiting about 200 pages for him to lumber up and save Uhtred's arse. ..just like old times!

So I was annoyed at that and am now Grumpy Grumpyson!

May Steapa rises from his Fictional grave and chop your head off!

Looking forward to what's next

Yours

Lord Grumpy Grumpyson

 

A

So far as I know Steapa still lives – old, yes, even grumpy as you sometimes, so there’s a chance he’ll appear again! Read on!

 


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell.

Many years ago, a friend recommended your book Agincourt to me and although I didn't think I'd like a book about a battle, I was drawn in by your marvelous character development and fascinating historical descriptions.

That said, I love Uthred.  I was thrilled that BBC developed a series and I think they've been true to your books.  One thing that has me wondering, though, as I am reading Sword of Kings, is how old is Uhtred now?  Pushing 60, I would imagine.  Considering in the first book, Uhtred laments how he's an old man and starts telling us his story in flashback mode, and that life expectancy in the 9th century was probably around 35, aren't you cheating a bit my making him such an active and invulnerable senior, considering all the physical trauma (slavery and war wounds) he's been through?   He doesn't complain about his age anymore, as we read in "real time" and not flashback mode, and many of his acquaintances from the younger generation have already died.

I love Uhtred and am thrilled to continue reading his story, and I know it's fiction, just wondering about this, since everything else is so realistic.  And just for the record, don't go killing Uhtred on my account. LOL!

Thank you so much for such wonderful books and many blessings to you and your family.

Maria Garaitonandia

A

Well, he is getting older but he doesn't keep count.  I can't remember how old I am either!


Q

Hi Bernard,

Is it sheer coincidence that your character Uhtred sounds similar to your father’s surname Oughtred? Big fan.

Chris

A

Not a coincidence at all!


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

I really enjoyed your entire book series of Uhtred. I just finished Sword of kings and I was somehow puzzled in the last chapter when King AethelStan refers to Eadgifu’s sons as his nephews while in reality they are his half brothers.

Is there a reason behind that statement?

Thank you and looking forward to Uhtred new adventures.

Roland Younes

A

They’re his half-brothers, yes, stupid me.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell

I have been an avid follower of your books since Sharpe’s Eagle first came out in paperback nearly 40 years ago. Throughout that time I have been serving in the British Army although despite coming from good greenjacket stock I only spent 3 months as a rifleman myself.

Your Uhtred books continue to entertain and I have recently traced my own ancestry back to Prince (later King) Edmund, his parents Edward and Eadgifu, and his grandfather Alfred the Great, who is my 36th great grandfather. This has added another dimension of interest!  There is also via another branch an Uhtred in there, but being born in 1120 this is clearly not our hero.

I do wonder though whether in Sword of Kings (which I have just finished for the second time) you might have got your London gates a little bit mixed up? Cripplegate was the gate in the fort - I got married for the first time in St Giles-without-Cripplegate church, as did Oliver Cromwell, but that’s another story - which Uhtred and Finan can see in the distant west. From your description I think the gate where the battle to place is actually Bishopsgate, although I don’t believe it was known by that name in 10th century London.

Could I be right?

Yours sincerely

Rick Keeson

A

I’m fairly sure I am right, but it would immensely rude to suggest you’re wrong. It was a fierce battle, anyway!

 


Q

Hi Mr Cornwell,

I have recently finished the book series Last Kingdom and I hugely enjoyed the series especially as it was a completely different kind of series to the usual that I read. I have previously thoroughly enjoyed the Harry Bosch and Inspector Rebus series but anyway that’s beside the point.

The books have had a big effect on me and i’m keen on tattoos and would like to get one of Uhtred in all his glory with a Welsh dragon behind him. I just wanted to know whether he looks like you imagined him to look on the series the vikings (yet to watch this). And if not is there an image somewhere that you can think of that really resembles Uhtred in the way you see him?  I know there’s the description in the books but I wondered whether you have seen an image that really does the character you created justice.

Thank you for your time,

Dewi Williams.

A

I suppose we’re all influenced by Alexander Dreymon’s superb portrayal in the TV series, but (and this is no criticism) I see Uhtred as older – mainly because the TV is still covering the early books and I’m writing the later ones!


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Dear Mr Cornwell,

Mere words cannot express the appreciation I have for you and your collection of published works. Thank you. Your works have lit up my life for years.

I am sure you have been asked this before, but I am unable to find the answer, so if you will bear with me, I will ask again.

Did you ever consider turning the Grail Quest series into a longer series of books? The setting of Hookton and his band of Hellequin seems like a perfect backdrop for a longer series of books, like what you have done so well with Sharpe and Uhtred.

This is not a criticism, as the four books in the series are all phenomenal anyway. Just a curiosity.

Jared

A

I’ve certainly considered it – and still am . Will it happen? I wish I knew, but I’m tempted.

 


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

Congratulations on another excellent un put downable addition to your Last Kingdom series.

I noted in the book you make a number of references to iron rimmed shields. My understanding is that the majority of shields of the time would most likely be edged with leather? Forging an iron rim for a circular shield would involve a skilled blacksmith for some considerable time, thus making the shield expensive. However shields were semi-disposable items. The Icelandic Sagas record participants in pre-arranged single combat bringing a number of shields with them, no doubt in the knowledge they wouldn’t last long against a battle axe or heavy spear in the hands of a skilled user? I appreciate remains of iron shield rims have been recovered through archaeology however I would suggest these would be from ceremonial or “dress” shields owned by chieftains and the like who could afford them?

With Uhtred being born in 866 and Athelstan becoming king in 924, this makes Uhtred 58 for the period of the Sword of Kings. Being a six foot tall, reasonably fit 50 something myself, the thoughts of donning a coat of mail and slugging it out with sword and shield (even if leather edged) against someone of a similar build or bigger seems rather daunting? As you mentioned Uhtred lives to see Englaland united then I take it he will be present at the battle of Brunanburgh 937? This will make him a venerable 71 so presumably he will be limited to giving Athelstan sage like counsel rather than wading in to the battle with his new friend Egil who I note you have also introduced, being someone we also know from his own saga, was present at the battle. Not that you will give anything away of course!

Your reference to heraldic type badges for leaders banners and shields seems a bit anachronistic however I appreciate this gives needed clarity to the reader. The Bayeaux tapestry shows the Saxons carrying dragons on poles as standards at the battle of Hastings. This has been literally interpreted as being a carved dragon or more likely a continuance of the late Roman draco standard, being an iron forged dragon head with a brightly dyed “wind sock” arrangement attached behind it. The dragon head being forged in such a way as to give our an eerie noise when the wind blows through it. As Uhtred’s standard is a wolf’s head, it would be really cool for him to carry forth a wolf head version of this type of standard? I am not after any credit for this idea. It would just be great to read about in the next book!

Kind Regards,

Peter Clayton

 

A

That’s interesting and I’ve no doubt leather was used, but there are references to iron-rims. I’m guessing both were used? Probably the majority were leather-rimmed – and for pointing that out, thank you.

He’s extraordinary – of course! He’s a hero. And yes, he is getting old – like Blucher at Waterloo. But there’s a simple question. Do you want the Battle of Brunanburh with Uhtred or without him? I vote ‘with’!

You’ve lodged the idea in his head – let’s see!  And I disagree with anachronistic – they’re not heraldic as such – they’re pre-heraldic symbols and did exist.

 


Q

What has been your most important research resource for the Uhtred saga? How good is your Anglo-Saxon?

Dick Godfrey

A

I hate to say it – probably imagination? I’ve read all the histories (or a lot, anyway!) and the various chronicles, but there a lot of gaps and contradictions in the evidence. The best I can hope for is to offer an authentic background to what is, in the end, fiction! My Anglo-Saxon is dire, but I have grammars and dictionaries and I can struggle through!


Q

Hello Bernard,

I continue to enjoy your well researched and entertaining novels - especially the Last Kingdom series.

In your latest book, Uhtred, as is his benevolent nature, continues to give away shillings. This intrigues me since the coin never existed in his time. It was first issued, a ‘Testoon’, in early 16th Century in the reign of Henry VII. I’m sure you have had this pointed out to you before now. However a literary licence does allow such generosity !

Keep up your good work

Keith Wilson

 

A

The word 'shilling' is an Anglo-Saxon word denoting a small value coin that was used in Wessex and Mercia - it's mentioned in a couple of surviving documents from the 8th Century onward and, of course, it has very little to do with the shilling some of us grew up with!


Q

I must thank you for the many hours I have been entertained by your stories.  I still have 3 or 4 books left to go.  They have made my road time to and from work enjoyable.

I was wondering, will there be more to the story of Uhtred after Sword of Kings?  My only wish with this series is that Jonathan Keeble had done the whole series.  The way he told the story was amazing.  Matt Bates has done well.

If there is going to be more to Uhtred's story, when might the next book be released.  I will have it on release and will make sure I have audibles ready to play it when it is released.

Many Thanks for the wonderful stories.  They are brilliantly and richly written.

Kind Regards,

Heather

 

Dear Bernard,

I’m such a huge Uhtred fan and have been happily expecting the next in the series this autumn - but I’ve realised you’ve not yet said (or I’ve not discovered) what you’ll be working on next or when it might be due! Are you able to tell us yet?

Very best wishes

Jackie (proud BCFC member)

 

Is this the last of the series or do you plan to write some more. Have loved the whole series (so far?).

John Turnbull

A

I am writing the next book (number 13!) of the series now.  Hopefully it will be ready for publication in October of this year.  I won't know what will come next until I've finished this one!


Q

Thank you for having this interface with fans. I don't think it is sufficient to say you are my favorite author. You spawned an entire genre of captivating historical fiction, and I am as grateful for that as for your books, which still reign supreme.

Two questions:

I am puzzled by the ending of Sword of Kings where Uhtred says "but I did" (after Benedetta proclaims "you did not want her dead."). What am I missing here?

Second question: Sharpe vs. Uhtred: who wins? Yes, I know, different eras, different weapons. But level the playing field on that score, and...??

Jeremy Symons

 

A

Because he did and he was ashamed of it.

They're as good as each other, which is all you'll get from me!


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What is the meaning of the stone in Uhtred’s sword pommel?  In the series, it is shown quite often.

Chip Redden

A

Does it have a meaning? I apologise that this is a totally unhelpful answer, but I don’t remember attaching any significance to a stone in the hilt. Maybe I did? But I’ve forgotten! Sorry!!

 


Q

I am sure you have seen this news about the King Alfred hoard:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/11/21/two-metal-detectorists-convicted-stealing-3-million-viking-hoard/

Is there any way you could work in Uhtred dancing on the heads of the ancestors of these w....rs in your next book?

Lars Kristiansen

A

I’d surely like to dance on their heads and on other parts of their anatomy! It is horrific to me, and evidently to you, because we’re denied another scrap of historical knowledge, but greed is nothing new. Uhtred probably helped himself to a few Bronze Age grave goods, but at least he had the excuse of ignorance. Whatever, I’ll curse them for you and hope it hurts.

 


Q

I love Uhtred's skepticism of Christianity.  But I've always wondered whether there were doubters of both that religion and the pagan religions during the ninth century.  My assumption is that there must have been some (who very likely kept quiet about it) and their doubts didn't make it into recorded history.  What do you think?

Richard Brown

A

It would be a rare and brave man or woman who held such views. Of course what we call atheism was not unknown to the Greeks and Romans – Lucretius’s great poem De Rerum Naturae is evidence of that – but I suspect Lucretius and his followers were more sophisticated than most folk in Anglo Saxon Britain – not that the Saxons were stupid, they were not, but they didn’t have the advantage of living in a polytheistic society where questioning any one religion could easily lead to skepticism about the rest. If you’re raised in an environment where just about everyone believes the same thing then you have to be a very extraordinary thinker to challenge it. It was rediscovery of De Rerum Naturae in the early 16th Century that injected a healthy dose of skepticism into Christianity, but Uhtred and company didn’t have that advantage.

 


Q

I have read the 4 volume series of Starbuck twice and really enjoyed it both times. When will you be releasing Volume Five? You say on the last page of V4 ..."Starbuck will march again.".

Thanks for all your great books, especially the Sharpe's Series, my Grandson is now enjoying them.

Gary Brown

 

Hi Bernard,

I recently finished the bloody ground and I am wondering if we will ever see more of Nate and Truslow? I understand you are busy with the excellent tales of Uhtred (and hopefully bringing Sharpe out of retirement!). Given this I wondered if you had ever considered allowing another author to finish the tale, or is a novel too personal to hand to someone else?

Thanks for the many hours of entertainment so far,

Sean

 

A

I hope to return to Starbuck someday....but really can't say when that might be.   And if I can't finish a book (or series) then I expect it will stay unfinished!  I really don't want to have someone else write them for me . . . .it isn't that I think that's a dreadful idea, just wouldn't work for me!


Q

Really enjoyed the Last Kingdom series, which I have read and purchased (doubtless you are happy to hear) over the years. How much longer do you plan on keeping it going?

Paul Alan Thompson

 

Hello Bernard,

Will the Uhtred book you are writing now be the last of the series?

Separately, the correspondent asking for a series about Wales would enjoy Sharon Penman's series, Here Be Dragons, Falls The Shadow and The Reckoning.

Cheers

Chris

 

A

Well, I am writing the next book of the series now....and we'll see what comes after that!


Q

Good afternoon,

i'm a great fan of your books, especially the Uhtred saga. Now i have one question regarding the last book:

As Uhtred's daughter and grandchildren are all dead, how shall the prophecy be fulfilled, that his daughter will be the mother of kings?

And i must say that i'm really sorry for Eadiths death as i liked this figure. I have no idea why she had to die too, but i'm sure you'll have one.

Greetings from Berlin and looking forward to the next book

Peter Ansorge

A

The prophecy was wrong....prophecies often are.


Q

I love this series and have just finished your last book, Sword of Kings. Will there be another book after this one in the series?  I particularly like this period in history as to how England is borne.  I believe that you did hint in your last book that Uhtred would live to see the unification??

Would appreciate hearing from you.

I have so enjoyed your Last Kingdom series. The have brought me many hours of reading pleasure.

I am from Wales now living in Canada. I would love to learn about the history of Wales and how we became to be a principality of the UK. Have you thought about doing a novel on that particular piece of history?

Regards,

Linda Marshall

A

I am writing the next book now!

I have not! And I suspect it’s a novel best told by a Welsh writer? It isn’t that I’m not interested, but I shiver to think of the research that would be needed – principally some basic knowledge of the Welsh language and, ideally, a fervent sympathy for the Welsh cause!


Q

Dear Bernard,

Firstly, can I just say how much I love your Last Kingdom series of books, and the current TV series based on the novels.  Not only I do I find the history of the Vikings and Saxons fascinating, I also find Uhtred's dry sense of humour highly amusing and very like my own!

Secondly, I have a query regarding your novel, The Pagan Lord.  You make reference to two place names, Tettenhall and Wednesbury in the West Midlands.  I understand that there is some debate regarding where a famous Viking battle took place - however as someone who lives in Wednesfield in the West Midlands, I am certain this is where the battle was fought.  You will notice that it makes more sense for 'Odin's Field' to be Wednesfield - not Wednesbury, which would actually be Odin's 'burgh'.  Wednesbury is about 15 miles from where I live.

Interestingly, I also live just off a road called 'Waddensbrook Lane', which makes me think this could be referencing Woden's brook.  There is indeed the remnants of a brook along this road, which I am certain would have been much, much wider 2000 years ago.  Could the Vikings have travelled along this brook to meet their fate just a few minutes from my home?

I hope you don't mind me questioning you, but Wednesfield as a small village, is often mistaken or overlooked in favour of the small town of Wednesbury.  I would be extremely disappointed if this was reflected in your TV series.

I know deep down the place where I live has some historical significance and I feel the road names support this.

Thanks again for your wonderful writing,

Kindest Regards,

Angie

A

I have no idea whether you’re right, though I’m perfectly prepared to accept that you are. There’s always a problem of identifying long lost battle-fields and until the archaeologists dig up spear-heads and broken swords the arguments continue! The classic case, at least for Uhtred’s period, is to determine where the battle of Brunanburh was fought – and places as far apart as Yorkshire, County Durham, the Solway Firth and the Wirral have been proposed, almost all based on place-name  identification, but I think I’m giving away no secrets to say that Wirral Archaeology have recently unearthed a mass of finds (spear-heads, arrow heads, broken swords) that will probably (hopefully) end that argument once and for all. I hope you can do the same for Wednesfield!

 


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Hello Mr Cornwell,

thank you for another excellent installment of Uhtred's adventures. As I read Sword of Kings I started wondering if perhaps Uhtred's adventures at his age were getting a little silly, even for a fictional hero. After all, I think Uhtred turned 67 in 924, the year of Edward's death.

Then it dawned on me that my father-in-law is 79 years old, drinks like a fish, eats terribly, yet visits the gym every other day where he bench-presses weights that most men half his age can't cope with. On reflection, Uhtred seems far more believable a character than my father-in-law, and I see no reason for him not to be quite literally fighting fit at 80 years of age by the time Brunanburh comes around. Even then, he'll still be a good decade or more younger than Cohen the Barbarian!

Anyway, a quick question (which I understand you may not wish to answer!). Have we now met Uhtred's future and final wife in Sword of Kings - the lady he likes to have a bit of a moan about from time to time when he narrates in the present tense...?

Phil Dean

A

No no no, you haven’t. It’s possible she’ll remain a figment of his (my?) imagination. Benedetta, a curious creature, refuses to marry him, which leaves me in a quandary. It might remain . . . meanwhile Uhtred, like your father-in-law, continues to amaze!


Q

I recently purchased War of the Wolf and so, of course, had to read through the whole series before opening the new read. My wife laughs as I read through these books for the third time but I just smile and enjoy myself.Thanks for that.

I'm a retired High School History teacher and I share your love of Saxon Britain but even more the period of Roman Britain. I keep hoping you will turn your talents to that period. After all, Uhtred is an admirer of all things Roman,no? Rosemary Sutcliffe, as I'm sure you know, did a wonderful job of that period in her books.

I know you must feel a strong connection with this series due to your ancestry and I am "proud" to say I too have an ancestry that I feel connected to. I am a 9th generation Ranger living in Quebec. Hubert Ranger arrived in New France in 1686 as a soldier in the Carignan Salieres Regiment sent to protect the settlements. He then married a "Filles du Roi" and settled as a tenant farmer on the Ste. Anne Seignury on the west end of Ile Montreal. The ancestry makes me feel connected, even proud.

Finally, this was mainly to thank you for your contribution to Historical Fiction and to wish you many more adventures. Thanks for the entertainment!

I got so caught up with my ancestry note I just sent that I forgot the other reason I wanted to write you...Alfred's Dream!

As I live in Quebec continually caught up in the English/French language debate I recently reflected on the success of the English Language. Wouldn't Alfred the Great be amazed at this success? I wish some Quebec Francophones would remember how important English is on a global scale.I am a 9th generation French Canadian comfortable in both languages and wish all Quebecois would respect & embrace our 2 founding languages!

Huzzah for Alfred!

Paul Ranger

A

Alfred the Great would be astonished, amazed! Especially as, by the year 878 AD, the Saxon control of Britain had been effectively shrunk to the Somerset marshes. Why Britain doesn’t now speak Danish is a miracle! I think your message is extraordinarily generous – merci! My father was Canadian, from BC, but alas, my command of French is at the level of ‘La plume de ma tante’, a phrase I remember learning at Junior School, but why? Are French aunts famous for owning pens? Je ne sais pas! And never will!

 


Q

Mr Cornwell,

Thank you once again for Uhtred's latest adventure. The poor old boy is a bit like me; bits dropping  off him, every joint aching!

I was wondering if we could look forward to another BBC series of Last Kingdom. It seems a long time since the last one. Can we also look forward to one more Uhtred battle?

Thank you for so many hours' of reading pleasure.

Best wishes,

Carol

A

I am writing the next Uhtred book now.  And season 4 of The Last Kingdom TV series is in the works as well!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell

I recently finished Sword Of Kings. Another very good addition to the series.However upon finishing the book i'm left with some questions that I hope you can help clarify.

Firstly the whereabouts of Sihtric, I'm not certain if this is answered in a previous book that i'm simply forgetting but is he still alive and a warrior of Uhtred's, and if so can we expect to hear from him again?

And Secondly on the final page of Sword Of Kings Benedetta states to Uhtred that "You did not want her dead" and he responds "But I did". Who exactly is he talking about here because my initial though was Eadith but that seems rather cruel even for Uhtred.

Regards

Callum

A

Last I heard of him he was In Durham – so yes, he might show up again.

It’s honest of him!  Cruel?  Maybe – but he’s confessing to something shameful.

 


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Dear Mr Cornwell,

Thank you for another excellent adventure for Uhtred. I'm sure the final book's action will largely take place in Northumbria, but should he ever return to Cent, is there a chance Uhtred could stop by my home town of Dartford (Tarentefort)? He keeps coming so close!

Regards

B Tidman

A

I somehow think Uhtred has missed the joys of Tarentefort – his loss!  Sorry!

 


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Q

Hey Bernard,

I've been following the exiting news and discoveries made by Wirral archaeology and I see you have made a visit. I live just around the corner to where i suspect the site is. Have you any plans to re-visit the site in the future? Would love to meet you and be cheeky and ask for an Uhtred book to be signed!!

Chris C

A

I suspect I will visit again . . . and it would be a pleasure to sign a book for you!


Q

Hi again,

Just re-read Sharpe, War of the Wolf as a refresher and then Sword of Kings. Congratulations on the latest book it was really entertaining. And I look forward to the next book! It was nice to see Uhtred looking over Foulness about a 1000 years before Richard Sharpe did.

Regarding Sharpe, following my latest (re) reading of the series, I seriously cannot imagine, after being given Prince of Wales by Wellington at Waterloo, that Sharpe would just run off back to Lucille in Normandy and desert them. ...can you confirm you plan to finish this off with a novel leading on from Waterloo?...because I for one think it needs it! And I hope we hear from Sweet William, Antonia and get confirmation on Dally's health.

Kind regards

and keep up the good work

Dan!!

A

Your imagination is quite right! I’m not sure all the loose ends will be dealt with, but I’ll try!

 


Q

Hi,

Firstly, sword of Kings is fantastic, and I cant wait to see where Uhtred goes next. Secondly, I owe you a lifetime debt- I found my love of reading via the sharpe/starbuck books in the 90s, which I read for hours at a time in Cheshunt Library. The 8 year old me would have been incredibly excited to see Cheshunt featured in one of your books (as was the 36 year old version!). My question is why Cheshunt? Based on previous answers to similar questions I imagine it was a random choice, but I thought I would check!

Michael

A

Not really random . . . it was geographically the right place for the events.  I usually visit the places that are in the books, but confess I chose Cheshunt after hunting through maps and working out who would be where and when. And, of course, to please you!


Q

Well I've finished another one, 5 days and it's been a roller coaster.

Thank you so much Sword of Kings, I think the best Uhtred yet, your genius continues to amaze.

2 Questions,

Steapa is alive, will we meet him in the next one?

Uhtred is getting older and there are signs that he is starting to doubt himself and worry that he isn't the man he was ( I know the feeling). Was it your intention to portray him that way, it certainly gives him another dimension?

Mike Davidson

A

Well he is getting older (though he’s lost count), and age does mellow us? Makes us wiser, if we’re lucky, and no, he’s not the man he was, but you still don’t want him as an enemy!  Steapa?  He almost made it into Sword of Kings, but missed out by a whisker, so it’s possible he’ll be in the book I’m currently writing. I hope so . . . .


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Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I have recently finished "Sword of kings" and just one question, will we - i.e. Uhtred - ever meet his older son again or at least find out what happened to him? Did he find about the recent tragic events in the family?

OK, two questions, fair enough!

Kind regards,

Gris Grill

A

I think he will . . . . . . . .

 


Q

I really enjoy the Uhtred series but the last book confused me. In a previous book the elderly Uhtred said that Stiorra became the mother of kings.  The historical Sigtryggr was the father of kings yet we are told in "Sword of Kings" that his only offspring died as small children.  Was that a mistake?  Did the children actually die?

AD Powell

A

No, the prophecy was plain wrong. Prophecies often are.

 


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

best regards (just bought Fools and Mortals, I'm really excited to read it!) I was thinking about something about the Last Kingdom series that i'd like to ask you. In Warriors of the Storm we finally after a long absence see a returned Brida. She had previously been furious with Uhtred when he left Ragnar and had stayed there in Dunholm in the north, where it seemed inevitable that she would play a part in the story. Her relationship to Uhtred and her character itself had so much dramatic, emotional potential I cannot stopped feeling disappointed that she came back as mad witch who does horrible things, showing no sympathetic features whatsoever unlike many of the norse antagonists or say Nimue. She and Uhtred never had a single exchange of words, she just showed up being an completely evil insane witch that a vile norse lord used for the fear she gave and then she died horribly and Uhtred didn`t have a single thought or feeling about it, she could have easily been a whole different character. I was just wandering if you could say why did you brought her back like this?

Pedro Oliveira

 

A

I rather think she decided to go that way! Characters do seem to dictate their fate – and she was so passionately against the Alfredian vision of England that she turned sour.

 


Q

Mr Cornwell,

Thank you once again for Uhtred's latest adventure. The poor old boy is a bit like me; bits dropping  off him, every joint aching!

I was wondering if we could look forward to another BBC series of Last Kingdom. It seems a long time since the last one. Can we also look forward to one more Uhtred battle?

Thank you for so many hours' of reading pleasure.

Best wishes,

Carol

A

I am writing the next book of Uhtred's tale now.  And, I hear they have wrapped up the filming for season 4 of the TV shows - but I haven't heard when it will be aired.

https://www.facebook.com/TheLastKingdomOfficial/


Q

Hi Bernard,

It has been really great meeting up with Uhtred again but I am worried about him and his state of mind.

He seems to be frequently and affectionately remembering sayings and quoting advice given by his “father”. This seems strange given that he last saw him when he was 9 and always seemed to recollect his father as distant, showing him little attention and even less affection. What is more puzzling is that many of the “Pieces of Wisdom” attributed to his father would seem more akin to what Ragnar, his adopted father, would have said.  He has often affectionately referred to Ragnar as his father and found his fame whilst still calling himself Uhtred Ragnarson.

Is Uhtred’s memory of his natural father mellowing with age or is he the victim of the confused recollections we all have as we get older (speaking for myself that is!)?

Whichever it is, he  can still tell a ripping yarn.

Paul Stein

A

He remembers his (real) father very well – but not with great fondness. I think that’s okay!


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Dear Bernard

Just finished Sword of Kings and as always loved it. However there is one thing that has confused me. At the end of The Empty Throne, Uhtred writes "and I thought of the old prophecy that my daughter would be the mother of kings. And so it proved." And yet at the end of Sword of Kings we are told that both of Stiorra's children are killed by the plague. What is going on????

Best wishes

Rodney Doran

A

I guess when I rewrite it (if ever) I cross out ‘And so it proved’. Sorry!


Q

Dear Bernard

you're my preferred writer, and I'm waiting for the 12th book of the Saxon series but.. my daughters read only in italian and are waiting to read the 10th, the 11th etc.

do you know why the italian version of them is so late?

got any news?

 

thank you for your art

Stefano

 

Hello Mr. Cornwell

I'm waiting from more more more time the last three books of Uhtred saga in Italian language. Thank you and compliment ( sorry for my English),

Gianluca.

A

I have recently learned the Italian translation of Flame Bearer will be published next month.  And War of the Wolf should be available some time next year.


Q

Hello!! Me and my 10 year old son are absolutely fans of your books. We read it in Spanish version, me sometimes in English, we are specially fond of Uhtred! We have already read all the books of the Last Kingdom in spanish version at the same time, we always use Uhtred phrases that only me and he understand, the rest of my children and my husband do not understand our fanaticism. I always tell them they don't know what they are missing. Anyway, we wanted to know when the Spanish version of Uhtred's last two books, War of the Wolf and Sword of Kings, would be on sale and where (Amazon?). Thank you so much for all your stories! We love it. Hug from Argentina.

Lucrecia

A

I believe the Spanish translation of War of the Wolf will be published in Spring 2020.  I suspect Sword of Kings will be in 2021.


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Q

Aprenda a pronunciar

Good night

Thanks for all your shared knowledge.

Is the Uhtred saga coming to an end? I hope not.

 

Thank you

Lucas

A

I'm writing the next book now!


Q

Dear mr.Cornwell,

thanks for your stories and the adventures that you give to us. I'm a student from Italy and your books always helped me and my best friend to feel better in moments of stress and sadness. We read the stories of Uhtred because we love Vikings and Britain's history so you inspired us to write our own story on vikings. Thank you very much. I have a question to you, how do you find inspiration?

Thank you from my heart, your reader and fan,

Pia Eugenia D'Antonio

A

I write what interests me - simple as that!


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

I am a huge admirer of your writing style and the way you consistently incorporate the themes of your novels into the story line of the series as a whole.(ex. Wyrd bid ful Araed and the theme of Fate in The Last Kingdom Series). When you sit down to start to tell a story, like Uhtred's. how do you select the themes that you want to weave into them? And as a follow up does the themes you wish to use have any weight in the historical era within which you choose to explore those themes?

Best,

Jeff

A

Well I hope those themes carry weight in the original era I write about, and indeed they usually spring from research into those eras. I don’t think I consciously select a theme. I like stories to tell themselves to me as I write and inevitably ideas emerge – and equally often they surprise me! It isn’t the most efficient way of writing, I suspect, but the only way I can do it!

 

 


Q

Hi Bernard

Are you planning to visit Bromborough? I believe there is new and promising archaeological evidence to prove that this was indeed  the site of the Battle of  Brunanburh of 937AD. I understand that battle will feature in your last book in your Last Kingdom series. Is that where Uhtred will  finally meet his end?

Best regards

David Brewer

A

I’ve heard the same about the new archaeological evidence and it’s really exciting, so yes, I will be visiting sometime soon.

 


Q

Hi,

Thank you for all the stories I can read from you. I really enjoy it.

I have a little question about Uhtred Standard. I don't find any historic references about the wolf standard related to bamburg History. Did you chose it on your own, based on Uhtred proper story, or is there an historical reference about this choice ?

Thanks again,

Best regards,

N

A

I chose it.  You can see the coat of arms of his descendants here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Ughtred,_1st_Baron_Ughtred and I deliberately didn’t use anything like that because my Uhtred wouldn’t have displayed a cross on his shield. He’s so stubborn.

 


Q

As the hero in your "Saxon Tales" considers his helmet almost as valuable as his sword, does it seem odd to you to see the actor(s) portraying Uhtred & company in the filmed series fighting bare headed?

Michael McKittrick

A

They have to be recognisable! Sadly Uhtred and company didn’t foresee television or they’d have been more accommodating!


Q

Hi Mr. Cornwell, I'm your fan and I love your books, specially The Saxon Stories.

I have a lot of questions!

 

1º: In The War of the Wolf Snorri spoke a prophecy and mentioned that Danes and Saxons would united themselves and Uhtred's family would lose Bebbanburg. In Historical Note you said that this alliance will happen in 1016 (the year that Cnut take English Crown). However, I saw that this family keep Bebbanburg until 1085, with the Earl being only saxon in the Norman England. Uhtred's family keep the Bebbanburg until norman conquest?

 

2º: Since the Main Character of story is based on your ancestor and in the first book you mention that you advanced him a bit on the timeline, do you intend to close the Saxon Stories with the Canute invasion?

 

3º The Saxon Stories will finish with Uhtred, or will the Uhtred's family fight against danes with King Edmund Ironside??

 

4º Do you have plans to War of The Roses? Will your writing skills that would be a WONDER Story!

 

Thanks Mr. Cornwell!

Lucas

A

I have no idea where you saw it, and maybe you’re right? All I know is that in 1016 the then Uhtred was lured to a meeting where he was ambushed by Earl Godwin (at the behest of King Cnut) and that, according to the stories I heard from my branch of the family, was the end! The true tale is told well in Bloodfeud, by Richard Fletcher.

 

No! It will end with the Battle of Brunanburh in 937

 

They finish with Uhtred, unless I change my mind.

 

No plans for the War of the Roses.

 


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell!

 

First, let me say that I love your books! I discovered you through The Last Kingdom television series, and as soon as I realized it was based on your books I began reading The Saxon Tales. I'm almost done with book 10, and look forward to moving on to all of your other books once I've caught up with Uhtred's latest exploits. Thank you for sharing your brilliant imagination with the rest of the world, it has opened a curiosity in me about my Anglo-Saxon heritage that I never knew I had.

 

I do have a brief question for you, if you find the time to respond. Do you have a recommended resource for translating Modern English into Old English, and vice-versa?

 

Thank you very much, and keep up the great work!

 

Kyle Williams

A

I really don’t!  I learned (well, tried to learn) Old English when I was at college which is many years ago, but a little stuck – really not enough! But I can manage from OE to modern English by using a dictionary – I use A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary by J.R. Clark-Hall which was published at the beginning of the 19th Century – but a good reprint is available. I also find the glossary at the end of Eight Old English Poems, edited by John C. Pope and revised by R. D. Fulk very useful, and with those I struggle through. But translating modern English into OE?? Oh good lord, no! I have to confess that my (long retired) Professor who taught me OE did send me a charming letter chiding me for getting a word wrong. Of course I blamed his teaching.

 


Q

Dear Sir!

Can you include Mildrith in your coming season 4 The Last Kingdom?  I hope she is the one who is taking care of Uhtred children. Thank you!

Sierlen Aguilar

A

I'm afraid I do not have any involvement in writing the scripts for the TV series, so I don't know if Mildrith will show up or not???  I guess we'll both have to watch and find out!


Q

I just wanted to say how wonderful I think your Saxon series is - I think I’ve re-read the Last Kingdom around 10 times since it was released. My question is will Oswald be part of Uhtred’s life in upcoming books in the Saxon series?

Regards,

Laura

A

I think he must! He’s been rather forgotten and I should give him an opportunity to irritate his father

 


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Dear Bernard,

I was never much of a reader until I found Sharpe’s Tiger, then I found everything I ever wanted. I was a teenager at the time and not much in my life had gone according to plan. I always loved history, but I never read books that spoke to me in a way I could visualize and believe in until your Sharpe series entered my collection. I have read each book several times and finally convinced my wife she too needed to share in this experience. My favorite characters are Sharpe, Harper, Derfel, Thomas, and Uhtred, thought I feel he is too arrogant at times, but I get it. If you were to rank your favorite characters, how would you rank your favorites?

My wife did finally listen to every Sharpe book with me. Just a few weeks ago we finished the last book together. Even though they have a "happy" ending, we were deeply saddened at the prospect of ending the series that entertained our stressful work nights, road trips, and entertained our weekends for the past year. I must say, my wife was so sickened by Hakeswill, she forced me to give away the plot a few times by threatening me she wouldn’t continue listening. I told her she had truly found a gem in a book when she so vehemently opposed a character…you can’t have a good hero without the villain.

Three summers ago, Derfel's narration was the soundtrack to painting the exterior of our house. We cried when Derfel cried for Dian...we even paused the book. Your books are more than stories to us, we can look back at our time together and anchor your stories to significant parts of our life together.  You have imprinted a great and positive series of memories for us that have fused your stories with the story of our life...you possess and have shared a great gift.

Our son (who is 7) thinks every book we listen to is Sharpe, and while he isn't the first person in the house to ask for your stories, even he leans in to hear what is happening and finds similarities. He feels he is written into Patrick Harper's character since Patrick is his middle name. In another ten years, maybe he will be like me at 17 and find great stories and a dear friend in the Sharpe series too.

In "Sharpe's Company," when Wellington says, "If Wellington had had 1,000 Sharpes, the city might be his," I often chuckle, because I think I've listened to your books nearly 1,000 times, so by now, the city is his.

Thank you for every word.

Sincerely,

Clay Schaeffer

A

I wouldn’t dare rank them!! Except I’d put Ceinwyn, Lady Grace, Gisela and a few other women top of the list. You must prioritise!

 


Q

Hello,

First of all I just want to say how much I have absolutely enjoyed your Saxon Tales series. I’ve read all 11 books, and your series has me hooked on that genre. My question is: How do you intend to reconcile the fact that Uhtred is getting very old (particularly for his time period where life spans were short and he is probably three to four times the expected), arguably too old to fight battles and lay siege, for this upcoming book and any future books of this series?

Please leave out any spoilers as I am very much looking forward to reading it.

Thank you.

Jeff

A

There’s a simple response – you can have the Battle of Brunanburh with Uhtred, or without. It’s fiction. I know which I’d prefer.

 


Q

Hi,

I started to read your Last Kingdom series about 14 years ago (I have read as well some of your others books but not the Sharp series yet)  and since the beginning i am a huge fan. I have just finished "War of the Wolf" this morning and one more time i really enjoyed reading your work. I'm looking forward to be able the next one "Sword of Kings". Do you know how many books left do you have to write about Uhtred? If i remember well a long time ago you said that there will be 12 of them. I can't believe it , it's amazing how time flies, but the next one is number 12... Is it really going to be the last one??? I like as well the TV series, i thought it was going a challenge to be as good as the books, but it is indeed very good. Unfortunately i haven't seen season 3, as i am now leaving in Norway and here it has been delayed. Thank you for your amazing books!

Gwenaëlle Sizun-Thomé

 

Hello

I'm really looking forward to the release of Sword of Kings. Is this going to be the last Uhtred book in the series or will there be more?

Thanks

Kevin

A

Sword of Kings is not the last book of the series.  I am writing the next one now....but still not sure how many more there might be?


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

First thanks for this magnificent sight with so many questions answered.  Second glad to see Sword of Kings will be out just in time for  Christmas.

About Uhtred carrying and using long a long sword.  I have read or watched on line a lot of discussion about using a back scabbard.  I am sure that you wrote a sequence about the reasons for Uhtred having a long and a short sword and the reason for using a back scabbard.  As I recall Uhtred used the short sword in close quarters and shield walls.  I believe Uhtred describes carrying the long sword at the waist as usual when in towns or castles but across the back when riding.  The long sword itself being useful for combat while riding (not exactly cavalry) and against individuals or small groups.  Also carrying both swords on the back in combat so that either could be drawn during the press of battle.

Could you please tell me where this sequence is in your books and any references you might be able to provide which lead you to give Uhtred manner of using arms.

Separately I have noticed that rubbings or pictures of knights and lords buried with their swords often show the person being buried holding their sword in front of them with two hands (rather like the Academy Awards Oscar statue).  In early and medieval England could this be a lingering belief in Odin?

Thank you,

Peter Brickwood

A

To be honest I don’t remember ever saying Uhtred wore his sword on his back, though perhaps I did? I think the film-makers just like the idea and it certainly makes a good image! I usually describe him as wearing Serpent-Breath in a scabbard at his waist. Maybe I said differently in an early book? So far as I know there isn’t any symbolism in a tomb effigy when a knight is shown carrying the sword (like the Oscar). Sorry!

 


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Hi Mr Cornwell -

I wanted to thank you for writing the Last Kingdom series of novels.  They are crackers and Uhtred (and his son Uhtred) are great characters.  In your writing on the Contact page, you said that you don't want ideas for books but here is something that I think that you are up to.  The best novel that I have read about Vikings was/is The Long Ships by the late Franz Bengtsson. There has always been a follow up book meant for this tome; especially what happens to Orm's sons and Cnut the Great.. Once I had a dream to write such a book but, alas, don't have the skills that you have. You are going to be flat out with novels that open the way for Uhtred junior (I hope so anyway).  Maybe you can suggest to other aspiring authors to give The Long Ships sequel a go.  It is terrific that you are writing your novels and I wish you all the best of fortune and good health.  I can't wait to read the next instalment!

