Bernard Cornwell Books

Bernard Cornwell is a prolific English author, who primarily specialises in historical fiction. His most successful series of books were based around English rifleman Richard Sharp, with the books being adapted into the successful television series Sharp, which was shown on ITV.

Order of Richard Sharpe Series

Order of Starbuck Chronicles Series

# Read Title Published
1 Rebel 1993
2 Copperhead 1994
3 Battle Flag 1995
4 The Bloody Ground 1996

Order of Warlord Chronicles / The Arthur Series

# Read Title Published
1 The Winter King 1995
2 Enemy of God 1996
3 Excalibur 1997

Order of Grail Quest Series

# Read Title Published
1 The Archer's Tale 2000
2 Harlequin 2000
3 Vagabond 2002
4 Heretic 2003
5 1356 2012

Order of The Saxon Stories Series

Order of Bernard Cornwell Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published
1 Sea Lord 1989
2 Gallows Thief 2001
3 Azincourt 2008

Order of Bernard Cornwell Non-Fiction Books

# Read Title Published
1 A Dorset Rifleman 1995
2 Stonehenge 1999
3 Sharpe's Story 2007
4 Waterloo 2015
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Bernard Cornwell has a hyphenated nationality in virtue of his British and American citizenships. Cornwell, who is a septuagenarian, was born in February 1944 and his birthplace is London upon England. Cornwell’s father and mother were of Canadian and English origin, respectively, though he was later on adopted by an Essex family.

Bernard Cornwell was born in London in 1944 to a Canadian father and an English mother. However, Cornwell was adopted at a young age by the Wiggins family, who lived in Thundersley, Essex. After leaving the Wiggins family, a young Bernard Wiggins changed his name to Bernard Cornwell, which was his mother’s maiden name.

After finishing his studies, Cornwell, became a teacher, before moving into television, where his main area of expertise was current affairs. He made his way through the ranks at the BBC, becoming BBC Northern Ireland’s current affairs department. He then joined Thames Television, before moving to the United States at the age of 35 after marrying an American. It was then that Cornwell turned his hand to writing, as he needed to support his family while living in the United States, because he was not able to get a work permit during his stay there.

At this time, Bernard Cornwell started his most famous series, the Sharp series of books, starting with Sharpe’s Edge and Sharpe’s Gold. His first effort was picked up by an American publisher and he was signed to a three book deal, which included Sharpe’s Gold as well as Sharpe’s Edge. The final book of the three-book deal was Sharpe’s Company. Although the main Sharpe series has ended, Cornwell still adds to the series from time to time with ‘missing’ adventure’s from Sharpe’s time in the army.

Away from the Sharpe series, Cornwell has also created several other characters which have brought him commercial and critical success. The Warlord Chronicles is a set of three books which are set in Cornwell’s own version of Britain after the Roman forces had left. His Grail Quest series, as the name would suggest, focused on Thomas of Hookton and The Harlequin on their search for the Holy Grail. And Cornwell’s other series, known as the Saxon series, as the title suggests again, focus on England at the time of Alfred the Great in the mid-to-late-800s.

Of course, there is far more to Bernard Cornwell’s books than these series, but Cornwell has gained most of his acclaim for his in-depth and well detailed series, bringing them all to a conclusion, for the most part. However, he does also write standalone books, with a lot of them set in present day, and featuring Cornwell’s favourite past-time of sailing. If you are a Bernard Cornwell fan, there are a lot of his books to keep you going for a long, long time.

Bernard Cornwell, who was influenced by English penman Cecil Scott Forester, has been an educator and editor; Cornwell also had a decade-long stint working for the BBC Television wherein he had a high-profile position. For his basic education, Cornwell schooled at the Somerset-based Monkton Combe School. Cornwell, whose niche is particularly historical fiction, is among the most notable alumni of St Mark & St John. He also attended London University wherein he pursued theology for his undergraduate studies; ironically, the religious study prompted him to become an atheist. Incidentally, Cornwell has co-authored series with his spouse.

