I learned yesterday from some history documentary makers who were interested in Rosemary Sutcliff, her life and ideas, that more evidence may be coming to light about the Ninth Legion’s fate. Recall this is an element of The Eagle of the Ninth story. Rosemary’s instincts for a great story as told in The Eagle of the Ninth were based on (then) contemporary historical research. I find it especially pleasing (as a non-specialist and perhaps biased relative) to learn this – after in recent years some commentators have, in the eyes of others only on limited evidence and to limited dissent – disputed the idea of the ninth legion disappearing in Britain at all. A new TV programme next year purports, its makers tell me, to “reveal how Rosemary and fans of the book and her take on history can look forward to complete vindication”. She needs no vindication; but it would be pleasing and to me not at all surprising to find her imaginative leap once again in line with where the ‘evidence’ and (some) historians’ interpretations may be taking us!
(Post slightly amended, twice, from original in light of most interesting comment below from Robert Vermaat, to be a little more measured! But I write as a relative not an academic or other specialist, so hope I am allowed a little licence for passion! This I am sure will run and run, here and elsewhere?)