Your sincerely

Andrew

 

A

I do think a follow up is a good idea, but not for me. I loved the book and will happily read a follow-up, but I have too many other ideas – and not nearly enough time to write them all!

 


Q

Hello Bernard

Hope you are well!

Firstly, i hope this isn't patronising of me, but i wanted to help one of your readers out. A few months ago a Loren Cohen asked you how Sharpe and Pat can know each other in Sharpe's Prey, when they are supposed to meet for the first time in Spain 2 years later. Loren said Pat had been a sailor in Prey. You said you had "no idea" what she was asking! i think Loren was confusing Pat Harper for Bosun John HOOPER, who of course Sharpe finds invaluable in Copenhagen!

Just thought i'd answer Loren's question for her!

 

i wanted to ask you about Oaths and Honour though.

I've just finished reading a novel called "Knights of the Hawk", set in 1071, and concerning the post-Norman Conquest. i could definitely spot your influence on this author, because like you with Uhtred he uses the old names for places, and provides a helpful little map for us! The hero, Tancred the Breton, is rather Sharpesqye, being brilliant and bold, with a knack for taking absurd risk, but ones which certainly pay off, and Victory is due mostly  to his efforts!   Interestingly the Hero is a Norman ! i suppose all us English grew up with the idea that the Saxons were the "Goodies" and the Normans were The "Baddies", so it threw me a little bit reading a  story told back-to-front, as it were. History though, is a bit more complicated, isn't it, and the Normans are just as much a part of Our Island Story as the Saxons, vikings, Romans and Celts before them...

Anyway, in the book there are several references to Harold Godwinson as "the Usurper" and an "oath-breaker" and it got me to wondering about the power of an Oath.

it seems to me that Duke William had NO Claim to the Throne of England, other than an Oath from Harold. I'm a bit sketchy on this, but i heard somewhere that Duke William forced that Oath on Godwinson. It was given under duress, not freely.

Is an Oath given under duress still binding though? Or can it be broken?

ii'm pretty sure you dont believe in Magic, but does an Oath have some kind of "Magic" to it, and when its broken...? So, if Harold Godwinson did indeed break faith with Duke William by taking the crown himself, did he is some mysterious way "cause" the Destruction of Anglo-Saxon England? i don't know if you see what i mean there! i'm not sure i i see what i mean there! Sort of like Fate. Once Harold had declared himself King, Fate was set and he was going to lose his Kingdom. Or was it just that fortune favoured Duke William, and went against King Harold. Pragmatism, not Fate?

Certainly Duke William believed God was on his side, because Harold swore over Holy Relics. That was, apparently, a trick though, and Harold only found out he's done it, after he'd done it!

i'm asking you this, because i saw an interview with you where you revealed that one of the characters in War of the Wolf who makes an Oath, will break it, somewhere down the line. So, i'm wondering if you believe an Oath should not be broken, and that the very breaking of it will create negative consequences, or whether its just a neat Narrative device for you to use!

Returning to 1066 though, i always like the way Simon Schama described Duke William's invasion of England, "Not a righteous Crusade, but just a grand throw of History's dice..."

Your thoughts?

oh, i'm a bit grumpy that Sharpe has been delayed! Still, it'll be a pleasure deferred, i'm sure...

Thank you for taking the time to read this and answer it!

Kind regards always

Matt

Still in Wiltshire

A

It’s certainly a neat narrative advice, but it only works because a great deal of obligation was attached to an oath – especially in a society where legal redress was rudimentary and where a belief in divine retribution was commonplace. That said, there were obviously many broken oaths, and no, I don’t believe Harold lost at Hastings because he somehow crossed the fates – I suspect it had far more to do with having had to fight at Stamford Bridge a few days before and the subsequent tiredness of his army. Yet an oath was sacred, and it was usually sworn on some holy relic, and that only works, of course, if you believe that Nobodaddy in the sky took the slightest interest in your behavior. I’m sure that both Harold and William believed God was on their side!


Q

Three of us, from three different countries spread around the globe, are huge fans of your masterful series, the Saxon Stories. We were brought together by our mutual love of the journey of Uhtred of Bebbanburg and every character and storyline have bewitched us. We are bound and determined to grow a book club on Facebook we’ve just created dedicated to the series, in which we can have intelligent, thought-provoking discussions about the books while we wait patiently for #12.

My questions for you are:

1) What are you asked most often about regarding the creation of the series?

2) What is your most challenging topic to discuss as an author of historical fiction?

Appreciatively,

Nadine (with Des and Kate)

>From Ontario in Canada, California in the U.S., and NSW in Australia.

A

I hate to disappoint, but I can’t recall ever being asked about the genesis of the series. Maybe I have? And maybe I’ve forgotten. But for what it’s worth I’ve been fascinated by the Anglo Saxons ever since I studied their language at college, and was equally fascinated by our general lack of knowledge about them. It seems as if English history begins at 1066 and utterly ignores the process by which England itself was created. I long wanted to write that tale, but needed a smaller tale to be in the foreground – the hero through whose eyes we’d see that process. Then, almost a quarter of a century ago, I met my real father for the first time and discovered that he was descended from an Anglo-Saxon family which had held onto its lands in Northumbria despite the fall of that kingdom to the Danes. My father’s surname was Oughtred, many of the ancestors were named Uhtred and the family home was Bebbanburg. That gave me the small story!

As for the most challenging topic? I can’t say it’s very challenging, but I suppose it’s the conflict between fiction (what I make up) and reality (what really happened). Some people don’t like fiction writers writing fiction.


Q

Sir, will there be a 12th Last Kingdom novel? I dearly hope so. Thank you

Daniel Roberson

 

When are you releasing your next book on Uhtred?

Have read every book in the series and am impatiently waiting for the next book!!!

George Asprakis

 

Hi Bernard,

Just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the latest chronicle of Uhtred's eventful life! There is always that pleasurable yet also sad feeling of finishing a good read. I'm really looking forward to the next adventure - and this time it seems you've hinted what's to come... Forgive my eagerness, but do you reckon it'll be out later this year? Thanks again for brightening my existence! Take care for now,

RD.

 

Hi Mr. Cornwell.

Isn't it about time that you told us what the title of Uhtred #12 will be?  And perhaps the back-cover blurb of the plot?

Alan Kempner

A

The next book of Uhtred's tale, #12, will be called Sword of Kings.

It will be published in the UK in October and in the US in November.  You can see the cover here:  http://www.bernardcornwell.net/books/sword-of-kings/

We hope to have an excerpt on the website soon!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell

I am sure one of the Last Kingdom books has given the translation of the phrase Uhtred is fond of quoting, and which are the last words in War of the Wolf. Something about fate, but I cannot remember enough Old English to fully understand! Your help would be much appreciated - and I live the books. by the way! I hope this is not the last we will hear of Uhtred!

Sincerely

Carolyn Devine

A

"Wyrd bið ful aræd," which translates to  "Fate is inexorable."

  The quotation is from an Old English poem, 'The Wanderer'.  It is usually translated as 'fate is relentless', but I prefer inexorable.


Q

Hi Let me start with saying I LOVE YOUR BOOKS! The story about Uhtred is amazing and I bought everyone that has been released in swedish. And that is my subject: Is there anyway for you to push for translating in swedish? As I said I have the books about Uhtred, Azincourt, 1356 and The Fort but that are the only ones I can find in swedish. The rest I have borrowed on the library in english, just going to start the books about King Arthur. I am sure you wold get a large group of readers and buyers in Sweden cause we like books about history.

Thank you for your books!!!!!! I wish you all the best!

Ewa-Maria

A

Thank you!  I understand from my agent that the Swedish publisher will publish my latest book War of the Wolf sometime next year.


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Dear Mr. Cornwell:

I am a fan, having read a number of your novels  enjoying them thoroughly, including The Fort, Gallows Thief, several Sharpe books and now I am reading The Last Kingdom series in order.  My problem is that I am "reading' them on audiotapes. While there has been a variety of narrators, until Death of Kings, there was always a  consistency in pronunciation of Uhtred and Bebbanburg. However, in the current audiobook, instead of the pronunciation OOO-tred, it is YOU-tred. Similarly, until Death of Kings, Bebbanburg was pronounced as it is spelled but in Death of Kings, it is something like Bamra. Is this a variation introduced by the new narrator or is it something that you suggested? Do I now have to change the way I occasionally roar "I am OOO-tred of Bebbanburg" around the house?

Thank you.

Regards,

Barry Guerke

A

Honestly? I have nothing to do with the recordings and have never been asked to advise on pronunciation – nor have I listened to them – only because when I do I immediately want to make changes to my grammar! But it should be Bebbanburg as it’s spelt – sounds to me as if they’re trying to say Bamburgh in the new recording -ouch!

 


Q

Hi Bernard,

Looking at the questions section, I have to say there are many people totalling to the mass of Jupiter requesting continuation of Starbuck! It's your decision, of course, but while Sharpe might have another adventure left in him, and Uhtred is nearing the end of his saga, I reckon Starbuck would be a great contender for possible future projects. Unless you have something else planned...? Probably more an elaborate hint than a subtle one. But, whether you cave in to such fanbase cravings or not, I have to say I'm eagerly looking forward to your next novel - whatever that might be! By the way, I'm not on Netflix but nevertheless purchased the Blu-Ray third season of The Last Kingdom, waiting for a nice, quiet moment to enjoy it. And I'll look out for your cameo role! My Mum will be sure to do so - she loves Uhtred, after all, and I wish I was more like him.

Robert Douglas

 

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I enjoy your writing very much, I appreciate a mixture of fiction and history. I'm working my way through the Sharpe series now, and read the Starbuck books a while back. I was disappointed that it was left unfinished, and I wonder if you have plans to do so.Also, I recently acquired our family genealogy and discovered that I'm of Norman descent. I would be fascinated to read your take on the Norman Conquest.Thanks,

Jay Washburn

A

I do have a couple of things planned, but mostly my plans turn out to be wishful thinking. I usually know what the next book will be, or I hope I do, but after that? Sadly I can’t tell you that Starbuck is in the wishful thinking mix, but he isn’t entirely forgotten. Hmmm. Maybe?

 

No plans for the Norman Conquest.


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Q

Will we be seeing more Uhtred the Younger POV chapters in the final books?

The final book, covering the battle of Brunahburh, would have to be completely from his POV for it to have been written at all... right?

Teryn Shaw

A

There’s a choice. You can have Brunanburh with Uhtred, or Brunanburh without him. That’s not up to a vote, sorry. I know he’ll be incredibly old, but he is a hero after all, and I can’t imagine writing that story without Uhtred telling it.


Q

I was reading your responses to questions from fans. I noticed in one you said,"I enjoy Uhtred's company, although I'm not sure he enjoys mine." It put me in mind of how Robert E. Howard wrote his Conan stories. He stated he wrote as if Conan was sitting beside him telling him of his life. Robert said he could scarcely type fast enough to keep up. I was wondering if that's how you see Uhtred, of if Robert E. Howard was ever an influence on your writing. Thank you for your time.

Eric Hughes

A

I can’t claim Robert E. Howard as an influence, though I did read his novels long ago. But yes, to an extent it is as if I’m ‘channeling’ Uhtred – I ‘see’ what he sees, ‘smell’ what he smells and so on . . . . and it’s strange how characters lead their own lives – make decisions for themselves. Of course sometimes they make terrible decisions and then I have to go back three chapters and force them to make another


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I’m far behind on your Saxon stories, I didn’t even know that it was one of your books when I watched the show! My question is in the pagan lord did Sihtric Kjartanson leave Uhtred after the burning of his hall by priests?

Thanks if you have time and thank you for writing this and the sharpe series!!

Paul

A

No – he stayed with Uhtred!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell

I am sure you get a lot of emails from fans but I just wanted to add my appreciation and thanks for the many hours I have spent reading your books.

I think I have read nearly every book you have written now and have enjoyed each one within its own right.and their series. In fact make a point of rereading them periodically.

This in turn led me to the works of G.A Henty and I was curious if he was indeed an inspiration to yourself?

Like most people I would love to write a novel but I do not seem to possess the artistic element or discipline to do this. I do have an idea for a series but do not know how to get started on such a venture and was wondering if you could offer some advice for a mere mortal on where to start.

Also do you know when you will be publishing the last Uhtred novel as he has become one of my favourite characters that you have written about.

Once again thank you for your indulgence and my heartfelt thanks for the hours of enjoyment that you have given me over the years.

P.S Like you I am a transplant from UK to USA and if you ever find yourself in Milwaukee area then you would be most welcome to stop in for a proper cup of tea and some scones.

 

Regards

Henry Toal

A

I wouldn’t call him an inspiration, though I did read him (too) many years ago. I suspect my inspiration came from C.S. Forester. But I really should re-read Henty. Thank you!

There is some writing advice here you might find helpful:  http://www.bernardcornwell.net/writing-advice/

The next Uhtred novel will be published this year.  It's called Sword of Kings.  Not sure about the last one yet....


Q

Hello Mr Cornwell.

Thanks for writing your King Arthur and Lord Uhtred stories. For me I really like the way you merge real history with your ideas. (I haven't read the Sharpe novels its too recent a history for me). I come from Coventry and have been interested in history for over 50 years. I was brought up with the history of the 2nd world war ( my mother is 96 and she lived through the Blitz) so I never got to know about Coventry's more interesting medieval history! Coventry in the Saxon times had  a nunnery founded by St Osburg which was looted of its gold and destroyed by the Danes under King Canute! (Sound familiar). It also turns out that I was born in the grounds of a medieval monastery (Whitefriars). It also turns out that the road I live just off is directly connected to the Gun Powder Plot. The start of the War of the Roses, King Richard Banished Henry Bolingbroke (Henry IV) from the kingdom on Gosford Green. Also the Twins in the Tower as 2 Knights of the realm were hanged in 1495 at the top of the road, the site is now a pub! It it said that they were involved with the Lambert Simnel  Rebellion which was all about Lambert being an imposter of one of the twins. Not only that you may be interested to know that my road has direct links to King Arthur! ( I say with slight tongue in cheek) but seriously 4 miles up the road is the home of Sir Thomas Mallory! and it was his nephew that was hanged for the Lambert Simnel Rebellion. Its amazing what history is all around you when you take a serious look.

Anyway an idea struck me after seeing an interview with you online and that is 'What or Who' will you be writing about next, I know you have an idea but let me throw another idea into the mix. William the Marshall!  He I would think ibe right up your street. An amazing warrior living through the most historic of times, again sound familiar? Anyway I hope you don't mind me writing to you.

Best Wishes.

Kim.

June 6th D-Day

A

You do live in a fascinating place!! As to William the Marshal – I’ve thought about it . . . will I write his (amazing) story? I’m tempted, but for now I’m concentrating on finishing Uhtred’s stories. But who knows? One day, maybe? Thank you.


Q

Greetings Mr Cornwell,

I hope this finds you in good health. I'm a long time fan and was wondering whether you might answer a question for me.

Have you at all made your mind up as to where you're going to have Brunanburh take place? Obviously, we're all waiting with bated breath for that final, glorious showdown and have been ever since the beginning (I was giddy as a schoolchild when Uhtred received the prophecy at Buchestanes saying that 'seven kings would die'). But, as I'm sure you're more than well aware, it would be an understatement to say that the location of the battle is the subject of serious debate.

I wonder if you've decided on whether to have the invaders land in the North West or to have them sail around Scotland and land in the North East. I suspect I'll just have to wait to find out!

Thanks again for all of your wonderful stories, and for deigning to tell the story of England's birth in the first place.

Kyle

A

I’ve already placed Brunanburh on the Wirral Peninsula, so I can’t change that!  It will be horribly awkward if archaeologists discover that it was fought at, say, Southend-on-Sea and I’ll have to perform God knows what gymnastics to justify that – but for the moment I’ll stick to the Wirral!

 


Q

Hello Bernard,

I have enjoyed all of your books and recently started re reading Gallows thief. After reading a couple of books by Edward Marston. (the Bow street rivals) set at the same time in history.

I have to say i find your book a lot more entertaining and with a much better plot line and characters.

I  feel is that it would have made a good idea for a tv/film adaptation. Was that ever your intention? Or was it just good writing on your half that it manages to draw the reader in?

Would there ever be the possibility of this ever happening as I know your already busy with the new Uhtred ?

Kind regards

Chris Lee

A

It is never my intention.  My job is putting words on pages not pictures on screens.  If it happens that's great.  And if it doesn't happen, it's still great!


Q

Hi I'm desperately waiting for another book in this great series (The Last Kingdom) are you writing one if so when will it be available?

Alan Metzger

 

Hi Mr. Cornwell.

Isn't it about time that you told us what the title of Uhtred #12 will be?  And perhaps the back-cover blurb of the plot?

Alan Kempner

 

I'm currently reading the Warlord Chronicles and thoroughly enjoying them.  I've also read Agincourt and the Grail Quest series.  My favorite is still the Saxon Chronicles, and I'd like to know when the 12th Uhtred book is coming out.  Thank you for the many hours of education and entertainment you've given me.

Sincerely,

Al Lenzi

 

 

A

I think it will be called Sword of Kings.  And it should be available in the UK on 3 October and in the US on 26 November of this year.

 


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You're currently writing the next book of Uhtred's story. This is going to be the last one, or it will have another one?

All the best to you.

Alexandre

A

It’s certainly not the last one, though right now I’m not sure whether there will be one more or two. I suspect two . . . but we’ll see!


Q

Would you consider writing a book with multiple first-person POVs? I've only read thirty-odd books from your bibliography so I'm not 100% sure if you have before, but I do recall you briefly touched on that concept in The Empty Throne, when we followed the narration of Uhtred's son briefly before returning to our hero. Would you ever consider doing that on a somewhat larger scale in the future?

Christopher Jarvina

A

The quick answer is ‘no’. I’m not a great fan of changing 1st person points of view, I’m not even that fond of doing it when I’m writing in the third person. My own feeling is that it distracts the reader. That may just be a personal prejudice, but alas, I’m stuck with it.


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

let me first state that I’m a big fan. I think I’ve read all your books. I just finished the Sharpe series (took me about a month) and was wondering if you intended to do another one on him, maybe in later life?  Also, I’m anxiously waiting to see Uhtred again...

John Balian

A

I am considering another Sharpe....it just may be the next book I write.


Q

Hi Bernard,

Currently enjoying Uhtred's latest adventure, but I have to wonder about the name of main antagonist Skoll? Were you inspired by the name due to a particular lager advert featuring Hagar the Horrible? Or did such a ruthless character by that name actually exist?

Robert Douglas

A

It was a Norse name , which is why I used it, and, having lived a very sheltered existence, I had no idea that it was also the name of a lager.

 


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

I'm a big fan from Brazil, really enjoy reading your books. While rereading the warlord Chronicles, for the first time after having read Uhtred, I've noticed some coincidences between them, one of them being the name of the main character's daughters, Seren and Stiorra, which both mean "star", and the other being the place where Derfel fights Liofa, which is the same where, some four hundred years later, Uhtred will defeat Haesten's fleet. Was this intentional? And another thing, when will "War of the Wolf" be available for us in Brazil?

Thank you for your time

Best regards

Lucas

A

Certainly Stiorra and Seren were intentional . . . as Baptiste says in The Taming of the Shrew, ‘I have a daughter’.  I don’t think the other was intentional, but as I grew up about two miles away I suspect I was just using the familiar and, to be candid, had completely forgotten about Derfel fighting Liofa!

I don't know exactly when War of the Wolf will be available in Brazil - but I believe it will be sometime this year (hope so anyway!).

 


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Dear Bernard

Firstly thank you for Uhtred and the whole of the series - I am currently on book 10 and have loved them all.

I have equally loved and enjoyed the BBC & Netflix TV series adaptations but would like to ask your feelings about and involvement in the series 3 scripts. The changes in events and storylines - even inventing some new ones was a shock to me (particularly killing Ragnar) and although they where handled well they were not what was written by you and thus changed something that did not need changing.

It has left me feeling a little frustrated - I hate it when a great story is not followed properly and I would like to know your thought as the creator of that work.

Thank you again for your work and I look forward to reading much more in the future .... although I'm a little scared of reading the Sharpe books as I've watched every episode and worry how they may have been changed too!!!

Kind regards

Georgina


Q

I have noticed that as Uhtred gets older he more frequently refers to the brutality of the shield wall.  As a retired infantry officer I understand his growing understanding that there will be war and he will fight but there really isn't any glory in it.  I wondered if that was what you planned for Uhtred or was it your understanding of war as you wrote more about it with Uhtred, Sharpe, and Starbuck?

Edward Marty

A

It’s very much my understanding of combat . . . that the exhilaration of youth (not to mention the pure fear) is tempered by experience, and enthusiasm is turned into regrettable necessity. That cannot be an absolute rule, each case is surely different, but though Uhtred might go willingly into battle he has learned only too well of the horrors he will face, that he will inflict and that he might suffer. Maybe he began believing in the glory of war, but he has come to know its pity.


Q

Mr. Cornwell--

In the Saxon Chronicles, Uhtred is always comparing the Anglo-Saxon building structures and the old Roman ones, and laments how Saxon only knows how to build with wood and the great Romans of stone. I was always confused when you wrote that because i've always thought that the Saxons built stone structures since the mid 800s: the crypts of St. Wystan's Church, St Mary's Priory Church, and St Peter's Church, Barton-upon-Humber. After some digging, modern excavation at Bebbanburg has shown that  "the first of the two halls was a timber building that we broadly date to the 7th century. It was later replaced by a smaller stone hall that went out of use by the 11th century, when its stone was robbed away for re-use. To the west of the halls and close to the modern wall of the castle." (Bamburgh Research Project). In short, I want were you got your research of Anglo-Saxon architecture? And in your mind, am i wrong.

John Erikson

 

A

You’re not wrong and once in a while I mention building in stone, and point out that many Roman buildings were used as ‘quarries’ for newer structures, but by far most of Anglo-Saxon buildings were of wood . . . and certainly none compared to the fading glory of the Roman ruins that remained.

 


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Please can you advise what is engraved on Uhtred’s sword?

Many thanks

Caroline Jackson

A

Nothing that I know of!! I do say that one result of the pattern-welding (the process by which the sword’s blade was forged) resulted in a ‘smoky’ pattern of whorls on the flat of the blade which gave rise to the sword’s name.


Q

Good Day Mr. Cornwell,

I am simply writing to express my great appreciation for your work. I must say I have only read the first three books of the Saxon Chronicles, but that's all it has taken. I have become a huge fan of the series! I admit i first discovered the series after having watched the adapted T. V. Series on Netflix (big fan of the show as well, as is my wife, we are looking forward to season 4). I myself studied History while in College and am certainly a history buff. I find myself delving into different eras of History and exhausting resources on said Eras and moving on to some other timeline. Currently i am researching Anglo-Saxon history in England after reading immensely about Norse history (Why?, simply for the joy of learning something new and fascinating from resource texts to archaeological findings to historical fictions pertaining to the subject matter). So I decided to get into your novels after watching the show. I went down to the Cape Cod mall (I read you live in Cape Cod now, how do you fare in the summer traffic? I live on the mainland side just over the Sagamore Bridge) Barnes & Nobles and grabbed the Last Kingdom. The detailed description and additional content were great; I could go on and on. I particularly have enjoyed the battle narratives and the subtle intricacies you give in them that you miss when watching them on the show. I finished the book in a week, which for me and my busy schedule having to work and raise my three children with my wife was quite fast. I was back to Barnes & Nobles and bought the next 2. Fantastic reads and as i said am well into the fourth. I understand you have plenty more books and i have a ways to go to catch up to the War of the Wolf but i will be there soon. I have never actually written to an author before but i was on your site and saw the contact bar and thought I should give credit where credit is due. So now having done that I again thank you for your work and only wonder if the story of Uhtred will continue on and also wonder if you have any hand in the tv series itself in any capacity other than what the books give?  Hope this finds you well and have a Great Day.

Respectfully,

Richard Frazier

A

Thank you.  I am writing the next book of Uhtred's tale now.  And, I am happy to say, the filming for season four has recently begun!  I am not involved in the tv series - except as cheerleader!


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

I'm currently reading The Empty Throne and really enjoy your series after having found them through the Last Kingdom Netflix series. I am also a Christian who understands how some denominations have a dark, brutal, and undeniably hypocritical history. With that being said, and I know you've addressed this before, we aren't all bad. You have surrounded Uhtred with Christians, some "better" than others, and he has grown bonds with them. Some of my favorite moments in your books are when Uhtred and one of his Christian friends share moments of absolute friendship and loyalty, without a care of what God, gods, or lack thereof they worship. (My personal favorite occurs when Uhtred is sure they're going to die in the shield wall in East Anglia and has amazing dialogue with Finan and Osferth.) Is this something you intentionally weave into your story telling? Regardless if it is or not, I find it as such a great lesson to both religious and non-religious people that we can still live side-by-side if we respect each other.

Looking forward to the rest of the series.

Best Regards,

Marc

A

Thank you for that!  I fear that Uhtred takes an unholy delight in teasing Christians, whether friends or not, but you’re right in saying that he does have extremely good Christian friends – Finan?? I wanted a certain tension between Uhtred and Alfred and the best way to show that was to make them of ‘opposing’ religions. We can thank Alfred for the vision of a united England which, if he did not achieve, he certainly inspired, but at the heart of that was a second motive – a Christian England. If an enemy converted then they were no longer an enemy. Uhtred regrets the passing of the old religions which he sees as more tolerant than the monotheistic Christianity (and I believe he has a point!). I suspect he knows he’s going to lose that battle, but he’s a stubborn man!

 


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Hi again from Australia.  Thanks once more for your interest in my short publication on theories regarding the origin of the idea of 'Arthur'.  Thanks too for your advice here to writers.  Very sensible and useful.

This note though is to say that I was still thinking of your 'Last Kingdom' books when recently reading Alistair Moffat's book 'The Sea Kingdoms' (pub 2011).  Moffat (ex-BBC presenter) you may know from his book 'Arthur and the Lost Kingdoms'.  I've always liked his emotive style and non-academic approach.  'The Sea Kingdoms' is a bit of a grab bag on things 'Celtic' but what a tale there is within it about the Celto-Norse and Hiberno-Norse world of the Orkneys, Shetlands and Western Isles, down to Dublin and the Isle of Man: coastal kingdoms formed over sea lanes not land. An obvious geography of power, confirming what I had myself concluded re this whole region. Moffat's book illustrates how over the centuries this sea kingdom area has thrown up some compelling characters (how about an amazing Queen called Aud,The Deep Thinker?), whom I'm sure you could do much with.  Perhaps another TV series could be the eventual outcome?  A series of books on these Dark Age kingdoms and their kings, the original historical Lords of the Isles, would doubtless have a ready audience of people attracted to and bloodied in the Dark Age warrior world evoked so well by Uhtred.  For the Lords of the Isles, this period continued on well into mediaeval times.  Romantic, brutal, passionate, questing, cruel, fierce and fascinating real histories, peopled by men who fought their way to power and women who stood strong for them and for themselves too.  The Christian-Pagan tension in these tales is also very evident.

Anyway, just a thought.  Wondered if you'd read that book.

best,

Lizzie B.

A

I hate to say that I haven’t read it, but I will! It sounds fascinating. Aud, the Deep-Thinker? Wow! Thank you so much – it’s always a pleasure to find a gaping hole in my reading – I’ll hasten to fill it!

 


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I'm a great admirer of you and have bought (and read) all of your books. Please tell me if you will release a new novel in the near future (i.e. 2019)?

All the best, and enjoy your writings!

Sincerely,

R. E. Unruh, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

 

Hello, Master Cornwell,

I do not know if you remember me, my name is Adamo, I'm from Brazil and a few months ago I asked for an autograph, I was very grateful to receive it. Now I'd like to ask you: Will we have more Uhtred next year? War of the Wolf has not yet come out in Portuguese here in Brazil, but should be released soon. Even so I am curious to know what you are writing at the moment and intends to launch the end of the saga of Uhtred next year. Since I wish you the best and I await your response. A big hug.

 

A

I certainly hope so!  I am working on the next book of Uhtred's tale now....


Q

First off, as a highly educated man I'm sure you understand the law of supply and demand. On that thought I demand another Thomas Hookton book. Just kidding, but my related question is are you swayed at all on deciding your next project by how much your fans want/need another fix of Uhtred or Sharpe?

Secondly, is there a certain historical time that you enjoy researching more than others?

Rick M

 

A

‘Swayed’?  I’m not sure if that’s quite the right word. I suspect I write what I enjoy, which sounds very selfish. Sometimes it’s self-indulgent (The Fort) or something I’m passionate about (Fools and Mortals), but in truth I enjoy writing the series – I like Uhtred’s company, though am never sure if he likes mine. I do have an idea for a Hooktonesque novel and it might even get written, though I’m very conscious that I suffer from a chronic condition called TMB, which my doctor assures me is incurable (Too Many Birthdays). I certainly do take into account what people would like, but if it doesn’t strike a spark in what’s left of my brain it probably won’t get written. But I will consider your demand and hope to satisfy it one day!

The quick answer is no. I enjoy researching them all. Lately, for very obscure reasons, I’ve been researching southern Italy in the 10th Century – it won’t be a book, I just enjoyed it. On the other hand there are periods that I don’t enjoy – Britain in the Victorian Age is the one that springs to mind which is why there won’t be a series on the Crimean War.

 


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Hi -

having finished (and thoroughly enjoyed) War of the Wolf, i was pleased so see a good mention for Ribchester! I live about 2 miles from Ribchester and in fact drive through it every day on the way to work. This essentially leaves to much day dreaming of battle on the journey to work each morning, and thoughts of Uhtred and Finan emerging from the mist on the River Ribble! I was wondering if there was a particular reason for choosing the area for use in the book, and also if you have ever visited Ribchester? I'm a librarian in a nearby town and if you're ever in the area we'd love to welcome you!

Robin

A

I would love to return. I was in your neck of the woods many years ago – too many – so much of that book was written from memory of the area – and it is beautiful! I hope to see your library!

 


Q

Hello Bernard,

Loving the Saxon stories and finished War of the Wolf. Currently reading the warlord chronicles to tide me over til Uhtred’s next outing. My question for you is at the end of book three the grandson of Ivar the Boneless swears revenge on Uhtred and as far as I’m aware that’s the last we see or hear from him. Any chance of Ivar the younger making a reappearance or did he just perish off page?

First class series and looking forward to the next shield wall!

Adam

A

I suspect Ivar the Younger has forgotten all about it – though who knows? I’ll give him some thought.

 


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

I learned about "The Last Kingdom" book series after starting to watch the Netflix show. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the books - the humor and charisma of the characters, particularly Uhtred of course, and the great descriptions of the battles, politics and religious influence that gave me a better sense of the historical context in which the stories were set. I read through all 11 books in no time as they were so engaging and well written. I was wondering if you intend to continue the series as I realize Uhtred is getting to be an old man. I hope so as I hate to see the series end - such a gem! Thank you, sir, for giving me hours of pleasurable reading.

Best Regards,

Grace

 

Hi my name is Clayton I live in thundering so when I read the last kingdom books I know where the devil stone is in st Peters church.  Doug acres was my GPS and I know thundering lodge well.  Are you going to do another book in the last kingdom series or a spin off from the character in Benfleet?

 

 

A

I am writing the next book of Uhtred's tale now!


Q

Hello, Mr. Cornwell,

I love your work, and in particular the Saxon Stories.  These books are very special to me, particularly due to the circumstances in which they were introduced to me, as well as the times in my life I find myself coming back to them; but that is a story for another time.

I am re-reading the series again at the moment.  I finished the first book a few weeks ago, and as I was finishing the last couple of pages I was struck by the beauty of Uhtred's harp metaphor.  It was almost as if I had never noticed it before, and those words have stuck with me ever since.  Indeed, for various reasons this passage is particularly meaningful to me at this moment in my life, and I am even considering getting a tattoo of a harp for this reason (which would be only my second tattoo, my first being my two sons' birthdates over my heart, if that gives you any indication how moving I found those words).

It occurred to me, however, that I am not sure what type of "harp" Uhtred would have been thinking of in 877.  There is the "standard", generally triangular shape harp (think Coat of Arms of Ireland, or Guiness); but there is also the "Sutton Hoo"-style harp that results from a Google search of "Saxon harp".

If I do end up getting this tattoo, I would certainly hope to get the "correct" one.  Therefore, you would do me a great kindness to reply to this message, at your convenience, and clarify what type of harp you had in mind when you put that picture into Uhtred's imagination.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you for the wonderful world you have shared with us through Uhtred's eyes.

Best,

Kristopher Jensen

P.S. - I didn't find the guidelines on your contact page to be at all unfriendly, but then again I am one of those wretched lawyers.

A

There’s a stone cross (the Dupplin cross) in Scotland that shows a man playing a harp. The cross dates from around 800 AD and shows a triangular instrument – not that different from today’s harps. I’d suggest a trawl through Google might (should) reveal old harps presently held in museums? Most Irish harps (including the one on the coat-of-arms) have a bowed pillar or column, and the Dupplin appears to have a straight pillar (though it’s hard to see). I’m sure that in the 9th Century harps were considered valuable and a good deal of craftsmanship went into their construction – not just for the sound, but for the look of the instrument. I don’t think you would go wrong with a stylized Irish harp! And thank you for your very kind words.


Q

Dear Bernard!

I am very curious if your ancestor named Uhtred who was an inspiration for you for the Uhtred in the novels was also this keen on the Danes as is the Uhtred in the novels. Do you know any details about your ancestor's life that you wanted to picture in the books or you have made it all up? And if this is made up, then why did you want your ancestor to be associated with the Danes? Do you feel any connection with vikings or it is just to make the world in the novels more exciting? :)

I am really sorry if my question has already been asked by someone else, but I could not find it on the page.

All best!

Marta

A

To be honest, I have no idea!  I only know that a man of that name, from whom I’m descended, was the Lord of Bebbanburg and, though he was an Angle, he held onto his lands despite Northumbria being ruled by the Danes. Everything else is pure fiction! I suspect there was a great deal of collaboration between Bebbanburg and the Danes, but that, like so much else, is speculation!


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Q

Hey there Bernard, my brother got really addicted to your Saxon Stories series and I really enjoy it, particularly the setting, but would like to know if you plan on writing maybe about Uhtred making it to Valhalla, since you mention how he is worried about not making it there and feasting with enemies(I quite liked Cnut), would also like to know if we are going to get more narration from another perspective like when his son narrated, I enjoyed looking at the world back then with a different pair of eyes and how men saw Uhtred.

Hope you can respond to this and thanks for all the good times

Guilherme Maebara Bueno

A

I’m not planning on that!  Let’s assume he gets there and is living happily ever after!

 


Q

Dear Mr. Bernard Cornwell,

my name is Rosa , I do not read fantasy books but on Italian television I saw “The Last Kingdom”. In a scene (the one of yesterday) Uhtred together with the pagan magician Queen Iseult, they take the son of King Alfred, and during the night with the "new moon" they make a ritual putting the child in a mud grave, the morning after the son the king is safe but Queen Isetul cries because another child died in his place. (It is called "alchemical exchange" in black magic). I am 52 years old, my life has been a long failure, everything has gone wrong since I was born, and I have not succeeded in anything. I come from a family of unhappy and quarrelsome people for futile reasons. I began to realize that in my life there was something strange since I was 33 years old. I was able to compose all the pieces of the puzzle (so I thought) around the age of 47. I secretly burned my mother's wedding kit in pure Italian linen with bobbin embroidery, and I threw between 150 and 200 maligned items in my house. In this dismal story that arises from a family curse, I realized, about 5 years ago, that there had been an important passage linked to the death of my brother. A child born June 18, 1962 and died June 29 (day of St. Paul) in 1962. In his place, I discovered over the years, lives a certain "Paul" born March 15, 1962, but of poor health. The women who did the ritual are the grandmothers of Paolo (two sorceresses of my small country, here in Sicily, born, respectively, in 1888 and 1905, but death after my birth).

I discovered these things not only by making various connections, and noting that when I burned objects (at night in the fields) my ears were ringing, I felt sick, my head was spinning and I felt like something bad was coming off of me , but also by consulting cartomancy. But the fortune tellers, as well as betraying and taking advantage of me, were limited to telling me only the response of the tarot. No one has ever told me how exactly these things work. So, Mr. Cornwell, could you please tell me where did you read about that exchange ritual of a child's life for another that you describe so well in your novel? Are there ancient documents describing these rites in the early Middle Ages? Where can I document myself?

Best regards,

Rosa

A

Yours is an extraordinary story!! I wish I could send you a sensible answer, but I must confess that I cannot remember any source for that scene with Iseult and the baby Edward. Did I make it up?  It’s quite possible, but I suspect I read something like it long long ago and it simply stayed in my memory. It’s possible that I read it when I was researching the stories of Arthur and spent a lot of time reading about Celtic mysteries and beliefs. I so wish I could help you, but alas! Maybe someone reading your story and this answer can be helpful?

 


Q

Since Uhtred is Northumbrian, and i still love all maters concerning Anglo-Saxon period, i need to ask you this:

Why did Northmen choose Northumbria as their primary target in the beginning of so-called Viking Age? Northumbria was not nearly as rich or developed as southern Saxon kingdoms. Plus, Scots and Picts were raiding those parts, so it was not a peaceful place even without Northmen. Is it possible that Danes chose Northumbria because, as some historians claim, there was already a significant number of Scandinavian settlers there, before the invasions began? Plus, Northumbria was well known for remaining staunchly pagan for a long time, in spite of very developed church and monastic life. Could it be that all this would have made that part of England more “susceptible” to Danes? Therefore, they might have seen it as a great base for further conquest.

Once again, thank you for your time and patience!

Miroslav Subašić

A

To be honest, I don’t know if there was a significant Scandinavian settlement there before the 880’s, but I suspect it was an easier region to conquer than those further south where the better farmland meant a greater density of population, and thus more resistance – though plainly some places, like Bebbanburg, successfully resisted the Danish conquest (though I suspect there was a good deal of collaboration, which I’ve ignored). It’s significant that the Danelaw spreads (rather obviously) from Britain’s east coast . . . if you’re emigrating in open boats across the North Sea then the shorter the voyage the better


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Hi Bernard,

enjoying your novels immensely! I began with the Uhtred books, then the superb Warlord Chronicles and now your Hundred Years War series (just about to finish 1356). Might we see a HYW novel one day that incorporates the story of Joan of Arc? Thomas of Hookton might not be around by that point, but perhaps we could pick up Nicholas Hook's story. Would love to see what you could do with this material.

Matt Soffe

A

I’ve thought about that – even done some research, so who knows??? Maybe!!


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

I love your books and will be sad when I am through reading them all.  Maybe you could recommend whom to pursue after?

My question is regarding Englaland.  The contest is mainly Saxons vs Danes.  Many other people from the islands and the north are involved as well.  During the most precarious times Uhtred wonders if the country will be Daneland instead.

Is the name England derived from Angles?  And if so, why no mention of them?  Sorry to bother you but I was unsuccessful trying to figure it out on my own.  We all know the term Anglo Saxon but I wonder how many people understand the Anglo part.  I wouldn't mind clarification.

Thanks so much!

No biggie if you don't get to this!

Regards,

Ed

A

I have explained this in some of the historical notes, but maybe not enough. We talk of the Anglo-Saxons and we basically mean the two major Germanic tribes who invaded Britain after the Romans abandoned the island. There were also Jutes! And some other minor tribes. I call them all ‘Saxons’ because it simplifies the story – Uhtred, properly, is an Angle, but conflating the two tribes isn’t too much of a distortion. That’s what their enemies did – to the displaced Welsh all the invaders were simply the ‘Sais’, the Saxons.  The West Saxon (Wessex) dynasty eventually united all the Saxon (and Angle and Jutish) lands and the mystery is why they named their new country Englaland, or why the said their language was English. But they did!

