Monday was Bernard Cornwell’s Birthday

Yep, I know it was Cornwell’s birthday ’cause he’s my friend on Facebook, and FB reminded me. No, I don’t know how old he is. We’re not that close. And since I don’t get on Facebook much, I missed the notice earlier, but today I saw it, and now I’m going to deal with a loose end.

I’ve got some audio books the BBC sent me in order to give them away. In particular, The Lords of the North as read by Richard Armitage.


This is one of the best reads by Richard Armitage, but I’m not sure it’s for everyone. Nah, you’ll like it if you’re an RA fan and especially if you’re nuts about his voice. You may also become a Bernward Cornwell fan. I speak from experience. Oh sure, I started off with a rabid need to have this book simply because Richard Armitage narrated it. About Cornwell I knew very little. And it was a helluva feat to track down my first copy of this book, and I spent — I’m not telling you how much money I spent to acquire my copy — a chunk. When I was done listening to it, I knew i had to read the first two books in Cornwell’s Warrior Chronicles aka Saxon Stories. Yep, that’s right LOTN is the third book in that series. I’ve now read six of the books, and Cornwell just published the eighth book, The Empty Throne.. I’ve gone on to read some of his Sharpe Series as well.

If you would like to win this audio book, just make a reply on this post between now and the end of the day on March 4th. Be sure to include your email address in the email field of the comment, and that way I can contact you if you win. Winner will be chosen randomly from the comments. I’ll announce the winner on Friday, March 6.

Please note: if you have never commented on this blog, your comment will be moderated, which means it may not show up immediately. As to the deadline, it will be the time you actually make the comment that counts toward it and not when it’s been approved to show up publicly in the comment section of the blog. Because I always like to give people every available opportunity, the deadline is the last possible time on March 4, 2015 which means midnight GMT-12 (aka Baker Island Time — a place about 3,000_ west of Hawaii; how much more fair can I make that? :D ) When you make your comment, you must include your email address in the email field. For your own privacy, please do not put it in the body of your comment. That is not necessary. Also, “Likes” are not the equivalent of a comment. They never have been, but I’m making that clear in this note. You must make an actual comment.

All of that aside, good luck!

Additional note: I also have a few extra copies of some of the Heyer audio books. I’ll give those away this year too.


  1. I already have the audiobook, so don’t enter me in the contest! But I also read the other books in the series after listening to RA’s narration, and really enjoyed them. Happened to start about the same time I became hooked on Vikings, so I had a lot of help visualizing the general setting. Probably never happen, but how I’d love if RA would go through and narrate the others… =)

  2. You and me both! I would love to hear him narrating the others!

  3. I have only heard the preview of this audiobook and I would love to hear the whole thing! The story is amazing and there is no one better to read it than Richard. I haven’t been disappointed by any of his other work and I can’t imagine that I would start now. :)

  4. I got a copy from the library to listen to and now I’ve requested The Last Kingdom as the next title for our staff book group. It is wonderful, I felt was actually there. Now I want to read them all.

  5. Love Cornwell’s Sharpe series and would love to own RA’S reading of Book 3 of LOTN. I’ve searched high and low for a retail version for some time so I can guess what you paid!!! PS: Bernard C. wished me happy birthday on my birthday last year. I was really chuffed! Cheers, Frenz.

  6. LOTN is the best of all RA’s audiobooks. I loved it so much that I had to buy all the books from the entire series .. and it’s funny how I seem to hear Richards voice as I’m reading them!
    I’ve just finished reading the 7th book in the series (The Pagan Lord) and am looking forward to purchasing the 8th book when it comes out in paperback in April
    Incidentally – I don’t live too far from the real Bebbanburg!!

    PS – I already have the audio book so don’t need to be entered – I just couldn’t resist commenting. Good luck xxx

  7. I have been collecting Bernard Cornwell for years. After I heard a sample of Richard Armitage reading Lords of the North,.I wanted to buy it, but could not find it. It seemed to disappear. Wouldn’t it be noce if he would do audiobooks.of.the others in the series?

  8. I also have a copy so I don’t need to enter. I agree that it would be so great if RA could narrate more from this series. I was hoping BBC would tap him for their upcoming TV series The Last Kingdom (the first of the Saxon stories) but alas, it’s already been cast. I have read all 8 of the books and the way The Empty Throne ends, the story absolutely needs to be continued. It took a lot of searching to find this audiobook but it was definitely worth it. It’s my favorite of all the books Richard has narrated. Whoever wins this copy will not be disappointed 😊

  9. Very cool! Would love to win such a hard find. :)

  10. I attended a talk BC gave for English Heritage at KIrby Hall Northampton it was brilliant. My OH was a WW2 re-enactor at the Armies through the ages events, we had some amazing weekends when our children were younger, a terrific way for children to be introduced to history. It’s a shame Audible couldn’t obtain the rights to reproduce LOTH I believe it is Richard’s greatest audio work.

  11. Thank you!!! Would love to read the series!

  12. I would love to win this, it is so hard to find right now. Thank you for doing this!

  13. I’m so excited to read this post and have a chance to win this super coveted and impossible to find audiobook! Thank you, Frenz! Currently, “Sylvester” is my favorite RA audiobook, but I have a feeling that I will really enjoy “The Lords of the North.” It combines two of my passions–RA and period literature!

  14. Ooh, I missed out on buying a copy before they stopped selling LotN, so thanks for the chance to win one!

    Listening to the Valentines Poems & crossing fingers & toes.. :)

  15. Just when I had sworn off commenting, you go and dangle that carrot!

  16. The Saxon Stories are on my “Must Read!” list (together with about 2,000 other books) but I think I could start with #3 of the series …

    Ok, ok, an audiobook doesn’t smell or feel like a real book, but maybe (just maybe) there’s still something to love about this one. ;-)

  17. I love all of RAs Audioworks but this one is truly amazing!!!
    Thx for doing this Frenzy :)

  18. I’d like to win! Audio books are my house cleaning day treat!

  19. Ooooh…I have all his audiobooks… BUT this one!

    I remember listening to Hamlet while baking Christmas cookies, and listening to Venetia while solving a giant 3000 piece jigsaw puzzle, and I remember falling asleep to Robin Hood. Not to mention the recent love poems, which I listen to on my way to work :D

    Hmmm, what will I be doing while listening to Lords of the North, I wonder?

  20. I have all Richard’s audio stuff and I really loved Hamlet but I think by far & away the best is LOTN. Absolutely brilliant. Thanks for a great blog Frenzy

  21. I live for his audiobooks! His narrations are wonderful.

  22. I live for his narrations! They are amazing.

  23. No home should be without this cd. Too bad it is no longer widely available.

  24. Reblogged this on mimicruzc and commented:
    awesome audiobook

  25. No one reads better than Richard … loved Hamlet and the Robin Hood books. I read Cornwell’s Stonehenge many years ago and absolutely loved it … have been meaning to start reading the Saxon Stories … I really love this period of history :-) This CD would be a wonderful to any RA library :-)

  26. This is so kind & generous of you Frenz to give away the Lords of the North audiobook read by Richard Armitage. I had tried to order it (before AudioGO went “into administration”) only to discover they could/would not ship it to a US address! I never understood why. I was going to investigate getting it shipped either to friends in Canada or the UK (but I didn’t get around to it right away) and then AudioGO goes under! (Seems like there’s this hex on getting RA stuff in the USA – no LOTN audiobooks and now no cinema screenings for The Crucible!!!…maybe this is a sign I need to move to another country! LOL)

  27. Would love to hear it.

  28. If what everyone says is true, than this must be the holy grail of RA audiobooks. I can’t find it anywhere on the planet.
    You lucky lady to have BBC give you this hard to find audiobook.

  29. This would be awesome to win. I might go into an RA Frenzy! But it’s okay, my doctor can give me medication to help.

  30. i always enjoy reading your blog about Richard Armitage. I also love his reading of the Heyer novels. She has been one of my favorite authors from way back.

  31. Would love to win a copy :). Should be an interesting read

  32. Too many nice things at once: RA ‘s voice, BC’s great writing, and a givewaway of the fabled (at least in the US) LotN? Is it April Fools’ Day already? My mom introduced me to Heyer years ago (RA reading it is icing on the cake!) … Come to think of it, first saw RA in Vicar of Dibley at her house (PBS). Wow! I need to be extra good to my mother! I know, I’ll let her listen to my copy if I win! (ha ha)

  33. I’m Bernard Cornwell fan and I have complete selection of books The Saxon Chronicles and I have audiobooks narrated by Richard Armitage, which I love. I would love to have The Lords of the North in the wonderful voice of Richard because I have the sample and I was enchanted to hear.Thanks for attencion..

  34. Hey, I am trying for some time to get my hands on this audiobook. Funny enough you can borrow it in some libraries here but none is close to me. I’ve always wanted to read the books as friends recommend them highly so having the chance to get a great way into it by having the wonderful voice of Richard Armitage reading it to me…what can one wish for?
    I became a godmother last year so a lot of my inspirations for stories and how to read them I am getting from Richard.

  35. Oooh, amazing, Frenz! Thanks for sharing :) :) Hope you are doing OK….

  36. Hey, Frenz! So I have been always curious about this audiobook. I, too, love RAs soothing voice. I find that is his most unique gift and the one that I enjoy the most. I also think that I would enjoy the subject matter given my Norse heritage. I didn’t realize that all this material is now as coveted as the Arkenstone.
    Many thanks you and to the BBC for sharing this prize 😄 good luck, everyone!

  37. PS: I would love RA to get in on the History Channel’s The Vikings. He would be an awesome add to the cast. 😄

  38. Ooooh I would love to add LOTN to my Richard Armitage collection. I wish it was still available. As to Bernard Cornwall, I’ve read the entire Sharpe series and have DvDs of Sean Bean in the role of Sharpe. Very kind of you to offer this audio book. Hamlet, a Prince of Denmark was my first ever.

  39. I love all audio books narrated by Richard Armitage I already have some and Richards voice for me brings every character to life brilliantly so I would love to add LOTN to my collection

  40. Oh boy. :) Now that would be something really nice. I love both RA’s voice and the Sharpe series, though I only have the DVDs. I hear the books are a bit different, but I never got around buying them. There are no English books in our library, so buying is the only way. LotN as read by RA – *sighs* It has been on my list, but never comes within my budget. You’re a star to do this give-away.

  41. Some time ago I was able to purchase the book (the paper version, of course), translated into my language. This is an amazing book. But I would love to have the book-read by my favorite actor.

  42. It was Sean Bean’s Sharpe that started me reading Bernard Cornwell – and now I have everything he’s written. He has such an amazing way of bringing historical periods to life. I’ve only just got into audiobooks, it felt a bit like a betrayal to books to listen instead of read them :) I have RA reading Hamlet, oh my goodness, he really has set the bar high for other narrators

  43. I’m a fan of both Richard Armitage and Bernard Cornwell but I missed buying this recording, and it bugs me. So this is worth a try :-)

  44. Armitage is a wonderful narrator. I’ve listen to some of the others he has done, but this one is not as easily available. Gonna try to get it some way. And thank you for the book tip in general, going to look into reading the whole series too.

  45. I’ve got (and listened to on my 10km cycles to and from work) his Hamlet-performance. This would be a nice change!

  46. I would love an Audio book please , I am a closet Richard Armitage fan just waiting to Brake free. Thanks for the Chance to get my mitts on an audio book. Tar muchly Linz

  47. I’ve got (and listened to while cycling 10 km to and from work) his Hamlet audiobook. Cornwell is sadly not available in The Netherlands.

  48. Heard Richard Armitage narrate Hamlet thrice walking to and from work: a daily delight. Would love to hear him do another book/story, like Lords of the North.

  49. I’ve heard an excerpt of the audiobook and loved it. Also I do have some series of B.C. So I would love to win this special give away!!!

  50. I listened to an excerpt and loved it. I came late to the RA party so couldn’t procure one but I love the fact that you are doing this!

  51. Wow, it is really kind of you to think about giveaway. No matter who would win, it must be appreciated a lot considering this one seems not to be on the market anymore. Thank you for doing this :)

  52. I have been wishing to hear Richard relate this story, my fingers are crossed that I may be a lucky winner.

  53. Thanks for putting the Audio book up; I would like very much to win. Happy Birthday Bernard.

  54. Oh god yes…. Best narrator ever… Have tried to buy this for ages now with no luck. Would be amazing to win this

  55. I got it form the Library too and would like my own copy

  56. Phew! You all are making this tough! So I am going to give away another copy with this drawing. It won’t be one from the BBC. It’s authorized under a different distributor, but it will still be an unabridged audio of the book read by RichardArmitage

  57. Would love to win this! Never been able to buy a copy. :(

  58. Thank you for doing this! I love listening to Richard’s voice narrating audiobooks, the last one was Hamlet.. and the Love poems..
    I have heard so often people praising Lords of the North, therefore I’d love to win the audiobook.. may the “right” person win..

