The Crawdad Hole has a long post on Sword Song – I have not found this to be written about as much by readers. I love the book because I transcribed it from Rosemary Sutcliff‘s hand-written draft manuscript left on her desk when she died suddenly in 1992. Her long-time editor Jill Black finalised it for publication.
topics and books
- Rosemary Sutcliff said she wrote books for children aged 8 to 88!
- UK Rosemary Sutcliff blog discovers Winnie-the-Pooh did not blog | #SundayBlogShare
- 2016 schooling: Slowly, slowly, without respite, successive governments are stealing childhood
- Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Rosemary Sutcliff’s birth in 1920
- STILL (Dec 28) Apologies to all. Over Xmas my blog account was hacked, and a good number of pornographic posts put up, and alerted to on Twitter. I have only just realised.
topics and tagsAncient Greece Archaeology Arthurian authors awards books C. Walter Hodges Carnegie Medal Charles Keeping children's books children's literature Dark & Middle Ages disability dogs education Fantasy film garden health historical fiction History inspiration interviews King Arthur lego models music nature Newbery Medal politics questions & answers quotes reading reviews Romans translation Vikings writers writing young adult fiction
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the guardian newspaper in praise of rosemary sutcliff
Rosemary Sutcliff's 1954 children's classic The Eagle of the Ninth (still in print more than 50 years on) is the first of a series of novels in which Sutcliff, who died in 1992, explored the cultural borderlands between the Roman and the British worlds – "a place where two worlds met without mingling" as she describes the British town to which Marcus, the novel's central character, is posted.
Marcus is a typical Sutcliff hero, a dutiful Roman who is increasingly drawn to the British world of "other scents and sights and sounds; pale and changeful northern skies and the green plover calling". This existential cultural conflict gets even stronger in later books like The Lantern Bearers and Dawn Wind, set after the fall of Rome, and has modern resonance. But Sutcliff was not just a one-trick writer.
The range of her novels spans from the Bronze Age and Norman England to the Napoleonic wars. Two of her best, The Rider of the White Horse and Simon, are set in the 17th century and are marked by Sutcliff's unusually sympathetic (for English historical novelists of her era) treatment of Cromwell and the parliamentary cause. Sutcliff's finest books find liberal-minded members of elites wrestling with uncomfortable epochal changes. From Marcus Aquila to Simon Carey, one senses, they might even have been Guardian readers.