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.
categories and books
- Rosemary Sutcliff wrote monograph about author she loved, Rudyard Kipling
- Geoffrey Trease, writer and playwright, told the people’s stories
- Fellow author Rosemary Sutcliff wrote the postscript to Henry Treece’s The Dream-time: A very special book.
- Author Penelope Lively has a hefty prejudice against historical fiction but reads Rosemary Sutcliff avidly
- Rosemary Sutcliff, writer of historical fiction and children’s literature, on ‘gadzookery’ and ‘writing forsoothly’
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- Newly touring, excellent Vena Portae @venaportaemusic @banquetrecords in Kingston youtu.be/22-v8faCtzo | 14 hours ago
- “Children should be allowed the great themes, which are also often tragic themes”—#RSQuote on children’s & young adult fiction & literature | 16 hours ago
- Dear @chlatweets: what’s date of Judith Plotz’s paper “Sutcliff’s The Shining Company and the Kipling historical tradition” at ChLA website? | 16 hours ago
- "Rosemary Sutcliff (is/was) the foremost juvenile historical novelist of Britain’s long imperial recessional.” childlitassn.org/assets/docs/20… | 16 hours ago
- “It is my best beloved (book). Part of me was Marcus, and part was in love with him”—Rosemary Sutcliff on The Eagle of the Ninth. #RSQuote | 17 hours ago
- "I like a child or a dog or an adult according to their merits. I am prone to like more dogs on a percentage basis!”—#RSQuote | 17 hours ago
- “The difference between writing for children and for adults is to me only a quite small gear change”—#RSQuote #kidlit #histfic | 18 hours ago
- "Different kinds of stories need different kinds of words strung together in different ways”—#RSQuote | 18 hours ago
rosemary sutcliff’s signature
the guardian, 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.