Rosemary Sutcliff on Barra

“It was in the Great fire-hall on Barra, in the Outer Hebrides and a terrible storm was brewing up outside. They had just pulled the wicker-work shutters across the membrane of the windows in case the storm blew its way in, but the draughts were still getting in everywhere. You could hear the booming of the waves pitching against the beach . . . the hangings and skins of sailcloths with dragons painted on them billowed up all over the place as if they would come to life. . .”

Rosemary Sutcliff folds her hands over her chest: ”Then my supper arrived. I looked up into a clear, calm evening, and my first thought was ‘Thank heavens that awful wind’s gone!’ ”

Source: The Independent (London), April 18, 1992, article by Giselle Green Used with author’s permission

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