  59. I have recently tried (unsuccessfully) to find a way of buying this. I would love to hear RA reading it……..he can bring such a range of voices and emotions to a text.

  60. A great book and a great narrator! I’d love to win a copy. Thanks for doing this.

  61. Happy Birthday to Bernard Cornwell!
    I love Cornwell’s books. And one narrated by Richard Armitage is even better. Can’t believe I missed it when they we selling them :-( Would be great to win one :-)
    Thank you for being so nice and giving them away.

  62. I have been trying to get a copy of this for some time but haven’t been successful. I would love to have a copy and hear Richard reading this. I have all his other audio books and this would complete the set!

  63. TWO copies!! <3 Merry Christmas, Santa Frenz! lol crossing my fingers…..

  64. That was cool of the BBC and you to make these available. I have the three Heyer audiobooks he read, would love to have LotN as well since everyone raves about how RA reads it. It would probably take me several tries to finish listening, though, his voice just does things to me, heh. I love his voice and thought it rather weird that his voice as Thorin in the first two Hobbit movies didn’t completely mesmerize me like I thought it would, but it sure did the trick in Bot5A.

  65. Would love to listen to these! Getting ready to read them-it would be great to listen to part of them :)

  66. I love Richard and everything he does – especially his voice work. I also have loved GH’s books since I was 13.

  67. This is very nice, thank you for giving us the chance to win a copy of this audiobook! I’ve always been curious about Bernard Cornwell’s books =)

  68. Richard’s voice is amazing , I love books read by him – Hamlet, Robin Hood, and of course Love poems. I’ve heard about LOTN how superb is this audio book, trying to find where to buy it, unsuccessfully. Maybe this is the way …. :-)

  69. Hi! What a nice surprise to know that there is a chance to win a copy of LOTN!
    I love good written medieval (or earlier) stories – and read by Richard it must be a quite intense experience. (Loved “Hamlet – a novel”.)
    Thank you!
    And now I’m eagerly awaiting Friday… ;)

  70. I have followed your blog for few years but have not commented before. Perfect time to start I think :) I regret that I didn’t bought this audiobook when it was available. First the whole purchase process felt so complicated and then suddenly the audiobook was not available anymore. Thank you for giving away a copy!

  71. An amazing chance to win a very hard to obtain audiobook narrated by the perfect voice of RA.

    It’s very generous of you to do this and I’m sure you’ll have a hard time deciding on the winner because you’ll be deluged by requests!

  72. I learned how to listen to audio books by listening to Richard read Hamlet. It took me a while to get into it, because it was also Shakespeare. But hearing Richard read it made it worth all the trouble I originally had learning to listen to books. I’m a very visual person and was so immersed in listening to him that I wasnt paying attention and rolled my ankle on a crack in the sidewalk, and re-broke my ankle! My family wasn’t very happy, but it was all for Richard! ❤ I love reading series and even if he’s only narrated the one book I’ll definitely get the others if possible! Pick Me!

  73. Thank you so much in advance for this giveaway! I’ve only heard some bits of The Lords of the North narration by RA, and I agree with you, it’s been one of his best! You can really see and feel what’s going on, from a tender romantic moment to a moment of total tension because there’s a battle (he even speaks faster). I also bought the book after listening to this fragments, and now I would really love to have the whole narration! Thanks again!

  74. So many comments already! Hope my timing is not off for the draw :)

    But you sure have mighty FB friends!

  75. I love listening to the audio books that RA reads! And with the reading workload in my college courses, and audio book would be just the thing! Thanks so much for giving those of us that missed out earlier a chance!

  76. I have emailed the two winners and hope to hear from them by tomorrow. Thank you all for participating, and I will do another drawing for this book sometime later. Hopefully, this year.

  77. Congratulations to the winners …. and thank YOU for the giving us a chance to win this Holy Grail :-)

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