 


Q

Happy New Year Bernard !

Hope you had a jolly Christmas!

 

i've been reading War of the Wolf, which i got for Christmas, and am about two-thirds through, having just reached Uhtred and Sigtiryggr being at the Witan.

Its great and i'm loving it! Bit upset you killed XXX off though! How COULD you do that?

 

I wanted to ask you about Villains in your books though. I believe a Hero is nothing without a great Villain. They define each other. Without the Joker, Batman would just be a berk dressed as a bat! The Hero must slay the Monster or defeat the Villain. That's what they do!

But, how do you create and define your villains? it seems to me  that in your books there are Villains, like Obediah or Haestan or Aethelhelm,or Ducos, who cannot physically match-up to Sharpe or Uhtred (although Hakeswill certainly seems  to be able to take a beating!) but they are incredibly devious bastards and they plot and sneak around...But, i think there are guys who aren't really "Villains", just "Opponents". I  always really like Svein of the White Horse, and he never really seemed to be to be a "baddie". He's just a Danish warlord, and Uhtred likes and respects him. Cnut Longsword as well, and even Skoll. Without spoiling it for anyone who hasn't read War of the Wolf yet, (and i've not got to the end yet!), but surely he is not going to get away with what he did? But, does what he did make Skoll a "Villain" or was that killing, just War?

i'm not actually sure what i'm asking you here! Just wondering about you views on Villainy in your books...

i know  you were tremendously fond of Obediah, and regret killing him off, and he is a gloriously repellent character, but what other villains and foes have you enjoyed creating?

i'm trying to think of ones that could match up to your heroes in a fight...Cnut, certainly and Svein. And Leroux for Sharpie...

Musing...musing...

i'll finish with a more straight foward question! Even at 42 i still love wondering about things like this...

Ubba vs Steapa? Who would win? (i still think Ubba..)

 

Looking forward to Uhtred and Sigtryggr wreacking a just and bloody veheance!

(i only have one eye, so i feel a strange  kinshiop with Sigtryggr...and Odin!)

 

Kind regards as ever

Matt

Wiltshire

A

Stick to Odin!  Sigtryggr . . . hmmm, I won’t offer a spoiler. The villain has to be formidable, of course, and if not physically formidable then cunning as a hungry rat. Cunning is often easier, it helps plot the book, but a combination of both is probably best. Leroux was wonderfully cunning. But you’re right, Hakeswill is my favourite!

 


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I was a bit confused while reading "War of the wolf" (loved it, btw!) when Uhtred makes his kind of deal with Aethelstan and he says Uhtred's son will, after his father's death, have to make his own separate agreement with Aethelstan. But that certainly should not be a problem, should it, as those two have kind of grown up together and seemed to be friends? Especially with Junior being a Christian himself ("damn him!").

PS: At the moment I am bingeing all of the Saxon books, I just wanted to reread the first few, but it seems I can't stop, what a lovely problem to have. They are even better the second time! I also always forget how funny Uhtred can be with his bone dry comments. I have quite a few LOL moments while reading.

Kind regards,

Grisel

A

Oh it might be all sorts of problem!  Wait and see . . . .

 


Q

This may seem strange but I have nothing to ask of you. I am writing simply to thank you for writing the Saxon Stories. I was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer in August of 2017. Before that, I was a busy lawyer. The diagnosis was sudden and unexpected. It led to a lot of medical treatment and time in bed. Uhtred’s story brought me tremendous joy. It was a great distraction at a bad time. I've devoured all the books in the series. I’ve always been a history buff, especially English history. I had read of Alfred the great. You really brought him and his time to life. I love the creation of the fictional Uhtred as a medium to tell the story. Simply brilliant. I loved the story of Ethelflaed. I was sorry to see her story end in Flame Bearer. But am excited about the Ethelstan story line which seems to really be taking off in War of the Wolf. Please keep writing! I hope we can look forward to another book soon. Again, thank you for the work you do. You may be surprised that I am a 36 year old female. This probably isn’t your biggest fan demographic, but I’ve always been fascinated by warfare and battles—your battles are the best ever written. My favorite was the end battle in the Pagan Lord. One question—have the seven kings died as indicated in the prophecy or is that yet to come. A lot of King’s died in Death of Kings but I did not count seven. Thanks again and may Uhtred ride again!

Amy

A

Aha!  That hasn’t happened yet. But it will!

 


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I happened across “Archers Tale” while training with the Marines in the California desert.  I was enthralled, and over the course of the last 16 years I’ve devoured almost everything in your catalogue.  I hope this is not too premature, but with Lord Uhtred winding into old age will the series continue through his son(s)?  Thank you for all the joy and education you have given to me over the years.  Some of my most fond memories of being deployed was us playing paper rock scissors to determine who got “The Winter King” next while in Afghanistan, or chatting with another Marine about Nathaniel Starbuck in Iraq.  Truthfully we all stay in touch if for no other reason than to remind each other the next “Uhtred book” is out.  Thank you again.  I’m just a big fan.

Jeffrey Fowler

A

Probably not. He is old, but not impossibly. I’ll stick with him!


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I'm a big fan of your books about Uhtred an the making of England. The last 2 months I did read all eleven books and I was very disappointed as I finished book 11 yesterday. I have to ask if  there is a book 12 which will released in 2019?

Thanks for making history so real an reading an adventure.

Greetings from Bavaria

sincerely

Kilian Pongratz

 

When will the 12th book be released? I just finished War of the Wolves and it was great as all Uhtred books have been. I love this story and I have followed The Last Kingdom as well. Eagerly awaiting the next book. Thank you for writing these books that are entertaining and educational as well.

Kathleen

 

Just loved War of the Wolf. I did think it would be last in series. So thrilled that there will be another book? =) Thank you for such entertaining and informative tales.

Yours

Tony

 

Thanks for the very enjoyable last Book war of the Wolf .  When can we expect the next one?

Eric Dean

 

A

I am writing the next book now - hopefully you'll have it later this year.


Q

Hello Mr Cornwell,

My partner Louise is very smug with the fact that she hails from Amble, on the coastline opposite Coquet Island (Cocuedes), and therefore is a proud Northumbrian sworn to Uhtred of Bebbanburg himself (or Alexander Dreymon most likely).

I myself come from the village of Whiston near Rotherham, which was mentioned in the Domesday Book, but not as yet in any of Uhtred’s tales! If Uhtred was to swing by, what would he make of the place? Are the lands of South Yorkshire historically Northumbrian and therefore his kinsmen, or would he find Mercians or even a place overrun with Norsemen?

That said, a much more interesting place in the area for a potential cameo in your next book is a place called Dore in the posh part of Sheffield. It was here that just before Alfred’s time, a King Egbert of Wessex took the submission of a King Eanred of Northumbria and was declared overlord of Britain. Seems the kind of place Uhtred would detest, and the Wessexians in his life would love.

Kindest regards,

Alex

A

I’m sort of with Louise on this one. But okay, I’ve noted Whiston (definitely Northumbria). It was probably settled by Danes. And Dore? Posh? I’ll do some research, but make no promises. I think you’re incredibly lucky to have a girl from Amble. Hang onto her!


Q

I've devoured all the book in the Saxon Tales saga, and feel I've lived through Uhted's life alongside him the the shield wall. When I read in The Flame Bearer that Babanburgh Castle exists today as Bamberg Castle I decided to go to Scotland to visit it in person. Then it occurred to me, "Why not visit other important sites of Uhtred's life?" Starting in Wessex where he first meets Alfred the Great, the redoubt in swampy south east Englaland prior to breaking out and starting to drive back the Norwegians and Danes. Do you have such a 'tour' or have you ever recommended such an itinerary to your readers? I think it'd be a fascinating vacation. Any ideas, Bernard?

Willam Maloney

A

It’s always a huge treat to visit Scotland, but you’ll have overshot your mark!  Bamburgh is one of the amazing castles in Northumberland and well worth a visit!  And yes, start in Wessex, specifically in Winchester which was Alfred’s capital and has a very good museum (as well as the bones of most of the West Saxon monarchs in the cathedral).  I’d suggest a visit to Edington in Wiltshire – almost certainly the site of the battle of Ethandun which secured the future of Wessex and thus England, and Glastonbury (in the Somerset marshes) is always a good place to visit – all of those places are a long way from Northumberland, but you can go to Chester (Ceaster) and walk the walls, and keep going north, across the Pennines, to Durham and perhaps Hadrian’s Wall – then finish at Uhtred’s home – Bebbanburg!  Enjoy!


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I picked up a copy of Lords of the North before starting a 12 hour coach journey to visit friends in The Netherlands.  I was almost rude to them to be ignoring them in order to finish it.

Since then I've read almost all the fiction you've written and enjoyed it.  I even have copies of much of your work as audio books which I listen to when I am working.

Uhtred is a favourite character, mixed in with many other strong characters in the Saxon series.

I am curious.. what is Uhtred's hammer amulet made of, bone or wood?  The one he snatched from around the neck of a Danish boy who tried to bully him while he worked on Ragnar the Fearless' boats?  Through each book you mention this same amulet, and it seems to change composition.

Looking forward to reading your latest War of the Wolf as I hope to unwrap it next Tuesday.

All the best.

Ged

A

Amulets are magical! Everyone knows that. He has three.

 


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Hi Bernard

I have made a Sim in Second life and named it The Last Kingdom and I am basing it loosely on the books, I say loosely as I do not want the arguments that this was not in the books like the Sims based on the Gor series by John Norman. I would like your approval to do this as I am taking your books onto the Virtual reality level, I play Uhtred and would like your permission, failing this I will rename and base it on 10th century Wessex but having read all the books and everything you have written, I have found you to be a great source of history in a period that is hard to define. All the best to you and please, please lets hear more about Uhtred,

your avid reader Jon,

in Second life (DarkStorm Llewellyn)

A

I shall have to visit Second Life!!!  And see your sim, whatever that is!  I’m very flattered so please just do what you want there and one day I’ll sneak a visit to the last kingdom!

 

 


Q

Series dialog -

Sometimes I just catch details that intrigue me. When Aethelwold invites Uhtred to have a drink and see that he (Aethelwold) is four by six, is that a use of historical slang? Perhaps referring to the square corner (4x5x6)? Or something else?

The Last Kingdom makes a wonderful TV series.

Charles Greer

A

I somehow missed that! Did he say that? It doesn’t ring any bells with me – I’ll watch again!


Q

I have two questions regarding your treatment of lawyers.  In almost every one of your books - all the series and stand-alones - you have a villain who is either clergy, a lawyer, or both.  However, you often tend to balance out a clergy-villain with another character who is a "good" clergyman.  You NEVER do this with lawyers.  There is never a lawyer who comes and bails out Sharpe, Uhtred, Derfel, Thomas of Hookton, etc. - out of a legal jam  (And they have been in plenty!)  So, my questions are:

 

  1. You have explained your childhood experiences as the basis for your hostility of organized religion. I get that.  But I have never heard you give the source of your deep seated hostility to lawyers.  Can you tell us?

 

  1. If there any chance, that just ONCE, you could have a lawyer-character who is not an evil, blood-sucking parasite on humanity? (Some of us actually do help people!)

Ron Filipkowski

A

I had to read the second part of your question twice before I realized that ‘evil, blood-sucking parasite on humanity’ was meant to be a condemnation of my depiction of lawyers. In truth I know that some of you do help people and if, as you assert (and I’m sure you’re right) that there isn’t one decent and helpful lawyer in any of my books then I shall have to make amends. I regard this as a challenge!


Q

Hi Bernard

I love the Saxon Stories, but would like to check something with you. According to Uhtred's wiki page (never wrong!). he was born in 856 or 857. This means at the battle of Brunaburh he will be eighty!! Surely this is a little old even for Uhtred (no NHS remember.)

Rodney Doran

 

Firstly, thank you for your writing which enthralls me and brings me so much pleasure.  I understand that you intend your Last Kingdom Series to end with the Battle of Brunanburh. I have just started to reread book 1 - The Last Kingdom, and noticed that it states that the year Uhtred's father was killed was 867 and that Uhtred thinks his is 9 or 10 years old. So he would have been born in 857?  The Battle of Brunanburh was in 937 so Uhtred would be 80 by that time.  My question is, will Uhtred really still be fighting?

Ann Collins


Q

Hi Bernard,

I have been reading your books for a good 20 years now and have loved each and everyone (The warlord trilogy being my absolute favourites!) I am enjoying following Uhtreds journey on both paper and film, particularly David Dawson's Alfred... Absolutely first class and those last scenes with him and Uhtred (brilliantly portrayed by Alexander Doetsch)   in the show are really powerful and sum up perfectly the relationship you created in the books of a Grudging respect and mutual realisation of dependence! It fuels hope that maybe the Warlord chronicles will get a debut via the colossus that is Netflix... and you know what?, I reckon Dawson and Doestch would make a great pairing as Arthur and Derfel! I get that you don't really worry about the onscreen portrayal's of your books and characters, but do you ever amuse yourself with considering if any other books were made into a series/ film what actors would suit the what roles? For example Sean Bean became Sharpe in most peoples eyes and I couldn't imagine anyone else portraying the long retired Lt Col  (I think that's the last rank he made!) but imagine a Sharpe played by Richard Armitage!   A dead ringer for the Sharpe described in the books... so who would you like to see cast as Merlin and Nimue if it was ever made into a series... (fingers crossed if ever a show needed to be made its that one! At the very least to repair some of damage wreaked by recent cinema efforts on  the Arthurian legends!)

James Shoebridge

A

I’m quite hopeless at casting . . . and luckily there are wonderful experts who do a superb job. I never try to match actors to my characters – though I confess I’d love to see David Bradley play Merlin


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Sir,

Am enjoying War of the Wolf now. I have two geographical questions.

  1. I've been to Bebbanburg, but I recall no long strip of land leading to the gate, bordered by water on either side. It seemed to me that the fort was at least 200 yards from the sea. Was there a landfill after the life of Uhtred?
  2. Which side was the Skull Gate on? I believe it was the northern end, but I may be mistaken.

Thanks!

Scott Dragland

A

The topography is much changed over a thousand years – where there’s now an athletic field was once a shallow harbor, so the ‘narrow’ strip of land has vanished – or rather has grown into something neither narrow, nor a strip. The distance from the sea is entirely dependent on the beach’s width (which I assume is not massively different), and photos of Bamburgh Castle make that distance clear. I envisage the Skull Gate as being the present main entrance to the castle, i.e. to the south – essentially the original fortress (whenever that was) was built on the massive lump of rock which the castle now crowns. That, at least, is unchanged!


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell.

Reading through the comments/questions about your stories, and your responses, is very interesting and enjoyable.

In response to one comment regarding Uhtred, you said, "I suspect the love of his life was Gisela, with Aethelflaed coming in a close second!  He still hasn’t finished though . . . . ."

I'm heartened to think "he still hasn't finished" because I'd really like to see Uhtred find another "true love." He's experienced so much loss. As far as I recall, Uhtred is still married to the lovely red-headed Eadith in book 11. Is there any possibility she will become more prominent as a character? I'd like to think, considering Uhtred's age at this point in the story, that he wakes up one morning, takes a look at her, slaps his forehead and thinks, "Eadith really is the bee's knees!" OK, wrong era, but you get the drift. I'm not crazy about him experiencing another loss in his life because it's all so sad, and I'd like to think he becomes wildly in love with another woman.

Could Eadith become that woman?

Regards,

Jason

A

I fear you must wait for the next book to find out!  But Uhtred, I can reveal, is extraordinarily grateful for your suggestion that he becomes wildly in love with another woman . . . . .

 


Q

Hello Mr Cornwell,

I hope this message finds you well.

About a year or so ago, I wrote to you regarding the representation of that most glorious county of Bedfordshire in your Last Kingdom novels.

Now I must say, wonderful though your most recent book, War of the Wolf, was, I couldn't help but feel the lack of 'Bedanfordscir' was an oversight indeed! I trust Uhtred will at some point find himself back there one day? Perhaps he might even pass through a little village called 'Weligtone' (modern day Willington) near Bedford? Just a suggestion, you understand!

On a serious note, however, I must congratulate you for how brilliantly War of the Wolf turned out. It never ceases to amaze me that you can turn out such quality storytelling in such short spaces of time. Simply marvellous!

I, as ever, wait with bated breath for any and all of your work in the future.

Yours sincerely,

Kyle Barron (certainly not a proud denizen of Willington, Beds)

A

Bedanforscir is on Uhtred’s bucket list! He can’t wait. And thank you.


Q

Finally it occurred to me!  I'm up to date on the Last Kingdom Series, and just finished watching the newly released third season of The Last Kingdom on Netflix, and it took until now for me to release what Uhtred is in the series.  Initially I thought he was just a device to allow the history to be told as a captivating human story, which of course he is, and it is, as are most key non-historical characters in great historical fiction.  But I realized that the reason the character is so compelling and captivating, is that Uhtred the character is intended to be England itself.  He has a mixed background, because of course the England that emerges in the story is comprised and the results of contributions from the different peoples in the land.  He is part of all the great battles depicted, both historical, and battles intended to stand in for a series of historical battles, because that's what England was forged through.  England is forged by the good fortune of having two strong kings back to back fighting for the same vision, so of course that is Uhtred's path to serve those two kings.  He is both Christian and Pagan, as were the people of the land, and even the dominant Christianity that emerges subsumes key elements of the Paganism of the story.

Anyways that might be right or wrong, but it was a fun thought.

Thanks!  And thanks for the great story telling.

Adam Waese

A

It is a fun thought – and yes, partly intentional.  He’s also, of course, totally confused about what’s happening – so nothing changes!  Thank you!

 


Q

Hello, am watching The Last Kingdom and find Alfred to be very lacking in the milk of human kindness so to speak as well as without gratitude for Uhtred's   (fictional ) sacrifices . and have to say, his stupidity. Where did this aspect of his character come from and is it factual?  Also have read the date he died was recorded but not whether it was his illness or something else. How can this be. Thank you.

Kai Roberts

A

Alfred has two over-riding ambitions. The first is to make his kingdom a Christian realm . . . which he conceives of as a duty. He was an extremely pious, as well as extremely intelligent, king. His second ambition, which he did not live to realise, was to unite the ‘English-speaking folk’ into one nation.  Uhtred runs counter to his first ambition, but he knows he’s vital to the second, which is why he tolerates him, and indeed uses him. There’s plenty of human kindness in Alfred, he’s a sincere Christian, but also a Christian king under immense pressure, and while he tolerates Uhtred, he doesn’t indulge him. Uhtred knows this. Yes, he pushes his luck too often, but in the end he has an immense respect for Alfred. Don’t worry about incidents where they irritate each other – they are bonded and reconcile before Alfred’s death. Alfred is, in many ways, a puritan – he’s the very opposite of Uhtred, they’re chalk and cheese, but in the end they are on the same side and have a grudging respect for each other.


Q

Hello Bernard -

I've asked questions before and possibly they've been more of the norm of this Q&A section. But two came to me whilst watching the third series of The Last Kingdom. Oh, quickly I'll slip in that I loved War of the Wolf. Still astounds me how you manage to keep it so vibrant and fresh after so many books. And poor Uhtred is now getting on in years. Anyway, both of my questions were actually borne out of watching the third series of The Last Kingdom.

 

  1. How good do you think the casting of Finan is? My opinion is that, out of all the casting, barring possibly Alfred, he is exceptionally cast. Apart from the fact he is more heavily "musculatured" than I envisaged, I was amazed at how well the actor fit the character, both in actions and physically. Which are your personal favourites.

 

  1. This one is more unconventional, especially for the sort of question I'd ask, but who do you think the love of Uhtred's life is? On reflection, after so many books, with Aethelflaed still fresh in the storyline despite of her death, I'd have plumped for her. But after watching Alexander Dreymon's excellent portrayal, it brought back to me how devastated Uhtred really was. He's had so many, as he's "loose" but they were probably the most two standouts in his life. I would really like to hear your thoughts.

Danny

 

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I think I should write to you to personally thank you for writing the Last Kingdom series. I, like countless others, was never a fan of historical fiction until this. You can never imagine how much fun it is for us to live through Uhtred and your imaginative, vivid stories and the exciting world in which you built. It truly enriches us in many ways. If I may be slightly dramatic, England should thank you as well. Why there is not much of an effort to uncover, learn and educate on the origins of England, I cannot understand. Surely there is nothing to be ashamed of or kept quiet about. Mmm let's leave it as that.

After watching Season 3, I have a few things to ask or comment:

Who do you think is Uhtred's favourite girl, if he has to choose one on the spot?

Brida, Mildrith, Iseult, Gisela, Skade, Aethelflaed, to name a few..

Maybe we should ask Alexander too! You should ask him if you have a chance! I know this is a highly inappropriate question that cannot be answered for obvious reasons, but still, millions of us do wonder. It's your fault haha, you are partly to blame.

To make it less pointed, maybe the question should be, who does Uhtred dream of?

In the show, Alfred and Uhtred sat down and had a heart to heart talk in his chamber. If only you had made a cameo entrance then! Instead of Aelswith walking in, imagine if Bernard Cornwell the creator walked in and continued the discussion! This is a "what if"/alternate universe dream scene that would have blown our mind. This will be something like "Dinner/Table For Five", also featured on Youtube. There is one where JJ Abrams, Mark Hamill, Stan Lee, Kevin Smith and Jason Lee sat down and shared stories. Sometimes these interactions are priceless.

The TV series is growing from strength to strength, despite virtually no promotional activities. The production budget had obviously increased, just look at the quality of the show. This is turning into a monster. Worldwide. Did you foresee that it will come to this?

Warm regards, destiny is all.

Ben

Malaysia

PS: Your books are flying of the shelves here as well, in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok. We try to pick up your books whenever there is a new release.

 

 

 

A

I think Mark Rowley does a wonderful job! They all do – I’m constantly amazed at the qualities the actors bring to their roles, and thus to the story, and Mark impresses me with every appearance. Do I have favourites? Well, if I did, it would be invidious to says so – so I’m dodging that part of your question.

 

I suspect the love of his life was Gisela, with Aethelflaed coming in a close second!  He still hasn’t finished though . . . . .

 


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I've followed you for a quarter century through the exploits of Richard Sharpe, Thomas Hookton, Uhtred et al and your work is impressive. Do you have any thoughts on a follow up to "Fools and Mortals?"

Martin Sommerness

A

I do, and have done an immense amount of research, but the flint hasn’t struck the stone to make a spark yet. It might happen?

 


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Quick question re meaning of Uhtred’s name. The “red” part means “counsel” - Alfred = Elf counsel, Aethelred = Noble counsel; what does Uhtred’s name mean?

Andrew Bell

A

I’ve no idea, to be honest! Never thought about it!


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Q

Is Uhtred handsome or ugly? It is ambiguous because Uhtred’s narrator. Though there are many instances where characters signal that Uhtred is ugly. For example, Mildrith wept at the first sight of Uhtred. We know Uhtred has a broken nose and a blunt, scarred face, but that doesn’t mean he is ugly. Also a whore said she would not marry Uhtred the younger because he looks too much like his father. However, there are signs in the novel that Uhtred is handsome. Gisela said she was stricken by Uhtred at first sight. Also, we know Uhtred is tall and formidable in his appearance. In all the novels written in the third person, the main characters such as Thomas, Sharpe, and Starbucks are all described as tall and handsome. Only in the first person novels like the Warlord Chronicles is it left ambigous.

Peter Ho

A

He doesn’t know, nor do I. He doesn’t have a mirror. Women find him devastatingly attractive . . . . and women, as we know, are always right.

 

 


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Q

Hi Bernard,

Finished War of the Wolf and enjoyed it very much. My question is regarding Uhtred's age and his capabilities, you responded to another question responding his capabilities that you didn't want the reader to notice him losing his capabilities. I was just wondering how strongly you believe this because as much as I love reading about Uhtred being involved in duels (and as much as he loves a scrap) there must be a cut off point where he can no longer be involved? Have you thought about if you might have to phase him out of combat before this greybeards luck runs out?

James

A

I never stop thinking about it . . . . but how I’ll deal with it? I’ll find out as I write the books!  He’s doing okay in the new one.

 


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

I just finished War of the Wolf. I am slightly confused at the timeline. I know Edward the Elder historically dies in 924. And you mention he fell from his horse toward the end of the book and is assumed to be on his death bed. Am I correct in assuming the book is set in 924?

You also mentioned the Saxon Stories will continue through Brunanburh. I can also assume Uhtred will live until then? Or are you going to continue with another character? Regardless, I am excited to see how it all ends.

Thanks.

Andrew Bennett

A

Edward doesn’t die in that book – so no. Try 923!

I plan to end with Brunanburh, though God knows the poor man will be ancient by then. He’ll have to cope somehow.

 


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Dear Bernard Cornwell,

I hope my message finds you well.

I would like to start this message to you by thanking you for the Uhtred series, it has got my brother and I through some very bad times and it truly is a work of art as history and fiction. Finan is now my favourite fictional character ever! That says a lot as I am a keen reader.

I know when a book gets made into a film the author usually has a big part to play and I know you are active within the works of the Last Kingdom series which is fantastic by the way. I know to make it work things need to be changed slightly or left out but I was left rather disappointed by the treatment Alfred received from Uhtred S3 E2, i wondered what your thoughts were on this?

I apologise if I speak out of line or you do not wish to comment

Kind Regards

Bob

A

My thoughts were to sit back and enjoy the series!  And I did. Yes, they changed things, but they have constraints (time and budget) that I don’t have and I truly think the compromises they made were terrific. Would I have written a scene like that? Probably not, but it worked for me.


Q

Hello, Mr Cornwell,

Very big fan of the Saxon Stories starring Uhtred of Bebbanburg. I just had a couple of questions to ask concerning the books that I hoped you might be able to answer.

Firstly I'm curious as to what happened to Alfred's nephew, Ethelhelm, who was the brother of Ethelwold. Is there a sentence I must have missed saying he died or became a priest, because history records he was alive at the time of Alfred's will in the 880s. I can see why Ethelwold is the more major character though, since his life is better attested.

I'd also like to ask would there be any exploration of the Gaels and Finan in later books. As a descendant of the Uí Néill (like 99% of Ireland's population) I suppose that makes me a relative of Finan's, fictional though he may be, and was wondering would we have further exploration of his clan in the future.

Hope you keep up the good work.

Seán

A

I don’t know is the simple answer – but, unlike Aethelwold, he didn’t make trouble so rather faded away.

Wouldn’t that be nice!  I fear probably not. I think that book or books would be better written by someone Irish.

 


Q

Hello!

Big fan of the saxon stories and reading previous questions submitted you mention that Uhtred will take part in the Battle of Brunanburh. How many stories do you predict will follow War of the Wolf up until that final battle?

Thank you!

Hussein

 

Hi Bernard

I have read every single one of your books and loved them all...will you writing  another one after WAR OF THE WOLF????

LYNDA

 

Dear Mr.Cornwell

I have just finished reading The Last Kingdom series back to back over the last two weeks  (yes I read fast, sorry).  I am wondering if you have started the next instalment yet and if so when it will be out.   I also enjoyed the Grail Quest books, The Arthur series and Stonehenge. Thank you for making history so easy to read.  I love history and love your books sir.

Lucy Neame

A

I suspect there will be three more books – one underway, two to come, the last being about Brunanburh.


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

I just finished War of the Wolf and loved it.  I have two questions.  First, this is a minor comment, but I missed hearing Uhtred say, "fate is inexorable" this volume.  I would suggest think about bringing that back in future volumes if the fits the story, as to me that is one of the "glue" items that describes Uhtred's views on life.  Secondly, will your be doing any book tours to California over the next year?

Best Regards,

Mark Jensen

A

He says it twice in the book . . . which is not enough!  I’ll do better next time!

 No plans for a trip to California right now - but my thoughts are with those affected by the devastating fires there.


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

I have read most of your books, enjoyed them all, and at last I have started on the Starbucks Chronicles. About two-thirds through "Rebel" I found this wonderful sentence: "Fools usually need repetition to understand even the simplest of ideas." The speaker was Major Thaddeus Bird, and of all the characters in all your books,  Major Bird comes closest to be of like mind with myself (I am no Uhtred or Sharpe). Would you reveal your inspiration for this character? I'd really like to know.

Keith Biesiada

A

I wish I knew!  Characters like Thaddeus Bird tend to come out of nowhere - well, okay, from my imagination, but how that works I have no idea!  Still, I’m really delighted you like him – he’s one of my favorite characters too!

 


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Hi. My son and I are both huge fans of The Last Kingdom series and we thank you for bringing them to us.

 

I do however have a really really cheeky request. Would it be possible to integrate the word (name) Cyningesburh into an Uhtred story? I'm sure you know what it means. As you can see from our surname there's a ancestoral of connection for us. Although such a connection is lost to me the name lives on.

 

Why would you do this for us?  Because it would make us so happy to know that our family name would be associated with Uhtred. It would become something for my family to pass on, connecting the past with the present and with the future.

 

As my mother (a Northumbrian by the way) is so fond of saying...if you don't ask. You don't get.

 

All the best.

James Kingsbury

A

Cyningesburh? Hmm. Well, I’ve just made a note of it . . . and I promise something dark and awful will happen there if it’s at all possible. So yes, if I can (and I probably will). And mother is right!


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Hi Bernard,

been a fan of your books for a long time now starting with the Sharpe series but this question regards Uhtred. As a carpenter in my 40's I'm finding tasks not as easy as the were say 20 year's ago. Uthred's getting on in years and I'm wondering have you based his capabilities on real life older Warriors?

Richard Polkey

A

I’m not sure about capabilities, though I do have in mind that Marshal Blucher was unhorsed and over-ridden by French cavalry at the battle of Ligny when he was 76. He still managed to lead the Prussians to Waterloo and victory two days later! Uhtred will lose some capabilities, but I doubt you’ll notice if I write him well enough!

 


Q

Hello Mr Cornwell,

I have a quick question which I am genuinely curious about if you don't mind. I'm reading the war of the wolf (which is brilliant and my Friday treat which I read with a beer) and have realised that for the majority of the present and future books Uhtred is classed in the dark ages as an old man. He states in the current book that his Norse nemesis was younger than he'd remembered, less than 40 and a man in his prime. It got me thinking, which of the books is Uhtred at him optimum prime? When he is at his peak as a leader and warrior? I'm guessing it's the Burning Land but might be wrong.

Thanks for your time

Ian

A

I think you might be right – though I’ve never really thought about it. He is getting old, though not impossibly so, and though the average life expectancy was probably around 40 for a healthy man, there were some who defied the odds. Uhtred has to, he doesn’t have a choice because I’m expecting him to win the Battle of Brunanburh. After that he can die in peace!

 


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I know you must be asked this many times, but how far into history will you take Uhtred? Will it be death of Alfred in 899 Athelstan becomes king of the English in 927 or when England is united at Brunanburh. He would be about 60 by Brunanburh.

Andrew Earl

A

Definitely Brunanburh!

 


Q

Gidday Bernard,

you are one of my favourite authors & i especially love your Arthur & Uhtred novels.My best loved character of yours is Finan the Agile Uhtred`s best mate.As you have told a little of his early history any chance of a stand alone book of his younger years in Ireland? It would make the plastic Paddy in me happy.Thanks for entertaining me .

Wayne Mcauliffe

A

A stand alone?  That's not in my plans....but never say never!


Q

Hi Bernard,

I've just read War of the Wolf and it was a great read.

There was some great humour in the book and I wanted to know, what would you say has been the funniest moment / dialogue that you have written in the series so far?

I can't recall which book it was, but the moment when Steapa produces an important note and Uhtred suspects he might eat it! ... That damn near floored me!

Andy

PS - I'm looking forward to your cameo in the show.

A

My favourite joke?  I think it’s in The Flame Bearer and Uhtred is talking about a bishop – talking to a meeting of the Witan – and describing what the bishop would say while visiting a whorehouse.

 


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

Loved War of the Wolf, but your hints as to another book in the series was very vague. Is this the end of the line for Uhtred?

John Clark

 

Hi Bernard,

I have just finished war of the wolf and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Will it be another Uhtred novel next or will we finally get another Sharpe? Either way I'm happy!

James.

 

Just finished War of the Wolf and would like to know your plans for Book #12 to follow.  Have read books 1-10 twice already.

Peter Beveridge

A

Good lord no!  I’m writing the next Uhtred now!  And there will be a couple more (I hope) after this one.

I’m vaguely thinking to write a last Sharpe after that, then back to Uhtred, but that’s not carved in stone.

 


Q

Hi Bernard,

Firstly, Thank you for signing my copy of your new book  in Newcastle, I've just finished it and am now totally depressed that I have another year to wait for the next one.

During your chat you mentioned thinking about a "one off" novel about the battle of Towton. Obviously we want to get to the end of Uhtred's story and our mouths are watering at the thought of another Sharpe, but what a battle Towton was.

Over 50, 000 people were involved, just to put that into perspective that is roughly 2% of the entire population on one battlefield.

I have read several accounts of the battle but would love to read your take, here's the question... Who's side would you be on and why?

Thank you again for the hundreds of hours of pure pleasure and I look forward to whatever you put your pen to next.

Mike

A

That’s a good question!!  I haven’t really thought about it, though off the top of my head my preference would probably be for the side which had the smaller army . . . which means the Yorkists, and as my family settled in Yorkshire after losing Bebbanburg there’s a link. But I doubt I’ll decide until I do more research!


Q

Hello!

I am writing because I was very much wondering if, despite the amount of time that has elapsed since the publication of Gallows Thief, you might be considering or have considered writing another Sandman novel or a Sandman series, in which he, Sally and Berrigan investigate other dastardly deeds, either as self-employed investigators or as agents of the state.

I've thoroughly enjoyed not only your fictional corpora, but also and in particular, your Waterloo: the History of Four Days... .

While still in the enthralled process of reading Gallows Thief, I truly believe that the stage is already beautifully set for yet another great series, alongside that of Richard Sharpe; Thomas of Hookton, and Uhtred of Bebbanburg, and I would very much look forward to the next Sandman tale in a new, future series.

Anyhow, thank you very much for your time and patience.

Alein Bryan

A

Thank you!  I have considered a follow-up to Gallows Thief, but there are many other things on my list as well....


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Dear Bernard,

Looking forward to picking up my copy of War of the Wolf tomorrow and to watching TLK series 3 next month, hopefully.

Unfortunately, I can't make it to the UK to catch up with you on the tour, but I've heard you have a cameo role in the new TV series and have seen you looking distinguished in a photo from the show.

May I ask you if your cameo role is as a generic warrior etc or are you playing a named character & if so, who is it?

Have a safe trip. I'm still hopefull you'll be able to visit the Isle of Man one day - or maybe Uhtred will.

Thanks.

Boakesey from the IoM

A

Oh, I’m just an unfortunate Dane who wanders into Uhtred’s path at the wrong time. Nothing distinguished!

 


Q

Hi Mr Cornwell.

Love your books, esp, Uhtred. Do you have any idea what was going on in Lancashire area during those times? All the Anglo-Saxon  and Viking focus seems to avoid that region, and I’ve been wondering why. In Australia it’s a bit hard to know who to ask.

Thanks for making history interesting,

Paul D

A

Lancashire was really part of Northumbria, but it seems that whoever was king in York really didn’t have much control over what happened west of the Pennines, so much of what is now northern Lancashire and Cumbria fell to Norsemen. A Saxon burh was established at Manchester (it’s in the new novel), but Saxon control of Lancashire wasn’t cemented until the middle of the 10th century

 


Q

Hello Sir.

Thank you very much indeed for your wonderful books.  I have read  all of them of course,  and followed the Last Kingdom series on TV, and have a question for you.

My understanding from the books is that Uhtred is/has a free Viking spirit that believes in Norrøn mythology, and despises the men of the church and the christian religion, even though he respect the believers. (because he is a free spirit) In the books he often touch his hammer and hope his fate will be good, and I think you have managed to describe the norrøn religion very well.

 

In the TV series on the other hand, this is toned down alot.  There is a lot of focus on the christian cross, and I can not remember once having seen Uhtreds Thor hammer, or any other Thor hammer on vikings. It seems to me that the series is made to appeal to american christians on behalf of the true story of the books?

 

My question is: Am I right, or have I missed something? Do you appreciate the way this subject is portrayed in the TV series??

 

Thank you for your time.

Best regards and thank you again for ALL your books!!

Arne

A

I think the TV series does downplay that theme, though I doubt they’re worried specifically about American Christians – maybe any Christian? On the other hand they have time constraints which I don’t, so they must choose their themes which inevitably means leaving some things out – despite which I’ve enjoyed every episode.  To be honest I haven’t missed the mockery which is in the books, so I think they’re doing a fine job!

 


Q

Hello....my! do people really send you manuscripts?! I couldn't imagine doing that. Anyhow, I have read the Warlord Chronicles-twice,and all of the Saxon tales to date. Two questions if I may: 1- In the Saxon Tales, Uhtred and other characters show a profound distaste for the "welsh" and for "wales" a very marked difference from the way the lands of "Wales" -even Siluria, are loved in the Warlord Chronicles. Now, granted the feelings of the characters are driven by their learned hatreds and loves for peoples and lands, but why so stark a difference? THIS is not a criticism! Please don't be offended. it is just a question based on observation.  2- I have read through your answered questions and see that any new story bridging the time of Derfel the writer monk and Derfel, survivor of Camlann may not be in "the cards". It seems there is still a good bit of story-fiction and history-to tell. Would love to see it. But it is understandable if we never do. Thank you for your time.

Ted Agens

A

Derfel and, indeed, Arthur are what we today would call the Welsh. No wonder they liked themselves!  The Saxons ‘stole’ or conquered their land which they renamed England and yes, they regarded the Welsh as enemies and the Welsh regarded the Saxons as enemies. Uhtred is a Saxon and has the prejudices of his tribe, though he likes some of the Welsh (Pyrlig, King Hywel).  Nowadays, of course, the rivalry is more or less restricted to the rugby field!


Q

Hi Bernard,  (if I may call you that).

I have read a great many of your books including every last one of the Sharpe series.

I have just finished reading "The last Kingdom" and was struck by Uhtred's description (during his marriage period), of a forty year old man as being either "elderly" or "very old".

Now, although life expectancy has varied wildly throughout history, lifespan has remained relatively constant at, to quote a source much more ancient than either of us, three score years and ten (or thereabouts).

Please Sir,

I would love to hear your comment on this particular issue as it seems there are so many famous and distinguished people throughout history and way back into antiquity who have all lived, seemingly, quite happily into their eighties and beyond..

I am most grateful.

Bo Bodragon

A

For almost all human history the life expectancy has been dreadfully low – if, that is, you survived childhood.  In mediaeval Europe you were lucky to reach 30.  The world average in 1900 was just 31! Now, it is an average, and it’s worth remembering that the rich, noble and privileged had a much easier life and often lived to a very old age, but they were few so didn’t affect the average by much.  For peasants and workers life was grim and hard. They not only had continual back-breaking work, they were prey to diseases that they could not cure and to poor harvests which would make a poor diet even worse. Trust me, in modern times, we’re lucky! Your ‘three score years and ten’ was probably written by a scribe of the priestly caste, and therefore privileged!

 


Q

Once Uhtred unites England, will we see a book where Richard Sharpe gets to trade in his redcoat for the green jacket of the 95th?

Much Thanks

William Schlotthauer

A

Probably not . . . I do plan at least one more Sharpe book, but doubt I’ll go that far back. Sorry!


