Historical novelist Rosemary Sutcliff disliked history at school

Rosemary Sutcliff disliked history at school, which she only started aged ten. And she missed much of the usual childhood activity and friends because of prolonged illness and hospital stays – she had Stills disease.

I was trained at art school, but then the desire to scribble came over me. I got my interest in history from my mother who had a sort of minstrel’s, rather than historian’s knowedge. Inaccurate, but full of colourful legend. I disliked history at school.

They do say that to be a successful children’s writer one has to have a large lump of unlived childhood in one. I certainly think I have that.

You have to show children that good does overcome evil, but that does not necessarily mean that the old lady you helped then paid for your ballet lessons. The satisfaction should just be coming from the fact that you have done right.

Source: The Times 29 October, 1969, p6

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