Trawling the internet, I am reminded that in 1981 British publishers announced their choices for the top 20 (then) living British writers. Rosemary Sutcliff was among them. At the time, Frank Delaney, chairman of the selectors, said:
In a storehouse so rich, there are far more than 20 good , even great, writers. What we have tried to do is select authors whose record of publication has provided them with critical acclaim and public recognition.
She ‘beat’ such distinguished people who were not in the top 20 as Robert Graves (the poet and novelist), J.B. Priestley (who had a 60-year literary career), Alan Sillitoe, Kingsley Amis, Muriel Spark, Dick Francis and Daphne du Maurier. Lord Snowdon took a picture which for copyright reasons I am sure I should not post, although I have it somewhere.