The books listed here share the essential virtues of all good fiction: the renewal of our sense of the world, of ourselves, of language, the extension of ourselves across time and space. And how odd it would be, how dull, if novelists and readers confined themselves, in the name of some dubious notion of relevance, to the events and style of one particular period.”
Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff
As a boy, Rosemary Sutcliff was my favourite author and this, the story of a young Roman centurion caught up in the search for the lost eagle of the Ninth Legion, my favourite of her novels. I had not heard of her or of the novel in many years, but Eagle of the Ninth has just been made into a film. It would be nice to think that a new generation of young readers will discover the pleasures of Sutcliff’s writing. Librarians of the nation (those who are still left) stand by your desks!