In September last year I posted at my parallel Rosemary Sutcliff Facebook page:
…a warm welcome to all who have ‘liked’ here in recent weeks. To all of you (new or old ‘likers’), it is Rosemary Sutcliff’s birthday on December 14th. She died 20 years ago. In my mind these facts have come together, and I want to collect comments from people here about Rosemary, her books, what you have read, and why you love it…Comment away here and please do share this request.
David Urbach. Her “Lantern Bearers” was the first book to really open my eyes not only to the possibility of historical fiction, but to the richness of the “Dark” Ages. In addition to becoming my favourite single novel, and one of a very few that actually drew tears from my eyes at the end, it also set me on my path to studying that late Roman/early medieval period of English history and literature. If I succeed in pursuing a PhD, which I shall soon embark on, and in teaching that period, then I will owe much of the direction of my life to her book. Already I owe her much, much joy from reading.
Esther Elizabeth Bondoc Suson. The first book I read of hers was Outcast…now I don’t even check the blurb, just buy anything with her name on it. My two sisters and I have added “Aquila” to the ends of our Twitter usernames because of our love for The Eagle of the Ninth, Silver Branch and The Lantern Bearers. She will always be one of my most favourite authors.
Barry Thatcher. The first book I read of hers was was Eagle of the ninth.
Sara Crowe. As a child, I read every book by her that I could get my hands on and then I read them again and again. I still reread them from time to time now I’m an adult. She made me see history as layers of a landscape and to this day, I walk footpaths with an awareness that Bronze Age shepherds, Celtic hunters, Roman soldiers and so on have walked this same land, and that mine are only the latest footprints to leave their ephemeral mark.
Lesley Arrowsmith. We were lucky enough to study Warrior Scarlet at school in my first year at secondary school (just after BBs The Little Grey Men). When I started spinning, and first picked up a fleece, I knew how it would feel because of the descriptions in this book – all Rosemary Sutcliff’s descriptions were vivid enough to make you believe you were there yourself.
Kendra S. Wiley .Rosemary is my hero and my role model as a writer. I truly believe she is the greatest writer who ever lived. The first book I read by her was the picture book, The Minstrel and the Dragon Pup, and the first story I wrote was based on it. Later I read The Shield Ring, my favourite to this day, and never looked back… Her stories inspire me to do the best work I can, and her life inspires me to be courageous no matter what my obstacles are
Avenel Grace. I have collected and loved all Rosemary’s books, and still read and re read them from time to time.