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Bernard Cornwell is the author of several historical novels and is most famous for the Sharpe series of books. The Sharpe series has 20 novels and concentrates on the life and career of a (fictional) officer in the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century. The books start chronologically with Sharpe's Tiger, set in India in 1799, and finish with Sharpe's Devil, set in 1821, although the first book to be written was Sharpe's Eagle. Bernard Cornwell began writing because he met and married an American woman who would not move to England, so he moved to America. His green card was refused, so he blithely told her he would become a novelist.
- "The American Government, in its Simmerson-like wisdom, refused me a work permit, so I airily told Judy that I would support us by writing books. Sharpe had to succeed if that irresponsible promise was to be kept."
Relationship with Fans
Bernard Cornwell has, like some other Age of Sail authors, referred to other writers' characters in his own works (notably the character of Rifleman Dodd, from CS Forester's book Death to the French). He has a positive relationship with his fans, and says of fanfics, "I think they're splendid! I don't read them much (not enough time), but from time to time I see them - it's a great tribute!"
- From the author's introduction to Sharpe's Eagle; HarperCollins' British paperback edition of 1994
- Your Questions: Fanfic, May 2004