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Bernard Cornwell - Author

About the Author

Born in Essex in 1944 Bernard Cornwell was adopted at the age of six weeks by two members of a strict fundamentalist sect called the Peculiar People. He grew up in a household that forbade alcohol, cigarettes, dances, television, conventional medicine and toy guns. Not surprisingly, he developed a fascination for military adventure. As a teenager he devoured CS Forester’s Hornblower novels and tried to enlist three times. Poor eyesight put paid to his dream, instead he went to university to read theology. On graduating, he became a teacher, then joined BBC’s Nationwide, working his way up the ladder to become head of current affairs at BBC Northern Ireland, then editor of Thames News. In 1979, his life changed when he fell in love with an American.

"Judy couldn’t live here, so I gave up my job and moved to the US. I couldn’t get a green card, and for 18 months the only thing I could do was write novels." The result was his first book about 19th century hero, Richard Sharpe, Sharpe’s Eagle.

In addition to the hugely successful Sharpe novels, Bernard Cornwell is the author of the Starbuck Chronicles, the Warlord trilogy, the Grail Quest series, the Alfred series and standalone battle books Azincourt and The Fort.

Bernard Cornwell owns houses in Cape Cod and Florida and two boats. Every year he takes two months off from his writing and spends most of his time on his 24 foot Cornish crabber, Royalist.

Featured books by Bernard Cornwell

Fools and Mortals

Fools and Mortals

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/04/2018

`With all the vivid history that is his trademark, Bernard Cornwell transports the readers to the playhouses, backstreets and palaces of Shakespeare's London with added depth and compassion' Philippa Gregory In the heart of Elizabethan England, young Richard Shakespeare dreams of a glittering career in the London playhouses, dominated by his older brother, William. But as a penniless actor with a silver tongue, Richard's onetime gratitude begins to sour, as does his family loyalty. So it is that Richard falls under suspicion when a priceless manuscript goes missing, forcing him into a high-stakes game of duplicity and betrayal, and through the darkest alleyways of the city. In this richly portrayed tour de force, Fools and Mortals takes you among the streets and palaces, scandals and rivalries, and lets you stand side-by-side with the men and women of Bernard Cornwell's masterful Elizabethan London.

ebook of the month
The Flame Bearer

The Flame Bearer

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/04/2017

From the day it was stolen from me I had dreamed of recapturing Bebbanburg. The great fort was built on a rock that was almost an island, it was massive, it could only be approached on land by a single narrow track - and it was mine. Britain is in a state of uneasy peace. Northumbria's Viking ruler, Sigtryggr, and Mercia's Saxon Queen Aethelflaed have agreed a truce. And so England's greatest warrior, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, at last has the chance to take back the home his traitorous uncle stole from him so many years ago - and which his scheming cousin still occupies. But fate is inexorable and the enemies Uhtred has made and the oaths he has sworn combine to distract him from his dream of recapturing Bebbanburg. New enemies enter into the fight for England's kingdoms: the redoubtable Constantin of Scotland seizes an opportunity for conquest and leads his armies south.

ebook of the month
Waterloo The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles

Waterloo The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/05/2015

'Some battles change nothing. Waterloo changed almost everything.' On the 18th June, 1815 the armies of France, Britain and Prussia descended upon a quiet valley south of Brussels. In the previous three days the French army had beaten the British at Quatre-Bras and the Prussians at Ligny. The Allies were in retreat. The blood-soaked battle of Waterloo would become a landmark in European history, to be examined over and again, not least because until the evening of the 18th, the French army was close to prevailing on the battlefield. Now, brought to life by the celebrated novelist Bernard Cornwell, this is the chronicle of the four days leading up to the actual battle and a thrilling hour-by-hour account of that fateful day. In his first work of non-fiction, Cornwell combines his storytelling skills with a meticulously researched history to give a riveting account of every dramatic moment, from Napoleon's escape from Elba to the smoke and gore of the battlefields. Through letters and diaries he also sheds new light on the private thoughts of Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington, as well as the ordinary officers and soldiers. Published to coincide with the bicentenary in 2015, Waterloo is a tense and gripping story of heroism and tragedy - and of the final battle that determined the fate of Europe.