Q

Hello, Mr. Bernard.

I'm Brazilian and a huge fan.

Sorry first, my bad English..

Secondly, I would like to record that I have adoration for the Saxon Chronicles and I sincerely hope it continues for a long time.

Do you intend to continue by giving us the history of England's creation? Can we expect Uhtred's son in the footsteps of his father? Are you thinking of telling us about a Danish king on the English throne?

Please fulfill this dream.

Fraternal hugs.

Olana

A

I intend to take the story as far as the Battle of Brunanburh (in 937 AD) which, to my mind, is the event which creates England . . . beyond that? No!  Uhtred will be far too ancient.

 


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So I am a huge fan of alternate history and historic fiction, and as such, absolutely devour your works with great relish, particularly the Uhtred sage.  Thus my big question - is there a foreseen end to the series?  I live in dread that some terrible circumstance might remove you from this mortal coil and leave us dangling in cliffhanger hell.  I realize this is entirely selfish, but after all, this series has been absolutely delightful in its quality, intrigue, pretty much everything.  While it may not define my life, whilst reading the series, I am consumed by it.  Good thing I only buy the hardcover copies, or I would be needing a new set of each by now...

 

Many thanks for enriching my literary life.

 

Chris Peskett

 

A

Trust me I live in dread that some terrible circumstance might remove me from this mortal coil!  So far (knock on wood) so good, and as we’re getting closer and closer to the Battle of Brunanburh it looks as if we both might live to see the end of the series. I’m working on it!


Q

Hello Bernard

 

I thought you might find this video mildly interesting...

https://youtu.be/TpYbZK_gEbc

I think i heard this guy right, that he  refers to Dragoons as, "Artillery"! That can't be right?

I wanted to ask about your "Sharpe Heavy Cavalry sword. Where did you get it? It was quite a find! And do you have any other cool Napoleonic Memorabilia?

 

Looking forward to reading Uhtred 11 this Christmas

 

Kind regards, as ever

 

Matt Copley

Wiltshire

A

Dragoons were not artillery, you’re right, but I suspect the phrase he uses is only slightly muddled. Dragoons, technically, were mounted infantry.  They rarely dismounted in battle, but certainly did so when they were on vedette duty – which was outpost work. I think the point being made was that the Imperial Guard was virtually a self-contained army corps in its own right, and thus contained infantry, cavalry and artillery.

 

I bought it years ago – too many to remember – in London.  I try not to clutter my wife’s life with too much memorabilia, but in my ‘office’ I have a (reproduction) Baker rifle, a tulwar from the early 19th Century, a Baker rifle sword bayonet and an East India Company bayonet. That’s enough!


Q

First, love the books and I’m biting my nails waiting for the new book coming. My question is, will you be pushing to offer the Last Kingdom series in leather bound versions? Or are they available as leather through someone? As good as they are it would be nice to have leather bound books to have on a coffee table to read. Or possibly a limited edition perhaps different than the hardcover possibly autographed. Just a thought. I would love them in a nice leather edition, thanks. Keep Uhtred coming!

Wayne Cottrill

A

I am not aware of plans for a leather bound edition....but who knows?  Maybe once the series is finished?


Q

Hi Bernard,

I  just finished reading the Nathaniel Starbuck series (btw had a serious laugh out loud gaffaw when I realized who Patrick Lassan was...) Anyhow I  just want to thank you for being the prolific author that you are. I started about a year ago with the Warlord series, and have seemed to move forward  (and sometimes backward) in time from that point.

So... I can see its been awhile since you have visited our friend Starbuck and was wondering if there are any plans to pick up on that series again. I realize you have been busy with Uhtred - looking forward to the War of the Wolf. Also, I am nearing the end of the Sharpe series...do you have any more plans for Richard and Patrick? I'm afraid I am going to be jonesing. ..

Sincerely,

Lori Richardson

A

There are many things still on my list....hopefully Sharpe (and maybe Starbuck)....


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell...

We absolutely love love your Saxon Chronicles and the tale of Uhtred of Bebbanburg- Thank you so much for this wonderful gift. We love to turn off the TV and awful news of the day and lose ourselves in this story.  We also were enthralled with your re-telling of Arthur through the eyes of Derfel. (I should note here that we have the audiobook versions so that we can 'read' as we drive). I don't know if you have any say in who reads your books for Audible, but the reader for many of the books has been Jonathan Keeble- and he is wonderful.  He has a wonderful sense of your words and your vision, and makes the stories and characters  come alive as the reader. We would love to have him as a reader for all of your books! Thank you again for the joy you bring in your story telling!

Eric Erwin and Beth Brookes

A

I do not have any input into choosing narrators of the audio books - but I am happy to pass along your message!


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Hi Mr Cornwell,

I love all of your books but somewhat disappointed we'll see no more of Thomas of Hookton. Nevertheless, I can't wait until 2 Oct to find out what mischief Uhtred will be getting into.

My question; can you list out your best selling series in order of sales? I think it maybe the Sharpe series although with the program, I can see the Last Kingdom doing quite well.

Reg McAuley

A

I can't!  I don't keep track.  Maybe my publisher could?


Q

Dear Bernard

I love your books. I have devoured several series and your work has rekindled an interest in history that I had long forgotten I had. Next weekend I am going to an  Anglo Saxon exhibition and it is all thanks to Uhtred.

However, I am conscious that across your wide range of books, the central character is always male. This saddens me, because there have been some great, influential and interesting women in history (and that's just in the non-fiction section!) Admittedly feisty women in history weren't the norm, but then the likes of Sharpe, Uhtred and Derfel weren't run-of-the mill personalities either.

I would therefore like to know if you would ever consider putting a female character at the centre of one of your stories in the future?

Yours sincerely,

Clare

A

I have considered it, and even done a lot of research into that particular woman and her world, but will I write it and her?  I don’t know. A long life and a blissfully happy marriage has convinced me that women see the world differently to mere men.  I’m confident writing about the latter, but the former sometimes baffle me.  We write best (I think) when we write what we know about and women, much as I love them, are something of a mystery. In my defence I do try to make my female characters strong!  I’m always annoyed when, in films or TV, a couple are fleeing danger and the girl or woman always has to trip over and be rescued – why can’t the man or boy trip sometimes? In my books the women don’t fall over. A brownie point, please?

 


Q

Hello Mr Cornwell,

I just had a few questions about Sigtryggr. If we mix the historical figure of Sithric Caech and the fictional Sigtryggr that you've created, is it safe to assume that Sigtryggr and Ragnall in the books are either the sons of the young Ivar who attempts to attack Uhtred at the end of "Lords of the North"? thus the grandsons of the Ivar that Uhtred kills at the end of the book, thus the great grandsons of Ivar the Boneless?

 

What year are we currently in at the end of "Flamebearer"? I'm currently reading the book for a second time in preperation for the release of "War of the Wolf" and upon my first reading took Uhtred's final interaction with Aethelflaed to mean that the book is set in 918, as the real Aethelflaed died in that year. Upon my second reading, I realized that Uhtred simply states that he never sees her again and there is no real indication that she dies soon after thier meeting.

 

Secondly, Is Einar the White Eiglaf the Red's son? Eiglaf had two young sons who would be in their early thirtys at this point in the storyline, or is the fact that he is named Einar Eiglafson and both are named after a color just a coincidence? If not, do you think we'll see the decendants of long dead charachters make a return, such as Eiglaf of Svien of the White Horse?

 

 

Also, on a totally unrelated topic, do you think Sharpe would have gotten along with Sgt Scammell?

 

Thank you for your time,

 

Luke Devine

A

I never intended Einar to be identified as Eiglaf’s son . . . he’s a convenient character, but I didn’t want to be trapped in historical reality, so kept him fictional. I don’t mind reality!  But the history of the north is so complicated and, to tell a story, needs to be ‘streamlined’. As you probably have foreseen I’m going to have a ton of trouble with Sigtryggr over the next couple of books – so the fictional pruning hook will be busy.

 

Most of the action is in 918 – but the end point? I deliberately left that vague.

 

I think he’d have ripped him a new one.

 


Q

Is Sharpe's father  Sir Henry Simmerson?

Chris Horsley

 

OK, I will have a go: For irony, Henry Simmerson.

Thank you for writing such fabulous and engaging novels - ranging from the Sharpe series, to the Arthur series, to Uhtred (and I also enjoyed the Rebel series and Azincourt, as well as the Fort).

PLEASE write another Sharpe novel soon.

All the best,

RJC

A

No!


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Hello Mr. Cornwell!

My father and I are very devoted fans of much of your writing, so much so that it has very easily become something we bond over, as we can spend hours talking about the little details and history surrounding Uhtred of Bebbanburg, though he has definitely dwelled deeper into your content than I have.

 

I understand it is essentially pointless to send you book ideas or ideas about characters, though it’s important to note that I am not asking you to use my ideas in your writing. What I am asking is for you to consider writing a short book or story surrounding Cnut (Longsword) Ranulfson’s rise to fame as the greatest swordsman in all of Britain.

 

Of all the warriors Uhtred has fought, I feel that Cnut has become the most important of the series, as he is the only character who has nearly killed Uhtred, and he was the only character Uhtred fully expected to lose to in a fight, with the exception of Steapa. It’s my whole-hearted belief that Uhtred only succeeded because the gods were on his side, as he claimed Cnut was faster than Finan, a claim that I felt subtlety hinted that Finan would have fell to Cnut if he had stepped in for Uhtred (which he tried to do).

 

I know it’s a lot to ask you to write a whole book about one specific character, but I had just felt there was so much potential surrounding his uprising and his possession of Ice Spite, that it couldn’t hurt to ask.

 

Thank you so much for your work, I very much look forward to War of the Wolf.

Ollie

A

You’re right – it doesn’t hurt to ask, but I don’t see it happening soon, sorry.  If anything it would probably be a short story – but I need to finish Uhtred’s story first and there are a couple of other projects in the pipeline . . .


Q

dear Mr. Cornwell,

i'm a huge fan. if you don't mind my asking, will you write a book from Kublai Kahn/Marco Polo or Hannibal barca? themes of historical interest. My English is really bad, Sorry. I'm curious about it, how it goes on with Uhtred. Thor bless you!

Best regards from Germany

RT

A

Sorry, probably not . . . I have a slew of books I still want to write and, like Uhtred, I’m getting old!  Still, who knows?  Maybe one day I’ll get fascinated by Hannibal (more likely than Kublai Khan).

 


Q

Greetings Bernard.

I know so many people initiate their first messages with you by offering thanks for your work. I would like to do the same. I truly do love what you've written.

I have a few questions about reoccurring themes in your stories and where they came from.

First: "Fate is inexorable". This is mentioned in a lot of your writing. Where did you get the inspiration for it? What meaning does it have to You?

 

My other question: I've noticed as well that in the cases of Breeda for Uhtred and Nimue for Derfel, the narrator has a lover who he is not truly inlove with, but cares for deeply through childhood and into early  adult life, but this charecter then distances from him eventually to becoming an enemy, and a very degraded form of what he once loved.

Is this based on any real life expirience of yours? Where does that chain of events come from?

Thank you so much. I can't wait for your new release in October.

Kindest regards

Kjartan (not the cruel) Kelly

A

I’m afraid it doesn’t have any meaning for me . . . to believe in fate is to acknowledge a mysterious and, presumably, superior power, and I’m far too prosaic for such a belief. However, our medieval ancestors thoroughly believed in fate and the phrase comes from an Anglo Saxon poem, The Wanderer, which sums up that belief very neatly.

 

Again, no life experience!  Fiction!


Q

Hi Bernard

Fantastic news that the next Uhtred book is coming out later this year. Just in time for my 50th birthday a few days later. Apologies if I've missed it in the previous books, have you any plans to include the Weymouth Vikings in the tales? Sounds like the sort of incident our hero may have been involved with, or maybe he would have tried to prevent it?

Finally,  PLEASE continue the Starbuck chronicles, there's so much more to tell.

Keep up the good work.

Martin

A

Right now it’s not on the horizon – poor Uhtred has enough to sort out in the new book (and the next), but who knows?


Q

It has been interesting to read fan comments in various chat rooms regarding TV Uhtred. Of course, there are many book fans participating in these debates who have never been happy with the casting of Dreymon as Uhtred because he doesn't at all fit your description of him in the books. Another vein of recent debate is Uhtred's season 3 look. A number of official photos of cast in costume have been released, but none of them include Uhtred. Some folks have discovered photos during down time on the set of Uhtred with his hair sheered off, and that has upset an entire fan base. Some are clinging to the hope that extensions will be profusely used. Of course, no one really knows yet what Uhtred will look like in season 3, but you might be able to settle the "hair debate." Did they really cut off Uhtred's long hair and shave his head? If so, it's going to create a lot of flack from fans.

Jason Marcus

A

I was on the set a month ago and have pictures of Alexander looking enviably handsome, but I’m not going to share them!  Sorry!  I think he’s a superb Uhtred and if he’s slightly redefining the character, so what? Two for the price of one.  My only complaint is that in Episode 7 of the new series (coming in the autumn) he kills a character called Beornheard – does the man have no gratitude?


Q

I've often pondered on the similarities between Uhtred and Derfel Cadarn, and the similarites between Alfred of Wessex and Arthur of Dumnonia, as well as their differences. In your opinion, if Derfel was transported to 9th century Britain, would he have liked Alfred? Would he have been as successful as Uhtred in fighting the Danes? Similarly, if Uhtred was in 5th century Britain, would he like Arthur? Would he have been more antagonistic towards Mordred? And if Arthur had to defend against invading Danes, would he have been as successful in protecting Britain as Alfred was?

Chris Jarvina

A

Would Arthur have succeeded against the Danes?  In essence he was facing the same problem as Alfred – resisting a migratory invasion, in Arthur’s case it was Anglo-Saxons and, according to the very scant evidence (and adding a deal of imagination) it appears he was very successful, but only for a time. He held up the loss of Britain, but couldn’t prevent it. Alfred did the same, only the outcome was different – and his successors established an English state. Beyond that the comparisons are really impossible. . . would Derfel have liked Alfred?  Probably more than Uhtred did!


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell.

I would like to thank you for giving me the pleasure of reading back. I devoured the 10 books of the Uthred Saga in about 4 months and can hardly wait for band 11.

I want you, unlike others, do not ask when it's finally going on, but ask if you're still planning to write stories that tell Uhtred's life in between?

With thanks again and best regards from Germany

Casten

 

I am one of your legion of fans,  in my opinion you are the best historical fiction writer ever.  I cannot wait for the next book in a series but devastated when that series ends.   I have been seriously ill over the winter and fear I will not get to read the finale of Uhtred's wonderful adventures.   No publication last year, dare we hope for one this year?    If so I will try and keep going.

Yours in admiration

Norman Allen

 

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

can we expect another sequence after the flame bearer? Life is boring without Uthred 😪

Helmut Augener

A

The next book of the series is written!  It will be called War of the Wolf and will be published in October.


Q

When will we hear from Starbuck again?

Bill Horner

 

Mr Cornwell,

I find all your books wonderful and am very pleased to hear that Uhtred's adventures will continue.  I appreciate you are a very busy man but will Starbuck be seeing the war through to a conclusion?

Many thanks

Gavin Johnson

A

I just don't know when (or if??) I'll get back to Starbuck....


Q

Hi Bernard,

Have always been a fan of yours and having just finished the grail quest It was the death of a Robbie Douglas a death I did not expect that I found myself wondering what is your process for killing a character off? I remember reading you regretted killing Hakeswell off. Do you decide before writing, do you let the story decide or do you feel you can’t go any further with that character?

Keep up the good work can’t wait for the next Uhtred book.  Any chance of you letting the title slip so we can all have I guess at what’s going to happen?

Jim

 

Hi Mr. Cornwell.

Isn't it about time for you to reveal the proposed title of Uhtred #11?

Alan Kempner

A

I never decide anything before writing . . . the story unfolds as you write it, and usually those deaths help the plot which is why they’re there. I often regret them, but leave them in!

 

It is. Almost there . . . . .

 

 


Q

Hello Bernard

First I’d like to thank you for The Saxon stories, I’ve read them again and again, luckily I live inNewcastle upon Tyne so I often visit Bamburgh Castle, somewhere down the line I’m related to 10th century Uhtred, so we are perhaps very distant cousins. My question is regarding Simmerson, when you wrote the character did you every think or base him on the character or the style of TT , Terry Thomas?

Thanks Mathew

Ps will you be doing anything in Newcastle this year?

A

Oh lord no!  I liked Terry Thomas!

I don't think so....


Q

Hi there,

I suspect I'm one of your younger readers, considering I started reading the books earlier than would be regarded normal (19 and I first read 'The Last Kingdom' at 12), so I suppose you could say that I've grown up with Uhtred. The series, along with many of your other works, has inspired a lot of my own interest in writing and by proxy acting, two of the paths I'm now trying to pursue. So for that I'd just like to say I'm grateful. I have a couple of quick questions and would love to hear from you.Now my first question is a bit of an odd one, but I've always been curious about Eadith: why does Uhtred speak so little of her when he refers to himself as an old man? He talks about Gisela and Ætheflaed and even Iseult, but I don't think he's ever mentioned Eadith, unless (and I think not?) she is the pious Christian wife that he refers to with contempt. At this point (post 'The Flame Bearer'), he's been with her for as many books and almost as much time seemingly as anyone else, and yet she's still seldom mentioned. I understand that in earlier books she may not have been a fully-fledged character in your plans, but by now she is a close companion of Uhtred's and yet seemingly remains relegated to second tier in his affections. I suppose I'm just curious as to why?

Secondly, (more brief this one) Uhtred and Cnut fighting each other in their prime in a fair fight: who wins? I would assume Uhtred based on his victory as an old man (by relative standards), but he used his ingenuity rather than ability to defeat Cnut on that occasion.

Finally, as a writer myself (don't worry I'm not going to send you a screenplay!), I'd be curious to know, with a long form series of books like yours (for which I think 'The Saxon Stories' is the correct term but I'm still uncertain), how many books in advance do you plan? Did you know the general shape for the whole arc before you began, or does each story build mostly off what has come before?

I know that I've asked more than my fair share, but as I say, I've had so many questions and only just discovered (whilst sat re-watching season 2 on Netflix) that the option to contact you was available. I hope to hear from you soon, and in the meantime: keep them coming! I hope Uhtred and co have many more adventures ahead!

Will

A

I think it’s simply because he doesn’t spend much time with her!  There’s nothing sinister in it – they’re happy!  For now.

Uhtred. Of course!

Well,  there's no master-plan. I do have inklings of what might be ahead but beyond that I leave it to the imagination as a book gets written.  Probably the wrong way to do it, but there you go!

 

 


Q

I have read all 10 books in the series. Now that he is home, how soon can we read about Uhtred’s last unfulfilled goal- to unite all of Britain? Also just read Fools and Mortals. As someone who taught Shakespeare for 32 years, I loved your take on his personality and your insight into the living theatre of the day (a concept hard for students to imagine). Thanks

Kevan Exstrum

 

Do you plan to release Book # 11?  If so when can we expect it?

Tootsie North

 

When is the next (11th) Utred book coming out?

Al Lenzi

 

Mr Cornwell

Will you be writing another novel in The Last Kingdom series?

Paul McInnis

A

I am working on the 11th book of The Last Kingdom series now.  It should be available - in both the UK and the US - on 9 October 2018.


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Q

Hi Bernard,

long-time fan here. I'm working my way through Uhtred's story, trying to catch up with the TV series before it comes back, and puzzling over Sharpe's father in the meantime. I believe I have it: Major Patrick Ferguson, inventor of the breech-loading rifle. 8 letters, aged 33 in 1777, and it's got a U in it for good measure... am I anywhere near?

Howard Train

A

Miles away! Nice thought, but oh so wrong!


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell.

Now that we know season 3 of TLK is really happening, and you'll be making a cameo appearance, can you give us a hint as to in which episode you will be appearing? With makeup artists being as good as they are, I surely wouldn't want to miss your appearance as using eyeglasses to help identify you will obviously not be of much assistance!

If you've already been filmed, I imagine the experience was quite a hoot for you and I'm hoping Uhtred's (desired) insult was a doozy! If so, were you allowed a pithy retort?

Jason Marcus

A

I appear (unless I end on the cutting room floor) in episode 7. It was, indeed, a hoot. I won’t say what Uhtred does to me on camera, but off camera we had a terrific time.

 


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

After having read the Warlord and Saxon series, I'm interested in your thoughts of the relative efficiency of the Roman legionary infantry (at the height of their prowess) compared to the British / Saxon / Danish infantry.  I have always been interested in the Roman period, and based on what I've read, it seems like the Roman heavy infantry were the pinnacle of close combat warfare.  With large shields, short stabbing swords, heavy armor, organization, and discipline, they would set the standard for all that came after.  Granted, that the Romans lost plenty of battles, but I'm sure they won abundantly more, so that it was something of a shock when they lost.

Compared to Uhtred, leading a couple thousand men into battle, and with only a few hundred of those well armed, armored, and trained, the commander of a couple of Roman cohorts would be at an almost insurmountable advantage. Mated with the quality of troops, to have a logistical system in place so they are capable of operating year round far from home, it must seem like a race of giants to Alfred's Wessex.

I know you don't want any ideas for books, but I personally would love to read a few books of your that covered this topic.

Love your books.  Thanks.

Andrew Mileur

A

I won’t disagree with you – but again, it’s one of those hypothetical situations – we just don’t know!

 


Q

I have all 10 of the Saxon Chronicles...are there any more books in this series? Or will there be?

Sheila Hall

 

Hi, I can't believe that Flame Bearer is the end of Uhtred! When can I look for the next step? I love this series and have seen the 2 available seasons on Netflix and read all the Saxon Tales at least twice! Thanks for this!

Max Hoyle

 

 

I loved the Sharpe books, reading all of them after completing Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin from the same historical period.  I have now read all 10 Saxon novels.  Uhtred has retaken Bebbanberg, is this now the end of his story??

Paul Olsen

A

The 11th book of The Last Kingdom series will be released in the UK and the US later this year.  And Season 3 of the tv series is currently being filmed.


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Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I have a specific question about one of your Uhtred books. I think Uhtred said that they call the morning star “Aerendil.” I don’t remember which book because I listened to them last year but I would guess 7 or 8. Is this a nod to JRR Tolkien? I have searched online and as far as I can tell, the morning Star is only called Aerendil in Tolkien’s Middle Earth. I know he based his creations largely on his studies of the Dark Age Saxons so maybe it was really called that. Thank you for your time.

Dan

A

I believe the Germanic peoples called the morning start Aerendil – and I suspect that’s where Tolkien found the name.


Q

Hi Mr Cornwell

My son and I were fortunate enough to attend your talk in 2017 in Ely. I think the rumour mill was already in full swing when we did and even though we were there to listen to you speak on Fools and Mortals, the prospect of an eleventh Uhtred book was great news. You have already said that you are currently working on book 11, will you be visiting the UK this year to promote it? If yes, do you have any dates in mind and venues?

Thanks

Terry

A

I believe the book will be published on October 4th so I suspect it will be around that time.  Don't know the venues yet, but once we know it will be posted to the homepage of this website.


Q

Bernard,

Firstly can I thank you for all of your wonderful books and characters? I read my first (Sharpe's Regiment) in 1993 when I was 11 and I visited Salamanca accompanied by Sharpe's Sword last week. Having read at least once every book you have written.

I do have a question though, will Nate Starbuck ever march again? The historical note in the last book said he would but he hasn't so far. And I view them as an extension of the Sharpe books (particularly with his son in them - a wonderful touch)

This isn't to say that I don't love the Saxon books, merely that I'm keen to read more Starbuck.

My girlfriend by the way laughs at me because she thinks much of my morality and my attitude to religion and authority may be led by Sharpe, Uhtred and others.

Anyway, all the best and thank you so much for all the hours and hours of pleasure your books have given me over the last 25 years.

Anthony

 

Hi Bernard

Love your books and have reading them as they are released ever since the Sharp novels, however the Starbuck Chronicles finishes in the middle of nowhere and I wanted to ask if you were going to write any more as there is still quite a bit of Civil War left.

Trevor Bracken

 

 

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

is there a possibility that the 5th part of Starbuck appears? That would be great! :)

Sincerely

Tim Skotara

A

There is a possibility....


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell.

I'm going to make a prediction but it isn't one I like. I think season 3 of the TV series of TLK will be the last. Here is why I think so.

First, they have asked you to make a cameo appearance. Why would they do that when they are only just over half-way through this series of books?

Second, I think Stephen Butchard has done an excellent job writing the scripts for TLK, but I also think he wrote himself into a bit of a corner. The relationship between Uhtred and Alfred has been presented so powerfully, who is going to fill that void after Alfred dies? There isn't another character they can pull from that had such an important impact on Uhtred's life. Readers, of course, are still very interested in what goes on with Uhtred after Alfred, but how does the TV show replace that dynamic relationship?

Third, because I like the way the show has been written, I did a little research on Stephen Butchard to find out what other projects he has been involved with. On his CV it is listed that season 3 will have 10 episodes instead of the usual 8. Hmmm. In conjunction with the two thoughts above, I think the extra two episodes are going to finish Uhtred's story as far as the TV series is concerned by pulling out a few events from successive books and placing them after book 6. It would neatly wrap up the TV version of Uhtred's life by giving the viewers what they would want: Uhtred offs his uncle and finally reclaims Bebbanburg.

I will be greatly disappointed if season 3 is the last of TLK, but things are just a bit too coincidental for my liking. In the world of TV entertainment, viewers have often been greatly disappointed when a great series ends before its time. Uhtred is a very interesting character to read about, and certainly one interesting enough to watch since his character has been written so well by Mr. Butchard and excellently portrayed by Alexander Dreymon.

Thoughts on my prediction?

Jason Marcus

A

I don’t have any thoughts on it!  You might be right, you might not be!  I doubt that the ‘cameo’ has anything to do with it – that was really Alexander’s idea. I suspect the fate of the series is entirely dependent on viewing figures – and we don’t have a clue what those might be, of course.

 


Q

Dear Bernard Cornwell

I am a big fan of your books, especially the Sharpe series. I read through the collection in record time and fell in love with the way you develop your characters, the way you create lovable rogues is truly impressive. Having finished Sharpe I read most of your other books before discovering Starbucks Chronicles and I was hooked, I understand that you are currently writing the Saxon series and that clashing with writing Sharpe and Starbuck at the same time meant Starbuck had to be put on hold, but I am just curious that once you have finished with Uhtreds story, will it be possible for us to see Starbuck march again? Thank you for all your work and your time.

Kind Regards

Ashton Perry

A

I don't know what will be next....


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I'm an avid  reader of your books and especially the Last Kingdom series.  I love the characters in the books and especially Uhtred, the main character.  I was wondering if there would be a book following the Flame Bearer?  If that is the case, when will it be available?  I know Uhtred is now an old man but his son would also make a wonderful character for a follow up.

Thank you sir,

Claude Gauthier

 

When will the 11th book in the Saxon Chronicles be release?  Have all ten books and looking forward to the next one.

Tootsie North

A

It is the book I am writing now, so - with any luck - you should have it later this year.


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Q

Firstly, thank you for all the hours of pleasure your books have given me.

I was wondering, reading a response to a previous question, whether the wife Uhtred speaks of when he is old, frail and retelling his story, is in fact Mildrith.  They would still be married as you never mention them as being divorced. She was/is pious and would probably surround herself with priests.  Is this a guess too far?

Really looking forward to book 11.

Thank you again

Ann

A

For Uhtred? Yes, a guess too far! We’ll get there in the end.


Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell.

Thank you for answering the question regarding Uhtred's age when he finally takes back Bebbanburg. He is old. That could cover a lot of years since in the books anyone over 40 is considered old. I suppose readers get wound up with characters, especially ones that have had more than their share of hard knocks. All Uhtred really wanted was to go home, eh? How long did it take him to achieve his dream? 40, 50, 60 years? I guess we'll never know.

Is there a chance the BBC will get in gear and renew TLK? Having such long stretches between seasons, as well as leaving viewers hanging, is really not the way to gain and retain viewers. While the TV series alters your story quite a bit, it is still a gem of a TV series and has prompted many people to read all of the books in the series for a more in-depth look at the myriad of interesting characters and events.

Kind regards. Looking forward to both book 11 and, hopefully, season 3 of the TV series.

Jason Marcus

I forgot to mention that I have really enjoyed the humor in the books. Some situations are not very PC in today's world so I suppose I shouldn't have been laughing out loud, but I did anyway. One of my favorite interactions between Uhtred and Finan (I forget which book) and the five things that keep a man happy. Absolutely hilarious. Love the interaction between those two characters.

A

Thank you!  And yes, the show will return for season 3 – on Netflix – probably this autumn.


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

Your Saxon chronicle books are so good, I have read them multiple times.  The Flamebearer was even better - you are getting more skillful.  When is the next one going to be available?  Your book 1356 was good, but your Saxon books are by far your greatest gold mine for sheer reading entertainment.

Kevin

 

I have not yet read the tenth book in the Last Kingdom series...before I do will there be an eleventh? Otherwise I will save #10 for a special occasion.

Peter Hand

 

When will the next release of the last kingdom be released? Uhtred' s story is far from complete....it's been too long now I need to know will he ever regain his promise land home and how he finally sits on the Northumbrian northern throne

Michael Wood

 

When will you release a new book in the Saxon Chronicles?  I really have enjoyed reading this series.

Ed North

A

I am writing book #11 now.  Hope to have it ready for publication later this year.


Q

Hello Mr Cornwell,

 

I am a huge fan of your writing and especially the Last Kingdom Series. Uhtred is one of my favourite characters, however I have also become a big fan of his Irish companion and friend Finan, and I was wondering whether you would be writing anything from his point of view, why he was exiled in more detail. Or more about his life before his exile?

Thank you very much for providing such good reading!

George

A

Not sure....maybe??


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Q

Hello Mr. Cornwell.

I have really enjoyed reading The Last Kingdom series and look forward to reading book 11. I do, however, have a question. I saw a post by another reader about Uhtred's age during various time periods and it starts to get muddy around book 7/8 because the age of other characters and the timeline of events, etc. occasionally don't match up. Although that isn't a big issue for me, I would like to know, how old Uhtred is, in your mind, when he finally takes back Bebbanburg in book 10. When I read books 7-10 and try to keep track, it appears they only cover about seven years of Uhtred's life (902-909), which would put him in his early 50s, but I have no real idea. Could you clarify? Thanks much.

Jason Marcus

A

Not really. He’s old. I’m deliberately keeping it vague. I can’t remember how old I am either.


Q

My Question is short one will we ever get to read  about Mildrith in your books  (last kingdom books) again?  She was my favourite of Uhtred's ladies

John Gray

A

I’m afraid she’s probably the least favourite of Uhtred! I won’t say we’ll never see her again, so maybe??

 


Q

I'm sure you get this kind of message all the time but will we be reading more of Uhtred anytime soon? Also you put a line in the book when Uhtred finds Berg and said that he doesn't know but he's just completed Alfred's dream of England. What did you mean by Berg is the completion of England?

Andrew Eades

A

I am writing the next book of Uhtred's tale now, so......wait and see!


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Q

Hi Mr. Cornwell!

 

I just finished The Flamebearer today and absolutely love the Uhtred series. One thing that I’ve wondered is where you get your information on 10th Century Christianity. Since everything is narrated through Uhtred’s pagan voice I’m not surprised by the negative picture painted of the church, but was curious how much you believe to be accurate how much is invention.

 

Thanks for taking the time!

-Lee

A

The church has always suffered from corruption, and that isn’t a sneer or condemnation. The church attracted wealth and wealth begets greed, and it also attracted ambitious and clever men who could not rise in the civil hierarchy (which was dominated by an aristocracy) but could rise within the ranks of the church. That went on for centuries and, for all I know, still goes on. But the church also attracted men and women of humility, piety and charity, and I try to offer you some of those as well as the more colourful rogues.

 


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Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell:

First, I want to thank you for your wonderful books. Uhtred (my favorite) is such a wonderfully flawed, noble character!

Speaking of wonderfully flawed, noble characters - have you considered writing anything about Boudicca? My daughter and I both deeply admire her. I’ve read historical fiction featuring Boudicca, as well as biographies and other non-fiction books and articles. As is typical of the period, we have only the brief accounts by Tacitus and Cassius Dio as (somewhat) contemporaneous sources.

It would be wonderful to have you write a series of books set during the period of the Roman conquest of Britain, which would include (of necessity, I think) Boudicca’s story. Your dedication to research and historical accuracy in your writing is unparalleled. If you haven’t already considered writing about this time period, I hope you will.

Alice Greene

 

A

I probably won't write a book about Boudicca. I'm sure it could be an interesting story, but I've too many other things on my list at the moment!


Q

Hi,

I just wanted to write a quick thank you for all the amazing books you have produced. The first book I read of yours was Agincourt, I was loaned the book by my Grandmother who recently passed. Since then, I came to love the Uhtred series, reading them all back-to-back. I then proceeded to read the Arthur books. I have recently been  churning through the Sharpe series, having just finished Sharpe's sword. I was also thrilled to see Uhtred make it onto our TV screens, but alas I can not explain to my brother how much better the books are- not that it hasn't brought me immense pleasure to see Uhtred in the flesh, and also to watch the series. I saw on a recent reply of yours that you have no objection to games, I wonder if you have ever played Crusader Kings 2 by Paradox Interactive? They have an Old Gods DLC which focuses heavily on the Viking invasions of Britain during the same period as the books. I greatly look forward to finishing the Sharpe series, but more importantly- reading the new Uhtred book which I hope comes out this year above all things else. It is my last desire to place any sense of pressure on you as you write the novel, but I beg you to end my misery by announcing a release date soon :)

 

Kind Regards

George

 

P.S. Your books have inspired my love of Saxon and Napoleonic history!

A

Sorry for the loss of your Grandmother.

I haven’t played it.  And I do hope the release date of my next book will be later this year!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

For the last thirty years or so, being more precise would be far too alarming, you have provided me great pleasure  by writing novels that I have read over many times. I believe I have a copy of every one published, mostly in paperback, I have watched and enjoyed the productions of Sharpe and of the last Kingdom. I am a fan. And I also was born in Essex.

Enough of the flattery, sincere though it is. My reason for contacting you is concerning the Oriflamme and its fate. I appreciate that there were many produced, that some were destroyed, but also surely some were captured, What happened to them? I have tried to find out bit apart from some reference to one being destroyed in the French Revolution can find no reference to any still in existence.

So I write to you, on whom I place the responsibility for my curiosity, in the hope that you will be able to spare the time to satisfy it.

In any event let me pass on my sincere thanks for conjuring up Sharpe, Harper, Thomas and Uhtred as well as all the other memorable characters you have created.

Regards,

Bryan Mansfield

A

I know of at least two that were captured – I assume they vanished into the English court? Who knows? Made into cushions?

 


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell

 

Since I first read "The last Kingdom", I am a big fan of your work, especially of the Saxon stories and the Sharpe books.

I am working on maps and chronologies of anglo-saxon history and therefore I was very glad, how historical well researched your books are. This is also the reason, why I wanted to locate your novels in my timeline of anglo-saxon history. But, especially in the last novels, I had some trouble locating the novels exactly.

Here is my actual chronology of your books:

The Last Kingdom 866-876 AD

The Pale Horseman 876-878 AD

The Lords of the North 878-881 AD

Sword Song 886 AD

The Burning Land 892-? AD

Death of Kings 899-902 (?) AD

The Pagan Lord ?911? AD

The Empty Throne 911-? AD

Warriors of Storm ?-? AD

The Flame Bearer ?-917? AD

Would it be possible to help me locate your novels exactly and complete this list? Especially with the last three books I had some trouble in locating them exactly, because they have also fictional events in them.

What are the exact birth years of the three children of Uhtred?

Thank you very much for answering my questions. I hope my English wasn't to bad, as I am from Switzerland.

I would also like to thank you for writing this wonderful books and enriching my Bookshelf with great works. I am looking forward for the 11th book of the Saxon stories in October.

 

Yours sincerly

Michael H.

A

I wish you hadn’t asked those questions, because I don’t have a clue what dates Uhtred’s children were born, and I deliberately keep the dates of some of the books a little misty (like the one I’m writing now, which is probably set in 922, but certainly before 924 AD). Your dates look right to me, but I’d need to reread all of them to find whatever clues I dropped and, forgive me, I’d rather write the new book!


Q

Hi again Mr. Cornwell.

Is it at all likely that we'll get another Sharpe novel before you've finished the last of Uhtred's saga?

Alan Kempner

A

I think it’s likely you’ll get another Sharpe novel, but before the end of Uhtred? I can’t promise that. Maybe just after?

 


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I am an avid reader of your books and absolutely love the character Uhtred of Bebbanburg but I am also a big lover of the total war games, with the incoming release of Total War Saga: Kings of Britannia I wonder if Uhtred might have either a game of his own at some point or have a cameo in this new game that takes place during the rule of Alfred?

Sincerely

John Clapp

A

I don't object to video games - but I know nothing of developing them so it's up to someone else to do it!


Q

I love The Saxon Chronicles/The Last Kingdom series. I’ve read each of the ten books at least four times, and have watched the television series on Netflix multiple times as well. I’m looking forward to seeing Uhtred’s story continued in your next book this fall, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that a third season of The Last Kingdom is coming soon. Thank you so much for sharing your extraordinary gifts with the world!

 

In Uhtred’s narration, he speaks of his advanced age, ailments, etc., before recalling the story he wishes to tell. He also mentions his “newest” wife at his advanced age, describing her as overly pious, overly fond of priests, and idiotic. Why would Uhtred marry such a woman?! I hope you will explain it soon because it seems so out of character. Thank you.

Alice Greene

A

I’ll explain it when the books reach that point – not till then, sorry!

 


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Sir, good day! I'd like to say that I greatly admire, among other characters, Cnut Ranulfson. He is Uhtred's most dangerous, competent and sort of noble opponent, who is basically sort of Uhtred on the other side. I'd like to know, whether you based him on any particular historical figure and whether there is a chance that we will get to meet his son.

 

Thanks for your time.

Artem

A

I think he sprang from my imagination . . .


Q

Hi Bernard,

 

Love your books; they have stolen hours and hours away from many nights sleep and they were well worth it!

 

I was having a conversation with family the other day and we were discussing the English classes from school which alleged that the colour of curtains or other things of that nature set a particular tone. I wondered whether you ever deliberately write things of that nature into your books and when young people learn about Bernard Cornwell's books what will be the frequent methods you use to build mood into your stories?

 

Also, if the answer above would be yes, what colour curtains would Uhtred, Sharpe or Derfel have (assuming they had a sudden urge to have them!)?

 

Thanks,

Tom

A

Good Lord, I have no idea!  I’m pretty sure I never use furnishings to indicate mood. That would be a bit limiting. If Sharpe’s mood changed then he’d have to call in the furniture removal people, then an interior decorator and really, he wouldn’t be bothered. I suspect I’m much more straightforward and just tell you what their mood is and the curtains can look after themselves. I did once start a chapter ‘Sharpe was in a good mood’ and, though I don’t believe in writer’s block, that phrase stopped me dead. It never appeared in print.

 


Q

Hi Bernard,

Just finished The Flame Bearer and have to say thank you for such an enjoyable series of books. Any idea when the 11th will be published and have you heard anything about The Last Kingdom Series 3? Is it happening?

Martin Doherty

 

Hi! I recently discovered the tv series and then the book series. Watched/bought them all and loved every single one.

After reading the 10th novel, I'm wondering if there will be any more books or was that the last we will see of Uhtred ??

Thank you so much for writing historical novels.

