April 12th, Tuesday.
Muriel for tea. Otherwise can’t remember what did.
© Anthony Lawton 2012
topics and books
- Rosemary Sutcliff on writing historical novels and children’s books: “I start with an idea, never a plot” and “I do not write to a standard length”
- Aim for the stars and you may end up on a lamp-post | Author Rosemary Sutcliff’s motto
- My inspiration | Tony Bradman on historical novelist Rosemary Sutcliff
- In 1988 Rosemary Sutcliff was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 by Penelope Lively in children’s book programme Treasure Islands
- In 1984 Rosemary Sutcliff spoke on BBC Radio 3 about the lure of Roman and Celtic Britain
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
- @NorseMythQuotes @Joannechocolat Or also #sageadvice?! | 1 day ago
- “We can win if we face up to this challenge, turn a page & make a fresh start”—Liz Kendall. 3 metaphors, 1 sentence #TUdebate @AndrewSparrow | 1 day ago
- @NorseMythQuotes from The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer, one for @Joannechocolat—if in need of #sagadvice? twitter.com/NorseMythQuote… | 1 day ago
- .@the_mcquade @kerry_mclean @bbcradioulster And just this week @PuffinBooks reprint new edition of Arthurian story. http://t.co/nCldf7KYmZ | 1 day ago
- .@the_mcquade Delighted you suggest Rosemary Sutcliff (NB no E), thank you. Also perhaps Beowulf! @kerry_mclean @bbcradioulster | 1 day ago
- .@PuffinBooks Ooops. That is Rosemary Sutcliff #RSutcliff: two Fs, no E (that is, not Sutcliffe, nor Sutclif) | 1 day ago
- Not only do I hear today from Curmudgeon & Dinosaur @JWedgery—but also from a Vanquisher of Dragons (@Phil_Z42). http://t.co/zWpw9JGyfD | 1 day ago
- This week @PuffinBooks reprint Rosemary Sutcliff Arthurian story—The Sword & the Circle. She spoke of sources in1986 http://t.co/78YZMJOOMq | 1 day ago
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.