UK Hardback Cover Rosemary Sutcliff The Lantern Bearers in 1959

Rosemary Sutcliff was the proud recepient of the Carnegie Medal for 1959 for her Roman historical novel  ( “I write for children aged 8 to 88”) The Lantern Bearers.

An intriguing question is posed this year (2018) by Children’s Literature Lecturer Lucy Pearson about the focus of books awarded the Carnegie Medal. She questions whether the award is moving away from children’s books. The “short version” of her thesis is that “the Carnegie has definitely seen a massive swing in favour of YA (Young Adults) in the last decade”. Her notion of whether a book is for children or for young adults is based on a combination of the readership aimed at, and the age of the protagonists.

Rosemary Sutcliff wrote for children of all ages, about people of all ages. She was promoted in the 1950s to adults as for children and juveniles (sic). She was no stranger to the Carnegie Medal. She was commended  in 1954 for The Eagle of the Ninth, 1956 for The Shield Ring, and 1957 for The Silver Branch. Authors originally could not be awarded the medal a second time. But by 1971 they could, and Rosemary Sutcliff was ‘highly commended’ for The Carnegie Medal for Tristan and Iseult in 1971

Source: https://carnegieproject.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/ya-and-the-carnegie-medal-growing-away-from-childrens-books/s


Place matters hugely in the work of  Rosemary Sutcliff. The main settings of her stories include:

The West Country in England
Blood Feud | Brother Dusty-Feet | Outcast | Simon | Sword at Sunset | The Armourer’s House | The Eagle of the Ninth | The Queen Elizabeth Story | Tristan and Iseult
The South Downs in England
Dawn Wind | Flame-Coloured Taffeta | Knight’s Fee | Sun Horse, Moon Horse, | Sword at Sunset | The Eagle of the Ninth | The Lantern Bearers | The Silver Branch | The Witch’s Brat | Warrior Scarlet
Brother Dusty Feet | Song for a Dark Queen | The Witch’s Brat
The North Of England
A Circlet of Oak Leaves | Frontier Wolf | Sword at Sunset | Sword Song | The Capricorn Bracelet | The Chronicles of Robin Hood | The Eagle of the Ninth | The Mark of the Horse Lord | The Rider of the White Horse | The Shield Ring | The Shining Company | The Silver Branch
A Circlet of Oak Leaves | Bonnie Dundee | Eagle’s Egg | Frontier Wolf| Shifting Sands | Sword at Sunset | Sword Song | The Capricorn Bracelet | The Eagle of the Ninth | The Mark of the Horse Lord | The Shining Company | We Lived in Drumfyvie

A Circlet of Oak Leaves | Sword at Sunset | Sword Song | The Bridge-Builders | The Chief’s Daughter | The Lantern Bearers | The Shining Company
Blood Feud | Sword Song | The High Deeds of Finn Mac Cool | The Hound of Ulster | Tristan and Iseult

Born with physical disability: Adam Hilyarde, The Queen Elizabeth Story; Robert Cecil, Lady in Waiting; Drem, Warrior Scarlet; Vadir Cedricson, Dawn Wind; Gwalchmai, Sword at Sunset; Lovel, The Witch’s Brat; the Emperor Claudius, Song for a Dark Queen.

Acquired physical disabilities: Robin, The Chronicles of Robin Hood; John Carey, Simon; Marcus, The Eagle of the Ninth; Talore, Warrior Scarlet; Midir, The Mark of the Horse Lord; Timotheus, The Flowers of Adonis; Lucianus Calpurnius, The Capricorn Bracelet; Jestyn Englishman, Hakon One-Eye, Bardas Schlerus, Blood Feud; Moon-Eye, Shifting Sands; Hugh Herriot, Bonnie Dundee; Anoud bin Aziz ibn Rashid, Blood and Sand; Conn, The Shining Company; Onund Treefoot, Sword Song.

(Source: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Creator/RosemarySutcliff%5D)

These are books of  historical fiction by Rosemary Sutcliff in shorter form, most of them originally published as storybooks.
Stone Age: Shifting Sands (1977)
Bronze Age: The Chief’s Daughter (1967)
Bronze Age: “Flowering Dagger” (1977, in The Real Thing)
Iron Age: The Changeling (1974)
412 BCE: “A Crown of Wild Olive” (1971, originally The Truce of the Games)
60 CE: The Capricorn Bracelet (1973, collection)
80 CE: Eagle’s Egg (1981)
130 CE: “Swallows in the Spring” (1970, in Galaxy)
150 CE: A Circlet of Oak Leaves (1965)
Roman: The Bridge-Builders (1959)
Roman: “The Fugitives” (1964, in Another Six)

A Chronology of Rosemary Sutcliff’s historical fiction, which is not a tightly-linked series, although there is some continuity.

900 BCE: Warrior Scarlet (1958)
415 BCE: The Flowers of Adonis (1969)
100 BCE: Sun Horse, Moon Horse (1977)
33 CE: Song for a Dark Queen (1978)
126 CE: The Eagle of the Ninth (1954)
130 CE: Outcast (1955)
180 CE: The Mark of the Horse Lord (1965)
292 CE: The Silver Branch (1957)
341 CE: Frontier Wolf (1980)
450 CE: The Lantern Bearers (1959)
480 CE: Sword at Sunset (1963)
585 CE: Dawn Wind (1961)
595 CE: The Shining Company (1990)
890 CE: Sword Song (1997)
986 CE: Blood Feud (1976)
1090 CE: The Shield Ring (1956)
1094 CE: Knight’s Fee (1960)
1115 CE: The Witch’s Brat (1970)
1184 CE: The Chronicles of Robin Hood (1950)
1534 CE: The Armourer’s House (1951)
1564 CE: Lady in Waiting (1957)
1569 CE: The Queen Elizabeth Story (1950)
1581 CE: Brother Dusty-Feet (1952)
1640 CE: Simon (1953)
1642 CE: The Rider of the White Horse (1959)
1683 CE: Bonnie Dundee (1983)
1750 CE: Flame-Coloured Taffeta (1986)
1807 CE: Blood and Sand (1987)
[Source http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Creator/RosemarySutcliff%5D

Collection of Rosemary Sutcliff covers via Google Images March 2016

Collection of Rosemary Sutcliff covers via Google Images March 2016

There was fair reason to consider Rosemary Sutcliff not only the finest writer of historical fiction for children but quite unconditionally among the best historical novelists using English. A sound scholar and beautiful stylist, she made few concessions to the presumably simple child’s mind and enlarged junior historical fiction with a long series of powerful novels about England’s remote past, especially that dim period stretching from pre-Roman times to the coming of Christianity. Among her best works are The Eagle of the Ninth (1954),The Shield Ring (1956), The Silver Branch (1957), The Lantern Bearers (1959), and especially Warrior Scarlet (1958).
Source: Encyclopaedia Brittanica entryA picture of Rosemary Sutcliff (not Rosemary Sutcliff: eminent writer for children and adults

The Flower of Nature (MS 11390) is a natural encyclopedia and bestiary in Middle Dutch verse newly put into its digitised manuscripts collection by The British Library. In addition to its fantastical drawings, it also provides rare evidence of a medieval lending library. An oath is written on the last page, which states that its borrower swears on the cross drawn next to the text that he or she will return the manuscript or die! The oath is signed by a woman, in a 14th- or 15th-century hand, who identifies herself as ‘abstetrix heifmoeder’ (‘obstetrix’ means midwife).



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