The Empty Throne

The Empty Throne

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/04/2015

The new novel in Bernard Cornwell's number one bestselling series The Warrior Chronicles, on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg. In the battle for power, there can be only one ruler. England is fractured, torn apart more by internal fighting than the threat of Viking invasion. The ruler of Mercia is dying, leaving no legitimate heir. His wife is a formidable fighter and great leader, but no woman has ever ruled over an English kingdom. And she is without her strongest warrior and champion, Uhtred of Bebbanburg. So the scene is set for an explosive battle between elders and warriors for an empty throne. The vacant throne leaves a dangerous opportunity for the rival West Saxons to seize Mercia. But Edward of Wessex is distracted by the succession of his own throne, with two heirs claiming the right to be West Saxon king. And while the kingdoms are in disarray, the Vikings, this time coming from the west, will go on the rampage once more. The very future of England hangs in the balance. A hero is needed, a hero who can destroy the threat to Mercia, a hero who will ultimately decide the fate of a nation...

ebook of the month
The Empty Throne

The Empty Throne

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/10/2014

The new novel in Bernard Cornwell's number one bestselling series The Warrior Chronicles, on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg. The forces of Wessex and Mercia have united against the Danes, but instability and the threat of Viking raids still hang heavy over Britain's kingdoms. For Aethelred, Lord of the Mercians, is dying, leaving no heir and the stage is set for rivals to fight for the throne. Uhtred of Bebbanburg, Mercia's greatest warrior, has always supported Athelflaed to be Mercia's next ruler, but will the aristocracy ever accept a woman as their leader? Even one who is Aethelred's widow and sister to the king of Wessex? As the Mercians squabble and the West Saxons try to annex their country, new enemies appear on the northern frontier. The Saxons desperately need strong leadership, but instead they are fighting for an empty throne and threatening to undo the unity and strength they have fought so hard to achieve. Bernard Cornwell's new novel is an outstanding tale of a country torn apart by invasions and dynastic strife, from a master storyteller.

ebook of the month
Harlequin

Harlequin

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/05/2009

A 2012 World Book Night selection. In the fourteenth century the English were just beginning to discover their national identity, and one of the strongest elements of this was the overwhelming success in battle of the English bowmen. England's archers crossed the Channel to lay a country to waste. Thomas of Hookton was one of those archers. When his village is sacked by French raiders, he escapes from his father's ambition to become a wild youth who delights in the opportunities which war offers -- for fighting, for revenge and for friendship. But Thomas is hounded by his conscience. He has made a promise to God to retrieve a relic stolen in the raid from Hookton's church. The search for the relic leads him into a world where lovers become enemies, enemies become friends and always, somewhere beyond the horizon that is smeared with the smoke of fires set by the rampaging English army, a terrible enemy awaits him. That enemy would harness the power of Christendom's greatest relic -- the grail itself. In this, the first book of a new series, Thomas begins the quest that will lead him through the fields of France, until at last the two armies face each other on a hillside near the village of Crecy.

ebook of the month

Other books by Bernard Cornwell

Sharpe's Sword: The Salamanca Campaign, June and July 1812 (The Sharpe Series, Book 14)

Sharpe's Sword: The Salamanca Campaign, June and July 1812 (The Sharpe Series, Book 14)

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: eBook Release Date: 25/09/2014

Richard Sharpe, who alone can recognise the top French spy, is under orders to capture him alive.Richard Sharpe is once again at war. But this time his enemy is just one man - the ruthless Colonel Leroux. Sharpe's mission is to safeguard El Mirador, a spy whose network of agents is vital to British victory.Sharpe is forced into a new world of political and military intrigue. And in unfamiliar surroundings of aristocratic Spanish society, his only guide is La Marquesa - a woman with her own secrets to conceal...Soldier, hero, rogue - Sharpe is the man you always want on your side. Born in poverty, he joined the army to escape jail and climbed the ranks by sheer brutal courage. He knows no other family than the regiment of the 95th Rifles whose green jacket he proudly wears.

