RSC Morte D’Arthur and Arthurian novel Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff

The knight Bedevere, played by James Traherne in the RSC production of  Morte D’Arthur, returns Arthur’s sword Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake after his final battle. He carries Arthur onto the barge that sails to Avalon after he is mortally wounded by Mordred. The RSC note that Bedevere appears in Rosemary Sutcliff’s 1963 best-selling Arthurian novel  Sword at Sunset as Guenever’s lover, rather than Launcelot.

4 thoughts on “RSC Morte D’Arthur and Arthurian novel Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff

    • Thanks for the link, Anthony. I’m not at all surprised that Philip Reeve was inspired by Rosemary Sutcliff’s work- I could hear its subtle echoes :)


      • And today via a Google alert I learn of an interview with Philip Reeve where again he reiterates his love of Rosemary Sutcliff, and especially Warrior Scarlet which he is or has been reading to his son.


        10. What/who are your favorite books/authors?

        Some favourite authors: Geraldine McCaughrean, J.G.Ballard, Patrick O’Brian, Rosemary Sutcliff… My favourite books are still the ones I loved as a child – I think you like things more intensely at that age, and they stay with you. I’m reading them all to my son now: The Lord of the Rings, Swallows and Amazons, The Nargun and the Stars, Warrior Scarlet…




  1. Philip Reeve also picks up this use of Bedwyr as Gwenhwyfar’s lover in his excellent young adult novel “Here Lies Arthur”, but whether he was influenced by Rosemary Sutcliff’s Arthurian novel I don’t know. Like Sutcliff”s work it demonstrates masterful use of language in a multi-layered story which can be appreciated at many different levels.


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