I have found amongst my books when tidying my study the diary Rosemary Sutcliff was keeping in 1992, the year of her death, 20 years ago now. She kept a diary every year from 1950 when her first book was published. Mostly it was prosaic, about the days events. Occasionally she wrote about progress of a book, or a particularly interesting visit. Sometimes she described some glory in her much loved garden. I am minded to start posting the daily entries, which start on 29th March, from that date this year, at this blog. What do those who follow this website, and love her work, think?
I have also found her notes about the love of her life – who is referred to in her autobiography of her early years, Blue Remembered Hills. These I will not be publishing, here or anywhere, but they are most touching, especially since when I was young, I met the person in question several times. And I often spoke with Romie (as I knew her) about them.
5 thoughts on “Rosemary Sutcliff’s Diary for 1992”
Definitely would like to see journal entries posted here. Have just finished reading Blue Remembered Hills, and feel left very much up in the air. RS is one of my most treasured authours – I have read and re-read her work since late childhood – 40-some years, now. To get glimpses of the woman behind the books is a great privilege.
I will be starting up some journal entries again next week, again with the relevant date from one of Rosemary Sutcliff’s diaries.
I think the idea of posting the daily entries a charming one, Anthony.
I have seen comments about the Celtic influence in the not uncommon appearance of red-headed characters in Rosemary Sutcliff’s work, but I’ve always wondered whether in fact it was her great love, Rupert, with his “darkly flaming red hair” who was responsible. Rupert’s “blazingly golden-hazel eyes” also turn up here and there in her stories.
Not surprising that Rosemary Sutcliff, isolated and by her own admission “a very romantic girl”, should have fallen so heavily for Rupert, not only a glamorous figure but also one of the few people to disregard her disability and treat her as an adult in her own right. Their eventual parting of the ways is a heart-breaker: “Why does it seem so much more final when somebody goes away in a train than when they drive off in a car?”
Rather tantalisingly, RS comments in “Blue Remembered Hills”, “it was more than twenty years before I saw him again. But that, as Kipling would have said,’|is another story'”. She also said that she had no regrets, despite the hurt: “Because of what happened between Rupert and me, I was a fuller, richer person than I would otherwise have been”.
I’m new to this blog, but I would love to see some of these. It’s been a few years since I read Blue Remembered Hills, but I remember wondering about the years that followed.
That episode was the one in Blue Remembered Hills that really “bit” for me, because I was going through something of the same situation of disability and love and breaking down the walls… I always wanted to know what happened…