Kevin Caillouet

A

I am writing the 11th book now.  Hope to have it ready for publication in September or October.

Haven't heard any news about Season 3.....but hope to soon!


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Hello B.C.

 

Greetings from Brazil.

 

Will Uhtreds (Son and Father) be part of the  Battle of Brunanburh?

 

My best regards

 

Bruno Martins

A

They will!


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Hi, I'm a big fan from Brazil and I would like to know how many books will have the saga of Uhtred?

Thank you for all you have done.

Lorran

A

I don't know....at least a few more!


Q

I have been enthralled with  History of the British Isles for most of my life (83 yrs)  i acquired the 10 books of the series just before xmas and am now on the "the Empty Throne"  Your style of  writing is very easy to follow and so I have had a difficulty in putting them down.  My question is; is there a book following number 10.  the last line implies that Uhtred will ride again.

Willie T.

 

Just wondering if you have more books in the pipeline to follow the Flame Bearer. I have found these really riveting and true to life (as I would imagine it), and really want to know if Utred finally retakes Bebbanburgh.

Cheers,

David

 

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

Please could you let me know when book 11 will be released of the Last Kingdom series?

Thanks,

Jenny

 

 

11th book?

Please.....

John M Clements

A

I am writing the 11th book now - hopefully we'll see it published in October of this year!


Q

Will Uhtred see Athelstan as King of England?

John Hough

A

He will!


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Greetings Mr. Cornwell.

I hope you had a great new year, and hope it will be a good year for you! I wanted to ask you in regards to Saxon Chronicles, I've got the word that the 11th book is indeed coming, but I am wondering if it will be the last. Hopefully not, as according to my calculations, Uhtred is 60 and, since he was born in 857 AD, the 10th book was set in 917 AD. Until the Battle of Brunanburh, there are 20 more years ahead, so still some long time to consolidate and answer a few more questions, such as the power gap of Æthelflaed after she dies, the deaths of long Edward and his son Ælfweard in 924 AD and the succession crisis which Æthelstan will have to endure, the consolidation of England in 927 AD and finally the Battle of Brunanburh itself, in 937 AD. I believe there is enough material for at least four more books. Do you plan on doing something like this in order to finish the saga?

 

Much appreciated for your attention,

Patrick

A

The 11th won’t be the last, and you’ve very cleverly anticipated two of the coming books – but not the twelfth, which is half written. So yes, more to come!

 


Q

Hi Mr. Cornwell.

So now that Fools and Mortals is done, are you probably going to focus on Uhtred and nothing else until his story is finished?

Alan Kempner

A

‘Concentrate’? No. but I’m writing the next Uhtred story right now and have every intention of finishing his saga, but might well take another break to write something different before it’s done. I don’t know! I’ll decide what’s next when I’ve finished the book I’m writing now.

 


Q

Happy New Year Mr Cornwell.

Except for the Sharpe books, I’ve read all of you others. Many of the one-off books have left me yearning for follow up like The Gallows Thief. The Saxon Tales are my favorite and after watching season one and two of the Last Kingdom, I’ve gone back and re-read the stories.

My hope is that there will be a third series produced and Uhtred will return on screen. Can you provide hope for the New Year?

I have my order in for you newest release

Melissa Colbert

 

I love reading all your books and have enjoyed many hours of pleasure at your hand, so thank you. After reading the Last Kingdom series I got into the BBC adaption and I was intrigued by the actors chosen to play your beloved characters. Will the series be renewed for a 3rd season?

Jamie Samuels

 

Mr. Cornwell,

When will the next season of The Last Kingdom be released?

Eric Anderson

A

We haven't gotten official word yet - but we are hopeful!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

 

I just have to take a moment to praise you for what I've read so far.  I started with the Last Kingdom series (can't wait for the next installments), moved on to the Warlord Chronicles (these are my favorite so far), and now am working my way through The Grail Quest.

I have 2 questions for you:

 

  1. Who would win in a 1v1 fight, Uhtred or Derfel?

 

  1. I think your Warlord Chronicles would make a great movie trilogy. Do you ever think this will happen?

Wish you all the best,

Mike Sheeran

 

Dear Bernard

Without doubt,your trilogy of Arthur are the finest books I have ever read and deserve to grace the big screen.

Is there a possibility this could happen?

Lord of the Rings would be sent to the otherworld!

Thank you for your fantastic work.

Kind Regards

Shaun Bennett

A

No idea!  A draw!

I guess it's possible - but not likely


Q

Have you plans for Uhtred?

Keen to know from the Flame Bearer.

And, sorry, yes I am a fan....

Good fortune in 2018 !!!

John M Clements

 

I am almost done with The Last Kingdom series, and I have enjoyed the adventures of Uhtred. So, I must know when will there be another book in the series? I need to know if he will obtain Bebbanburg! I love you work. Your Sharpe series was the first series of books I tackled reading. I was thirteen years old. Anyways, I digress...

Thanks so much ,

Olivia Linn

 

I have now completed all of the Saxon Tales, and was wondering if you planned on finishing this series, with the retaking of Bebbanburg.

George Williams

A

There will be a new Uhtred book in 2018!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I am a huge fan of both the Warlord and Saxon Stories series; for me, the best things about the books are the characters and the attention to historical detail. When I came to watch the Last Kingdom, I was very impressed with the former, with the casting being excellent across the board. Similarly, a great deal of effort had obviously been made with regard to historical details such as the use of languages similar to Old Norse on the soundtrack. This made the depiction of the Saxon shields stand out even more - shield walls play such a big part in Uhtred's story that the decision to portray the Saxons with rectangular and kite shields seemed odd. The only reason I could think for this was to provide viewers with an easy visual differentiation between Vikings and Saxons during the battle scenes. As both a writer and a military historian, where do you stand on the balance between aesthetics and accuracy when your works are transferred to the screen?

Matthew Walker


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Hello,  I've never written to you before but am a huge fan. One this that has interested me as a follower of medieval history and ancient history is the heights of people in the past. Uhtred is often mentioned as being very tall and his sidekick Finan is described as more slight and I don't remember anything about Alfred's height. I was wondering how tall you envisaged each of the three. If their heights are mentioned in the book, I apologise,

 

Merry Christmas

 

David

A

I think I should apologise because I can’t remember if I ever specified a height for Alfred. Let’s just say he was ‘medium height’. There, will that do?

 


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Dear Mr. Cornwell,

 

My wife & I love Uhtred!  Truly.  Have all 10 novels.  Sharpe & Sir Thomas as well, but, Uhtred is our favorite character . . . we suspect Uhtred is mostly . . . well . . . You!

 

My ancestor was Breton Knight Wigot (2nd born) who became deBigot a landless knight loyal and renamed by Duke William, who fought for the Duke of Normandy even before the Battle of Hastings (Senlac Hill).  History records that as William "toured" England securing the kingdom after 1066, he "dropped" my ancestor off to guard the crossing of the River Dee in Chester.  My ancestor was de Bigot which through time became John Alford (Aldeford) . . . 15 generations later, family name came to America.

 

When researching the Battle of Hastings, I was intrigued that no one of your ilk has ever attempted to enrich this important moment in history.  Just a question is all.

 

With unfailing respect,

Timothy L. Long, MBA & Donna K. Newberg-Long, Ph.D.

A

Hastings is possible, but truthfully, it's not high on my list.


Q

Is The Flamebearer the final novel in the Saxon Tales series, or will there be more? There are still many questions to be asked and answered, I feel. I am enjoying these books very much, and would be sorry to see them end.

Thank you.

Phyllis Schmutz

 

 

When will the next book in the Last Kingdom series be released?  Looking forward to the next installment.

Rosemary Quast

 

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I recently saw the second season of The Last Kingdom. Thoroughly enjoyed it. After watching several episodes of the new season, I remarked to my wife something to the effect of, "This is great stuff; it's almost like a Bernard Conwell book!" And sure enough, once I stuck around long enough to read the credits... So over the last couple of months, everything I was reading got shoved to the back of the nightstand, and Uhtred and I have been marching all over Wessex, Mercia and now Northumbia. But now that we're all safely ensconced in Babbenburg, I need to know how long we'll have to wait to find out what's next! :-) Any timetable for the next book in the Saxon Tales?

I must say that after several years, it's been great jumping in to a (new to me) Cornwell series! It's been like gettin a visit from an old friend.

J D Hill

A

I am writing the next book of the series right now!


Q

I’ve just finished Fools and Mortals and I’d like to thank you for doing more for my appreciation of Shakespeare in a few days than a series of school teachers managed in the corresponding number of years, albeit a bit late for me to re-sit that O-level. I gathered from an earlier answer you gave that you see this as a one off rather than a new series, but I’d certainly read more about Richard’s progress if you happen to feel like writing more about him at some point. You make a couple of references to productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream you’ve been involved in. Can I ask which part(s) you’ve played in it? Also, did much of the characters of the actors you worked with find its way into the characters of the actors in your book? Looking forward to the next instalment of Uhtred in 2018 and whatever you decide to do after that!

Tony Mills

A

I confess that one actor in the book is a portrait of someone I’ve often worked with – Alan Rust.  Otherwise? Well, a few people (Widow Morrison, Phil the musician and Walter Harrison) will recognize themselves!  I’ve performed in the Dream twice . . . both times as Peter Quince . . .and will again on January 13th at the Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, SC.

 


Q

I love reading all about Uhtred. I have read every book plus own most of the series. I also have been watching The Last Kingdom series, I was a little disappointed when they didn't say anything about the arm rings or didn't explain the naming of his sword, minor details I know but important to his story. I would like to know if there will be an eleventh book? I have loved this story,and wait for more. Thank you for such a captivating story.

Kathy

 

Your postscript in the Flame Bearer indicates we are not done.  Will There be more?

Vince Saccardi

A

I am writing the eleventh book now!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I'm a huge fan of Warrior Chronicles/Saxon Stories. Uhtred's character truly fascinate me as a conflicted warrior in such a prominent time in the history of England. You mentioned that you are planning to write 2 more books, will the end of Uhtred be the end of the saga or would you consider writing it from his son Uhtred's perspective? Thank you for your wonderful books, they are such a joy to read.

Best regards from Australia.

Wendy

A

I suspect I’ll keep writing from Uhtred’s point of view. He and I are used to each other. I hope there will be more than two books!  I’m working on one right now . . . . .


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Dear Bernard Cornwell,

Reading your Last Kingdom books again.  Just brilliant and thank you.

I was very interested to read of your link with Uhtred via your family surname of Oughtred.  I think I can make a similar link with Hering son of King Hussa of Bernicia.  Surnames as we know them did not exist then, but personal names did.  Hussa ruled from 596 - 603 and then Aethelfrith of Northumbria took Bernicia and Hering was forced to flee to the Scots.  He sought help from  Aedan of Dalriata and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle tells us that "Hering  son of Hussa led a raiding army there"  Hering and Aedan fought and lost the Battle of Degsastan in 603 and "after that, no king of the Scots dared lead a raiding army into this nation".  So what happened to Hering?  There is a story here!

The personal name of Hering does occur in Icelandic sagas such as that of Grettir the Strong where he is a skilled rock climber and "Easterner".  The name is also found in place names such as Herringby in Norfolk where the earliest form is shown as  Haeringr-by.  It is also possibly the origin of Harringay in London.

I know Benfleet and Essex well and searched for your holed stone at Thundersley.  I only found a small stone shaped like a skull, but there is a large holed standing stone at nearby Hockley.  perhaps it has been moved there.

Best wishes,

Peter herring

PS another link - i was born just ten days before you in February 1944!

A

I doubt it! Who’d move such a stone?  It’s been half a (long) lifetime since I was last in Thundersley so maybe it’s a faulty memory?

 


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Hi,

Let me start by saying i have loved all your books and Uhtreds story is my faviroute so far.

I have just finished pagan lord and am halfway through "empty throne" and i am struck by a burning question.

What happens to Uhtred's cousin and mother that he captures in the failed attempt on his bebbanburg?

I have a habit of "skimming" books and I am afraid, i have missed it. Or has this not be revealed yet?

James Clarke

 

A

Keep reading!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell.

Can i look forward to reading about Uhtreds last adventure.  i have so enjoyed your story. thank you

Gerald Craigie

 

Are you gonna write another book about lord Uhtred after he and Finn took his home back I love everyone one of those ten books.

Sean Patrick Ostrom

A

I'm writing the next book now.


Q

Hello Mister Cornwell,

 

Firstly, I would like to say what a privilege and absolute joy it has been to discover your work. I first discovered you back in 2015 when the adaptation of The Last Kingdom aired. I wouldn't read the first book in the series until five or six months ago, and I regret not doing so earlier. I've not read proper in too long but now listen to audiobooks at work. In the last five months I have listened to the entire The Last Kingdom series and am currently a third of the way through Enemy of God. In my limited experience I consider Jonathan Keeble to have no equal in audiobook narration and am pleased whenever I hear him narrate one of your books.

 

Now as I have only read The Last Kingdom series and part of The Warlord Chronicles, I've only experience with your use of a singular first-person narrative. My first question is how do you decide on what perspective to write when you begin a story, and do you find it difficult to describe events the narrator wasn't a part of or perhaps find a way to include the narrator in a believable way? And does the same difficulty apply when characterizing the other characters in the story only using the narrator's knowledge of them?

 

I've also read that the only actor whose voice you picture in your head when writing a character is Sean Bean for Richard Sharpe. My last question is since The Last Kingdom programme aired, has it affected at all in subsequent books in the series? Do you now picture Alexander Dreymon when writing Uhtred? Thank you for your time.

 

Greetings from California,

 

Chris J.

A

It's a choice and I seem to have settled on first person narratives, though I’ve written plenty in the third person. The great problem of first person is you can’t change the point-of-view, which makes it hard to plot some sequences. You also find yourself writing things like ‘I later learned that . .‘ which I try to avoid, but is often unavoidable. Still, I find it more immediate to write in the first person so I suspect I’ll go on doing it unless, of course, I write that Sharpe book I keep promising.

 

I don’t, but that’s not disparaging of Alexander who I think is terrific! It’s because I’m so far ahead and Uhtred is getting old and Alexander is anything but old. But he’s a wonderful Uhtred!

 


Q

Will there be any more books in the Last Kingdom series? maybe Uhtred's  family can carry on. It would be great as I have really enjoyed reading all the books.

Andrew Saxby

A

I'm writing the next book of The Last Kingdom series now.


Q

Hello,

Having about finished Uhtred's adventures (I'm halfway through The Flame Bearer), I'd like to ask about your research into the different religions. I follow the old ways and am fascinated by how much knowledge you have of the Pagan and Christian belief systems, and admire the way your characters argue one against the other (in often hilarious exchanges!). My question is, has this knowledge been a natural accrual over the years, or did you purposely set out to research the religions/beliefs to such a depth? Were there particular parts that you enjoyed or found more interesting than others?

Cheryl Hawley

A

I think it’s been a natural accrual with some added research, though I try to keep Uhtred’s grasp of his religion fairly shaky. He’s a religious magpie, choosing the things that please him and rejecting the rest. At heart I think he’s only a pagan to annoy the Christians, a stance I thoroughly approve of!

 


Q

The premise of your new book sounds fascinating but I am really waiting to find out how Utred gets his land back.... When can we fanatics hope to see another Last Kingdom entry.

Thank you for your time and hours of great reading

George McClelland

 

Dear Mr Cornwell,

My husband and I have enjoyed reading all 10 books of your Last Kingdom series back to back and wonder if you plan another volume for Uhtred and his friends or was Flame Bearer the end?

Best regards

Catherine A.Dickinson (Nottingham)

 

Will there be any more books in this section? maybe Uhtred's  family can carry on. It would be great as I have really enjoyed reading all the books.

Andrew Saxby

 

A

I am writing the next book of The Last Kingdom series now!


Q

Hello Mr Cornwell.

Having recently discovered the delight that is The Last Kingdom series on Audible I have galloped my way through the first four in the story of Uhtred and his adventures.

 

I was absolutely devastated to find the perfectly chosen vocal chords of Jonathan Keeble had been replaced upon starting the fifth book and I am devastated to say it has completely ruined the experience for me. The new narrator lacks the character, performance and delivery of Keeble and it no longer feels like Uhtred is being brought to life.

 

Why such a drastic change in narrator, part way through the series also? And the change in how names of people and places, the lack of accents is deeply off putting after such an appropriate and colourful performance for the reading of the other novels.

 

I'm sure you have been asked this before but I'm so interested as I adore the story and the series, and I will be persevering although unfortunately it will take me longer now as I shall have to read the books myself with Mr Keeble''s portrayal of Uhtred in my head.

 

So yes, back to the point, why such a drastic change? Why did no one think for consistency about accents etc? And did the new narrator not  think at all about the character he was supposed to be reading as because it really does take away from the fantastic journey you are taking us on through the series.

 

Many thanks in advance for your response! And for the brilliant books!

Emily Bennett

A

I have no involvement in the audio books - or choice of narrator - but perhaps Mr. Keeble was not available?


Q

I know your time is valuable, so I will cut to the chase.  I am nearly through your Saxon series, and have purchased a hardcover copy of each of your Saxon titles to preserve for the future in my small library of useful books. Yet as I follow Uhtred's adventures, I cannot avoid a sharp bitter-sweetness welling up in me, more bitter than sweet.  My question is this:  Is there a future for European history in a world where the very notion of Europe as it has been known since history began is in danger of extinction.  When I refer to Europe, I am speaking of the white peoples who live there, without which there would be no Europe. I thank you for your time.

Armand William Presentati

A

I’d recommend that you read Daniel Defoe’s great poem ‘The True Born Englishman’. You’ll find it here:

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44081/the-true-born-englishman

 


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

 

I first discovered your work, less than a year ago, when I stumbled across The Warlord Chronicles which was recommended on someone's blog. I wish I could remember who's blog so I can thank them but unfortunately it was the result of some random and now long forgotten night time surfing!

 

I immediately enjoyed reading the story as told by Derfel and found I could connect with the character with ease. Naturally I progressed to the Last Kingdom and I enjoyed the tales of Uhtred in a similar way. They do seem very much alike, Uhtred and Derfel and I really like the first person narrative too.

 

I live on Canvey Island or Caninga as it was known when it featured in The Pagan Lord and Sword Song. Along with our neighbours over the creek in Benfleet (Beamfloet) we are immensely proud of our local heritage and history. I actually walked around Canvey's sea wall, all 13.5 miles, while listening to one of those two books as an audio book.  Even though the landscape has changed beyond recognition, being able to see the very places as they were mentioned really brought the story to life, while taking my mind off of the aching in my feet.

 

Where did you begin your research into the battles which took place at Beamfloet?

 

Will Uhtred return to Caninga in the next book?

 

Thanking you in advance

 

Wayne

A

I suppose I began my research into Canvey when I was a child!  We lived in Thundersley, more or less on top of Bread and Cheese hill, and from the ridge there (Thundersley Glen) we could look out across Benfleet and Canvey. I have a distinct memory of the disastrous flood that struck Canvey Island . . . of course the whole area is full of Saxon/Danish remnants . . . the remains of the disastrous Danish defeat at Benfleet were discovered when they built the railway.  It all fascinated me!

 


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Dear Mr Cornwell,

 

I Would know which is your favourite character( Sharpe, Uhtred, Starbuck,Thomas Hookton, Derfel) and who would you like to be.

Marc

A

I’m like a parent – I don’t have favourites!


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I think I remember you saying in a book that Uhtred was named after one of your ancestors; is that right? Isn't it so cool to have that genealogy? I found out a few years ago that my grandpa's bloodline connects him and us to English and German royalty! It's so exciting. Also I LOVE LOVE LOVE The Saxon Tales! Do you know how many more you'll write?

Barbara

 

Hi, the last Kingdom book series is my favorite of all time.  Will there be anymore them? I've read all 10. If so could you let me know when?

Thank you very much.

Keily Speed

A

I don't know how many more there will be.....but I am writing the next one now!


Q

I am in the process of reading the above book, can you advise me if this is the last of the series, from what I've read so far I hope not.

Pauline McGuinness

 

I'm just wondering if there will be an 11th book in the Last Kingdom series.  I've finished eight now and am starting Warriors of the Storm.  I hate to think that Uhtred of Bebbanburg will be riding off into the sunset.

Carl Spatazza

 

I was wondering when the next book is likely to be coming out as I feel Uhtred has a way to go thank you for taking the time to read this

Tim Cook

A

I have recently begun writing the next book of Uhtred's tale.....


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I was wondering if the series would ever "outlive" its original protagonist?  Uhtred is getting exceptionally old for this period in Britain.  You have mentioned several times that this series is about the unification of England into one nation and Uhtred is just a spectator to it.  If that is the case the series may become a bit stagnant if they are written from the perspective of so old an individual.  The first section of The Empty Throne was written from the perspective of Uhtred the Younger.  Was this foreshadowing a later, more permanent transition?  When I recently re-read the series I noticed that the series has finally progressed beyond the point where Uhtred began telling his story.  Now that he has regained Bebanburgh and a younger generation of Englishmen are ready to push towards unification, is he going to pass the torch on to his younger namesake?

Craig Edgar

A

I wish I knew . . . I do think about ‘passing the torch’, but a small inner voice (Uhtred’s) growls at me whenever I do. We’ll see!

 


Q

Is the "Flame Bearer" the final story about Uhtred?

John Blalock

 

I have just finished reading The Flame Bearer and thought it was the last in the series but have just heard there is going to be another one .Fantastic but what is the title and when is it out ? Have got all 10 in hardback and cant wait .Can you believe I am a great grandmother but I am hooke

yours sincerely

Christine Marsh

 

 

Mr. Cornwell

My wife pick up the last "Saxon Tales" FLAME BEARER and then read your other 9 books.

She keeps asking me when the next Saxon Tales book is coming out?

Happy wife happy life, help.

George

 

Hello

I am from Brazil, and a huge fan of Uhtred.

Easy question: are we going to have a 11th book?

Thanks!!!

Vitor Roma

 

A

There will be an 11th book - it will be the next book I write - hopefully ready for publication next year!


Q

Dear Sir,

 

I have read many of your books over the years and have always found them to be enjoyable - and informative, stimulating much further reading. Recently, I started the Last Kingdom series and, once again, I am thoroughly enjoying the experience. It reminds me very much of a film I once saw as a child, depicting the battles between Alfred and Guthrum; all very dramatic - and didactic, with a climactic baptism scene. Probably long forgotten now, but surely well-known 40 years ago. As a child of Dorchester, it's always lovely to read writers exploring the further reaches of Britain.

 

However, as I read the first of these novels on my kindle, I was stuck by something. The first person narrative reminded me of something. It took a while but I began to to think of the Flashman novels. There was an archness to the observations and an eye for detail that took me to GMF's finest creation. There was humour and irony among the usual action. The key difference is that Uhtred is heroic and decent, unlike the cowardly Flashman (although that changes through GMF's novels, in my opinion, generally speaking, until the last, in which he completes an awful deed).

 

I was surprised, therefore, when checking back to the list of place names (to keep track of where everyone is) when I noticed the dedication - to George MacDonald Fraser. What a delightful homage (you may know that, with the kindle, the reader is taken directly to the first page of the narrative, jumping past the earlier pages - so, one has to look for any additional content).

 

I don't know if you deliberately chose to write in this way, but I must say, it is marvellous. The style is a revelation. While your previous books have maintained a wonderful rhythm and are rich in themselves, this new, playful conceit was  wonderful.

 

I look forward to more but I am also sure you could continue Flashman's adventures, if you don't mind me saying so (your work stands alone) - we all know there are more that have yet to be revealed (should it be permitted).

 

Thank you for your work - it's been great fun since I picked up my first Sharpe novel and continues to give great enjoyment - but this is another development which I applaud heartily.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Guy Redmill

A

That’s extraordinarily kind of you, and flattering!  I knew George well, and liked him a lot.  I certainly didn’t set out to imitate him, so any similarity is fortuitous and serendipitous! I hope you’ve read Quartered Safe Out Here, George’s memoir of his WWII experience? It’s quite brilliant.


Q

Hi Bernard

 

Your standard answer to every question you receive about writing more Starbuck novels is that you hope to return to the series one day.  Would you consider running a poll amongst contributors to this site to decide on your next book after the Uhtred book that is coming next?  I would love to think that your fans could influence your choice.

 

Peter

 

A

I suspect most people would vote for more Sharpe!  Or more Uhtred! I don’t know!  It would be interesting, but I’m a firm believer that a writer writes best what he or she wants to write! Maybe I’ll get back to poor Nathaniel one day?


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Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell

LOVE your work!  I'm a widow, age 68, and enjoy going to battle with Uhtred.  I also love any reference to needlework in your books.  My request:  In the next Uhtred book, please tell us how the women acquired their stitching tools.  (Did Uhtred bring his wife a packet of needles, a thimble, a pair of scissors from Frankia?   Did the women stitch ornamental work other than banners, sails, and capes?)   Perhaps in your research you have discovered other bits of needlework history from that period.  If so, please share?

Thank you for your books.  I marvel at your genius!

Linda

 

A

I’ll do my best!  Can’t quite imagine Uhtred doing needlework, but you never know!!!!


Q

I have just visited HEXHAM ABBEY in Northumberland and on the list of PROVOSTS of the old Abbey is one UHTRED. He was Provost from 1056 to 1072. He was responsible for looking after the safety of the Abbey, which at the time was going through one of the usual religious to and froing between the Bishop of Durham and Archbishop of York.

I wonder if he was any relation of the mighty one from the LAST KINGDOM,?????

Brian Raine

A

I’m fairly sure he was . . . I do have the family tree, but can’t lay my hands on it right now.  They’d lost Bebbanburg by then and most of the family had moved to North Yorkshire (where some still live), but it’s most likely he was related.

 


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I'm not sure you'll be able to answer this yet, although maybe you do know the answer already. I've just finished reading The Flame Bearer and I am wondering approximately how long it will be before the 11th book in the Last Kingdom series is released?

Kind regards,

Matt Draper

 

I recently started reading the last kingdom series and read the first 3 books in a week. I just ordered the next 4. I was wondering how many books you're planning to write in this series. I want to make sure i read the whole series before i start watching the show.

Lenny Chieffo

 

When will the next Uhtred book appear, can't wait much longer

Barry Lazenbury

 

Hello,

Love the story of Uhtred, read every book just finished The Flame Bearer, I'm not enjoying great health and would like to know Uhtred's fate before I face my own. When will the next book be available, I'm having withdrawal symptoms. You are a gifted story teller Sir!

Will.

 

Good evening Bernard.

I was looking forward to October when I expected the 11th book in the Last Kingdom series.Sadly there won't be one this year.Will it be out next year?

Hope so.

Best wishes,and thank you for your wonderful books.I have a bookcase full of everything you have written so far.Many visitors comment on the fact that you are the only Author on there.My reply is,that you are the only Author worth keeping,and many of them are first editions.

Sue

 

A

It will be the next book I write so, with any luck, it should be published next year.  Still not sure how many books will be in this series....


Q

After reading Death of Kings which features battle of Tettenhall I was most surprised in the following title to see Wodensfield described as Wednesbury.  Surely Wednesfield would have been accurate?  Local school near here, Wednesfield High, recently had reenactment if the Battle of Tettenhall - there is debate locally as to where battle took place - Tettenhall, Wednesfield or somewhere else.  Minor grjpe from me, but please continue your excellent series about Uhtred.

 

Mike Gough

A

My source for all those names is usually the Cambridge Dictionary of English place-names, but what you say does sound very plausible, thank you.

 

 

 


Q

Hi Bernard

I have just finished Flame Bearer I have absolutely loved the whole series. Is there a book to follow this one?

Thanks

Simon Hewson

 

I am waiting for the Flame Bearer to arrive. I'm hoping this is not the last Uhtred novel. What are your plans on another?

I've read and enjoyed all you books and am also planning on reading the Arthur books Thank you for many hours of entertainment

Ellis

 

Hi Bernard

I am such a big fan of your work even though i just learned about The saxon stories in january last year, i was all ready done reading Warriors of The Storm last september waiting for The Flame Bearer in october as i read it right away.

I was wondering if there will be an eleventh book in the series and if so if it too was to be released now in october? If not, how long then are we going to have to wait?

Perhaps you could too tell me if it is the plan for the tv-show to continue for the whole story with seasons for every two books as they did with the first one?

Hope to hear back,

Alexander Strandmark

 

Please, Mr. Cornwell,

when will the 11th book in the "Last Kingdom Series" be available?  Thank you.

Michael MacIver

 

Dear Mr Cornwell

Now that Lord Uthred has returned home, will there be anymore adventures for him?

I sincerely hope so.

Kind regards

Kim Allison

 

 

A

There will be another book in The Last Kingdom series.  It will be the next book I write, so - hopefully - it will be ready for publication in 2018.  Not sure about the TV programmes yet, but we'll post that information once we learn it!


Q

Hello!

I, too, am a big fan of Uhtred and your Saxon Tales/The Last Kingdom series, and I also enjoyed Azincourt. Your next book, Fools and Mortals sounds really interesting. I'm looking forward to the release date.

 

You have written about nearly every period of British History, except the Norman invasion (unless I'm missing something?). Have you considered writing about that time period?

 

This is not meant to be a book idea (I read your note above). I'm just curious about what other historical periods you have considered for the setting of your books. I, for one, would be all over a book about the Norman conquest of the 11th century. :-D

 

But then again, I'd be all over anything you write.

 

Happy writing!

A

I don't have plans to write about the Norman invasion.


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Q

Hello.

I just finished reading The Flame Bearer, and knowing that it was the last book in the series, I am already missing Uhtred.  However, I did see your response to another question which stated that there will indeed be more Uhtred.  Thank you!

 

I also watched the BBC series The Last Kingdom seasons 1 & 2, and am hoping they will continue the series.  Are you aware if this is a possibility?  Any information on the series will be appreciated.  I thought the show and casting of characters were excellent, especially the actor portraying Uhtred.

 

Eagerly looking forward to more Uhtred,

~Susie

A

We hope so too!  We'll let you know as soon as we know!


Q

Hello.  Will there be an 11th book of Saxon Tales?

Suzanne

 

When will the next book in the last kingdom series be released?

Anand

 

Sorry couldn't access your question page. Does Uhtred return now he has got Bebbanburg back?

Donald Farmer

 

I am just about to read the flame bearer and was wondering if there are going to be any more books in this series.I have really enjoyed reading them.

Glynnis Finch

 

Hi, having just finished this series & noticing you describing the latest book as the 10th, does this mean there is another to come,

regards

Colin.

A

There will be more to Uhtred's story!  I will start the 11th book of the series once the theatre season is over!


Q

Hello, Mr. Cornwell.

I've just begun the "Last Kingdom" series and see a resemblance in the love-hate dynamic that exists between Uhtred and Alfred to that of Sharpe and Wellington. Is this a coincidence or a theme you consciously explore? There is a certain vicarious pleasure in simultaneously tweaking and earning the respect of a celebrated historic figure.

Chris Nelson

A

I suspect I explore it unconsciously! It certainly helps to have some tension between the main historical character (Alfred, Wellington) and the fictional one! Otherwise the book is likely to be hagiography.

 


Q

Hey Mr. Cornwell.

I won't go into details about how much I love your work.

 

I just finished reading the Flame Bearer, and I've been wondering about one thing. When Uhtred asks Hanna if she would like to marry his son, she responds "No, lord, he looks like you."

 

I laughed out loud when I read this sentence. Was this a reference to the TV series? I love it but you know how it is with TV/film adaptations. I always imagined Uhtred to be less pleasant looking than the actor and when I read this part, I thought to myself "we're on the same boat with Cornwell on this one".

 

And I'm not a native speaker, please forgive my French.

 

Have a nice day!

Ismail Akman

A

Oh lord no!  The story behind that is that a young girl (called Hannah) wrote to me asking for me to be nasty to her younger brother!  So that’s it!  She’s just rude to Uhtred because she’s Hannah!  And I think Alexander Dreymon is terrific!


Q

Hello,

Congratulations on your success with Uhtred (both in novels and on TV).

I sure you get this question all the time but can't find a recent answer. Will Sharpe and Harper ever go again? its been a decade since the last Sharpe release.

Steven

 

Hi Bernard,

 

I have always been a fan of Sharpe since they came out on TV, So with my new audiobook app I decided to listen to the books, it took me 30 days to listen to them all (except the short stories- which I may have to actually read). Following Devil, I felt rather dejected, observing a vacuum...so whilst surfing the net I discovered that Patrick (son) appears in the starbuck chronicles, so decided this morning to 'pick up' Rebel....finished it this evening. And will start on Copperhead tonight. With regards Sharpe....I feel Antonia ...Sharpe's daughter is a novel which is crying out to be written or perhaps it is just my feeling the loss of Sharpe....will you write more Sharpe? I, having read rebel today am also curious as to when the TV adaptation will be out...saw the teaser...but info was limited regarding release!! Keep up the good work.

Best Regards.

Danny...Soldier

 

A

Another Sharpe book is a possibility....


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Q

I would like to begin by stating my husband and I are big fans.  We just finished binge reading books 5 through 10.  We loved them!  I love the story line, the characters, and how the story line continues from one book to the next one.

 

I recently finished book 10 and noticed something that bothered me.  There appears to be a conflict between two of the books:

 

“The Empty Throne” (book 8) pages 86-87 state:  “Ingulfrid was married to a cousin of mine, another Uhtred, the son of my uncle who had usurped Bebbanburg.  She had chosen to stay with us when I failed to capture that fortress.  Her son had been with her, but Osferth had sent the boy back to his father.  I would have cut the little bastard’s throat, but I had given the gift of his life to Osferth and he had been generous.”

 

“The Flame Bearer”  (book 10) pages 40-41 state:  “We had captured my cousin’s son, a mere boy, and I had let Osferth, one of my trusted men, look after both him and his mother, who had been taken captive with her son.  Mother and son had both died of a plague the year before, but inevitably men said that I had poisoned them,.  He died of the sweating fever, I said, and so did thousands of other in Wessex.”

 

I hope Uhtred's story continues (soon) and I look forward to reading the next book in the Saxon series.  If you ever need another editor, I volunteer!

 

A fan,

Donna Bennett

Union Grove, Alabama

A

I really don’t remember and, forgive me, I’m not going to check. If it’s a mistake, mea culpa!


Q

Hi again, Mr. Cornwell.

You say that the device on Uhtred's banner and shield is a grey wolf's head.  But as far as I can find, you no where specify what is the color of the field it is on.  What color is it?

Alan Kempner

A

I think you’re right – I don’t think I ever do say! I’d like to think the field was black, but that was a difficult colour to dye and maintain. Darker grey? White? I’ll settle for blood-red!

 


Q

I have just finished book 10. Thank you so much BUT it cant end there, there has to be more. Uhtred is finally home, Athelstan becomes king, so much more. If it is continued in another series. what is it!!!

Diane Cupp

 

Hi

Love all your last kingdom books

When is the next book out in the series?

Regards

Martyn

 

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

I just finished the Saxon stories (all ten of them), I wanted to thank you for writing such enjoyable books and I learned a lot about English history that I did not know. I was wondering if there is any chance of the series continuing. Perhaps with Uhtred (his son) and continue Edwards and then Athelstan or perhaps skipping forward to Cnut the Great or William the Conqueror with a descendant  of Uhtred. I don't know just some ideas but I hope to see more titles like this in the future and more Uhtred(s)

Richard Barela

A

There will be more to Uhtred's story - probably the next book I'll write!


Q

I really love the Saxon Tales.  Uhtred has become like an old friend.  I have read the whole series, and can't wait for the next installment.  Please tell me that there's another in the works.  Also, if there is another coming, please let Jonathan Keeble narrate it.  To me he really nails down Uhtred's character, and does all of the other characters very well.  I have vision problems so I pretty much listen to audio versions of books these days.

 

Sandra McLemore

Pensacola, Florida, USA

A

There will be more to Uhtred's story!  I don't have a say in the choice of narrator for the audio books - but I'll pass along your request!


Q

Hello my name's David and I'm just writing to thank you for all the wonderful books you've written. I've been reading your books for over a decade now and Sharpe, Uhtred and Derfel are to this day my favorite literary characters and they've all helped me get through some pretty tough times. I just finished re reading Sharpe eagle for the third time and I realized I've never tried to reach out to the man who birthed characters that almost feel like family at this point. My grandmother and I had our own Cornwell book club painting a close relationship despite the distance by reading your books together and discussing our favorite parts and qualities every step of the way. Once again thank you, I hope writing these novels gave as you as much joy tenfold as they did to read.

 

P.s.

If you were to visit one battleground from Wellingtons campaign in the Peninsular where would you go? Also.... Do you think Arthur was really a part of our history or just a myth turned conspiracy theory?

 

With gratitude

David

A

 

Well, I’ve visited them all. If I could only go to one? Probably Salamanca!

 

I think he was real, but nothing like the myth. I suspect he was the British leader who won the Battle of Mount Badon, that he was a pagan (the early church in Britain detested him) and a great warlord. What he achieved, I think, was to delay the Saxon invasion of Britain for a generation and that gave rise to a myth of the golden age . . . and that myth is behind his present (and enduring) fame.


Q

I was wondering where you got your evidence that the river Tame flowed through Wednesfield and further west, through Tettenhall? I live just North, in Cannock. Obviously a lot was lost when the canals came to the Midlands. Do you have any particular references to hand, as my search has proved fruitless.

 

We (my 8-year old son and budding localist like myself) were dighted at the mention of Penkridge in "Pagan Lord" abd he pored over the pafes at the front if the novel that contained the Anglo Saxon place names and translations. We were hf expecting the Staffordshire Hoard to turn up at one point, so close Uhtred was to its place of discovery.  Rory, my son, was part outraged, part impressed at Uhtred's insults to the Dabes (though is too well mannered to use them himself) .

Many thanks for this book; I've just borrowed "The Empty Throne" from the library.

Lucy Lugg

A

Oh lord, I did find evidence! But for the life of me I can’t remember where. I have this horrible habit of not noting my sources because, being a novelist, I don’t need them for footnotes and noting them takes forever, and at my age forever is not very long. I apologise. And my best (polite) wishes to Rory!


Q

I have really enjoyed all your books, and look forward to the next adventure(s) of Uhtred. Also, do you intend to expand on the adventures of the Lazender clan? Enjoyed those also.

I am currently reading "The Picts: a history" by Tim Clarkson. Covers the years about 500 to 900 in at the area of Scotland. This sounds like something you would might enjoy. "More sayeth the deponent nought."

Many wishes for a long and illustrious career.

Clyde Stauffer

A

No more plans for the Lazender clan.  Thanks for the recommendation!


Q

Firstly a huge thank you for your time, effort, research and for choosing to write for a living.

 

Thank you for the many hours of adventures through different centuries.

 

Read/listened to almost all of your books.

 

Question:

Interested to see what you will write about next. Assuming more on Uhtred? (I hope as I've grown attached to the characters)

 

Also any possible plans in future to cover either Roman or Greek periods? (Very broad timeframes i know)

 

Thank you again, keep it up! You're awesome.

Victor Manusov

A

I don't have plans for the Romans or the Greeks - but there will be more Uhtred!


Q

Hi is there another Uhtred book coming? I miss him :)

Catherine Heaps

 

Will there be more books in the Saxon Tales? I just finished book 10.  I have absolutely devoured them and now plan to reread them more slowly.  As I read them , I stop and look up history about different subjects you have in your novels.

When my husband finished Agincourt, he ordered a book on the English Longbow to get a better understanding.  thanks so much.

Becky Peebles

 

I've enjoyed reading all of these books and am anxiously waiting for the next one. Will it be out soon?  The TV series is good and I watch every show, but I much prefer to read the books. Your writing makes the characters and the story real to me..  Thank you.