Sharpe's Company: The Siege of Badajoz, January to April 1812 (The Sharpe Series, Book 13)

Sharpe's Company: The Siege of Badajoz, January to April 1812 (The Sharpe Series, Book 13)

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: eBook Release Date: 25/09/2014

Captain Richard Sharpe has to lead the attack on the terrible fortress.It is a hard winter. For Richard Sharpe it is the worst he can remember. He has lost command to a man who could buy the promotion Sharpe covets. His oldest enemy, the ruthless and indestructible Hakeswill, joins the regiment and he is a man with a mission to ruin Sharpe.But Sharpe is determined to change his luck. The only way - a desperate choice - is to volunteer the Forlorn Hope, to lead the attack on the impregnable fortress town of Badajoz, a road to almost certain death or, just possibly, to heroic glory.Soldier, hero, rogue - Sharpe is the man you always want on your side. Born in poverty, he joined the army to escape jail and climbed the ranks by sheer brutal courage. He knows no other family than the regiment of the 95th Rifles whose green jacket he proudly wears.

Saxon Tales Collection: Books #5-8

Saxon Tales Collection: Books #5-8

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: eBook Release Date: 16/09/2014

A collection of the fifth through eighth installments of Bernard Cornwells bestselling series chronicling the epic saga of the making of England, "e;like Game of Thrones, but real"e; (The Observer, London)the basis forThe Last Kingdom, the hit television series.This ebook collection includesThe Burning Land,Death of Kings,The Pagan Lord, andThe Empty Throne.

Sharpe Collection: Books #16-18

Sharpe Collection: Books #16-18

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: eBook Release Date: 16/09/2014

Waterloo

Waterloo

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: eBook Release Date: 11/09/2014

The Sunday Times Number 1 Bestseller `A fabulous story, superbly told ... cannot be bettered' Max Hastings `Some battles change nothing. Waterloo changed almost everything.' On the 18th June 1815 the armies of France, Britain and Prussia descended upon a quiet valley south of Brussels. In the previous three days the French army had beaten the British at Quatre-Bras and the Prussians at Ligny. The Allies were in retreat. The blood-soaked battle of Waterloo would become a landmark in European history, to be examined over and again, not least because until the evening of the 18th, the French army was close to prevailing on the battlefield. Now, brought to life by the celebrated novelist Bernard Cornwell, this is the chronicle of the four days leading up to the actual battle and a thrilling hour-by-hour account of that fateful day. In his first work of non-fiction, Cornwell combines his storytelling skills with a meticulously researched history to give a riveting account of every dramatic moment, from Napoleon's escape from Elba to the smoke and gore of the battlefields. Through letters and diaries he also sheds new light on the private thoughts of Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington, as well as the ordinary officers and soldiers. Published to coincide with the bicentenary in 2015, Waterloo is a tense and gripping story of heroism and tragedy - and of the final battle that determined the fate of Europe.

Waterloo The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles

Waterloo The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 11/09/2014

The Sunday Times Number 1 Bestseller `A fabulous story, superbly told ... cannot be bettered' Max Hastings `Some battles change nothing. Waterloo changed almost everything.' On the 18th June 1815 the armies of France, Britain and Prussia descended upon a quiet valley south of Brussels. In the previous three days the French army had beaten the British at Quatre-Bras and the Prussians at Ligny. The Allies were in retreat. The blood-soaked battle of Waterloo would become a landmark in European history, to be examined over and again, not least because until the evening of the 18th, the French army was close to prevailing on the battlefield. Now, brought to life by the celebrated novelist Bernard Cornwell, this is the chronicle of the four days leading up to the actual battle and a thrilling hour-by-hour account of that fateful day. In his first work of non-fiction, Cornwell combines his storytelling skills with a meticulously researched history to give a riveting account of every dramatic moment, from Napoleon's escape from Elba to the smoke and gore of the battlefields. Through letters and diaries he also sheds new light on the private thoughts of Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington, as well as the ordinary officers and soldiers. Published to coincide with the bicentenary in 2015, Waterloo is a tense and gripping story of heroism and tragedy - and of the final battle that determined the fate of Europe.

