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.
categories and books
- Rosemary Sutcliff’s novel of the Peloponnesian War, The Flowers of Adonis, republished by Endeavour Press 2014
- 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 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 Greek history health Heather Chichester-Clark Henry Treece historical fiction History Iron Age King Arthur Kipling legend letters miniatures music name nature Norman OBE obituary 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
- & @berfrois, re Thomas Mann difficulty of writing: "There is only one thing worse than writing, and that is not writing"—Rosemary Sutcliff | 11 minutes ago
- A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.—Thomas Mann | RT@berfrois via @piecedwork | 16 minutes ago
- RT @IMcMillan: @rsutcliff @piecedwork @MichaelRosenYes @Joannechocolat of course | 24 minutes ago
- RT @Joannechocolat: @IMcMillan @rsutcliff @piecedwork @MichaelRosen Yup! | 24 minutes ago
- Now that, @DinahSW (& @piecedwork)—adoring, crying, dying— would have delighted Rosemary Sutcliff! | 25 minutes ago
- .@CILIPinfo You muddle why, what, how and who. LAs can’t be a ‘way’ to ‘deliver’...They could be entities that provide a library service. | 31 minutes ago
- RT @piecedwork: 'Tristan and Iseult' and 'Song for a Dark Queen' my favourite books of @rsutcliff still love them | 36 minutes ago
- well @piecedwork, I understand there is the #twarp and #tweft of my Twittering, but you lose me with <kantha and pashmina>! | 40 minutes 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.