Patricia Clayton

 

Is there a date to release the 11th book of The Last Kingdom Series? Thank you for your response.

Rodrigo

A

There will be more to Uhtred's tale - probably the next book I write!


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Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell.

I am enjoying so much The Saxon Stories. So far, it is the best novel series I've read. For that, I would like to thank you for the great work you have been doing, and praise you for such a fascinating story.

I just wanted to mention one thing I found divergent on the story. At Lords of the North, we have seen that Ragnar took Kjartan's life. However, at The Empty Throne, chapter 6, Uhtred claims his death for himself ("I have loved Ragnar. He had been my true father, the Dane who have taught me to be a man, and he had died in those flames, and I always hoped he had seized his sword before he was killed so that he was in Valhalla to see when I took revenge for him by slaughtering Kjartan on a northern hilltop."

It is a minor item, but took my attention.

Best regards,

Ricardo Cordeiro

A

Oh, that looks like an error. I’m so sorry you spotted it!


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Q

I'm from germany and love all your books. Especially the Uhtred Saga. I have recognized you've stopped to tell the story as old Uhtred, telling his story to the young princess, trying to get pregnant? why? :)

Michael Conzelmann

A

The stories are still being told by the same Uhtred!


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Q

Mr. Cornwell,

 

I'm reading my way through the Saxon Chronicles books (and immensely enjoying them), but something struck me as odd in certain descriptions of shields. Uhtred is described a few times as strapping a shield to his arm, but as far as I am aware, Viking Era shields were held by a handle on the back of the boss, not strapped to the forearm. I don't mean to nitpick. I am just curious if you perhaps know of any artifacts or accounts of strapped shields being in use by Vikings or the inhabitants of Britain in the era.

 

Thanks

 

Ethan

A

I agree they’re not ‘strapped’, but there are two loops, or straps, or whatever . . . those things were heavy! Especially if they had an iron rim. I don’t think there’s a universal pattern, I’m quite prepared to believe that some shields were equipped with a single handle, but the weight of the shield would put an immense strain on the hand and wrist. I’ll stick with the two!

 


Q

Hello sir!  Congratulations on the success of The Last Kingdom TV show.  Alex does a terrific job portraying Uhtred, to the point that I hear his voice when reading Uhtred's tale.  I am rereading the series again...for the 3rd time to my son, Robert Jr., though he goes by Bobby not Robb.  He is the inspiration for this question:  You have indicated that Uhtred is not retiring even though he has finally captured his home.  Once he does retire, have you considered carrying on the story with Uhtred Jr.?  R.W. Peake, author of the Marching With Caesar series, did so with first the son, then the grandson, of Titus Pullus, his original protagonist, quite splendidly.  I have read every fiction book you have written and greatly enjoy the Saxon Tales specifically.  It would be quite satisfying to read the culmination of Alfred's dream when Britain is united by his grandson and, I suspect, Uhtred Jr. would have a significant hand in assisting with this triumph.  I also suspect I am not the only fan who would enjoy reading the exploits of Uhtred Jr.  Finally, thank you for providing so many hours of entertainment through the years.  I look forward to Saxon Tales book 11.

Robb Miller

A

I won't know where the story will go next until I write it.....


Q

Love this series but when is the next book due??  You can't leave Uhtred finally at  Bebbanburg with only a tear in his eye - please don't do this to us!!

 

For that reader who is worried about the swords, Uhtred's seax is Wasp Sting and Finan's sword is Soul Stealer...

 

Thank you for such a great series of books.

Judith

A

Thank you!

And - hopefully - you'll see the next book of Uhtred's story in 2018.


Q

I am from Australia and love the history of the UK. I was never much for reading growing up in fact only due to living in Germany in 2001 at the age of 37 I found one of your Sharpe's books in a local library. From that day I have read many of your books. 1356 is my favourite. Thank you for helping me find the joy in reading though the way you tell a story. When's the next instalment of Uhtred due for release?

regards

Neville

 

I have read all of these amazing books now and am left feeling that the series is yet to continue-I sincerely hope so. I read the authors note at the end of each book and at the end of Warriors of the storm the note says "He has further to go, so he will march again".Please tell me that you are currently writing another book about Uhtred and when I may be lucky enough to have a copy to read.

Congratulations on an epic and compelling work, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Kindest Regards,

Karen.

A

I am not writing it now - too busy learning lines for the summer theatre season; but it's likely to be the next book I write!


Q

Loving your Uhtred books!!!! As a Latin Americanist, I have a question about corn, mentioned in the first book. How is it possible that the Saxons were growing corn in the 9th century (a plant native to the Americas). Or is this a different thing than the maize first developed by the Maya? Thank you!

Robin Kirk

A

The English word 'corn' (remember?  you read it in the bible?  Jesus wasn't eating maize...that's a clue!) means grain - any grain; wheat, barley, rye - they're all 'corn'.  The English call corn 'maize'.  It is confusing, but don't blame the English - it IS their word, and it's a very old word, and it has a very plain meaning in their language.  It's the US that has restricted the meaning to one crop.

 

 


Q

Hi Bernard,

just finished "Waterloo" , the last book of you I hadn't swallowed so far.

After finishing it, there is a desperate desire, to read about more major battles from you.

Is there anything which could drive you, to get back to Starbuck and let him march to Gettysburg?

Best regards,

Michael

 

Hi Mr. Cornwall,

I just finished reading The Bloody Ground.  Great read.  Enjoyed all of the Starbuck Chronicles. I visited the Antietam Battlefield as well as Harpers Ferry a couple of years ago. I only whisk I had read The Bloody Ground before the visit.  It would have greatly enhanced the visit.

Are there any plans to Continue the Starbuck Chronicles?  The historical note hinted at the possibility. Starbuck will march again.

Again, thank you for a great read.

Regards,

Bob McHugh

 

Hi Bernard,

I am an avid fan of your books; in fact I have read everyone of them at least twice...😊.

I am also a history order buff and have a wide collection of historical novels and fact based books.

One particular genre I have had an interest in for over 25 years now is the USA Civil War and your Starbuck Chronicles brings to life this epic period. I have waited and waited to learn of what happens to Nate for ages now and I can wait no longer. So have your any plans to return to Nate to follow Nash his story!

Many thanks, Paul

Btw:.the BBC did you proud with their Last Kingdom series.....I have to say I had a tear in my eye as I followed Uhtred's struggle with Alfred and the Danes....'twas brilliant.

 

A

I've always hoped I'd get back to Starbuck one day....but I honestly don't know if that will happen.


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Q

Mr. Cornwell,

Does Finan's sword have a name? Does Uhtred Utredsson seax have a name?  I really like the names your given to the swords in Saxon Tales and I was just curious if you had thought of any others?

Thanks,

Jeff Cunico

 

A

God, I can’t remember! I believe they both have names, but I’d need to spend an inordinate amount of time to find them. Sorry. Perhaps an attentive reader can help?

 


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Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

 

I have written here a while ago and first I want to say that your assistant(s) have been very nice, sending me the link to the recommended books for research and even replying to me when the link did not work.

 

That said, I just wanted to say that I have enjoyed all your books I've read till now, especially the tale of Uhtred (and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Alfred). I liked that you gave a prominent role to Aethelflaed. I have to admit that I stalled a bit while reading the series because I did not want it to end.

I am glad to hear that Uhtred's tale is not finished yet. Will there be more of Aethelstan in the following books?

 

Anyway, thanks for reminding me that I want to know more about the period and your books have led me to research more about Wessex, Alfred, and his descendants.

 

Best,

Kaja

A

There will be, a lot!


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Q

Dear Bernard

 

You may be pleased to hear that The Last Kingdom series on the telly has inspired me to read the series on which it is based... I am now ahead of the series and delighted to be following Uhtred's further adventures - he is a brilliant character (and it helps that he is played by such a lovely actor!) I have never read a series of books in my life so I am thoroughly impressed.

 

I do notice a lot of enjoyable references to birds in the books. As I am married to a birdwatcher, I did wonder whether it was a hobby of yours - some of the finer details suggested that it might be. I would love to know!

 

I look forward to the next instalment of Uhtred, and I am sure that I will be reading more of your work!

 

Rosa

A

Not really!  I do like to watch the ospreys hunting in Stage Harbor, but other than that?


Q

Will you ever have Jonathan Keeble do the narration for the last 6 books for the last kingdom series? The other narrators are pathetic and a huge disappointment - they sounds like prissy saps who cant pull of Uhtred!

Thank you !

Dean K Kinred

A

The narrators are selected by the publishers of the audio books - I'm afraid I have no input!

 

 

 


Q

Have we heard the last of Uhtred or will there be a sequel to Flame bearer?

Pam Jones

 

I can't seem to find out if there will be a 3rd series. Can you put me out of my misery as I've enjoyed the show almost as much as the books? Also when is the follow up to "Flame Bearer" due? Good luck in all you do

Derek Williamson

 

I´m from Germany and i read your books now since 6 years.  I only want to know, if there will be more books about Uhtred of Bebbanburg.  I finished Book 10 and i´m happy to read that he arrived home. But will there be a book 11?  I hope so.

Sandra

 

Sir, In college I majored in History, then with luck was stationed in Wales for 3 years (RAF Caerwent), so the Saxon Tails has really brought back a lot of great memories and has just helped me visualize the books.  So thank you for your your great skill in writing.

Do you think you have an idea if you're going to do a book eleven and if so when?

Thank you,

Robert

 

Please tell me they are going to do a season 3 of The Last Kingdom.  I'm hooked!

BJ BURBRIDGE

 

Has the last kingdom series finished or can we expect more tales of uthred?

John

 

Mr.Cornwell,

I started reading The Last Kingdom in Early April, have read them all in order and have now started The Flame Bearer. Is this the last in the series, or will there be more? I don't want this story to end.

Thanks

Mark Luby

 

 

A

There will be more to Uhtred's story.  It is likely to be the book I'll write after the summer theatre season is over.  And - fingers crossed - I think there will be a third season of the tv show!


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Dear Mr Cornwall,

 

As always, thank you for your continued work on the Last Warlord in the Kingdom sequence. I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking of Uhtred as an old and slightly unreliable friend I catch up with on a semi-regular basis because he's always good for a mug of ale and an outlandish story.

 

You've always been very open about the "semi-historical" nature of the books, but I have begun to wonder about the scale of Uhtred's personal achievements in battle.

 

Now, obviously he is the protagonist of a series of novels and thus gets to be a bit of a superhero, so we allow his skills and luck to extend a little into the realm of hyperbole...

 

...but in the real world, were there 9th, 10th century warlords who would have fought in dozens of shield-wall battles, and personally killed many champions, and butchered scores - if not hundreds - of other men besides? I am personally not anal enough to calculate Uhtred's "headcount" but it is the kind of thing someone on the internet will probably do, eventually... it's high though, we can agree, surely?

 

But is it outlandishly high? Impossibly high? Or merely improbably high?

 

In short: were there really men in that time, who had personally killed hundreds of people?

Anthony

A

Hundreds? The Chroniclers claim as much, though you’d need more than a pinch of salt to take them at their word! Yes, Uhtred is doomed to be heroic, poor man.

 


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Dear Mr Cornwell,

Firstly I would like to thank you for setting your books in the correct historical period, I was heartily sick of reading (and seeing) King Arthur in plate armour and stone castles for a start. It drives us history buffs mad. Secondly I would like to ask why in the warlord books you didn't point out that Pendragon was a title rather than a name, after all arthurs' name was arthur ap uther. My other question is probably one you cannot answer: why on earth didn't the makers of the last kingdom stick with Uhtred's normal " Fate is inexorable" rather than "Destiny is all" ? This may seem a bit pedantic but it annoys me so much. As another "ancient person" and avid readerof your books plus a historian it annoys me enormously, I can only assume that it was "dumbed down" for some reason or other, please don't put yourself down as an "ancient Person" your mind is quite obviously as sharp as a tack, and if your body won't co-operate with it find a way round it. I do, My mind thinks it's still 20, it's just my body that won't co-perate with it at 71 years of age. It is so wonderful to find an author who can write so well that the text comes alive ( a rarity in these days) that I can't afford not to have your books, they keep me going and give me more pleasure than most other authors.

yours Faithfully

B V Brook

A

I honestly don’t even remember using Pendragon so I assume it was my ignorance. I imagine the makers of the TV series thought, justifiably, that ‘inexorable’ was a bit obscure!


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Q

When was Uhtred born? 856 or 857?

 

Greetings from Brazil!

 

Vagner Stefanello

A

Good lord, I can’t remember, and all my notes were lost in a computer crash. I’m sure there’s a clue in the first book!

 


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Mr.  Cornwell,

Is there now, or has there been any discussion of a special fine-page, fine-print edition of all 10 Saxon tales in a single volume (think Lord of the rings 50th anniversary edition)?  I revisit each Saxon novel prior to any new release.  That's ten times I've seen Uhtred expelled from Bebbanburg and several times repelled.  I'm hoping to commemorate his final return home in book ten with an Opus edition.  What are the chances of something like that being published?

 

Saving a spot on the shelf,

D.j. Amis

Atlanta, Georgia

A

I honestly have no idea! Let me finish his stories first and perhaps it’s a project for then!

 


Q

Dear Bernard,

I love almost all of your books but have struggled to get into the Starbucks series.However as much I particularly love Uhtred's story I think it's time for you to return to Starbuck to satisfy the rest of your fans. I don't know how many more books are left to be told, but maybe you could alternate between Starbuck and Uhtred? Will Richard Shakespeare be a one-off or the beginning of a new series?

Many Thanks,

Martin

 

A

I suspect it’s a one-off! I’ve enjoyed writing it, and I like the result (I would, wouldn’t I?) but can’t quite see where I might go next with Richard. But who knows? Not me!


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Hi, Mr. Cornwell,

 

I cried a lot while reading the Warlord Chronicles, but didn't cried with the Saxon Tales yet (I'm still on book 5 and loving it!). I think that's the reason I love Derfel's story so much, even more than Uhtred's, it's because it caught me by emotion. Your story made me feel very emotionally involved, in a way that I had this feeling that I was really experiencing the whole thing, and every tragedy that happened with the characters was like a knife in my own heart.

Speaking of that, is there any book that made you cry? And a movie?

 

Sorry about my english, greetings from Brazil.

Eilton Ribeiro

A

Thank you for that – the Warlord Chronicles were much deeper emotionally, I agree.  The last book that provoked tears in me was a poem by Geoffrey Hill, and I’ve lost the book now!

 


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Dear Mr Cornwell

 

I would just like to start off by saying that I am a huge fan and that you are my favourite writer, my question is in regards to the research done for "The Saxon Chronicles", especially the research done on the Norse beliefs, for example, the use of sacrifice, the stories about the gods and also the methods of sacrifice used by the pagans, my question is, was the research on the Norse hard to find and is some of it created by your imagination? I would also like to ask in the books when Uhtred is fighting he experiences what you called Battle Joy and I think Battle rage, I would just like to ask if these are real? and one final question, through your research have you found any evidence that the Norse used a type of Mushroom or herb before going into battle to make them go into a berserker rage?

 

Thank you for writing such incredible books.

Euan Clark

A

Mushrooms? No!  Ale, yes!  It’s quite possible they had hallucinatory drugs, I have no idea!  I did come across a tale that Finnish warriors fed magic mushrooms to their reindeer and then drank the reindeer’s urine. Try it! I do make quite a lot up – I’m a fiction writer!


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Hello there, Mr. Bernard,

As a guy who loves to draw bad-ass dudes with swords and other such weapons, your books have given me tons of inspiration! I would love to draw Uhtred, and other characters, to illustrate some of the awesome scenes that you write. So my question is, would you ever publish fan art on your site?  Also, have you ever thought about having illustrations in any of your books? Thanks for the great reads!

Clayton Hinkle

 

A

I don’t think we’ll ever have illustrations in the books, but who knows? As for fan art? We’ll think about it!

 


Q

Now that Uhtred is growing old and soon his stories will have to end, sadly, there will be more topics you can write about. Have you considered Charlemagne because there isn't much about him. How about Charles Martel? There is little of him also. Thanks for all the great stories, especially Uhtred!

Tom

A

I haven’t considered him, and probably won’t. I’m too ancient and have too many other books I want to write before the grim reaper gets me.


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

May I add to the many thanks for providing many hours of escapist joy across many centuries. I am a fan of the Saxon Stories in particular - it's a fascinating period.

My question is: roughly how long do you spend researching compared to writing? Do you prepare up front then write, or research as you go along?

Looking forward to more Uhtred soon.

Ben Tidman

 

A

I'm continually researching - if not for the book I'm currently writing, then for the one I'll write next, or that I'll write a year or two from now.  I've been reading history since I was a child and all that reading contributes to what I do.  However - when thinking about a new book I'll spend some months (or more!) reading in a very concentrated way, though how long and how much depends on the book.  I have a very broad idea of where I might want a book to go, then just let the characters sort it out smongst themselves!

 

 

 


Q

I have thoroughly enjoyed your books over the years but my favorite fictional books of all time are the Warlord Chronicles. I have listened to them as audiobooks so many times over and I still enjoy listening to the tales of Derfel, Arthur, Galahad and the many more brothers in arms that occupy those pages. I have recommended this series many times to my own family and others.

I wonder if there have ever been thoughts to take this series to the screen? I truly believe that they would be wildly successful in the realms of Braveheart and Lord of the Rings. I could see a successful trilogy of movies here that many of us would absolutely support.

I have many times wished that I could put my ideas to paper like you and other authors do but until the time that I actually put myself out there and try (if ever) I intend to enjoy the books of my favorite authors like yourself. Take care and I wish you well.

Lee

 

Hello Mr. Cornwell,

Is there any chance one day that your Arthur trilogy could be put to film like The Last Kingdom series? I love the books on Uhtred and the TV series but your novels on Derfel and Arthur are the absolute best I have ever read!

Best Regards,

Rick Brimble

A

I guess there's always a chance....


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Hope you are in rude health. I see one fan wants you to live until 90 - I would prefer 100 - by my reckoning that's at least another 10 books !

Just a quick question, and one you may not as yet know the answer to - Is there any indication that a third series will be made to continue Uhtred's tale on the small screen? Enjoying it immensely and even more fun when Mum visits and I spoil the scenes by telling her what will happen (she hasn't read the books). I did refuse to tell her though whether Uhtred betrays Alfred

Andy Green

A

We’ll know soon . . . . . .


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

first of all let me tell you that I am fun of your work. I have not read all your books, only the last kingdom series, but hopefully, if me busy schedule allows me, I will read the others. If I am to be objective, maybe 5-6 books of the series felt to me, that the similar plots are happening just in the different places and times, but overall I think that the series are well written.

That being said I need to apologise, because I am going to ask you the question, which I think most of the writers does not like to hear. Now when the 2.season of the last kingdom is out, I feel hungry for another stories of Uhtred and Finan. When do you think we can expect the 11. book from the series ?

Thank you.

Best regards.

Pavol

 

I really enjoy your books. When can we expect the next book. My son and I are your unconditional fans.

J. A. Copa

 

Hi, I wanted to know how many books you intended to write in the Last Kingdom series?

Anne Maree

 

Hi Bernard,

I bought your latest book in 'The Last Kingdom' series - 'The Flame Bearer' and decided to reread the series from book 3 before I read 'The Flame Bearer', also in preparation for series 2 now showing on TV.

Bad mistake!  The TV series screen play really mucks about with the characters and time lines and several of your really dramatic scenes are either missed out or dumed down so miss the impact you originally intended to convey!

I really enjoyed 'The Flame Bearer' another first class read.  Can we expect another book in 2017?  I look forward to its release.

Many thanks from an avid reader - I have read all your work and enjoyed every book.

Les Stevens

A

Most likely the next book of Uhtred's tale will be written next year.  Not sure how many more there might be....


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Good Evening Mr. Cornwell,

 

I love your books. I started with the Saxon Stories and then have moved on to the Arthur Trilogy and Stonehenge. I've loved them all. Thank you very much for your stories. I also have to say I love Jonathan Keeble's narration of your audible books he really brings the characters to life.

 

Anyway onto my question. I was trying to explain to my wife that there are at least 7 but possibly 8 different people named Uhtred in the Saxon Stories but then I wasn't sure if I got the count right. Do you remember the number?

 

I love your stories and look forward to your future works.

 

Chuck

A

Five that I know of! Dad, eldest son Uhtred, our Uhtred, his eldest son, his younger son.

 


Q

I have been a reader of this series since the beginning (and its spiritual ancestor, the Warlord Chronicles) and have loved them all. But I have to say I've been rather disappointed by the TV series. It lacks the pacing and humour of the books. This is partly the loss of the internal monologue, which makes Uhtred seem like a rather tedious man, almost as "priggish" in his own way as Alfred is in the books. I can't think of any other way to describe it: each time someone (usually Alfred) offends Uhtred's dignity, he pouts and sulks. The great battles seem to have disappeared, with very little "shield wall". And the other problem is that everything has been compressed to the point that it is purely episodic. As I write this, I have just watched the programme where the Saxons attack Lundene. Admittedly I read this a long time ago, but gone is Uhtred's plan and catching the Danes between a rock and a hard place, instead we have just a Danish trap and the capture of Aethelflaed, didn't that come later?

 

I read that the BBC were looking for a Game of Thrones challenger, but I think they've tried to do it on the cheap and have lost the epic sweep. I know the TV company changed lots of things in Sharpe, but it didn't seem to affect the series so badly, perhaps this was because I came to the novels later or because Sean Bean was a better actor. I have never rated him, maybe I owe him an apology.

 

I imagine it is too soon for you to make any public comment on the adaptation, though I would be interested to hear what you think, but I have read so many favourable reports from the critics that I thought I should offer a counter.

 

And, please, whatever happens, don't start to change the later novels to fit better with the TV adaptation!

 

Regards,

Mark


Q

Hello Mr Cornwell.

After reading all of your books.. (and and I am still buzzing knowing that a 2nd series of novels have been converted into a tv series - [The Sharpe series and the Warlord Series]) I am wondering who is your all time favourite lead character?

Sharpe is a legend.. Uhtred will inevitably follow his inexorable fate .. Thomas of Hookton is a longbow god.. Starbuck is a fantastic character. Derfel Cadarn - Legend (possibly my favourite).. Rider Sandman, John Rossendale, Paul Shanhaan all great characters!  I guess It may be unfair to ask who is your favourite overall.. so I may just ask this instead - If there was no pressure from public demand, who would be your choice to bring to life to the 'Big Screen' in the way that YOU imagine him?

 

Keep up your masterclass writing skills sir!

 

Dave A

A

Well, my all time favourite character is Lady Grace from Sharpe’s Trafalgar, followed by Ceinwyn. Women are so much more interesting! I’m just happy that Uhtred is following Sharpe to the screen – though I would quite like to see Rider Sandman there too!


Q

Dear Bernard,

Like a multitude of your fans, I have to thank you for the enjoyment you have given me over the years. Your research is such that you have greatly improved my historical knowledge.

I have enjoyed, the Last Kingdom, Sharpe and the Grail quest series the most and the Arthurian novels the least but I will still give them a second reading. I have wondered why this series did not catch my imagination as much as your pot boilers. The conclusion I came to was that this series is based on myth.

This leads me to ask how you choose the periods in history you write about, which are diverse?   I read for example that you have no intention of writing about Ancient Rome? Are your choices based on your research, expertise or is there an element you perceive to be of particular interest and will you in set future novels in other historical eras?

Regards,

Jack

PS Like so many others I can't wait to learn of Uhtred's further adventures.

A

How do I decide?  Mainly by what appeals to me - simple as that!

 

 


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Hello Bernard

 

I hope you are well.

Firstly, I greatly enjoyed The Flame-Bearer, and without giving anything away for people who may not have read it, I was mildly surprised at the ending! I thought you would play that one out for a few more novels!

I also read Vagabond last Summer, NINE years after reading Harlequin! Heretic this Summer, I think!

I hope you'll be amused to hear I had a very vivid dream the other night, about thecNapoleonic Wars!  I was a Redcoat Sgt called Hobbs, and we had to get into a Fortress and scaled the walls with ropes. I can remember assuring a young Officer that we always won. Which, I'm sure around 1812/13, the Brits had started realising!

I can remember us singing as we stalked the Fortress looking for "Frogs". (possibly a bad strategy, if we were supposed to be surprising them!). I sang the Minstrel Boy. "Oh, glorious band, the chosen few, on whom the Spirit came.."

I can remember me and a young Marine bursting in on the French dining and I butchered a few with my bayonet. There was a bloody big scrap and I fought a couple of Indian Soldiers (not sure what they were doing there..), but the Officer I'd been with was killed. I'd promised nor  to leave his side, but..er...had...

Anyway, we killed the French, so HUZZAH!

I don't think dreams are covered by Copyright, so feel free to use this in any future Sharpe's!

Joking aside, do you ever dream about Sharpe or Uhtred of Thomas of Hookton? Or have you ever dreamt up a plot or character and then used it?

I wanted to read a Sharpe again, because its been a while, so after that dream there was only one I could read..Sharpe's Company! That was always one of my favourites.

Hope you don't think I've gone completely mad by telling you this!

Looking forward to Uhtred 11!

Warm Regards

Matt Copley

A

Didn’t you do well!  I am amused. I’m not sure if I ever have dreamed about my characters . . . I can’t believe I haven’t, but I don’t remember any nightmares. Maybe? Still, well done.


Q

Hello Mister Cornwell.

 

My name is Benoit, I am a french man who is 23 years old. I discovered The Saxon stories four years ago and I really love it. I really like Uhtred and the others characters, the environment... Since I am young, I love vikings stories, I love knights, I love History and when I read yours books, it s all time a pleasure. First, I wrote you to tell you thank you. Secondly, Can your translate yours books in French ? PLEASE. I continue to read them in english but it isn t the same sensation.

 

Your serie is more and more famous. More and more people know you. I really sure that you will make good sells in France ! So Translate them pleaseeee.

 

Have a good day.

A

I think my agent is seeking a French publisher, but so far no news.....


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I really enjoyed your books on The Last Kingdom series. I just finished The Flame Bearer, I was happy that Uhtred finally came home. I hope as you kind of suggest that this is not the end of the story of Uhtred. My question to you is, since the second season of the show aired this past Thursday. Will it be shown on BBC America in the near future, or will it just on Netflix?

Jim Ellis

 

We LOVE TLK, Season 1, and I have read all ten books ... Cannot wait to see Season 2 and heard it would begin March 16th. When will it be aired in the US?

Rita Coleman

A

I believe it will just be available on Netflix.  We should know the date it will be released soon!


Q

I have been an avid follower of all your books and have really enjoyed the Saxon Chronicles, so I was looking forward to the tv series. Why oh why have they changed his character so that Uhtred has become almost peripheral to the story? Secondly in 9th century Wessex apart from Alfred's daughter , women did not play any great part in the decision making nor in the management of their men. It seems that the 21st century  feminine agenda is taking over. For fans like me spoils it!

Charles Drakeford

A

I really can’t see that Uhtred is peripheral! And whether you like it or not Aethelflaed was an extremely important character in the making of England. She, more than anyone, bound Mercia to Wessex, which was the first stage of unification, and after her husband’s death she led campaigns against the Danes. You may be talking about the second series which I haven’t seen yet, but I suspect Uhtred would agree with me that the more women the merrier!


Q

I've read and re read all 10 (so far) of the last kingdom books and I'm struggling to work out where Osferth is. The Last I read he was looking after Uhtred's cousins wife and child. But nothing that I can see is mentioned in the following books other than Uhtred heard she and the boy died. I was mildly disappointed that he didn't help retake Bebbanburg in book 10. Can you shed any light on the situation?

Chris Barber

A

He did take a back seat in The Flame Bearer,but that doesn't mean he's vanished.  When I start the next book I'll know more!

 


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You do a really good job of researching your historical facts with what sources are to hand, so I was wondering how and from what source you were able to determine the ages of the brothers Lodbrok.  While their deaths seem fixed with some reasonable degree of accuracy, the only indication I have of the age of either brother is an unsourced wiki claim that Ivar was born in 794 (which seems highly dubious for a man on active and constant campaign in the 860s-70s).  Based on what you've said throughout the first three books (that Ivar's son is old enough to be Uhtred's father) and your description of Ubba as going gray where previously he was white, I'm assuming that Ivar was in his late forties to early fifties when he died, and Ubba about the same, with Ivar Ivarrson likewise in his forties.  Is that the right idea?  How did you ultimately estimate this, and what sources did you use?  I'd really love to know.

 

Steven

A

I’m fairly sure I simply guessed their ages! The records really don’t help much and were probably contradictory, and it is fiction! They call it licence, so I took it!


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Dear Bernard

 

I've just finished reading the Uhtred books again and the question I've been thinking about is would there have been an England in a similar time period without the catalyst of the Danish invasions? I've read that there seems to have been an ongoing struggle between the various kingdoms of England in the preceding centuries but no one seems to have emergent dominant for any significant time period until after the Danish invasions gradually left Wessex as the only remaining and then strongest Saxon kingdom as the Danes were pushed back. So I'm without the Danes would the four kingdoms of England have likely remained separate for much longer?

 

Though I appreciate it's only possible to speculate I would be grateful on any views you have on this matte as someone who has written extensively about that time period and events before and after?

 

I'm a big fan of the idea of alternate history but find it unfortunate that most writing on it seems to mainly focus on the 20th century when there seems to over a thousand years of fascinating history before that where things could have been vastly different.

 

regards

 

Matthew

A

That’s a very interesting question!  I suspect the answer is that the Danish threat was indeed the catalyst for the creation of a unified England. A common enemy makes unlikely alliances work. The destruction of the Anglo-Saxon dynasties of the northern kingdoms helped, leaving the Wessex dynasty as the one viable replacement. If personal ambition had got in the way (i.e. someone unwilling to surrender a throne) then it would all have been messier and probably taken longer. So yes. We can thank the Danes for England!

 


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

When will Uhtred's story continue? I can't wait!

I LOVE your work,

Janice Forler

 

Hello,

I just finished reading The Flame Bearer (great!) and was wondering if there will be an 11th book?

Thank you

Andrea

 

Mr Cornwell,

I am enjoying the TV series, but would love to know if/when we will get the next book in the series.

Many thanks for all your books.

Carol

A

I will most likely write a new Uhtred next year.


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I am just reading the 8th book in the Last Kingdom series. Being a woman, I find that there is a lot of blood and guts in the series. I have read other books about that time in history so I know it is true but life sure didn't mean much did it?

I was wondering though, when did the word shit come to be? I know that, originally, it meant "ship high in transit"but was that phrase common back in Uhtred"s time? I thought it came to be later on. Just Wondering.

Thank you for providing us with such a good pastime. The housework is beginning to pile up here.

Roberta from Vancouver Island (God's country)

A

‘Ship High in Transit’!!!!!! Never!  The word comes from the Old High German and morphed into the Anglo-Saxon word scitte, which was pronounced shit and means exactly the same thing. Whoever told you it came from Ship High in Transit was talking scitte!


Q

Hi Bernard,

 

Firstly, I just want to say that - along with everyone else here - I love your works. From Arthur, to Uhtred, to Thomas of Hookton, I've yet to read a book of yours I haven't loved. So thanks for your amazing stories.

 

Recently, I was doing a bit of reading around the wider Arthurian legend and saw that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle mentions a Saxon named Cerdic who (if he existed) later became one of the first kings of Wessex. I'm just wondering if this is the same Cerdic who is the enemy of Arthur and Derfel or if it is just coincidence?

 

Also, if it is intended, then am I right in saying that it means that one of your great heroes in Alfred is descended from one of your great villains in Cerdic. Perhaps there is scope to combine the two stories into one, gigantic saga, spanning all the way from Derfel, through to Uhtred and his capture of Bebbanburg. Maybe Finan could be descended from Oengus Mac Airem, and Brida descended from Nimue? Or am I just being greedy?

 

Either way, I love your work, and I check the website frequently for news of any upcoming works.

 

Many thanks for hours of entertainment,

 

Matt

A

I don’t think it is a coincidence, but I’m driven back to the old and feeble excuse that I wrote the Arthurian books so long ago that I’ve entirely forgotten them, indeed that there was even a Cerdic in those books!  But it rings a bell, however faint . . . .


Q

The Last Kingdom series:

Please, please, please tell me we can expect book 11 one day not too far away. I have all 10 previous books as audiobooks and just love them...I think I've gone through the entire series at least 5 times. I eagerly await book 11.

Thank you,

Kathryn

 

I have Spent the last 4 weeks listening via audible the entire last kingdom series and I have become hooked on them, I must have spent hours listening to them when I should have been doing other things. I have Just finished listening to the Flame Bearer. Simple question, now Uhtred has realised his dream will he become a settled man or will we hear from him again?

Tom Raworth

 

How many more books have you got planned for the last kingdom series?

James Geddes

 

When is the next book in the last Kingdom series anticipated?  I read the Flame Bearer in November and have enjoyed the series immensely.

Daniel L Kinnamon

 

Wanted to tell you how very much i have enjoyed your Grail Quest, Arthur and Last Kingdom Series of books!  I am a retired IBM statistician and own all these books.  Every few years i reread them from the beginning and enjoy savoring them once again, like a good bourbon:).  At the end of Flame Bearer you hinted that Uhtred may not be retired quite yet.  Like me i suspect he needs to keep mind and body exercised. I look forward to his next adventure!  When?

Gary Snyder

A

There will be more to Uhtred's story, but that is not the book I am writing now.  I cannot say when book 11 will be written - or how many more there might be in The Last Kingdom series....time will tell!


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Q

Hi Bernard,

 

As you are at pains to point out throughout Uhtred's saga, there has always been a very definite but exquisitely complex relationship between a lord and an oathgiver. That relationship is very much an exchange of responsibilities between the two parties, which breaches of duties towards the other party being grounds for the revocation of the binding agreement between them. One of the key elements was the expectation of the vassal to receive physical recognition of good service in the form of wealth, land and so on and again you quite rightly point this out more than once. My question is this; since we know that Uhtred was never entirely happy giving oaths to Alfred or Edward, (less so to Aethelflaed out of love), from memory of the stories, he seems to have been less than well rewarded for some fairly major acts of courage and success, or even not rewarded in any form, (I am thinking here after he was badly wounded at the end of The Pagan King and then his recovery at the start of the Empty throne - I assume because he was expected to die they didn't reward him at that point but surely afterwards?). I know there were times when Alfred had rewarded him with lands, but it does seem that for his deeds and loyalty he was treated less than generously and so, why did he not use those occasions to free himself from those unwanted oaths? I'm not trying to pick holes here, just interested  by Uhtred's decisions!

 

Best wishes

Andrew Parker

A

Remember that Uhtred does have a talent for annoying those who are in a position to help him, and usually at a most inconvenient moment.  I’m sure Alfred was extremely grateful for everything Uhtred achieved, but would never forgive him for his paganism and I suspect that influenced his purse.

 


Q

Surely you have written enough Saxon ,Viking and their ilk by now it's 21 years since the last Starbucks's chronicles book it must be time for another .

Anne Nash

 

Hello I'm a big fan of your work and followed your stories for many years through many different series but there is still one left unfinished. I'm sure you have been asked this many many times but will Starbuck fight again? I read what you have previously said about Sharpe becoming more popular and it making sense to write more Sharps and I can't fault that decision but it has been 20 years now is it not time for Starbuck to march one (or two) more time and finish his tale. I'm sure I'm not your only fan who feels this way. Thank you for taking the time to read this I know your a busy man.

Sincerely

Gareth.

(Ps. In saying this this I am also eagerly awaiting the next Uhtred book.)

A

Some day....I hope!


Q

Thanks for years of books! I have just experienced The Flame Bearer! I would love to see a diagram, a kind of architectural drawing, of Bebbanburg to go along with the pronunciation guide and map you always provide. Bebbanburg is the central "stage" of Uhtred's story. I would enjoy a drawing to help me see the Sea Gate beneath and all around the great gates and the buildings inside the castle. Again, thanks for your stories. I wait faithfully every year for a new one. (I am a 72 year old English teacher from Texas.)

Sharon Kingston

A

That’s a very good idea! I’ll try to provide a picture . . .

 


Q

Hi Bernard

I run a small Falconry Centre in the Orkney Islands Scotland. I am a keen reader of the Uhtred series. You refer to Hawks & Falcons regularly. I am trying to research information about Viking falconry, my Centre is in the groundsof an historic building. I  am keen to know if Falcons & Hawks are an interest of yours? & if you have any references to Vikings,Danes or Norsemen & Falcons?. I wish to build my historical knowledge to enhance my Falconry Displays.

I have read somewhere that Trained Falcons were once symbols of the control of Christianity & free birds a symbol of Pagan beliefs. When a Falcon is mentioned it appears that things go wrong for Uhtred. Is this a coincidence? ( I understand if this is not something you want to comment on ) Thanks for your time.

Keith

skaillhousefalconry.co .uk

A

I think it is a coincidence!  And, to be honest, I know very little about falconry other that what I’ve gleaned from reading T.H. White and Helen MacDonald’s wonderful H is for Hawk. Apologies!


Q

I just finished The Empty Throne and had a quick question about Uhtred's wound.  Perhaps I missed something, but was this wound just an infection from the cut and from the cow manure, and how was repiercing his side a cure.  I realize that 1000 years ago an infection was something very serious, but I was unsure if it was something more.  You alluded in the post-script to it being remotely possible to cure this way, but I was hoping for a little bit of clarity.  I haven't read any of your other book series, but I really enjoy the tales of Uhtred. Thanks.

Brad Capstick

A

I refer you to my medical adviser who, unlike me, is a doctor!  And yes, a bad wound could lead to infection, but not necessarily.  At the battle of Quatre Bras in 1815 Ensign Christie took (I think) 22 wounds, including a lance through the eye that emerged in his mouth, and he survived and, frankly, medical knowledge of infection was no more advanced in 1815 than in 815!  They did have some remedies that were surprisingly effective - spider-webs on a wound is one, and it works (to an extent).  But it was really a question of luck whether a wound went gangrenous or not.

 

 


Q

I have been reading you books for 35 years. I buy used British Versions on Ebay before the American version is released. I need more Books. I don't like other authors.

I believe you have unpublished Sharpe and Grail Quest Books and hopefully Uthred written awaiting beneficial contract timelines. When you die, hopefully not before 2035, will those unpublished books be printed quickly or continue annually like Mark Twain for 100 years?

Please release more Sharpe Novels, while I can still visit Spain, Portugal and France. I don't want to go the Belgium tho. If you release a couple more Uhtred novels and I'll even visit England. Thank-you

Mitchell C Johnson

A

Sorry to disappoint, but I do not have any unpublished manuscripts waiting to be published after my demise!


Q

Hi Bernard,

big fan here.  Just curious though I sadly suspect I know the answer.  Any more tales to come from the world of Derfel and co. in any way, or is the Arthurian tale done being told?

 

Also, just for fun, Uhtred v Derfel, single combat of champions, who wins? :)

 

Thanks for humoring me if you have a change to respond!

 

-Brad

A

I don't plan to add to Derfel's tale.

They're as good as each other, which is all you'll get from me!


Q

Good Morning Mr Cornwell,

 

I have as many people read the Saxon Chronicles and as many thoroughly enjoyed them. I am English (Geordie) and live not a stones throw away from Bamburgh (bebbanburg) Castle, I am so immersed in your books and the way you describe everything from battle to a quiet spring morning. Only one thing that gets me and it's not really anything to do with you in a way. I've obviously watched the first series on the "Last Kingdom" on the TV and there are one or two things that get me, 1, Uhtred's sword is in his back and not by his side 2, Father Beocca is isn't ugly or does not have a Club foot.

I know these seem silly but do you have any influence on the making of the series and if so would you be able to suggest to correct these as you are the author of these incredible books.

Uhtred is meant to be a large towering man but to be honest the actor who has taken this role does an outstanding job of brining Uhtred to life and wouldn't want him to be recast, they could use camera angles ect to make him look taller.

 

Well I hope you get time to have a look at what I have said, and I hope you manage to write many more excellent books

 

 

Regards

 

Chris Lumsdale

A

I have no influence, nor do I want it!  I like to think I know a thing or two about writing stories, but I know nothing about producing television drama, so the best thing is to stay clear and let the experts do what they do best!

 

 


Q

Hi Bernard,

Just finished reading Flame Bearer and I am left wondering if there will be another book/s to complete the series.  What happens next with Athelstan and the younger Uhtred?

Kind regards

Tony Lewis

New Zealand

 

I got the impression that, after reading The Flame Bearer, Uhtred, now in bebbanburg still has more to do. Is there another story to come? I really hope so.

regards,

David Tomlinson

 

A

There is more to come....


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Q

I recently came across an article claiming that scientists studying cat DNA have found cat remains at a Viking site dating to between the eighth and eleventh century A.D. in northern Germany. It makes sense that since Vikings were sea-faring people, they might have kept cats to control rodents. I could see cats hunting rats on Viking ships that were beached, but perhaps they accompanied their owners on their voyages, too.

 

I'm wondering, did Uhtred have any cats?

Joni Steshko

A

I’ve never thought about that!  He has dogs, of course, but cats? He might like it. Maybe in the next book?


Q

A good friend we met on a Viking River Cruise back in 2009 put me on to your writing, initially the Last Kingdom series, and I have been hooked ever since.  After retiring six years ago, I have devoted myself to tracking down copies of that series plus other stand alone novels.  I have read 12 total including six of the Last Kingdom and have three or four others calling my name. (I also watched the TV series).   Every book has held my attention from start to finish except the Fort.  For me, this book was a change from the others because I read about half over a two month period and then gave up.  Please do not take this as anything more than a comment about the Fort only because I am presently engrossed in Stonehenge.  I had learned that Paul Revere was not the hero we learned about in school after reading Paul Revere's Ride by David Fischer.  Longfellow did no favors for students of US history with his poem.

 

Anyway, the stories of Viking travels to Great Britain are fascinating.  I am half Swedish and speak the language, half Danish, find many town names in the UK with Scandinavian roots, and have traveled to Scandinavia on several occasions. A history I read several years ago claimed that original Swedes were much shorter than what one sees in films, but dark haired with fair skin.  Uhtred meets that description in the TV series and old buildings visited from the 17th and 18th centuries seem to bear out people were short. Will there be any more episodes in the TV series?

 

I have rambled on enough.  FYI, I have enjoyed several fiction and non fiction books on the Knights Templar .  Do not interpret this as anything more than sharing a reading topic.  I also like Steve Berry, Tolkien, George Martin, Frank Herbert (I met him at the University of Washington in the early 70s, but that is a different story), and other authors of historical novels.  My friend encourages me to track down Sharpe novels but that will be a project after the Last Kingdom.  Please keep those stories coming.

 

Ron

A

There will be more episodes!  We should learn when Season 2 will be available soon!


Q

Hiya. I know you're not working on the Uhtred books right now but should we expect book 11 this year? Thank you x

Zoe

A

Not this year...


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

 

I am writing to thank you for such a gripping series of books. I have just finished reading The Flame Bearer (I think book 10 in the series) and can honestly say that I have not enjoyed such enthralling stories for a long time. The character of Lord Uhtred is both humorous and impressive, and I have opened each book with excitement.

 

Although Uhtred has just recaptured his home of Bebbenberg, and so the series could  end here, I would love to know if you have any plans to continue his tale. It has inspired me to read non-fiction about this period in our history.

 

I am just about to begin reading the first of the Arthurian Warlord Chronicles, and am anticipating great stories!

 

With kind regards,

 

Elizabeth Ashley

A

There will be more to Uhtred's story!


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

I first read "1356" and was hooked (pun intended) on Thomas of Hookton.  He is a compelling character and I am enthralled by the history of the period as a result of reading that book.  So I've gone about this backwards and had to go back to the beginning of the Grail Series to experience the origin of the character.  Now I'm two books into the Saxon books.  Uhtred is a marvelously conflicted character and I'm looking forward to the remainder of the series.  Of course I had to have a look at Agincourt in the interim and there was one thing that struck me immediately: By your naming the protagonist Nicholas HOOK I  wondered if an unstated relationship with Thomas was being hinted at; not important, really, just curious.  So I have a new hobby, namely, to read as many of your books as possible except that it seems you are writing them faster than I can read them!

Best wishes.

P.S. Are you performing Shakespeare this summer?

A

I didn't intend to hint at a relationship - I took the name from the muster roll of the archers who really were at Agzincourt and it just happened to be the name I liked best and, by coincidence, shared the Hook with Hookton.

 

Yes!  I'm hoping to be back on stage at the Monomoy Theatre this summer.

 

 

 


Q

Dear Bernard,

Firstly I would like to thank you for inspiring my love of reading, I started with the sharpe books which I still love. Obviously Sean bean was greatly cast for the tv role and this is what initially sparked my interest. However sharpe was left behind when I read the stories of Thomas of Hookton and Starbuck, and of course now especially since I'm from the north east and a regular visitor Bambrugh as a child, Uhtred I think is your greatest creation to date. I just wondered how you felt about the casting of Uhtred, no doubt a talented actor but I can't replace the image I have had in my head for years. I look forward to hearing from you.

Keep up the great work

Steven Forth

A

I think Alexander is doing a tremendous job, and I can't wait to see Season Two!


Q

Greetings, Mr. Conrwell.

I hope you are doing well!

 

I believe I have sent you a message before, but I am unsure if this is the case. At any rate, I would like to say great praises to your stories. I was introduced to your works back in Mid 2011, my senior year at school. I read the first book of the Arthur Series, The Winter King, and was overjoyed to read a very gripping tale of fiction. I wasn't an avid reader at that point (having read only J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books until then). But thanks to you, I was able to get great inspiration as well as a good motivation to read more. My grandfather, being an avid book reader himself, recommended more of your works, and that's when I bought the remaining Arthur books, The Enemy of Good and Excalibur, and read them. I have only good things to say, and it is a great book that mixes lots of themes well, being Leadership, Compromise, Friendship, Allegiances and so much more. By 2014, I began reading The Saxon Chronicles, and dare I say, it is my favorite series of ALL time. The story is forged with blood, battles, betrayal and non-stop action, and I truly love it! I have all the 10 books so far, and I plan on getting the first 5 ones in hardcover (I am not sure, I am a great fan of hardcover books, and I consider it a sign of... "respect" to a series I like so much?). I truly love many characters in it, Uhtred, Gisela, Finan, Alfred, Aethelflaed, Ragnar, Leofric, Steapa, and so many others. I believe one of the best antagonists you have done (with the exception of the 10th book, as I have not read it so far!) is Skade, Cnut Longsword, Erik Thurglisson, and Kjartan. Skade and Kjartan for being cruel villains, who wouldn't think twice to torture their victims before death (Hell, Skade is seen flaying Edwulf, and it was a very striking scene to me. I am not sure why, but I see flaying/skinning as one of the worst tortures ever to exist, and I can't help but to love and hate the characters who do that.). As for Cnut and Erik, while not related, they seemed more like the anti-villains, two characters you can get used to and like their ideals, despite being on the "opposing team", and this is very nice for a story, as it is possible get behind the Saxons as well as the Danes, not being a "Black and White" moral fiction.

 

With all that said, I truly look forward to reading the Sharpe novels, as well as the Starbuck Chronicles, as the Napoleonic Wars and the American Civil War seem like great periods of time, and sadly, two that I don't know much of!

 

I have a few questions for you:

1 - The Arthur Series had not only a map detailing every location included on the series, but also a character list. I noticed the absence of that in The Saxon Chronicles, and wanted to know if you do plan on bringing this back on the newer releases? I say that because at times, we can't help to remember every character's name, and having a list of characters on an appendix really does help to memorize the ones present within the story. With that, see this as a personal "request" of sorts, as I believe a release of an appendix would be very much welcome to many readers!

2 - In the later books of The Saxon Chronicles, there is an "absence" of the year the story is set. It must be due to Uhtred getting old (can't blame him! haha) but I confess I am a person that particularly likes to pinpoint the years in which the story is set. With that being said, I would like to know if we could consider the dates the historical characters being on the series? For example: Ragnall Ivarson, that died on year 921 last I saw, and pinpoint that to being where the story is set in The Warriors of the Storm, or not quite?

 

Also, this is a nice little disclaimer: Your stories has motivated me into getting a new hobby: writing. I will of course, not request you to read the script, as my stories will be set in the present time, and it will be a much different focus as your stories take place, but rather, this is a way of saying "Thank you" for writing such amazing stories and motivating many youngsters to get the taste of literature, and bringing many veterans to appreciate the historical fiction.

 

Sincerely,

Patrick Gainher

A

We'll keep that under consideration.

 

That sounds about right . . . I do try to mention the year, but perhaps it didn’t make it into a couple of the books.

 


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

 

I was recently introduced to your Saxon Stories series and have very much enjoyed the numerous hours of entertainment that you have now provided me.  Thank you for that gift.

 

As I immersed myself in the many vivid battles you described, I found myself asking the question, "Where are the siege craft?" Granted, I am only halfway through the books so perhaps my question will be answered with due time and patience.

 

I understood that siegecraft (ballista, mangonels, rams and the like) were used by the Danes in the siege of Paris in 885 and certainly these were present in the Roman Empire.  As Uhtred is a clever young dux bellorum, well schooled with the 'modern' art of war for his time and well aware of the benefits of French steel and trade, I am surprised that these have not been mentioned so far.

 

Siegecraft would seem to provide an opportune solution for Bebbanburg and, if not for the well, the now fallen Dunholm.

 

Many thanks for the fantastic stories.

Michael

A

They’re not mentioned because it seems the Danish troops in Britain didn’t employ them. They never succeeded in capturing a burh, which they surely would have done if they’d employed siege engines. Such things aren’t mentioned in any of the contemporary sources, and the conclusion is that they simply did not exist. Remember that to employ those engines needed a good deal of organization and expertise, and the rather free-wheeling bands of Danes in Britain appear to have lacked both.

 


Q

Hi Mr. Cornwell.

I finished Flame Bearer and I love how Uhtred recover his ancient family hold.

I have a question: The vikings saga said that Ragnar had a lot of sons, Ivar, the boneless, Ubbe, Halfdan, who are mentioned in Saxon Stories, and two other sons, Bjorn Ironside and Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye. Why do you choose don't mention them? By sagas, Sigurd was """First legendary king of modern Denmark""" and Bjorn """first legendary king of  modern Sweden""". Bjorn was mentioned to participated of Great Heathen Army who landed Nortumbria in 866. Do you preferred don't include him in story by literary issues?

 

Other thing, the real person who Uhtred was inspired was Uhtred, the bold? Because you're descendant of Uhtred who inspired the story, and I discovery that I'm descendant of Uhtred the bold by his grandson Gostaparic, by a family called Drummond, who was thane of Lennox (I think was that) in Scotland. If is that Uhtred, then we are distant relatives.

 

I'm your fan, love Saxon Stories and Sharpe books!

 

Thanks by attention Mr. Cornwell.

Lucas

A

You can’t mention everyone! I tell stories, and the more unnecessary characters there are in a story, the more confusing it is. An historian might feel the need to be comprehensive, but I don’t!


Q

I am just now watching Last Kingdom, based on your Uhtred novels and there is something really bothering me. If I recall your novel properly, and I'm sure I do, Saxons fought in a shield wall -- linking shields, and either waiting for the enemy to come to them or moving forward more or less as a unit to make contact. What then ensued was a stabbing battle, over, under, between shields in hopes of wearing the enemy down. In the Netflix version, no such thing happens! Have you seen it? They have the Danes forming a shield wall, two shields high, and a third shield over the heads of the first rank such as the Roman's Tortoise maneuver. Another history enthusiast and I had a spirited discussion over this, and because he is a Norse re-enactor, claims the Vikings (Norse, Danes, call them what you will) learned this from the Romans, and (probably) took it into battle against the Saxons. Yet in your books, your research stated the Norse didn't fight in fixed ranks such as the Saxons did, but preferred to be more fluid and fought more or less individually so as to more easily adjust to changes in the battle. Who's right?!

Al Lowe

A

In my books both sides form a shield wall and I’m at a loss to know where you got the opposite impression. My fault, probably. Personally I loved the way the film-makers treated the shield wall! It was magnificent!

 


Q

Hello!

I am obviously a great fan of Your writing ( especially Uhtred ) and currently trying to persuade myself that I can also write a historical fiction. From one of your videos available on youtube I learned that you still read tremendous amounts of history and that I assume helps in writing stories about Uhtred, Richard Sharpe etc. My question is if you have ever considered  writing a story about non-anglo heroes? Will Your knowledge about 18th/19th century world, political situation, events etc be enough to write a story that follows ( for example ) Tadeusz Kosciuszko? And how long do you think research for this sample story could take You. I am Polish myself and for that reason I would love to apologize for my terrible English. I do try and improve it ( this is where your fantastic writing comes very helpful ).

Kind Regards

Pawel Ulinski.

A

The short answer is no! And that’s not because I have some loathsome prejudice against foreigners, but simply because I’m most comfortable writing within a society I know and (I hope) understand. If I were to write about some splendid foreign hero I’d need to soak up language, customs, attitudes, all the things that I learned growing up, and the result, I believe, would be unconvincing. As for research time – too much! Research is a lifelong activity and catching up to a new culture would be immensely time-consuming. I know other writers do it, and good luck to them, but I’ll stick to what I know best.

 

 


Q

How did Uhtred end up in the monastery? Is there a book 11 that tells us?

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all 10.

Satchidananda

A

There is not a book 11.....yet....


Q

When are you going to finish the Starbuck Novels?

John L'Amie

 

I just finished your  Starbuck series. Great stuff!. Your Historical Note of The Bloody Ground ended with, "Starbuck will march again." Just one question, when?

Charlie Rupnick

 

Are we going to see any more of Nate Starbuck? I really like all of your work and would like to see Nate finish the Civil War.

Thank you,

Bob

 

 

Any Starbuck books coming?

Steve Rodriguez

 

 

Hi Bernard,

I've just finished The Flame Bearer . It is Uhtred back at his brilliant best.What's next and when ? Also, my son is a huge fan of the 'Copperhead 'series is there any chance of the series being continued ?

Regards.

Chris Page

 

A

I''m not sure when?


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Q

Hi

It might be better If Uhtred kept his estate in the midlands as it gives him a reason to travel south, as you said he did when he was older in an earlier book when he burnt the scrolls in the monastary.

 

Colin

A

I’m sure he’s kept a lot of them . . . they’d be managed by a factor who would remit the rents. I’ll try to sort it out!

 


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Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell

I have just finished reading the Flame Bearer. Along with the rest of the Last Kingdom Series, these are the best fiction books depicting the turbulent  story of the creation of England.

What would you think of the books being included in the National Curriculum?

I am sure they would bring alive this part of early English history for many students.

Looking forward to meeting Uhtred again.

 

kind regards

 

Mike Newell

A

I do think the English should learn about the origins of England!  Maybe they do? Of course if you make the books part of the National Curriculum you immediately condemn them as ‘necessary’ reading. Much better to let them discover them on their own (but I’ll let you disagree!)


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Q

I've just finished 'Ida', and enjoyed that read just as I've enjoyed the others in this series and others you have written too. I looked too at some of the Qs and As and noted that in one response you mention how Uhtred is getting older now so perhaps confused. That might explain the slavery point, He claims that he was sold into slavery by his Uncle. My memory of the previous books is that this isn't so - or is it my memory that fades?

 

yours,

Peter Barley

A

His uncle arranged his capture . . . and paid money. It wasn’t a direct transaction, but in effect he was sold!

 

 


Q

Happy New Year Bernard.

 

Whilst listening to Uhtred's story from start to finish again of the Christmas period, quite a few 'what if's' drifted into my mind as they tend to do from time to time. I won't bother you with most of them, but I am curious if you have any thoughts about the implications and effects on the relationship between Alfred and Uhtred if the latter had fully converted and remained a devout Christina in Alfred's service. Both men clearly respected the other and it seems to me that there had been, on Alfred's part, a desire like Uhtred and foster a friendship, which was soured over the years. I wonder if you fee that had Uhtred been a committed Christian, Alfred would have allowed his merit to raise him to higher levels of lordship. perhaps in place of his cousin, or even to become a sanctioned king under Alfred's overarching rule. If this had happened and Uhtred had been allowed freedom to run the campaign against the Danes freely and with Alfred's full backing, do you think the results would have been wildly different in terms of effectiveness and duration?

Had Uhtred been a Christian and in Alfred's good graces, do you think he might have been allowed permission to marry Aethelflaed, and had that union brought forth sons in Alfred's lifetime, would he have recognised the potential for a stronger ruling line from that branch of the family and put them ahead other potential succesors? Alfred showed he could be ruthless, having usurped the throne himself, and I wonder if he would have weighed the future of his kingdom ahead of having Edward follow him

 

Best wishes

 

Andy

 

Of course this is all just idle musings but it does intrigue me!

 

Best wishes

 

Andy

A

I’m not sure what territorial advantages a Christian Uhtred would bring Alfred . . . the immediate ambition was to engorge Mercia into Wessex (which didn’t really happen until after Alfred’s death), and Northumbria was a very distant target. Marriage to Aethelred had tangible advantages – it placed a West Saxon marker on nearby territory!  Uhtred, being an exile from his native Northumbria, and not possessing any land there (except his claim to the land) would have brought no such advantage.

 


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Q

Hi Bernard,

 

I have always been an avid reader of history, especially military history. My father introduced me to your books on Uhtred and I have devoured them until I became caught up a few years back. I also came across a computer game called "Mount & Blade - Warband" which had an additional patch titled "Viking Conquest". It seems to me that the game is inspired by your works, and does include a character named Uhtred floating about. In summary, the game pretty much let's you play out your Saxon or Viking fantasy of raiding, fighting, and conquering, enemies like Æthelhelm, etc...and/or usurp them all and create your own kingdom. Personally, I found Brycheinoig and Cornubia ripe territories on which to found my Viking kingdom, but now have the pesky Irish raiding my lands.

 

I was wondering if you have seen or heard of the game, and if not you should check it out! Although, I do fear it may hamper your writing of the next Uhtred book.

 

-Best,

David F

A

I was not aware of it - thanks!


Q

Good day Mr. Cornwell:

I just wanted you to know that I recently read "Gallows Thief" and very much enjoyed it and although this is a bit selfish on my part, I was hoping to convince you that writing a series, not too dissimilar to the Uhtred series, would be a good idea. I have read numerous books of yours and have enjoyed following the Uhtred novels.  The cast of characters in the "Gallows Thief" would seem to me to be perfect for a series of books that follow Rider Sandman, sergeant Berrigan and Sally.  This is an interesting time in Europe and the cast of characters sets forth an equally interesting spectrum of social actors.  You could mine a wide array of situations and social settings by having them work together as a team similar to what you set forth in "Gallows Thief".  The way the book ends seems as if you were already setting this up (hopefully).  Well, I just wanted to plant this seed in hopes that you would write a few more books that followed these characters -- I think many people could relate to them and would enjoy following their exploits.

Thanks for your time,

Rich Coon

A

I have considered a follow-up to Gallows Thief.....not sure if I'll get to it....


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Q

Dear Bernard:

It's been some years since I wrote.  Never could solve the Sharpe's Father riddle!  The last time I wrote I was in Afghanistan and you kindly sent several books for the troops -- they were greatly appreciated!  I hope they are still being passed around Kandahar Airbase!

I am reading The Flame Bearer and find it another great story!

I read that what you are currently is not Uhtred's next adventure.  Can you give us a hint where you are taking us to next?

 

Merry Christmas

Scott Evans

A

I’m still finding out for myself – something different. I won’t risk bad fortune by saying just what it is!


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Q

What happened to the estate Uhtred was given by Alfred? There is no mention of if it in further books. I would have expected an income from it and from Dunholm when he took over it, so I was surprised when in the latest book you said he was short of money again.

Colin Rowland

 

A

He’ll survive!  I’ll have to think about that estate . . . I have a feeling he lost it (but how and why I’m not yet sure)


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

I am a (relative) neighbor of yours, living in Summerville, SC.  I have LOVED reading your Saxon series!  My ancestors came to America in the 1700's and my surname is of Scottish origin.  Following is a possible lineage.

 

The progenitor of the Irish family of Fordyce, from which descend all the Fordyce's of Washington and Greene Co.'s Pa. was one

 

  1. Hugh Fordyce b. in Drumasole Co. Antrim, Ireland, in 1527. marrying July 3, 1552, Mary Conyngham, of Kilbirnie, Co. Ayr, Scotland, daughter of Patrick Conyngham, of that ilk and this would tend to indicate that Hugh, himself, or his father, had come from Scotland, presumably from Ayrshire. What his father's name was we do not know, as yet. (Conyngham Coll. 69) Children: Mary, Sarah, Martin of whom presently, Hugh, John.

 

Hopefully, you are still reading...  because this is where I would like to make a request.  There still remains a Fordyce Castle near Aberdeen, not too far from your Bebbanburg.  Maybe you can insert a Fordyce into your chronicles (as a hero of course), just sayin', ha.  Maybe Uhtred could have run into some Fordyce's in his travels around the northern parts of Scotland, what do you think???  I don't think this would fall into the category of suggesting plotlines or some other irregularity, so think about it a bit...

 

I hope to start on the Sharpe series soon, as I really enjoy the historical novels and your storytelling is getting to be addictive!!

 

Happy New Year and best to you,

Christopher Fordyce

A

I’ll bear it in mind . . . I suspect the surname emerged long after Uhtred’s time? But I will try to work a Fordyce in somewhere, some place!


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Hi

I have read and enjoyed the entire Uhtred series (but don't like the series Last Kingdom - doesn't follow the book, or make as much sense). But, in the early books Hrothweard is an enemy of Uhtred, and in Flame Bearer Uhtred has never heard of him. He seems like the same character but now is an archbishop.

 

Thanks for some terrific stories,

Les

A

They were different characters – the name wasn’t uncommon.


Q

First and foremost I have truly enjoyed this entire series....I read in a few months what took you years to create. I recently finished book 10 and can't wait for Uhtred to continue his journey. I've truly never enjoyed a series or a book as much as this from the first page until the last. Just wanted to say job well done and ask when the next one will be released?

TY Chad

 

Will there be future books of Uhtred?

Linda O'Connell

 

Hi Mr Cornwell,

Having read a lot of books from the Templars era, plus "les rois maudits", Robyn Young's Brethen and Scotland trilogy, I then got my hands on your 1356 book!  I was then hooked.  I got myself all the Last kingdom books of the series at that time (last year) (9 books - one shot).  I am now reading The flame Bearer and I am anxious to know if there will be a 11th book.  Your Uhtred story is marvelous...I had a lot of pleasure reading your work and I thank you for that.

François Beaulieu

 

Just to let you know how much enjoyment your books bring to me whenever I read one as i find them difficult to shut once opened.  I was just wondering how long we will have to wait for your next novel in the series?  Many thanks always a brilliant read.

David Allanson

 

So I finished book 10, The Flame Bearer, just before bed last night.  I was amazed I was able to immediately fall asleep despite my elevated heart rate from the excitement of the book.  One observation - for some reason I almost loathed Uhtred for slaughtering his cousin.  But that feeling didn't last long.

Clearly there will be a book 11 of this series. Any idea when?

Best wishes!

Tom Keyser

A

There will be more to Uhtred's story....stay tuned!


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Dear Mr. Cornwell,

finished the "Flame Bearer" a few weeks ago. First time in english, i am not native english speaking. Fantastic was Uhtreds "inner monologue" about warriors. Must read it loud to my son. The peak part of the story, great!

 

Besides: Aethelflead calls someone the "bishop of York"? Never heard of York in that story. Where or what ist it? :-)

: Ulrich Noll

A

That should have been Eoferwic or Jorvik . . . .

 


Q

Loved your Flame Bearer and all others. Not a real fan of our civil War, however. You indicated decent from Uhtred. How was this determined? Using internet search engines like ancestry.com or inspecting UK source documents? What does "crapard"mean?

Bob Nearine

A

Crapaud? It’s the French for ‘toad’ and the nickname the British gave to their French enemies. It’s been suggested that the fleur de lys on the French flag looks like a toad, or frog, seen from above, but I have no idea if that’s the real source.

I really don't know too much about my ancestors - the Uhtred of the books is invented (though there was a man by that name in that period).  What I know was discovered by a member of my birth family.  The surname is distinctive enough to make them quite easy to trace through a tangle of records.

 

 

 


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Hi Bernard,

My girlfriend and I had the immense pleasure to meet you in York a few months ago when you were interviewed and stayed to sign copies of your books to celebrate the release of The Flame Bearer. You won't remember us of course, but Zoë thanked you profusely for your creations and demanded, in the way women do, that you never let Uhtred die because she loves him. She really does, too. I made an off hand comment about my relationship being usurped by Uhtred and you laughed and also complemented her pagan hammer around her neck. Anyway, since then, it's been our running joke that the next book will have 'usurper' in the title. She'd be livid if you were influenced by me and not her; I'm just here to say, if you want to use 'usurper' in the title, it's ok by me! If not, just weaving the word alone in the book somewhere or other will put me 'one up' in our relationship for eternity. I'm sure you'll do the right thing! Keep up the brilliant work, it was great to meet you.

Ben G.

A

Usurper!  That’s good! It might well happen . . . . . maybe not the next Uhtred, but it will fit beautifully for another story I have in mind for him. Tell Zoe that Uhtred pines for her! And Happy Christmas!

 


Q

I love your Last Kingdom Series.. I see The Flame Bearer is out now and it appears it will be the last book, I will be purchasing it asap!  Will you continue with his son or with another character from the series?  Uhtred has become my absolute favorite character in literature and I am hoping you will provide a 2nd favorite. Reading the books makes me want to stand in the shield wall with Uhtred close enough to my enemies to smell their breathe and step in their shit after I kill them. It must be love if I would be willing to do that LOL.  Thank you so much for hours of entertainment!!

Shayne Bickford

 

Hello,

First of all, I absolutely love the Saxon Tales so thank you so much for all the research and everything else you did to make them as real and thought provoking as they are. I've read all of them several times and they often get me through hard times. I think everyone suffers from some form of depression or anxiety even if they don't realize it and I'm not exempt. I enjoy the audio books most of all as it seems to bring them to life and I can listen to them at work. Ok. I feel like I could go on about me and how much your books have effected me but I know you are a real person with a life and schedule and not the mythical figure I have in my head so I'll get to my question. I'll just get right to it and if you can't answer then I understand.

Is the Flame Bearer the last book in this series?

I'll buy the print copy when I can and if you answered this in an authors note at the end then I'll hopefully read it there. Thank you for the stories. May they last until Ragnarok.

Zach Reeb

 

I have just finished reading The Flame Bearer but was not sure if this was the last book in the series?  I was hoping it might cover Æthelstan's rule and the uniting of England. I think it's great that you are putting the spotlight on Æthelstan as he had nearly disappeared from history but seemed to achieve so much.

Simon White

 

Will you be writing another book on the Saxon Tale, I hope there is a another book, I will be disappointed, if it ends with this book. Your books are the best., and I enjoy them all.

Lea Croston

A

The Flame Bearer is not the last book of the series - there will be more to Uhtred's story.


Q

Dear Bernard,

I've come late to your books and especially enjoy the Saxon Tales with Uhtred of Bebbanburg which I've read three times up to the 8th book.  I'll be getting the 9th when I return to Maui.

The movement of the Saxons from Germany westward to Britain -- and then to North America is an intriguing thing to look at especially since we now seem to have an Apex Saxon as president.  There is much debate about immigration, but nothing is given, everything is taken...  In your books, the invader, first the Saxons in the Arthurian era and then the Danes in the Saxon tales have to fight for their right to party.

If you were to write a contemporary story of this latest “soft” invasion, from what position would your protagonist take?

Thanks — and I look forward to the continuation of the Saxon Tales even though I know they must end…

Best,

Malcolm

A

I wouldn’t know until I wrote it! And, I’m sorry, it’s a most unlikely subject for me!


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Hi Mr. Cornwell.

Here's a question that recently occurred to me: In the afterword to some of your Uhtred novels, you state that England stood in the balance during the Viking Invasions, and if Alfred had lost, it would have been Daneland and we in America would be speaking some form of Danish.  But a little more than a century later, William the Conqueror took over England and did away with the Saxon way of things.  Yet England remained, it did not become "Normanland" are we are not speaking some form of Norman-French today.  Why is it that the Danish/Norse conquest would have done away with England and the the Norman Conquest did not?

Alan Kempner

A

True, of course, but William’s conquest only replaced the thin upper layer of the English aristocracy, it wasn’t a folk movement of tribes and families.  The Danes came in huge numbers . . . not enough, as it turned out, but the two invasions were of quite different character.


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Dear Mr. Cornwell,

You're my favorite author and I've read most of your books (several times in some cases). I am greatly looking forward to Uhtred's next adventure. My question is are you entirely through with Richard Sharpe, or is there any chance of another tale at some point?

Leslie C Guilland

A

Oh, I think there's a chance...


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Hi again, Mr. Cornwell.

Whenever anyone asks you when you'll continue the Starbuck Chronicles, your standard answer in "I hope to get back to Starbuck one of these days."  I am thinking that the day when you put the capstone on Uhtred's story and finish the last book in his saga would be a good candidate for "one of these days" to pick up Nate's story again.  Do you agree?

Alan Kempner

 

A

Won't know until I get there!


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Hello Mr. Cornwell,

I was wondering how you create the scenarios and strategies that Uhtred utilizes to defeat his enemies.  Are you drawing upon tactics documented to have been used during the actual battles, or are you creating them yourself, or a mix of both?

Thanks, from a fan,

Brett

A

Mostly I make them up!


Q

Hello,

 

I'm a big fan of the Uhtred series, especially so the different take on many well known figures of the viking era. It's especially enjoyable at a time when interest in the tales of Ragnar and his sons is increasing again in the English speaking world.

 

Due to my own family history, I'm particularly interested in Ivar The Boneless - as I believe the MacLeods may have descendants of the historical Ivar's descendants, though it's sketchy whether the Ivar who invaded England and the Ivar who held fiefdom in part of Ireland were truly the same - and this brings me to Sigtrygg. The historical Sigtrygg was not only King of Dublin, but Ivarsson. In your series we've already met Ivar's son and grandson, but I don't recall any mention of Sigtrygg and his brother being related to them. Is their father another man named Ivar in this series, or is he a distant relation/descendant of Uhtred's old acquaintances?

 

Thank you for the hours of enjoyment spent reading these tales. I look forward to many more, and I intend to start on your other books soon.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Graeme McLeod

A

I tried to keep the relationships out of the novel, it just complicates amd doesn’t add to the story . . . and anyway, I fear my Sigtryggr has drifted too far from his historical roots. Mea culpa.


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In the first Uhtred book, he says meeting the girl Alfred slept with (called Merwenna) was very significant. Are we supposed to assume he got her pregnant? It's weird that he's only fathered 3 kids in all these years....

Cathy

A

Oh, he’s fathered a lot more, but I can’t include everything!

 


Q

Dear Bernard,

Firstly, a point of information. In all the chronological lists of the Sharpe series, Sharpe's Havoc is listed as after Sharpe's Eagle, which surely cannot be right. Havoc is Spring '09 and Eagle is July '09. Plus, Rifleman Pendleton was alive in Havoc and died at Talavera, ("only seventeen and so many pockets left to pick").

I also noticed a previous correspondent wondering why Sharpe never met any Polish Lancers. I noted your reply, but if you recall, Sharpe, or rather Major Kearsey, did meet Polish Lancers in Sharpe's Gold. Admittedly Sharpe didn't face them in the open field, but he certainly met them in the dead of night in the Spanish village.

The Flame Bearer, you will be pleased to note, was the top hard back seller in the UK as of a week ago, but what I find curious is that I have not seen one newspaper review of the book in the British papers. I wonder why that should be?

Keep up your wonderful work, Sir, and I look forwarded eagerly to your next offering. Much as I've loved Uhtred, I do hope it's a Sharpe.

Regards

John Hill

A

You're right!  Sharpe's Havoc does come before Sharpe's Eagle.  I think some earlier books may have the chronological listing incorrect but, hopefully! it's been corrected in more recent books.  And the correct listing of all my books by series can be found on this page:

www.bernardcornwell.net/books-by-bernardcornwell/

 

I’d forgotten, thank you!

 

They have limited space for book reviews and, quite sensibly, use it for what they think should interest their readers. A lot of books, a lot, never get reviewed and they may take the view that a new novel in an established series doesn’t need to be drawn to their readers’ attention?


Q

Would you consider interrupting the chronology of the Saxon stories in future novels, as per the Sharpe series?  While I am eager to see our hero reclaim his birthright at Bebbanburg, it would be refreshing to read about further adventures of younger Uhtred. Certainly there must be some gaps to fill in Saxon history that involve Uhtred and his impressive companions (Alfred, Pyrlig, Staepa....to name a few) during their prime.

Jeff

A

I won’t say it will never happen . . . but on the whole it’s not something I like doing. So that’s a definite maybe?


Q

Mr Cornwell,

Sir,  What a captivating author you are.

Loved the Sharpe books

But Uhtred is awesome,  best character ever. Did a 700mile round trip to Bebbenberg just to feel a part of this tape Just finished the flame   bearer. Brilliant.  Need more books to tell his tale,  can we expect some and if so when?

Thanks for so many hours of pleasure.

Dane

A

There will be more to Uhtred's story


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Hello Bernard,

I just wanted to say a big thank you for your books. Until seeing the TV version of The Last Kingdom I had read very little fiction and certainly never any historical fiction. Well I wanted to find out more about Uhtred and have just finished the 9th book in the series and along the way have taken on board The grail quest and books on Arthur. A question just occurred to me out of the blue. I'm sending it to you with tongue in cheek - will you in a future book be revealing how Uhtred at a late age in his life found the energy, time, space, ink, parchment and facility to write so much about himself and stash the said writings away to be found so well preserved then published?!

 

Thanks again, very best wishes

Yano

A

It’s possible . . . I have thought about that!


Q

I was just wondering how familiar you are with your family connection to Bamburgh Castle? I know I had in the past read an article where you mentioned when your family's possession of the Castle ended, but I don't remember what it was. I have just today finished Marc Morris' excellent book "The Norman Conquest". At the beginning of the book he covers some of the events that lead up to the Conquest, including how Edward the Confessor came to be King of England. In this vein, he covers the story of Uhtred of House Bamburgh, also known as Uhtred the Bold, the final Anglo Saxon Earl of Northumbria and the murder of his son and usurpation of Bamburgh Castle by Siward Digri. I thought this little nugget fit perfectly in my current reading, as I am also rereading the Saxon Stories in anticipation of the American release of "Flame Bearer".  I was wondering if you knew where exactly your particular branch of the family fit into this snippet of time in history. It is highly interesting, and would make your familiy connection to the Saxon Stories, and especially to "The Last Kingdom" possibly much deeper than you might have thought as it could also make you a lineal descendant of not only the real Uhtred the Bold, but of Bjorn Ironside, son of Ragnar Lothbrok and brother of Ivar the Boneless, Halfdan, Sigrud Snake in the Eye and, of course, Ubba. I won't post the breakdown of my reasoning, as I have a few more questions and don't want to create an even larger wall of text than I had already planned on.

 

I have also began reading "The Plantagenets " by Dan Jones. I apologize if this a time period in history that you don't get to study much, as you haven't written about it, but if I understand the geneology of Henry the II correctly, is he the lineal descendant of not only Rollo of Normandy and William the Conqueror, but also a number of characters in the Saxon Stories like Alfred, and Edward, but also of Kings Duncan and Malcom of "Macbeth", thus making him an ancestor of the real Macbeth?

 

Lastly, when you orignially wrote "the Warlord Chronicles", did you already envision writing a series involving Alfred the Great? I only ask because Your description of him looking like a Preist or Clerk are almost identical to your descriptions of Cerdic. So I was wondering if the Saxon Stories were in your head when you wrote that, or if you just used your description of Cerdic as a basis for Alfred. Sorry for the wall of text, and I can't wait to read Flame Bearer.

 

Thanks,

Luke

A

I really don't know too much about my ancestors - the Uhtred of the books is invented (though there was a man by that name in that period).  What I know was discovered by a member of my birth family.  The surname is distinctive enough to make them quite easy to trance through a tangle of records.

 

I like that!  You can find much more about it in the late Richard Fletcher’s wonderful book Bloodfeud, Murder and Revenge in Anglo-Saxon England.

 

What a tangle!  I have no idea if the Plantagenets were related to Macbeth, but it’s a nice idea. I did do some research into the Scottish kings and was somewhat surprised to find that Macbeth ruled a long time and was well-regarded by the church! Not such a bad guy after all, but who knows?

 

No, I had no idea that I’d be writing about Alfred, so I suspect the similarity is either coincidence or a lack of imagination on my part.

 


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I was just wondering if you intentionally married Sigtryggr into Uhtred's family as a vein to allow him to pass freely to Bebbanburg, or if it is another hidden reference to previous characters in your books, as the real Sigtryggr would have been a Grandson of the real Ivar the Boneless?

Luke

A

No, it was just a whim!


Q

Dear Bernard (I start by calling you Bernard as we have known each other for so long)

I have just completed the latest part of Uhtred's tale and despite trying to take my time find myself bereft at completing the book in a few days, in the knowledge that I will  have to wait an eternity before taking up his story again.

I know your fans will, as children waiting for Santa to come, be asking you the same question, when will the next book be published?!!!

I the whole Last Kingdom Series on my bookshelf and will be reading them again once the series has come to its inevitable conclusion, when will this black day arrive?  Do you know how many more books there will be in the series?

Thank you very much for sharing your talent of leaving your readers unable to tell the difference between historical fact and fiction.

yours with thanks

Margaret

A

I don’t know! I’ll say at least four? But truly that’s a guess.


Q

Congratulations on a new epic installment of Uhtred! Forgive me if this is published elsewhere but are you doing any book signings or appearances in or around Charleston in the near future? I'm an elementary school teacher on Hilton Head Island and I always order your books from the UK and surprise my father when he comes down to visit with an "advance" copy. Many thanks for your time; my father and I thank you for our less than average bonding over Uhtred which never fails to confound the rest of our family.

Caroline Lane


Q

Hi Mr. Cornwell.

I'm your fan!

I want ask to you if there are some plans to write about War of the Roses? You're a genius and Uhtred's Saga is the best novel that I read. I was thinking if have you never thought to write about War of the Roses by vision of a character, like Uhtred or Derfel, who will live during this age, since Henry VI until coronation of Henry VII in the battle of  Battle of Bosworth Field.

Do you have some plans to War of the Roses?

Thanks!!

Lucas

A

I don't have plans for The War of the Roses.


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At the end if your most recent book you elude to the name Uhtred being present in modern day names- albeit derivations from the original form. What names, forename or surname, do you mean by this? I find the whole idea of historical names of people and places adapting and changing over time very interesting. I've spent time looking at how names in my own family have developed and changed over the last few generations and your comment intrigued me. Thank you

Mark Ford

A

The descendants of Uhtred now spell their name Oughtred


Q

Hi Bernard,

I have very much enjoyed reading, as they have been published, the entire Last Kingdom series. The work of researching each book must have been immense. The fun then to launch Uhtred into the gaps in knowledge has created a brilliant series. So I am very much a fan.

