Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘education’

Rosemary Sutcliff spent a limited time in formal school education, but it did not hinder her  in becoming what The Guardian newspaper called on her death ‘a writer of genius’.

I didn’t go to school for a very long time because of traipsing around so much. My mother used to educate me herself, chiefly by just reading to me the books that she liked. (But I did go to school, and I’ve always been very thankful that I went to an ordinary school, I never got incarcerated with other disabled children).

(But) chiefly I had books read to me, which is a thing I love to this day. I didn’t learn to read for myself until I was very old. Me and Kipling, we were both nine before we could read: I think in my case  this was because my mother read aloud to me so much, and this I loved very very much.

I left school, which one could do at fourteen in those days, and put in three years at art school. I did the general art course—painting in oils and water-colours and making charcoal drawings of the Apollo Belvedere from the north, south, east, and west!

I had not written as a child, I had not written stories. I wasn’t at all writing-minded at school.

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 »

My schooling began late, owing to a childhood illness, and ended when I was only fourteen, owing to my entire lack of interest in being educated. But I showed signs of being able to paint, and so from school I went to art school, trained hard, and eventually became a professional miniature painter.

I did not start to write until the end of the War, but now I have switched completely from one medium to the other, and it is several years since I last touched paint.

Source: Rosemary Sutcliff’s monograph on Rudyard Kipling.

Read Full Post »

Rosemary Sutcliff could not read until she was ten or eleven years old. Certainly aged nine she saw no point!

My mother in her own splendidly unorthodox fashion, taught me at home, chiefly by reading to me. King Arthur and Robin Hood, myths and legends of the classical world, The Wind in the Willows, The Tailor of Gloucester, Treasure Island, Nicholas Nickleby, Kim, Puck of Pook’s Hill, and Little Women, all at more or less the same time. The result was that at the age of nine I was happily at home with a rich and somewhat indigestible stir about of literature, but was not yet able to read to myself. Why, after all, read to yourself when you can get somebody else to read to you?

Historical novelist Rosemary Sutcliff's mother Nessie Lawton 

Source: Donald R. Gallo (1990) Speaking for Ourselves: Autobiographical Sketches by Notable Authors of Books for Young Adults. National Council of Teachers of English.

Read Full Post »

The Times newspaper published in mid-2013 a list of the top 50 ‘books that all children should read’, which included Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth (at 27). Of course all such lists reflect the preferred reading of the selection panel and it is good, indeed essential, to know who was on the panel. In this case it was: Amanda Craig (then Times children’s books critic), Lucy Coats (author), Wendy Cooling (founder of Bookstart), Tom Gatti (Times Saturday Review editor), Katherine Langrish (blogger and author), Anthony McGowan (author), and  Nicholas Tucker (children’s literature specialist). Their list:

  1. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
  2. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  3. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  4. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
  5. Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
  6. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin
  7. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
  8. The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
  9. The Iron Man by Ted Hughes
  10. The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner
  11. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  12. Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson
  13. The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer
  14. Just William by Richmal Crompton
  15. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  16. The Midnight Folk by John Masefield
  17. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  18. Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  19. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
  20. Stories for Children by Oscar Wilde
  21. Hellbent by Anthony McGowan
  22. The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban
  23. Five Children and It by E. Nesbit
  24. The Magicians of Caprona by Diana Wynne Jones
  25.  The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr
  26. The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White
  27. The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff
  28. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
  29. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
  30. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  31. The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
  32. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
  33. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
  34.  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  35. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  36. One Dog and His Boy by Eva Ibbotson
  37. The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier
  38. The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate by Margaret Mahy
  39. Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
  40. How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
  41. Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin
  42. The Borrowers by Mary Norton
  43. The Snow-walker’s Son by Catherine Fisher
  44. Holes by Louis Sachar
  45. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
  46. Kit’s Wilderness by David Almond
  47. Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver
  48. Vice Versa by F. Anstey
  49. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  50. Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd

Read Full Post »

Rosemary Sutcliff relished the imagination and creativity of children, as well as the responses of readers (young and old)  to her novels and stories. Brian Alderson, former Children’s Books Editor of The Times, once recalled in an article in Books for Keeps an anecdote which dates from some time after the publication of Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth in 1954. Rosemary recounted to a ‘bevy of librarians’:

‘That’s not a sand-castle,’ said the busy child on the beach, ‘I’m building a temple to Mithras’!  (more…)

Read Full Post »

Year 5 in Hannah School in Örebro in Sweden use the web to post homework and assignments. Max has been reading Rosemary Sutcliff’s Chronicles of Robin Hood.   (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »