Archive for the ‘Dawn Wind’ Category

In 2010 Joanna R. Smith blogged about reading Rosemary Sutcliff’s Dawn Wind—“gorgeous historical fiction” about Britain in the 6th Century AD. She loved (Rosemary Sutcliff’s): “storytelling and characters, and her talent of letting you hear and see and feel the things in her books. Her prose is quiet and lyrical and compelling, and this is “ Lovely, lovely stuff. The kind of writing I aspire to!”

The moon drifted clear of a long bank of cloud, and the cool slippery light hung for a moment on the crest of the high ground, and then spilled down the gentle bush-grown slope to the river. Between the darkness under the banks the water which had been leaden gray woke into moving ripple-patterns, and a crinkled skin of silver light marked where the paved ford carried across the road from Corinium to Aquae Sulis. Somewhere among the matted islands of rushes and water crowfoot, a moorhen cucked and was still. On the high ground in the loop of the river nothing moved at all, save the little wind that ran shivering through the hawthorn bushes.

Source: Just a Lyric in a Children’s Rhyme: A long bank of cloud

Read Full Post »

Julia Eccleshare, expert on children’s and young adult’s fiction and literature (and Book Doctor at The Guardian), recently wrote a piece for theguardian.com with recommendations for historical fiction for children and teenagers which is not about the world wars. Of Rosemary Sutcliff she said:

In her many novels, Rosemary Sutcliff charted the making of Britain from the simple living of the upland shepherds of the Bronze Age in Warrior Scarlet to Elizabethan England in The Queen Elizabeth Story. She concentrated particularly on Roman Britain reflecting the many attitudes and experiences around the coming together of different cultures as the Romans and the indigenous population learned to live together and to blend their two very different ways of life.

In a loose series of titles which includes The Eagle of the Ninth and Dawn Wind Rosemary Sutcliff writes of Romano-British occupation and skirmish but she also details the home life of both sides describing the cooking, weaving and celebrations of the British tribes and the more advanced home comforts of the Roman invaders such as the installation of central heating in their villas.

Other authors she recommended were: Geoffrey TreaseLeon Garfield, Jill Paton Walsh, Berlie Doherty, Sally Nicholls, Adele Geras, John Rowe Townsend, and Melvin Burgess .

Read Full Post »

Rosemary Sutcliff  said to the Radio Times in 1977: “I like a child or a dog or an adult according to their merits. I am prone to like more dogs on a percentage basis”! Dogs also feature in many of her books. Katherine Langrish, fantasy novelist, wondered if “perhaps Rosemary wrote about dogs as a way of owning them …?”

In Dawn Wind finds Dog, a young war-hound, by moonlight on the ruins of a battlefield:

… it was something alive in the cold echoing emptiness of a dead world. It stood with one paw raised, looking at him, and Owain called, hoarsely, with stiff lips and aching throat: ‘Dog! Hai! Dog!’ … [It] came, slowly and uncertainly… once it stopped altogether; then it finished at the run and next instant was trembling against his legs. He was a young dog; the beautiful creamy hair of his breast-patch was stained and draggled, and his muzzle bloody in the moonlight… ‘Dog, aiee, dog, we are alone then. There’s no one else. We will go together, you and I.’

  • Brother Dusty-Feet: Hugh runs away from home to protect Argos.
  • The Eagle of the Ninth:  Cub is Esca’s tame wolf cub.
  • Outcast: Canog is a mistreated mongrel owned by  Beric, whose childhood dog was Gelert.
  • The Lantern Bearers: Artos’s dog Cabal. (See also Sword at Sunset)
  • Warrior Scarlet: Whitethroat; Fand the Beautiful.
  • The Bridge-Builders: Math, a Hibernian wolfhound.
  • Knight’s Fee: Joyeuse.
  • Dawn Wind: Dog, a survivor of Owain’s Last Stand.
  • Blood Feud: Brindle is a cattle dog.
  • Bonnie Dundee: Caspa.
  • The Shining Company: Gelert.
  • Sword Song: Bjarni murders a man for kicking Astrid, and Hugin follows him home from Dublin.
  • Sword at Sunset. Cabal. (See also The Lantern Bearers)

Read Full Post »

Over at Twitter I am tracking down people who can say #Ireadsutcliff , and their favourite(s). Merrian Weymouth in Australia favours —possibly— Dawn Wind, which was recently reprinted. The Historical Novel Society had this to say of it:

First published in 1961, this reprint keeps its original charm by reproducing the black and white illustrations by Charles Keeping. Dawn Wind represents historical fiction at its best. It was written by an author who delighted readers with her detailed and atmospheric stories. It is equally suitable for both young adult and adult readers. A thoroughly enjoyable book.

The novel starts:

The first paragraph of Rosemary Sutcliff’s Dawn Wind

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

I recently discovered  Felix Felton (1911 – 72) who was a British actor, and a radio director and author. In 1961 he adapted Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Lantern Bearers (published in 1959) for a six-part series for Children’s Hour for BBC Radio. In 1962 he also adapted  Dawn Wind (1961) for radio, playing the role of Einon Hen himself.

Read Full Post »

Good to find Rosemary Sutcliff’s historical novel Dawn Wind, recently reprinted by OUP, on sale with Sainsburys!

Cover of Rosemary Sutcliff's Dawnwind


Rosemary Sutcliff, historical novelist


Dawn Wind (1961) (from Tab at top of this blog – Stories)

The last Roman-British wearer of the dolphin ring, Owain is the only survivor of a Viking raid and the great battle of Aquae Sulis. Just fourteen years old, his father and brother die at the battle but he eventually makes his way to a peaceful Saxon settlement where he is made thrall to a Saxon family. Travelling there he meets a half-wild girl whom he cares for but is forced to leave behind when she falls ill. They meet up again after many years apart, still so in tune with each other that they are able to understand each other’s wordless messages. During his years of service he discovers understanding and even friendship, and loyalty for the people who were once his enemies. His freedom earned, he shoulders the weight of the Saxon household rather than betray a promise to his former master.






Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: