Archive for the ‘Warrior Scarlet’ Category
The sharing of storytelling that writers do with readers is the dialogue of imagination. Rosemary Sutcliff lives, grows and acts and suffers in her stories. The worlds created in her imagination have had to stand in for the world of much everyday actuality. From her therefore we can learn what the imagination does, and how it allows us all to explore what’s possible, the realm of virtual experience.
In Rosemary Sutcliff’s world, heroes, heroines and readers alike walk a head taller than usual, as heroic warriors, to confront, like Drem in Warrior Scarlet, fearsome events as rites of passage and thus discover what is worth striving for. Readers have to expect to be spellbound in the tradition of storytelling that’s much older than reading and writing, when before the days of written records bards and minstrels were entrusted with the memory of a tribe. Rosemary Sutcliff is in this tradition; she says of herself that she’s `of the minstrel kind’. This in itself sets her apart from some of the more, apparently, throwaway casualness of some contemporary writing. In these days, when we’ve learned to look closely at the constructedness of narratives, she will still say that she knows when a story is `in’ her and `waiting to be told’.
Australian writer Nansi Kunze wrote at Michael Pryor’s blog about her “favourite book”, Rosemary Sutcliff’s Warrior Scarlet. The author of Dangerously Placed (‘Can a hippy chick, a goth girl in a lab coat and two guys with a taste for blowing things up really help solve the mystery – before Alex becomes the next victim?’) and Mishaps (‘Why does Pen’s name strike terror into the heart of pop princess Sereena? And just how far will Pen go to get what she deserves?’), grew up in both Australia and the UK.
I think I must have been ten when I began to read Rosemary Sutcliff’s books. It was a strange time for me – a confusing and somewhat lonely one. My parents had split up, and we had gone back to England, leaving my friends, my school and the various treasures a ten-year-old deems precious behind in Australia. (more…)
Margaret Meek paid tribute to Rosemary Sutcliff in her 70th year with an insightful reflection on her personality and her work. (Margaret Meek wrote a monograph about Rosemary Sutcliff in the 1960s).
The sharing of storytelling that writers do with readers is the dialogue of imagination. Rosemary Sutcliff lives, grows and acts and suffers in her stories. The worlds created in her imagination have had to stand in for the world of much everyday actuality. From her therefore we can learn what the imagination does, and how it allows us all to explore what’s possible, the realm of virtual experience. (more…)
Thinking of both historical fiction and dogs put Katherine Langrish, author of fantasy novels for young adults, in mind of Rosemary Sutcliff. Katherine believes that dogs in books are a “Good Thing”. She also believes that Rosemary Sutcliff ”must easily win the title of Britain’s most loved writer of junior historical fiction”.
… Rosemary Sutcliff, whose books I devoured as a child … loved dogs, and there is a noble dog in many of her books: Whitethroat in Warrior Scarlet, Argos in Brother Dusty Feet. But for me the most iconic is Dog in Dawn Wind, the young war-hound that the boy Owain finds by moonlight on the ruins of the battlefield:
Imogen Russell Williams wrote last year that “for me the nonpareil of children’s historical fiction remains Rosemary Sutcliff”:
Historical fiction for adults ranges in stature from the Booker-winning to the bodice-ripping – scholarly rambles or gleeful romps through a past animated, elucidated, or (at worst) knocked together into an unconvincing stage set by the writer’s imagination. The label carries its own baggage, however; like “crime”, or “fantasy”, sticking “historical” before “fiction” might, for some snobbish and deluded readers, require an “only” to complete the description.
It’s my feeling that historical fiction for children suffers less from the snootiness sometimes attracted by grown-up writing in the genre, perhaps because the educational cachet outweighs the sense that a “made-up” book is less worthwhile than a collection of primary sources. Certainly the best historical fiction of my childhood has remained with me, (more…)
The Eagle of the Ninth and Warrior Scarlet by Rosemary Sutcliff (are one of my favourite books) … or I could have chosen Knight’s Fee, or The Lantern Bearers, or Sun-horse, Moon-horse, or Frontier Wolf … Rosemary Sutcliff is one of my favourite children’s authors, and I doubt she ever wrote a bad book, but these were the two I liked best when I was growing up. (more…)
Rosemary Sutcliff’s wonderful Warrior Scarlet (SZKARŁAT WOJOWNIKA in Polish) has a cover illustration in Poland which is a new one on me!
I found it via ebay.
Posted in Criticism, Research, and Reviews, Newspapers, Warrior Scarlet, tagged Bronze Age, children's books, children's literature, historical fiction, young adult fiction on 04/01/2011 | Leave a Comment »
Warrior Scarlet by Rosemary Sutcliff is recommended by Julia Eccleshare, children’s books editor of the Guardian newspaper, as one of her Top Ten Children’s Books in Babyccino Kids, ’an international lifestyle website for modern mums’:
… true burning Warrior Scarlet … was the very colour of courage itself. No woman might wear the colour, nor might the Half People who came and went at the Tribe’s call. It was for the Men’s side.
Warrior Scarlet, published in 1957, is indeed a wonderful historical novel, illustrated by Charles Keeping. Of the story, Julia Eccleshare writes:
Rosemary Sutcliff had an exceptional ability to bring the past to life; in Warrior Scarlet it is the Bronze Age. Drem needs to kill a wolf to become a man of the tribe. How he first fails and then succeeds in doing so despite his withered arm is a moving story about overcoming adversity.
Julia Eccleshare compiled 1001 Children’s Books: You Must Read Before You Grow Up,
- Julia Eccleshare’s top ten book list in Babyccino Kids here
- More on Rosemary Sutcliff’s historical novel Warrior Scarlet on this blog