Crowning Mercy

Crowning Mercy

Author: Bernard Cornwell, Susannah Kells Format: eBook Release Date: 28/08/2014

In a country at war, a secret inheritance reveals a dark conspiracy ... On a sunlit afternoon in seventeenth-century Dorset, a young girl falls in love with a stranger. But when her Puritan brother tries to force her into an unbearable marriage she flees, taking with her only the gift left to her by her unknown father, a gold pendant sealed by an engraving of an axe, and the words: St Matthew. One of four intricately wrought seals - each holding a secret within - it can, when combined with the other three, bring great wealth and power. This power is her true inheritance - but it's a perilous legacy others will kill for ...

Fallen Angels

Fallen Angels

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: eBook Release Date: 28/08/2014

A lost legacy puts one of England's great families in mortal peril ...Lazen Castle, home to the much-envied Lazender family, is a house under siege. The heir is abroad, pursuing his own adventures, so the family estates fall under the control of his sister, Campion. Meanwhile, The Fallen Angels, a powerful and dangerous secret society in Europe, need the Lazender fortune to bring their rebellion to England.Surrounded by deceit, Campion draws ever closer to a subtle trap that has been laid for her, her only hope being Gypsy - her brother's aloof horse-master, whose loyalties have always been uncertain.In this powerful blend of passion, adventure and intrigue, the second chronicle of the great Lazender family comes to life.

Sharpe's Gold: The Destruction of Almeida, August 1810 (The Sharpe Series, Book 9)

Sharpe's Gold: The Destruction of Almeida, August 1810 (The Sharpe Series, Book 9)

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: eBook Release Date: 28/08/2014

Captain Sharpe's task is to recover from a feared guerilla leader the gold Wellington so desperately needs.The enemy he faces strikes terror into the hearts of all around -a renegade guerilla band whose leader has a particular loathing for Sharpe who has stolen his woman.Soldier, hero, rogue - Sharpe is the man you always want on your side. Born in poverty, he joined the army to escape jail and climbed the ranks by sheer brutal courage. He knows no other family than the regiment of the 95th Rifles whose green jacket he proudly wears.

Sharpe's Escape: The Bussaco Campaign, 1810 (The Sharpe Series, Book 10)

Sharpe's Escape: The Bussaco Campaign, 1810 (The Sharpe Series, Book 10)

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: eBook Release Date: 28/08/2014

Richard Sharpe, with enemies on every side, survives Marshall Massena's attack and ends at the lines of Torres Vedras.Sharpe's job as Captain of the Light Company is under threat and he has made a new enemy, a Portuguese criminal known as Ferragus. Discarded by his regiment, Sharpe wages a private war against Ferragus - a war fought through the burning, pillaged streets of Coimbra, Portugal's ancient university city.Sharpe's Escape begins on the great, gaunt ridge of Bussaco where a joint British and Portuguese army meets the overwhelming strength of Marshall Massena's crack troops. It finishes at Torres Vedras where the French hopes of occupying Portugal quickly die.Soldier, hero, rogue - Sharpe is the man you always want on your side. Born in poverty, he joined the army to escape jail and climbed the ranks by sheer brutal courage. He knows no other family than the regiment of the 95th Rifles whose green jacket he proudly wears.

