Sad day today December 8th, my birthday, for until 1992 I always spoke with Rosemary Sutcliff: my good fortune and privilege was that she was my godmother (and indeed my first cousin once removed). Her own birthday is coming this week. It is Dec 14th.
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
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- Sutcliff Titles
- Sutcliff Stories
- The Eagle of the Ninth and Centurion films are totally different stories
- Sutcliff's Life
- Interview with Jamie Bell, Esca in The Eagle film of Rosemary Sutcliff's The Eagle of the Ninth
- 12 reviews in three words of Rosemary Sutcliff’s Roman historical novel The Eagle of the Ninth | #3wordreview
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.