Rosemary Sutcliff’s historical novels The Eagle of the Ninth, The Silver Branch, and The Lantern Bearers are sometimes called a trilogy. Rosemary Sutcliff won the Library Association Carnegie Medal for The Lantern Bearers in 1959. The Medal is awarded every year in the UK to the writer of an outstanding book for children. The Library Association started the prize in 1936, in memory of the Scottish-born philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), a self-made industrialist who made his fortune in steel in the USA. His experience of using a library as a child led him to resolve that “if ever wealth came to me that it should be used to establish free libraries”. He established more than 2800 libraries across the English speaking world and, by the time of his death, over half the library authorities in Great Britain had Carnegie libraries.
First awarded to Arthur Ransome for Pigeon Post, the medal is now awarded by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. The winner receives a golden medal and some £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choice. Rosemary Sutcliff also:
- Was runner-up for Carnegie Medal for Tristan and Iseult in 1972
- Won the Boston-Globe Horn Book Award for Tristan and Iseult in 1972
- Was highly commended by the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1974
- Won The Other Award for Song for a Dark Queen in 1978
- Won The Phoenix Children’s Book Award for The Mark of the Horse Lord in 1985, and The Shining Company in 2010