Waterloo The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles

Waterloo The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/08/2014

The Sunday Times Number 1 Bestseller `A fabulous story, superbly told ... cannot be bettered' Max Hastings `Some battles change nothing. Waterloo changed almost everything.' On the 18th June 1815 the armies of France, Britain and Prussia descended upon a quiet valley south of Brussels. In the previous three days the French army had beaten the British at Quatre-Bras and the Prussians at Ligny. The Allies were in retreat. The blood-soaked battle of Waterloo would become a landmark in European history, to be examined over and again, not least because until the evening of the 18th, the French army was close to prevailing on the battlefield. Now, brought to life by the celebrated novelist Bernard Cornwell, this is the chronicle of the four days leading up to the actual battle and a thrilling hour-by-hour account of that fateful day. In his first work of non-fiction, Cornwell combines his storytelling skills with a meticulously researched history to give a riveting account of every dramatic moment, from Napoleon's escape from Elba to the smoke and gore of the battlefields. Through letters and diaries he also sheds new light on the private thoughts of Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington, as well as the ordinary officers and soldiers. Published to coincide with the bicentenary in 2015, Waterloo is a tense and gripping story of heroism and tragedy - and of the final battle that determined the fate of Europe.

Sharpe's Havoc: The Northern Portugal Campaign, Spring 1809 (The Sharpe Series, Book 7)

Sharpe's Havoc: The Northern Portugal Campaign, Spring 1809 (The Sharpe Series, Book 7)

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: eBook Release Date: 21/08/2014

A small British army is stranded when the French invade northern Portugal and Lieutenant Richard Sharpe meets the future Duke of Wellington.Sharpe is stranded behind enemy lines, but he has Patrick Harper, his riflemen and he has the assistance of a young, idealistic Portuguese officer.When he is joined by the future Duke of Wellington they immediately mount a counter-attack and Sharpe, having been the hunted, becomes the hunter once more. Amidst the wreckage of a defeated army, in the storm lashed hills of the Portuguese frontier, Sharpe takes his revenge.Soldier, hero, rogue - Sharpe is the man you always want on your side. Born in poverty, he joined the army to escape jail and climbed the ranks by sheer brutal courage. He knows no other family than the regiment of the 95th Rifles whose green jacket he proudly wears.

Saxon Tales Collection: Books #1-4

Saxon Tales Collection: Books #1-4

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: eBook Release Date: 12/08/2014

A collection of the first four installments of Bernard Cornwells bestselling series chronicling the epic saga of the making of England, like Game of Thrones, but real (The Observer, London)the basis for The Last Kingdom, the hit television series.This ebook collection includes The Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman, Lords of the North, and Sword Song.

Sharpe Collection: Books #12-15

Sharpe Collection: Books #12-15

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: eBook Release Date: 12/08/2014

Sharpe's Rifles: The French Invasion of Galicia, January 1809 (The Sharpe Series, Book 6)

Sharpe's Rifles: The French Invasion of Galicia, January 1809 (The Sharpe Series, Book 6)

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: eBook Release Date: 24/07/2014

Lieutenant Richard Sharpe and a detachment of riflemen join the assault of a strong French force holding the Holy City of Santiago de Compostela.Lieutenant Richard Sharpe and a detachment of Riflemen are cut off from the rest of the army and surrounded. Their only hope of escape is to accept the help of the Spanish, but this assistance comes at a price: to join the assault on the holy city of Santiago de Compostela, held by a strong French force. There is little Sharpe would enjoy more.Soldier, hero, rogue - Sharpe is the man you always want on your side. Born in poverty, he joined the army to escape jail and climbed the ranks by sheer brutal courage. He knows no other family than the regiment of the 95th Rifles whose green jacket he proudly wears.

Sharpe's Eagle: The Talavera Campaign, July 1809 (The Sharpe Series, Book 8)

Sharpe's Eagle: The Talavera Campaign, July 1809 (The Sharpe Series, Book 8)

Author: Bernard Cornwell Format: eBook Release Date: 24/07/2014

The newly promoted Captain Richard Sharpe clashes with an incompetent colonel, leads his men in the battle of Talavera and earns himself a dangerous enemy.As Sharpe leads his men in to battle, he knows he must fight for the honour of the regiment and his future career.Soldier, hero, rogue - Sharpe is the man you always want on your side. Born in poverty, he joined the army to escape jail and climbed the ranks by sheer brutal courage. He knows no other family than the regiment of the 95th Rifles whose green jacket he proudly wears.