Writer Amanda Craig on historical novelist and children’s writer Rosemary Sutcliff

Interview here in The Times newspaper with your blog’s author – about Rosemary Sutcliff, the book The Eagle of the Ninth and the film The Eagle.

4 thoughts on “Writer Amanda Craig on historical novelist and children’s writer Rosemary Sutcliff

  1. Once I finally got myself sorted and read the article, I was most intrigued by your remarks about RS and reincarnation, because she does appear to have had an intuitive understanding of where Roman army sites might have been placed. She commented that when she wrote “Eagle of the Ninth” she discovered to her dismay (too late to stop publication) that “there was no trace of Roman military occupation at Exeter, yet 25 years later traces of the Second Legion were being dug up all over the city”.

    When she wrote her later novel “Frontier Wolf”, excavations were in place at Cramond, where she set her story. She was disappointed to find from archaeologists that there was no evidence of Roman military occupation at the date of her story about the Frontier Wolves (AD 343). She said at the time ”maybe in 25 years’ time they will be digging up traces of the Third Ordo, Frontier Wolves, all over Cramond!” That may not have quite happened, but I noted this piece in a discussion paper about the Cramond fort diggings, which indicates that there may well have been Roman occupation later than originally thought.

    From “Cramond Roman Fort: evidence from excavations at Cramond Kirk Hall, 1998 and 2001” by Paul Masser

    “A reappraisal of the pottery from earlier investigations at Cramond indicates continued activity, with Roman connections at Cramond in the later third century. A late third- or early fourth-century date can be definitely assigned to several sherds published previously (Holmes 2003), while many others previously described as Severan are more likely to be later. Most of the forts in Scotland are thought to have been abandoned rapidly after the death of Severus and the subsequent withdrawal of the army, but the later history of Cramond may differ in this respect. Whether the later material represents a continuing, if intermittent, military presence, or some other form of occupation, perhaps by a local potentate with Roman connections, remains an open question.”


  2. Crikey, Anthony, I’m getting a crick in my neck trying to read this article :) Any chance of a rotated version?


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