Recommend reading Rosemary Sutcliff but with no ‘E’ in Rosemary Sutcliffe please!

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I get cross when people who should know better spell Rosemary Sutcliff’s name wrong  – as Sutcliffe (sic). It is Sutcliff (sic). If you are doing research  in databases, or on the web or wherever, it is a good idea always to search for Sutcliffe (with an E) as well as Sutcliff! If I had not done that, I would not have discovered that in the UK’s newspaper of record (at that time), in a list of 50 books all children should read (The Times, 19 Feb 1988), ‘Eagles of the Ninth’ (sic)  was recommended  for 12 to 18 year olds ( the proper title is ‘The Eagle of the Ninth’), and it was said to be by ‘Rosemary Sutcliffe”.

The judges on the panel, none of whom noticed this (although perhaps really the mistake should be credited, if that is the right word, to the journalist and sub-editor, were

  • Elizabeth Attenborough: Editorial Director of Puffin, Kestrel, Viking Books. (Rosemary’s publishers for goodness sake!)
  • Professor Ingra-Stina Ewbank: Professor of English at Leeds University.
  • Chris Powling: Writer, broadcaster, lecturer.
  • Nina Bawden: Prize-winning author.
  • Jan Mark: Writer, broadcaster, lecturer.
  • Shirley Hughes: Children’s author.
  • Eunice McMullen: Director of the Children’s Book Foundation.
  • Bryan Alderson: Children’s books critic, The Times.
  • Elaine Moss: Reviewer and critic.
  • Michael Spilberg: Headmaster of Lyndhurst House Preparatory School.
  • Isabel Raphael: Headmistress of Channing School.
  • Roy Yates; Library Services Director of Baker Books; Chairman of the Bookseller’s Association Children’s Bookselling Group.

The other books recommended by The Times for 12 to 18 year olds were:

  • Treasure Island by RL Stevenson
  • Brother in the Land, Robert Swindells
  • Smith, Leon Garfield
  • The Machine Gunners, Robert Westall
  • 1984, George Orwell
  • Carrie’s War, Nina Bawden
  • Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
  • The Box of Delights, John Masefield
  • Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank
  • The Earthsea Trilogy, Ursula Le Guin
  • Emil and the Detectives, Erich Kastner
  • Goldengrove, Jill Paton Walsh
  • Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles, A. Conan Doye
  • Lord of the Flies, William Golding
  • Moonfleet, J. Meade Falkner
  • The Owl Service, Alan Garner
  • Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

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