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Bernard Cornwell

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Bernard Cornwell

Post by parthianbow » Thu September 22nd, 2011, 7:31 pm

2011 marks the 30th anniversary of the first Sharpe novel, Sharpe's Eagle. It's a testament to Cornwell's tremendous skill as a writer and appeal to readers that Sharpe, along with all Cornwell's other book series, is still going strong.

BC is in the UK all next week. He appears at Ely and Winchester Cathedrals, the IET in London, and History in the Court on the 29th! Be there or be square.

Because I'm a big fan of his, and because he unknowingly helped me on the road to becoming a full time writer, I wrote a piece about him on my site.
Ben Kane
Bestselling author of Roman military fiction.
Spartacus - UK release 19 Jan. 2012. US release June 2012.

Twitter: @benkaneauthor

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Post by annis » Thu September 22nd, 2011, 8:08 pm

Great article, Ben. I've been a Bernard Cornwell fan since the '80s as well, and I've read everything he's written, I think. I would say that his later Sharpe novels are clearly concessions to demand from fans as they are rather cursory. I think he's probably moved on :)

I really enjoy the Saxon Chronicles, and of course the backstory about how BC discovered his true parentage and found that he was a descendant of the original Uhtred who held Bebbanburg is also fascinating. This was his inspiration for starting the series. He also grew up in a village with Viking connections, so there was the double whammy. He says, "I grew up in a little village with a C13th church and a big standing stone in the churchyard which is much older than that. They call it the Devilstone and the village is called Thundersley, which is from Thor, the Norse god. We know that the Vikings were here and certainly the stone goes back to that period, if not older."
Thundersley was originally Thunresleam (Thor's Grove).

The strength of the historical adventure market in the UK I would say has to be attributed largely to Bernard Cornwell's success in the genre.
Last edited by annis on Thu September 22nd, 2011, 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by N. Gemini Sasson » Mon September 26th, 2011, 8:29 pm

Great tribute, Ben. I stumbled across my first BC book while on vacation in Scotland. One of the Grail Quest series. I'm anxiously awaiting the next Uhtred book and bummed I'll have to wait a bit longer for it to make its way across the pond - but some things are worth the wait.

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Post by RobeH » Sat October 15th, 2011, 8:39 pm

Perhaps I won't make myself popular here, but in my opinion Cornwell is hit and miss. The Arthur trilogy was brilliant, by far the best thing he's done, but I have problems with some of his other work.

I felt he was getting bored halfway through the Thomas of Hookton series, and the story of Hookton trying to find the Grail was just a distraction from the battle scenes. Azincourt was desperately repetitive - how many times did Sir John Cornwall say "B*stards"? - and Uhtred, after a bright start, is just dragging on and on and on. Is he really going to keep the series going until Uhtred drags himself onto the battlefield at Brunanburh, aged about 85, to win the day for Athelstan? I also get irritated by Uhtred's 'know-all' character, and how he seems to have all the answers all the time.

Rant over. Don't get me wrong, I do really like Cornwell's stuff, just feel that he lets himself down sometimes.

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Post by Ash » Sun February 5th, 2012, 4:56 pm

My husband is a huge fan of Cromwell and just finished his new book. He is now looking for other similar authors of the same calibur in terms of history, battles and plot. Any ideas?

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Post by TiciaRoma » Sun February 5th, 2012, 6:16 pm

[quote=""Ash""]My husband is a huge fan of Cromwell and just finished his new book. He is now looking for other similar authors of the same calibur in terms of history, battles and plot. Any ideas?[/quote]

Jack Whyte's Camolud series, starting with Skystone is great. Both my husband and my father read all of them and neither is much interested in the other HF I read.

"If you would tell me the heart of a man, tell me not what he reads but what he rereads." Nobel Laureate Francois Mauriac

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Post by Brenna » Sun February 5th, 2012, 8:22 pm

I loved Jack Whyte's series! Another series my dad liked of the same calibur is Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.

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