Bernard Cornwell: Formative Years of Writing
Bernard Cornwell’s plunge into writing is more or less circumstantial. Cornwell was prompted to write by a romantic affair he had with his current American wife. When they met and fell for one another, they decided that Cornwell should immigrate to the US because family-related circumstances prevented his wife from doing migrating to his home country. Unfortunately for him, US authorities denied Cornwell the much-needed Green Card. The hassles connected with immigration prompted Cornwell to start writing– he wrote for one and a half years– for a living since it was among the few occupations that did not require a work permit from the US authorities.

Bernard Cornwell has penned many series of books, standalone novels, and non-fiction work too. Even then the Richard Sharpe series is among Cornwell’s most notable literary work. There are more than twenty books in the serialized Richard Sharpe; the books contained therein were, chronologically, published between 1988 and 2006.

Literally, the first book to be published in the Richard Sharpe series is put in the sixth position in the series. There are about 58 editions of the first non-canonical book in the Richard Sharpe series. The first edition was initially published in January 1997, titled Sharpe’s Tiger; and this book is shelved under the war novel, fiction (especially cultural and historical fiction sub-genres), literature (particularly English literature), action, and adventure genres.

Richard Sharpe is the featured main character in Bernard Cornwell’s series. Protagonist Richard Sharpe, who is modeled after a real-life one-time rugby player named Richard Sharpe, is an uneducated youthful private in the British Army. The turning point is British Army’s quest for fighting an Indian military officer named Tipu Sultan and his allied forces. Sharpe is mandated to pretend he is an army deserter, infiltrate Tipu’s stronghold, and contact an imprisoned undercover agent; should he flop, he will face up to Tipu’s hit squad or, worse still, be preyed on by dangerous tigers.

Bernard Cornwell Awards

In 1997, Bernard Cornwell was nominated for the British Fantasy Society Awards in the Best Novel category thanks to his book titled 1997 Excalibur. In 2009, Cornwell was nominated for the Sainsbury’s Popular Fiction Award, in the Best Book category, for his 2008 book named Azincourt. In 2012, Cornwell’s 2012 novel entitled 1356 made it to the shortlist of Specsavers National Book Awards, in the Popular Fiction of the Year category.

Bernard Cornwell Books into TV Shows

More than fifteen books in Bernard Cornwell’s Richard Sharpe series have since been adapted into a TV series, starring Sean Bean who appears as Richard Sharpe. There is a 2015 TV series called The Last Kingdom which is based on Richard Sharpe series, starring Alexander Dreymon who acts Uhtred of Bebbanburgh’s role.

Best Bernard Cornwell Books

The following are the best books authored by Bernard Cornwell. The first is the aforementioned Sharpe’s Tiger.

Sharpe’s Rifles: The second is Sharpe’s Rifles; set in 1809 Spain, it is the sixth book in the Richard Sharpe series wherein army commander Richard Sharpe is entrusted with the safety of a disheartened Napoleonic regiment.

Sharpe’s Triumph: The third is Sharpe’s Triumph. Set in 1803 India, it revolves around the times of Richard Sharpe, then a sergeant, after defecting and becoming a mercenary, prompting his archrival to hunt him down.

Other Book Series You May Like

Readers who liked the books authored by Bernard Cornwell also liked the following series of books. The first is called “Revolution” series, authored by Simon Scarrow; and the second is “Hornblower Saga” series, penned by C. S. Forester. These two are fictionalized accounts of the exploits of Napoleon’s Grande Armee. The third is named “Aubrey/Maturin” series, authored by Patrick O’Brien. Shelved as nautical fiction, this series encompasses military campaigns associated with the French Revolution and Napoleon.

Bernard Cornwell FAQ

Q: What nationality is Bernard Cornwell?

A: Bernard Cornwell was born in Britain, but has American citizenship. He has dual-nationality.

Q: Where was Bernard Cornwell born?

A: Bernard Cornwell was born in London, England in 1944.