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Archive for the ‘Song for a Dark Queen’ Category


Rosemary Sutcliff, historical novelist

Rosemary Sutcliff was the subject of a fascinating, insightful article (‘Of  The Minstrel Kind’) in the children’s literature magazine Books for Keeps. First published only in print form, it has for some time been reproduced online.

Margaret Meak was paying tribute to a seventy-year-old Rosemary.

I met Rosemary Sutcliff for the first time thirty years ago in a London hospital where she was recovering from an operation. (more…)

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From Rosemary Sutcliff’s  German publisher, Verlag Urachhaus, a brief biography:

Rosemary Sutcliff wurde am 14. Dezember 1920 in England geboren und starb am 23. Juli 1992.

Sie besuchte eine Kunstschule und arbeitete zunächst als Malerin, bis sie Mitte der vierziger Jahre zum Schreiben fand.

Trotz ihrer starken Behinderung durch die Still’sche Krankheit, an der sie seit ihrem zweiten Lebensjahr litt, pflegte sie von jedem ihrer Romane wenigstens drei handgeschriebene Entwürfe anzufertigen, ehe sie mit ihrer Arbeit zufrieden war.

Intensiv an Geschichte, besonders derjenigen Großbritanniens, interessiert und im Erzählen hoch begabt, hat sich Rosemary Sutcliff mit ihren Kinder- und Jugendbüchern zu historischen Themen weit über England hinaus einen Namen gemacht.

Ihre Bücher sind in vielen Sprachen erschienen und mehrfach ausgezeichnet worden. 1975 erhielt sie als geniale und kompromisslose Chronistin den Orden des British Empire für ihre herausragenden Verdienste um die Jugendliteratur.

Als die englische Originalausgabe vom Lied für eine dunkle Königin (Song for a Dark Queen) 1978 erschien, wurde sie mit dem feministischen Literaturpreis The Other Award ausgezeichnet.

Für Morgenwind (Dawn Wind) erhielt Rosemary Sutcliff den begehrten New York Herald Tribune Preis.

Im März 2000 stellte Jean-Claude Lin Rosemary Sutcliff in dem Lebensmagazin a tempo vor und im Februar 2009 schrieb Ute Hallaschka in  der Rubrik weiterkommen über Ein Leseleben mit Rosemary Sutcliff.

Source here: Verlag Urachhaus website

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The Carnegie Medal for 2013  is awarded today. The Medal is awarded every year in the UK to the writer of an outstanding book for children. (2013 shortlist here).

The eminent Rosemary Sutcliff  (1920-92) won the (former) Library Association Carnegie Medal in 1959 for her historical novel for children The Lantern Bearers (she wrote for children”aged 8 to 88″, she said).  She was runner-up with Tristan and Iseult in 1972.  (more…)

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Cover of Japanese Edition of The Lantern Bearers

Rosemary Sutcliff won the Library Association Carnegie Medal in 1959 for her historical novel for children (“aged 8 to 88” in her view) The Lantern Bearers. The Medal is awarded every year in the UK to the writer of an outstanding book for children. First awarded to Arthur Ransome for Pigeon Post, the medal is now awarded by CILIP: The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. Both the Carnegie Medal and its sister award, the Kate Greenaway Medal are awarded annually. The 2012 shortlist was recently announced, and the winners will be named on Thursday 14th June.

The Library Association started the prize in 1936, in memory of the Scottish-born philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), a self-made industrialist who made his fortune in steel in the USA. The winner now receives a golden medal and some £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choice. Rosemary Sutcliff also won or was nominated for many other awards in the UK and USA. (She won other awards in translation). She

Full list of Carnegie Medal winners here

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First, chronologically speaking, in my big pile of Roman-setting (Rosemary) Sutcliffs : the tragic, doomed story of Boudicca (Song for A Dark Queen).   I’d read this before several times, but I re-read it recently.   It’s very dark, especially for a children’s book – she doesn’t pull her punches, everything in Cassius Dio’s not-really-very-contemporary-but-best-we’ve-got account is there: the rapes, the casual violence of the Romans, the torture and sacrifice of Roman women by Boudicca’s forces.

Boudicca is horrifying in this, but the writing is fabulous, and for me, it really works.  Even though Boudicca ends up doing horrifying things, I felt that I ended up caring for the character and feeling a sort of understanding for her.

via bunn – Another Pile of Books.

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Rosemary Sutcliff’s historical novels The Eagle of the Ninth, The Silver Branch, and The Lantern Bearers are sometimes called a trilogy. Rosemary Sutcliff won the Library Association Carnegie Medal for The Lantern Bearers in 1959. The Medal is awarded every year in the UK to the writer of an outstanding book for children. The Library Association started the prize in 1936, in memory of the Scottish-born philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), a self-made industrialist who made his fortune in steel in the USA. His experience of using a library as a child led him to resolve that “if ever wealth came to me that it should be used to establish free libraries”. He established more than 2800 libraries across the English speaking world and, by the time of his death, over half the library authorities in Great Britain had Carnegie libraries.

First awarded to Arthur Ransome for Pigeon Post, the medal is now awarded by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. The winner receives a golden medal and some £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choice. Rosemary Sutcliff also:

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I am trying to make accurate my list of all book awards Rosemary Sutcliff was given or nominated for. This is my summary so far: can readers help me expand and improve it?
  • 1959: The Carnegie Medal, The Lantern Bearers
  • 1968: The Hans Christian Andersen Award, nominated
  • 1971: Zilveren Griffel – The Silver Pencil, in Holland
  • 1972: The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Tristan and Iseult
  • 1974: The Hans Christian Andersen Award, highly commended
  • 1978: The Other Award, Song for a Dark Queen (A children’s book award focusing on anti-sexist, anti-racist titles in the UK).
  • 1985: The Phoenix Award, The Mark of the Horse Lord
  • 2010: The Phoenix Award, The Shining Company

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