Rosemary Sutcliff on English Civil War children’s book, historical novel Simon 1953

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Rosemary Sutcliff said about the historical accuracy of her children’s book Simon written early in her career in 1953, set in the English Civil War of the 17th century:

“Most history books deal with the final campaign of the civil war in a single paragraph, and the Battle of Torrington they seldom mention at all. In this story I have tried to show what that final campaign in the west was like, and to re-fight the battles fought over my own countryside. Most of the people I’ve written about really lived; Torrington Church really did blow up, with 200 Royalist prisoners and their Parliamentary Guard inside, and no one has ever known how it happened, though Chaplain Joshua Sprigg left it on record that the deed was done by ‘one Watts, a desperate villain’ “.

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