Dates mattered to Rosemary Sutcliff; they matter in history; and in excellent historical fiction like hers. (See post yesterday, building on an article in The Guardian). From year to year she carried foreword notes about addresses, key contacts and the dates of her books, usually in a blue Challenge notebook. This page records the little story books for children that she published with Hamish Hamilton. The notebook is here propped on her writing chair – a Captain’s chair.
topics and books
- Collecting maps from children’s books and historical fiction of Rosemary Sutcliff
- ‘Heather, Oak and Olive’ by Rosemary Sutcliff to be re-published in USA
- 5th Century map of Roman Empire and “the neighbouring barbarous nations” when “the empire began to be rent with foreign invasions
- Kurt Vonnegut’s Eight Tips for Short Stories
- On a Monday Bank Holiday in 1988 Rosemary Sutcliff was solving problems with the plot of her historical novel The Shining Company.
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
- RT @guardianstyle: impact "could potentially impact" is more eloquently and concisely expressed as "might affect". theguardian.com/guardian-obser… | 11 hours ago
- RT @Rowan_Lawton: Despite living up the road for years I walked through Bunhill Fields for the first time today and came across... http://t… | 11 hours ago
- RT @Joannechocolat: And this morning, the Shed is a secret door in a wall thick with the ivy of centuries past... | 11 hours ago
- RT @LadyGlencora: @LearningSpy @EngChatUK The Iliad by Rosemary Sutcliff with fab illustrations by Alan Lee amazon.co.uk/Black-Ships-Be… She did … | 11 hours ago
- RT @MsTick68: @tangerinebean @Christie_lover @NEIL_OLIVER_ All I know about Celts I read in books by Rosemary Sutcliff. | 11 hours ago
- RT @rabiagale: @theavandiepen @TAHunchak I haven't even started extolling the virtues of Joan Aiken and Rosemary Sutcliff as well ;) | 11 hours ago
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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.