Before my mother stopped her (to keep all her papers in one place), Rosemary Sutcliff happily responded ad hoc to speculative letters asking for research notes and other papers connected with her historical novels and children’s books. So this collection at the University of Southern Mississippi includes notes in her trademark red notebooks. Interestingly the reference refers not only to The Lantern Bearers, but to notes for books called The Red Dragon and The Amber Dolphin, as well as notes on several other topics. There never were published books with those titles. The collection also contains a manuscript and two typescripts for the radio play The New Laird. The programme was taped on April 4, 1966, and broadcast from Edinburgh on May 17, 1966 as part of the Stories from Scottish History series. (I note that the library has not bothered with making accurate and up-to-date their brief paragraphs on her life … )
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’
rosemary sutcliff tags1920 1992 Alan Lee Ancient Greece Archaeology Arthurian artist authors awards book covers books Bronze Age Buckingham Palace C. Walter Hodges Carnegie Medal CBE Charles Keeping children children's books children's literature Dark & Middle Ages disability dogs education Elizabethan English Civil War family fantasy favourites film friends garden health Heather Chichester-Clark Henry Treece historical fiction History Iron Age King Arthur Kipling legend letters miniatures music name nature Norman OBE obituary Olympics painting politics Queen of England quotes reading research Richard Kennedy Roald Dahl Roman Britain Romans Rosemary Sutcliff Roy Hattersley Shirley Felts signature storytelling Sutcliff Review of the Week The Eagle (of the Ninth) film The Eagle of the Ninth translation Tudors Victor Ambrus Vikings writers writing young adult fiction
- “Children should be allowed the great themes, which are also often tragic themes”—#RSQuote on children’s & young adult fiction & literature | 16 minutes ago
- Dear @chlatweets: what’s date of Judith Plotz’s paper “Sutcliff’s The Shining Company and the Kipling historical tradition” at ChLA website? | 58 minutes ago
- "Rosemary Sutcliff (is/was) the foremost juvenile historical novelist of Britain’s long imperial recessional.” childlitassn.org/assets/docs/20… | 1 hour 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 | 2 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 | 2 hours ago
- “The difference between writing for children and for adults is to me only a quite small gear change”—#RSQuote #kidlit #histfic | 2 hours ago
- "Different kinds of stories need different kinds of words strung together in different ways”—#RSQuote | 2 hours ago
- "There is only one thing worse than writing, and that is not writing”—#RSQuote | 2 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.