The writing of Rosemary Sutcliff is loved by Imogen Russell Williams, director of Have Your Cake Theatre – a fringe theatre company. Her areas of ‘anorak expertise’ (according to the Guardian website) include ‘children’s books, classical tragedy and Golden Age crime fiction’. No wonder that for her:
… the nonpareil of children’s historical fiction remains Rosemary Sutcliff, whose books about Bronze Age Britain (Warrior Scarlet; Sun Horse, Moon Horse) and Roman Britain, particularly The Eagle of the Ninth and The Lantern Bearers, were intensely memorable to me as a child and part of the reason I eventually chose to study classics at university. Recently, rereading Warrior Scarlet, I was amazed all over again by the restrained poetry of Sutcliff’s intensely evocative writing – the story of Drem, a one-armed boy determined to win the right to wear scarlet as a warrior of his tribe, is infused with a breath of woodsmoke and animal blood that drifts subtly but irresistibly from the page. I hadn’t known, as a young reader, that Sutcliff was herself disabled – rereading the book in the light of that knowledge, it’s less surprising to me that she was able to create so vivid a sense of Drem’s frustration at the arm which “trails like a bird’s broken wing” as he darts through the forest with his throw-spear.
Source: Imogen Russell Williams on ‘Old stories for young readers’ | Books | guardian.co.uk.