Rosemary Sutcliff The Mark of the Horse Lord | Read with A Chair, A Fireplace, A Tea Cozy | Review of the Week

The Mark of the Horse Lord about Phaedrus, a gladiator in second century Britain, was one of The Eagle of the Ninth author Rosemary Sutcliff’s many award-winning historical novels and children’s books. Blogger Liz B, who ‘like Buffy’ just wants ‘a chair, a fireplace, a tea cozy, and to talk about stories’ invites us to ‘pull up a chair, have a cup of tea’ and love the  

… non stop action. Chapter One, we get a mother’s suicide, gladiator fights, freedom; Chapter Two, a drunk night on the town resulting in fights, stabbings, and fire; Chapter Three is prison and the Midir plan. There’s barely a place for Phaedrus or the reader to breathe. Yet, within all that action, Sutcliff includes many details about the second century Britain.

Liz Be loved the detailed writing.

‘Phaedrus’s mother had used the slim native hunting dagger that had served Ulixes as a papyrus knife; but there was not much blood because she had stabbed herself under the breast, not cut her wrists as a Roman woman would have done’. In one sentence, (Rosemary) Sutcliff  ‘tells us how Phaedrus’s mother killed herself, also revealing how the native  and Roman cultures mixed yet did not mix.

Source: Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy: The Mark of the Horse Lord

Author: Anthony Lawton

Chair, Sussex Dolphin, family company which looks after the work of eminent children’s & historical fiction author Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-92). Formerly CEO, chair & trustee of various charity, cultural & educational enterprises in UK.

3 thoughts on “Rosemary Sutcliff The Mark of the Horse Lord | Read with A Chair, A Fireplace, A Tea Cozy | Review of the Week”

  1. I have just come across your blog, and am delighted to see how many other people love and enjoy Rosemary Sutcliff’s books. I discovered them in my local library when I was about 8, and at 53 I’m still a regular reader. Mark of the Horse Lord is one I don’t own, but remember so vividly – one of the most moving and unforgettable books I’ve ever read.


    1. Thank you so much for troubling to post a comment. I do agree about The Mark of the Horse Lord. I hope you keep reading and enjoying her writing.


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