My question is p27 of The Flame Bearer Uhtred is reminiscing about a childhood trip to Lindisfarne and recollects being shown a valuable book written in Latin. Surely this would have been a celtic Christian manuscript and written in contemporary English. I saw a year or two ago a book from the Lindsfarne gospels, which to my surprise was written in English. I was told that pre romaninised celtic Christian church operated in English. It was only after the diet of Whitby 900 ish if my memory serves me right, that the celtic church gave way to Rome and Latinised. Northumbria at this stage would have been influenced by celtic and not Roman Christianity.

I'm I right or getting confused. I await your answer with some curiosity and will continue to be intrigued and entertained by Uhtred's progress towards retaking Babbenbergh. Thanks for hours of intriguing reading.

Regards

Phil Hanson,

A

I imagine they’d have had texts in both languages . .


Q

Hi Mr. Cornwell.

I finished Flame Bearer and I'm very happy with the end, by Uhtred. One question that can look irrelevant, but, Uhtred said that give Durham to Sihtric, he became earl of Durham?

Other thing, will be some mention to any bastard son of Ragnar the younger? It's said that he and Brida hadn't sons, but he has a lot of bastards. And Uhtred's bastard? Would you have plans to mention them in a future book?

Thanks!!

Tony Smith

A

He became King of Northumbria . . isn’t that enough?

I honestly don’t know! It’s possible!


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Dear Mr Cornwell

First off I just wanted to say I am a huge fan.  Sharpe,  Starbuck, Uhtred and Arthur feel like old friends I can pick back up time after time.

I was just re-reading Harlequin and noticed a continuity error that it throws up in 1356. At the beginning of the book you describe how Thomas makes his bow in wonderful detail and also how he makes his arrows.  In 1356, the scarcity of arrows is a constant plot point and you reference how all the archers know how to make a bow but not the arrows.

Just wondering if you had noticed?

Kind regards,

Charlie Baxter

A

Thomas can make arrows, not every archer could, and certainly not in the quantity needed for a campaign. Thomas made his own arrows for hunting, not for war.

 


Q

Hello, Bernard,

Met you at Canterbury last week, had pic taken with you and my son before the 'show', which was most entertaining! I've been looking at a phenomenal book called British Monarchs by Mike Ashley. He gives all the family trees of the English royal houses, and according to Chart 32, an Earl Uhtred of Northumbria was married to Elgiva, daughter of Ethelred the Unready - they had a daughter called Edith, but no mention of sons. Is it possible that somehow, through this union, (if the chart is accurate), that you are directly descended from Alfred the Great? Of course, you may already be aware of this 'connection'!

Regards,

Mick

A

Indirectly, I was born on the wrong side of the blanket. Alfred would disapprove.


Q

Hi Bernard,

I recently came to see you give your talk at York! I absolutely loved it, meeting you was great! You mentioned in your talk that you're currently writing another book at the minute, is this the next  Uhtred book? I adore Uhtred, I just wish he was real haha. I'm pleased that you have around another 4 Uhtred books in mind.

Zoe Edwards

A

It’s not!  I’ll probably write that next year.


Q

Dear Bernard,

Thanks for your books, which have entertained and educated me enormously. I've never been on this site and I'm very impressed - how do you possibly find time to write all the replies to questions?

I'm going to sound like a smartarse, but Uhtred could not have ridden through a wood of oaks and sycamores because sycamores were not in Britain then.

All the best,

Pete

A

You’re absolutely right about the American sycamore ( a plane tree), which makes it puzzling that the word occurs in the 14th Century. A mystery! I have no answer.

 


Q

Dear Bernard,

having read almost all your books has made me an addict and I can't wait for the next book to be published. So at first: Thank you for your books!

Before you read on: YES, I have read and understood your guidelines and I herewith give up any right in any Idea or right I could possibly have.

After reading the Uhtred series I got interested in the questions of when and why the Saxons and Angles left their home in the north of Germany (since I live near to that area) and started the settlement / conquer of Britain. While reading about this I stumbled about Horsa and Hengist as Saxon tribal Leaders and the Finnburh fragment. That time lies rather nebulous with not many historic facts to be known. That on the other hand can give freedom to an author to develop a story. I thought, this could offer a good frame for a prequel of the Uhtred series.

I will not continue in order to not further interfere with your guidelines.

To make my point clear: I do not plan to sue you. I just want some new compelling stuff to read.

I would be glad, when you give a thought to the idea.

Yours sincerely,

Markus Hudalla

A

I always think of the three Arthur books as the prequel – probably the only one I’ll write! But thank you for the suggestion.


Q

Dear Mr.  Bernard Cornwell

The trouble with your books is, they are impossible to put down!  I've just read "The Flame Bearer" .....However it appears from the Epilogue that, that is not the end of the saga.  Or am I jumping to conclusions?

But, isn't it about time the American Civil War drew to a close?  It didn't take anywhere near as long as it took Alfred and his children to unite all the Saxon speaking peoples of this island under one Christian king.

Phil White

 

well just finished reading Flame Bearer ....I think there was hints of further quests for Uhtred and his family { hopefully] .love all your books keep writing and please find time to include Thomas Hookton in your thoughts

thanks

Paul

 

I have just finished reading The Flame Bearer - magical story telling and writing, thank you!  I feel somewhat bereft now, however, I notice that in your note at the back you hint that Uhtred's story may not yet be finished. Can I hope that this is not the last we will read of Uhtred?

Ann

 

Hi,

I have devoured the Flame Bearer in a day and as always I'm left breathless with admiration, it doesn't get any better than that this whole series has been amazingly great.

Two questions

Is this the end for Uhtred?

I have read that you enjoy the Shardlake series of novels, as do I, any plans for a bit of crime in your future?

Mike Davidson

 

A

Uhtred's story is not finished....


Q

Hey Bernard!

My name is Mark Wilder. I'm 22 and was wondering something about writing:

1) How long does it take you (on average) to write one of Uhtred's adventures?

2) How many drafts do you typically go through?

Thank you!

Mark

A

Most books take around 6 months to write.  Drafts?  I usually write maybe 20% of a book, then start again, get to 40% and start again, and so on.  I am constantly revising, so there aren't really distinct drafts.


Q

Hi Bernard.

I have avidly followed the story of Uhtred from the beginning and at last finally made it to visit Bamburgh/Bebbanburg. I know the fortress of your imagination may not be exactly that of the original Saxon stronghold (underneath the current buildings of course) but I was not able to fully reconcile some of your descriptions. In short, did you imagine the "Lower Gate" was located at the north of the outcrop ( where the Saxon "St.Oswald's" gate is believed to be) or on the southern section where the current main Gate is? I know you describe characters approaching the Lower Gate from the south but in my minds eye the various descriptions given of entering the Fortress best suit a northern entry.

Oh dear! I have just read that back to myself and it does sound a bit pedantic. I hope you forgive me if it does!!

I also notice you are coming to York. In an earlier comment to your website I recommended the book on Viking Age Yorkshire  by Matthew Townend. I just wondered if you ever managed to look it up.

Paul Stein

A

A northern entry? There appears to have been one at some point, but remember that in Saxon times the northern side was bordered by an inlet of the sea and the western side (where the playing fields are now) was a harbour!  The southern entry was always the main one

 

Thank you for that . . . I will look it up!


Q

I just finished Warriors of the Storm, having read all of your other books as well.

Great reads!

Your observations of Christianity are new. I recall Uhtred thinking of how the priests talk to the dead....something like that. Also, the "nailed god".

Where did these concepts come from?

David Slagle

A

Well, the concept of talking to the dead is Uhtred’s take on praying to saints. As for the nailed God – think Crucifix!

 


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Having read your books out of sequence, I knew that at some point Uhtred and Atheflaed connected as lovers even though she was just a child when they first met.  Although their bond plays a key role in several books, you seem to have downplayed intentionally the time at which they connected. (Burning Land)  I wondered why.  I'm not asking about having some major sex scene (that's not your style) but the connection is so subtle one could almost miss it. And it's never addressed in any way, just treated as if it had always been there and nothing out of the ordinary.  Yet it was a huge change and had significant consequence, and risks, for both them.

Rosemary

A

To be honest I don’t remember writing about their getting together . . . I’m sure you’re right, mea culpa then.

 


Q

Recently had the honour and privilege of a tiny involvement in the filming of "The Last Kingdom" (second series) and its going to be awesome! My question to you is, in the same way Sean Bean actually became Richard Sharpe in your mind when you wrote(Ive heard you intimate that, I'm sure), has Alex become Uhtred in the same way?

David M

A

Not to the same extent!  The factor here being that Alexander (whose portrait of Uhtred is splendid!) is young in the TV series and I'm writing a much older Uhtred.

 

 

 


Q

I want to start by saying i am a huge fan of your work and routinely check for updates. I would tell you my favorite book of yours but it is impossible to compare them, they are all great in their own way. Be it Sharpe, Uhtred, or Nathaniel, you have always been able to make a truly inspiring main character. I've found myself wanting to be them, or mirror their lifestyles. The sheer pride, strength and stubborness you instill in them is amazing. Few authors have made me read till my head hurts as many times as your books have.

I have a few questions for you. What are you favorite books? Who are a few of your favorite Authors, and which ones inspired you to write the way you did? Lastly, can you convince sean bean to change his name to richard sharpe, it seems more fitting.

Thanks for reading my letter Mr. Cornwell. Please keep writing for as long as you can. Its bad enough that there will not be more Sharpe adventures, i cant imagine a world without new Cornwell books.

 

Sincerly,

Your biggest fan, Eric.

A

I read a vast amount of history (non-fiction).  I like good mysteries and detective novels - Ian Rankin, John Sandford, PD James, Dennis Lehane.  I could go on and on and on...I'm a HUGE fan of Stuart McBride who writes Scottish noir tales - police procedurals - but with enormous wit and a very dark imagination...there are many others I enjoy as well!

 

 

 

 


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Q

hi Bernard,

firstly, thank you so much for writing the last kingdom series.  i saw the tv series, loved it, and immediately began reading it from the beginning.  secondly, thank you for being not only an incredible story-teller, but also an extremely prolific one!  i listen to audiobooks too and am listening to sharpe's tiger and it's great.  so my question is in regards to sword song when uhtred is retaking london from siegfred (sp) and erik, and he takes the 2 ships through the gap in london bridge.  my understanding from the map is that the portion of london east of the bridge was fortified by the enemy?  or was it the west side?  it sounds like uhtred is rowing west to east towards the estuary, which would have been in the direction of the river's flow.  but then the location of ludd's gate doesn't make sense unless they were rowing against the river at high tide going east to west.  i think it must be the latter, right?  and the water level was lower west of the bridge because of high tide?  thank you for the clarification!  also, was there ever a gap or did you make that up?

 

sincerely,

Sarah

A

I’m confused too. At slack tide the bridge was passable, does that help?


Q

I absolutely love your novels.  Uhtred must be one of my favorite characters of all time.  In Death of Kings, Uhtred thinks that while he is not fond of Christianity, he is fond of many Christians.  He mentions the most important Christians in his life; Alfred, Aethelflaed, Father Beocca, etc.  I could not help but notice he fails to mention Finan.  While Finan certainly does not rise to the status of Alfred, he is Uthred's most trusted friend, warrior, and adviser.  Was this an unintentional oversight, or does Finan not hold a special place in Uhtred's circle?

Mo Wark

A

Finan is the most important man in Uhtred’s life and I don’t think Uhtred particularly thinks of him as a Christian – I mean he is, but he’s not pious.


Q

Dear Mr. Bernard Cornwell:

When is the second installment of the television series The Last Kingdom going to be shown in the United States?  I have read all of your books about Uhtred of Bebbanburg  and enjoy them very much.

Thank you for responding.

Sincerely,

Ms. Susan M. Grady

A

We don't have a date yet, but I suspect it will be in the early Spring.  In the meantime, you can get a 'behind the scenes' peek at the filming of this tv series by going to the videos on the homepage of this website.  Enjoy!


Q

Hi,

I'm in the middle of re-reading the last Uhtred novel in preparation for the next one, i'ts released 1 day after my birthday i'm so excited.

My question is, what's next? I would love another Uhtred, another Sharpe would be amazing, could it be another Starbuck? You did hint a couple of years ago about an Elizabethan story.

Also I've recently read short stories by Patrick O'Brien and CS Forrester do you have any lying around you could release?

Mike

A

I'm thinking about the next book....haven't made up my mind yet.

I do have three short story books available - Sharpe's Skirmish, Sharpe's Christmas and Sharpe's Story.

Go here for more information about the short story books:  http://www.bernardcornwell.net/series/short-stories/


Q

Could you explain where you found the phrase  Uhtred uses, and what it translates to in English. I know it is something to do with his belief in fate, which can not be changed or foreseen. I am unable to correctly type the phrase, this is the best I can do.

Wyrd biò ful ãræd.

Lorraine Dent-Magnusson

A

It comes from an Old English poem, 'The Wanderer', which is a very beautiful and rather sad, and is the thoughts of an exile wandering the earth.  It is usually translated as 'fate is relentless' but I prefer inexorable.  If you can find a copy then you'll find the quote at line 5.

 

 


Q

Morning,

First, I'd like to thank you for the truly excellent Saxon Series.  I've read all and each is just great.  I find myself connecting with the Uhtred character.  Starting over again with the series to capture more of what I first read.  Question  - you portray Alfred as very clever but totally captured by his priests and Christian doctrine.  Also, he is portrayed as not being the warrior type (thin, no interest in violence) and much afflicted by digestive system problems.  Is there real evidence of this?

Larry Gerfen

A

The evidence is from Bishop Asser’s life of Alfred which depicts him as a sickly, pious scholar, but also a man of extraordinary intelligence. I’m just assuming that a man suffering from a chronic disease (probably Crohn’s) was not also a fearsome warrior. I might be wrong, but the guess seems reasonable to me.

 


Q

Hi again, Mr. Cornwell.

I get the impression from reading the Uhtred novels that the Vikings never really made any significant inroads into Scotland, certainly not to be compared with their successes in Northumbria, East Anglia and Mercia.  Why was this?  Did they not think that the Scottish countryside was worth the effort?  Or were the Scots so tough that they mostly focused their efforts down south?

Alan Kempner

A

They made inroads where there was good arable land, but that, of course, is a scarcity in much of Scotland. They more or less took all the outlying islands, though those were used more as bases for their ships which were used for fishing and what we’d call piracy. Their real ambition was the best agricultural land that could sustain large settlements and those, as you say, were further south. But certainly they were a huge nuisance to the Scots, but eventually, as in England, married into the indigenous population and so ‘melted’ away.

 


Q

Hi, Bernard!

I've recently had the pleasure of reading some of your books. I've most recently finished The Fort and will be running out as soon as I have my next paycheck to purchase Redcoat. I was wondering if you have any plans of paying another visit to the American Revolution? There are a number of fascinating episodes that would surely benefit from your style - the siege of Quebec or the Illinois Campaign come to mind.

I've also greatly enjoyed the Uhtred of Bebbanburg series, and I'm eagerly anticipating the next installment of that series. Thanks so much for penning such wonderful stories!

Warmest Regards,

Shane Majszak

Montana

A

I'm not sure I'll revisit the American Revolution - it's possible....we'll have to wait and see!


Q

Hello Mr Cornwell,

I have been a fan of your books since 1987 when I first found Sharpe's Eagle in a local newsagent,and you are obviously a man who loves and studies history.I have read and heard your comments about King Alfred being acclaimed The Great by common consent of historians,and how you would include Elizabeth 1 in the same category and would like to know why? A ruling monarch has three prime expectations from their subjects,to make a marriage of state for the benefit of the kingdom at large,to beget an heir, ten if possible and to defend the realm from all aggressors.I know she never married or had any children,and from what I have read it seems we would all be speaking Spanish if Drake and Raleigh didn't take it on themselves to attack the armada,please correct me about that if I am wrong because we don't learn english history in Australia.I probably sound like a smartarse,but am not trying to be, I really want to understand why the English love ER1 so much,because I just don't get it.I have read all your books and watched all the tv productions of Sharpe and Uhtred (even have a complete first edition of Sharpes series) and really want to hear your thoughts on Elizabeth. Thanks for listening and look forward to a reply,

regards

Mark

A

Well, there is no formal list of qualifications, let alone a commission, to establish that honorific. It’s a matter of opinion, and you know mine. Certainly Elizabeth failed to provide an heir, but by the same token, she managed to avoid the dynastic squabbles the would have followed, say, a marriage to the Count of Anjou, or the domestic strife if she had chosen an English husband. Besides, there was an heir! James of Scotland. If James had been Catholic then that would have been a problem, but he was a Protestant which was probably the most important factor in Elizabeth’s eyes. And, trust me, she made sure England’s defences were ready for the various Spanish assaults (there was more than one Armada, and Drake and Raleigh did not just ‘take it on themselves’ – they were part of a rebuilt English fleet). I admire her intelligence, her diplomacy, her patience, and the fact that she held England together despite the enormous religious strains imposed by the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, something that her successors were notably unable to do. As I said, there are no rules. I just like the woman!

 


Q

I cant tell you how much I have enjoyed your novels, especially about Uhtred of Bebbenburg and Thomas of Hookton! Have read all this spring and summer and on my way to the library to start the Arthur series. I had two questions but one has been answered on your site about Uhtred. Guess I will have to wait a while. Second will there be more about Thomas? Haven't gotten to the Sharpe series. Thank you for all your good work.

Richard Brown

A

I'm not planning another book for Thomas now....


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Q

I am currently enjoying Warriors of Storm and already I am extremely pleased to hear another book is soon to come. Within the book Uhtred rides out on his new tall black horse Tintrig (sorry I am guessing at the spelling as it is an audio book).  Uhtred states it means torment. Several times in previous books translations are mentioned and I was wondering what the source is for these words and meanings. In my opinion it is these small tidbits of history which make the series such a great read.  Thank you for writing so many great reads and I would like to know a little more about the languages for the name of the horse.

Kind regards,

Jay

 

A

I use an Anglo-Saxon to modern English dictionary! There are several available!


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Q

Dear Bernard

You have mentioned that Sharpe became Sean Bean in your mind when writing the character after Sean was cast in the role, as such I was wondering if the same has happened with Uhtred. When writing future books featuring Uhtred do you now picture the actor who portrays Uhtred in the TV series when writing the books? Great books.

Thanks

Phil

A

Not to the same extent!  The factor here being that Alexander (whose portrait of Uhtred is splendid!) is young in the TV series and I’m writing a much older Uhtred.

 


Q

Not sure if my last e-mail ever made it through, but would like to say how much I enjoy your historical fiction.  Though I have always been an avid reader, in the last few years I've discovered audio books, which is how I have become familiar with your writings.  I particularly enjoy your stories of Uhtred of Bebbanburg (please forgive my spelling if incorrect).  I am curious as to why Uhtred is sometimes Uhtred of Bebbanburg, while other times he is Uhtred of Bamburgh.  What is the historical significance of the two titles, and which is the more appropriate?

I am currently listening to 1356 which obviously takes place well after Uhtred's time.  Could you explain what started the 100 Year's War, and why England felt it had the right to press the war in France?  Also, why did the Gascons side with the English?

Having some English ancestry (as well as French, Russian, and Polish), I am fascinated by the many eras in English history (albeit rather violent that they may have been).  I am also perplexed by how many monarchs reigned over England, how they came to power, and in so very many cases how tragically brief their reigns were.  Given the high propensity for being either killed in battle, deposed from head of state, and/or the potential for being beheaded, why would any of them ever want the crown?   I've searched the internet to discover that England has had at least 63 monarchs (Kings, Queens, & Regents) over roughly 1500 years starting with the Saxon King Egbert.  Yet no King Arthur.  Was Arthur purely fictional?  If there was a real Arthur, where in the timeline would he have fit?  And with that in mind, have you any plans on writing about the first king of England, and what led to his crowning.  I would find that quite fascinating.

I am also very interested in the War of the Roses, as many of your readers are, and wonder if you will tackle that era someday.  Finally, since one my favorite movies is Braveheart, could you enlighten your readers more on the real life on Longshanks?  Given his long reign, could he have been as cruel and vicious as Mel Gibson had him portrayed in the movie?

David Gilbert

A

I have no idea?  It's Bebbanburg in the books so I can only assume the reader/producer of the audiobooks prefers Bamburgh?

 

The Kings of England claimed to be the rightful kings of France! Simple as that! And Gascony owed loyalty to England (feudal obligation) and feared being overrun by the French.

 

I suspect that Arthur existed, but doubt he was ever a king . . . though that’s a topic too long to deal with here. He would have been active at the beginning of the 6th Century, after the Romans have left and while the Saxon invasion of Britain is still under way. Why would anyone want the crown? Why would anyone want to be president? Or CEO? Or any position of power? Because power is an aphrodisiac and because men crave power!

 

I’m afraid I’ve never seen the movie, so can’t comment on how accurate the portrayal is. But Edward Longshanks is an alpha male in a brutal mediaeval society so I don’t suppose he was particularly meek and mild.

 

 


Q

Iceland vs. England….. Clearly Alfred would mourn the upset. But where would Uhtred's loyalties have been?

Richard Reich

 

A

Uhtred never had a fondness for the over-pampered, arrogant, spoiled and privileged. He would have taken great satisfaction from the result.


Q

Dear Mr. Cornwell,

Not since Harry Potter have I been so restless in waiting for a novel to release. I have, for a long time, wanted to visit England for its history and historical places. I am traveling to England in September and have decided to follow the trails of Uhtred instead of the well worn tourist path. While I am preparing my list from the 9 books so far, can I ask for your recommendation of places one should not miss when on Uhtred's Trails?  Also can I bother you to tell me exact location you had in mind and if they still exist from my below list?

I will go to the castle of Bamburgh, Cannington Hills,  Bratton Castle. I am not sure where, if any, of the plaques / castles / monuments related to Alfred the Great, by extension of our beloved Uhtred, are present in York, Benfleet, Durham, London and Tettenhall?

Hope you could spare a few minutes and guide me in the right direction.

Regards

Dwarakesh

 

A

Bamburgh for sure! And don’t forget Winchester (Alfred’s capital), and I’d certainly visit Edington (Ethandun) in Wiltshire. Durham (Dunholm), of course, is well worth a visit. But many of the places have changed beyond all recognition – Benfleet has its charms, but it’s almost impossible to trace the Saxon past thanks to urban sprawl. Wareham, in Dorset, has the only remaining Saxon ramparts in England - to be honest they’re not much to look at, but Wareham itself is a charming town and well worth a visit! York still has its mediaeval walls and, of course, a fine museum about the Viking occupation. Chester is also splendid, though again there’s little remaining of the Saxon town. That will take you to every corner of the kingdom!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell,

I am new 2 your books me Dad put me on to you. But your novels r the best things iv ever read!!! I love Uthred and was wondering if when his saga is complete there's one in a similar style with Harold Godwinson in the role over Alfred about the lead up and aftermath og the 1066 invasion. You are the ONLY Man who could do that fact based fiction story and I would love to read your story of that period. I understand your legal bit but if I could id pay you to write it 4real! !!!. Anyways ur the best author on earth far as I'm concerned. Thank you for so many hours with with Uhtred ,Thomas of Hooton, Derfel Nick Hook and of course Sharpe. Keep on writing and again Thank You u should b Knighted or something.

Danny Bruce

A

Thank you!  Not sure I'll get to Godwinson....


Q

Just FYI: the July/August 2016 issue of Archaeology Magazine had an article on the ongoing excavations at Bamburgh, aka Bebbanburgh, aka Subject title above. I'm sure you've been there, so you probably know more about it than the article. It did mention a Viking sacking in 993, will that be part of the Uhtred saga?

Peter Hansen

A

Uhtred won’t live that long, sorry!


Q

Hi Mr. Cornwell,

I just wanted to let you know, as I am sure many thousands have before me, that you are a terrific author and have provided me with many hours of true enjoyment and education.  Your ability to write is truly amazing and a gift and I hope and pray that you have many more books in the future.

Just for giggles, who is your favorite character of those you've invented?  I'm very partial to Sharpe with Uhtred a close second, Derfel third and your bowman, Thomas of Hookton fourth.

Thanks again for doing what you do!

Jeff

A

I have many favourites!  Sharpe, Uhted, Derfel and Ceinwyn from the Arthurian trilogy.  Aethelflaed, and Lady Grace from Sharpe's Trafalgar, and, of course, the wondrous Obadiah Hakeswill.

 

 

 


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell ,

I would just like to start by saying "thank you" for igniting my passion of reading again, it has been quite a while.

The tales of Uhtred & his mate Finan have truly been enjoyable...  what started as buying your book 'The Last Kingdom' with a voucher that work had given me at Yule last year has me waiting now for my order from Book Depository of Warrior Chronicles as I wait for you to add the finishing touches & a prowl to 'Flame Bearer'

I would have to say that my three favourite Uhtred moments are, on the shores of the Humber river I believe it was where Steapa freed him & Finan from slavery,  the time Finan gave Uhtred the upper hand hugely by walking out of Bebbanburg's smithy with Uhtred's Uncle, his cousins wife & their son!  and the time Stiorra killed the priest

Anyway back to Subject matter, I really liked how you weaved in Uhtred Jnr & his old man meeting in that Pub... I thought it was really clever how you did that & I was wondering if you ever thought about doing that with Stiorra & her husband, Uhtred is getting older now & I just don't see that it will be him that brushes shoulders with King Dunmail in a shield wall.

Keep up the good work & thanks again from Seaford, Australia

Kindest regards,

Scott

 

A

Thank you – I’ll do my best to surprise you again!


Q

Oh my Mr Cornwell

just what have you done? Not since i was in a school environment have i read a book but now i find myself reading one of yours per week. I am forced to admit that i am entirely hooked as i follow Uhtred around our wonderful land. I am fortunate to have visited and lived in so many of the areas mentioned and somehow this extends the enjoyment as my imagination links in to the knowledge of such places. My question to you is this, I find your index of old and new place names so helpful and have been using your maps additionally as we work around the  Country. Would it be at all possible to add a pronunciation guide in a third column? I struggle so much with not only the place names but some of the characters names also. I thank you for your time and even more i thank you for starting a blaze for reading that would rival any hall burning!

Kindest regards

Simon

A

We’ll think about it . . . .


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Q

Mr Cornwell,

In The Pale Horseman, a British priest mentions the Sillans to Uhtred. I can find no reference to these islands anywhere. Were these islands mythical or real? If they are real, what are they called now?

Thank you for taking time out to answer this question.

Darryl Mears

A

The Isles of Scilly, off the coast of Cornwall . . . worth visiting!


Q

Have you considered writing about Derfel's life after Excalibur?

Big fan love Uhtred and Derfel.

Andrew Davidson

A

No, I have no plans to add to Derfel's story.


Q

Dear Sir,

I have recently come to your Last Kingdom series after first watching it on TV. I have now finished book 7 and have just obtained the Kindle versions of books 8 and 9. I noticed a pre-order for book 10 and wondered whether this will be the last in the series? Uhtred is getting older and deserves some rest, though I have had great pleasure (and more to come) from reading of his exploits. I also love the way you tie in the novel to actual historical events which, although enhanced with fictional detail, greatly adds to the overall enjoyment. I will certainly be exploring other of your books. What a fantastic read!

Alan Wilson

A

It is NOT the last book!


Q

I was watching an online auction of coins recently when an item caught my attention:

Description: 1136-1145 AD. BMC type i. Obv: profile bust with sceptre with +STE[ ] legend. Rev: cross moline and fleurs with [+V]H[TR]ED:ON:EOF[ ] legend for the moneyer Uhtred at York mint. Found Kent, UK

So could it be that even after the Norman invasion Uhtred's descendants kept the name and had the status of being in charge of the mint at York?

Below is a link to the coin which I thought might interest you

http://www.invaluable.com/catalog/viewLot.cfm?lotRef=CC84FF9937

I am so pleased that there will be another chapter to Uhtred's story and can't wait for  the next book to be published.

Thank you

Ann

 

A

Thank you for that! I didn’t know of it, but it doesn’t surprise me . . . when the family lost Bebbanburg (through treachery) in 1016 they moved to Yorkshire, where a branch still lives. They became county gentry – one fought at Crecy, another was a royal chaplain and is buried in the Minster, so it’s altogether likely that a 12th Century Uhtred was master of the mint in York.

 


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell

I know I run the risk of being a gushing sycophant, but I love your Last Kingdom series.

I come from the Wirral and so especially look out for Chester , the Dee and the Mersey.

Your description of the weather (good or bad) is so atmospheric do you come to England to get a refresher course in what it's really like or is it done from memory?

The same question really about the long boats; have you been out on one or is this from your imagination?

I went to Roskilde in Denmark where they make amazing replicas (and have a fabulous museum) I had a go at rowing which was back breaking; an odd technique where they suggest you almost throw yourself backwards. You clearly share Uhtred's love of the sea.

Looking forward to your next book.

Many thanks

Shelagh

PS Could I try and twist your arm  to write about the Godwinson clan, providing you change the course of history and the 'right' side wins at Hastings.

A

I do take a refresher course in  English weather a couple of times a year . . . and yes, years ago (too long to contemplate) I was handling an oar on a replica Viking longship – on the River Blackwater in Essex. And you’rte right – Roskilde is wonderful! These days I prefer something much more comfortable – a cruising yacht, with engine!

You can try, but I doubt it will ever happen, sorry!


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

i have just about finished the last of the series.  will there be anymore books following Warriors of the Storm?

I have enjoyed these books very much.

Eric Anderson

 

When will the next book be out please?  Can't wait.

Sheila Weston

 

Will there be a book 10? I very much hope so I love this series.

Thank you

Colleen

 

Just completed Warriors of the Storm and Uhtred has not reclaimed Bebbanburg yet.Can I look forward to future novels that will give me the rest of Uhtred's story? Can you tell me possibly when?  I have enjoyed all nine.

Michelle Johnson

 

Sir,

First of all, and I'll keep it short, thank you so much for your work. Your writing has provided me with entertainment, inspiration and joy that I would not trade for anything. I thought nothing could beat Hornblower until I picked up Sharpe! Many years of good health to you sir!

As for my question: I see you mention "The Flame Bearer" in a previous question, and can find no reference to this phrase anywhere else. Is this the title of Book 10? In any case I can't wait for it! I am always making excuses not to read your new books; I finish them so fast, I hate not having any more to look forward to!

Neil

A

The next book will be called The Flame Bearer and will be published in the UK in October and in the US in November.


Q

Mr. Cornwell,

I'm a very picky reader and I've only recently discovered your books. I'm up to date on Uhtred, and just finished Sharpe's Trafalger. Needless to say, I'm hooked. You're singlehandedly responsible for hours of my reading pleasure and Wikipedia binges.

Are there any other topics you'd enjoy writing about? On this Memorial Day Weekend in Massachusetts, the courage and perseverance of the vacationer in Cape Cod traffic seems fitting, as does the resolve of the Cape Cod local preparing for the annual invasion.

Jon in Massachusetts

A

There are many topics!  I hope to live long enough to write many of them - but Cape Cod traffic is definitely NOT on the list!


Q

Dear Mr Cornwell

While reading the warrior chronicles I've noticed how sometimes Uhtred reminds me of Derfel, the Arthur's warrior whose best years were behind him and could do nothing but remember the times when he charged shield walls. I found this interesting, specially because (and this is merely a reader's opinion, which is worth next to nothing) I wouldn't think of you as that kind of person but also because Sharpe was much more fortunate, rather spending the rest of his life with his french lover. Was there something in their stories that made Sharpe worthy of it, or am I over thinking it?

 

A second question: the nordic polytheism is generally described as mostly tolerant and its society more open and equal. It has been referred that polytheist religious tended to be less prone to radicalism and more acceptive, but I would like to know if we know for a fact the Dane society really was much more tolerant and developed in a "social" sense than the christian, or we simply have it exaggerated in the books in order to grow fond of the character who is telling the tale (I've noticed some people like to dwell into your relation with religion in your books but I assure you that is not my intention: my question has only to do with it being a writing artifice or not).

Thank you for your time, keep up the good work!

Joao

Surrey, England

A

Uhtred hasn’t reached the end! Not yet! Sharpe’s story was curtailed by history, and Uhtred’s really isn’t. I plan to take the series as far as the Battle of Brunanburh, but in truth the wars went on long after that. Still, I suspect it won’t be all blood and slaughter for Uhtred!

 

There’s a good deal of evidence that polytheistic societies tend to be more tolerant of others’ religions than monotheistic societies, but I’m not sure that really applies to the Norse religion. Yes, they were polytheistic, but their gods all belonged in the same pantheon. It certainly seems true that in societies which hosted numerous religions that folk learned tolerance, until along came a strident sect which insisted that their one god was the only one. That’s when tempers get lost and people start stoking fires. On the whole the Norse religions were fatalistic rather than prescriptive; they don’t tell people how to behave, or define sins. They also didn’t offer eternal life to everyone, which was a clever selling point for Christianity. You might say, being kind, that Christianity was pro-active. You don’t read of missionaries spreading the gospel of Thor. In the end, as we’re learning to our cost now, a religion which claims to have a monopoly of the truth and demonizes all who disagree with it, is a dangerous, murderous and unhappy phenomenon.


Q

Hi Bernard,

Many years ago I had the pleasure of meeting you at a talk by yourself about your latest book at the time Sharpe's Prey. this was in Gloucester.

Having consumed all of the Warrior Chronicles i wonder whether this was where Gloucester first featured in your thoughts and did it create the spark for Uhtred.

I look forward to the launch of the next chapter in October.

I also cherish my Autographed copy of Prey graciously dedicated to myself.

Thank You

Mike

A

I’m afraid not! The spark for Uhtred came from meeting my natural father, something I didn’t achieve until I was in my 50’s. I then discovered that his surname was Oughtred and that the family was descended from, guess who? But I did enjoy Gloucester! Thank you

 

 


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Hi Mr. Cornwell.

I saw that you was a Edmund Burke admirer, and you are a specialist in middle age and anglo saxon period. Do you already had curiosity to search about ancient families, in your searches to write? Do you discovery something about Burke Family? I'm your fan since ever, Love The Last Kingdom Series, Sharpes's Series and Arthurian Novel. I asked that because my surname is Burke and I know that is a ancient Surname, but I don't know nothing about that. They had Anglo-Saxon origin?

I'm anxious to next Uhtred's Book!

Thanks by attention!

More one time, I'm your fan and love your stories

Lucas Burke

A

Edmund Burke was Irish, but it seems (my only source is Wikipedia) that the family was descended from one of the Normans who settled in Ireland – the name being de Burgh. So no, not Anglo Saxon!

 


Q

Hi Mr. Cornwell.

I'm Fan of Saxon Stories!

And I thought in a theory. In some questions you answer that Uhtred has a lot of bastards, and in other was asked if one of them would appear and you said that probably. Well, reading The Empty Throne and Warriors of Storms, I thought: There are some possibility of Berg be Uhtred's Bastard son? I know that it can look ridiculous, but I was thinking in all of these, and in Empty Throne he saying that Berg remember Uhtred (his legitimate son), and in others opportunities the own Uhtred said that wanting trick the enemies.

Well, there are some possibility about this crazy theory?

Your Fan, Lucas

A

Not Berg! His family connections (which have been very lightly sketched) will prove crucial in a future book. But yes, there is a strong possibilities with others!

 


Q

Dear Sir,

I am reading your Saxon Warrior series for the 3rd time and have noticed a discrepancy in how England is used.  The first several books it is England but subsequent books it is Englaland.  Was there a reason for the change?

Also on page 287 of the The Last Kingdom in Uhtred's fight with Ubba, it states Ubba's "left food slid sideways."

Thank you though for all the great novels.  I have enjoyed them immensely.

Good day.

Ange

A

Carelessness, probably.

That typo was caught, but unfortunately not in time!


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Q

Hi Mr. Cornwell,

I've decided to re-read the Saxon Tales of Uhtred, and am looking forward to the next instalment of his adventures. I am curious to know if you intend to continue the tale up to the reign of Cnut the Great? Or perhaps up to the Norman Invasion of England in 1066? Cheers,

Michael

A

Uhtred's tale will continue....how far?  We'll have to wait and see!


Q

Hi I enjoyed your series of books thank you. Is there a further book after book 9 which tells the ongoing story of his return to his home and reclaiming his birthright?

Peter James

 

Can you please let me know how soon a follow up to Warriors of the Storm may  be published? As a 90 year old English man I realise my time may be limited, and as I have a full up to date list of your 'Lord Uhtred books  I am keen to see what may be the final conclusion to this saga. (and thank you for the pleasure I have gained from your pen.

Tom Brady

 

I am just buying THE EMPTY THRONE and WARRIORS OF THE STORM, (having read the other 7 books). Does the series end here or will there be a book 10 ?

Many thanks for any info.

Thought the TV series covering the first two books was brilliant!

I hope the next books in the series will be filmed too.

Best Regards

Philip Mudd

 

When do you expect to release book 10 in the series?  I look forward to Uhtred reclaiming Bebbananburg.

I've been a fan of your for years and have enjoyed THE SHARPE SERIES,  THE STARBUCK CHRONICLES and The Fort.

Dick Davison

 

I have just seen on Amazon that this book will be published in UK on 6 Oct.  Have you any idea what title has been chosen for it?

David Coote

A

Book 10 of The Last Kingdom series will be called The Flame Bearer.  It will be published in the UK in October and in the US in November.  Hope to have an excerpt of the book on this website soon!


Q

Is there a sequel planned for Scoundrel? Enjoyed that book along with the Uhtred Series. Thank you for so many hours of reading pleasure

Tim Gunning

A

I am not planning a sequel, but I'm glad to know you enjoyed the book!


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Q

When is Lord Uhtred going to be the King of Babbanburg?  I've read the first four books already, but he's still not there yet.

Love your style of writing as evidenced in Lord Uhtred.   You can consider me one of your loyal readers as well.  You, Wilbur Smith, Jeffrey Archer, and now Ben Kane are my favorite British authors as I learned so much from the historical based novels you and your colleagues written.   Hope you keep yourself healthy and have a long life on Cape Cod.  Thank you so much, Sir.

Web Peboontom

A

Hope you'll keep reading!


Q

Hello Sir,

I'm  a big fan of The Last Kingdom.  My wife calls your books my crack cocaine as I am an addict,  currently in withdrawal waiting for book 10! So, over the course of reading the series and various shield wall encounters I wondered  whether a variation of Hannibal's Cannae tactics would work for Uhtred in one of his tight spots against a superior force given his fascination for the Romans and how such a mighty empire could fall? I am thinking that as the two walls meet if the middle block deliberately fell back to give the appearance of a break and creating a gap to draw the attackers into. Once drawn in the attackers could be surrounded on 3 flanks and decimated.  It would take some practice and coordination to execute and perhaps placement of the stronger fighters in the flanking areas instead of the front row and might only work once! Perhaps useful against the swine head when the enemy are expected to penetrate - let them over penetrate and flank them? Anyway one for Uhtred to keep up his sleeve and please for the sake of my wife, daughter and cat, keep cooking up the regular doses of Uhtred for me :-)

Thanks & best regards,

Al

A

Your battle tactics have been passed on to Uhtred. He points out that for the tactic to work his shield wall has to be longer than the enemy’s, so why not just wrap round them without the centre falling back? He faces a similar situation in The Flame Bearer, only he’s the one to be outflanked, so he chooses to do something else.