Wonderful! Rosemary Sutcliff’s Desert Island Discs programme from 1983 now on BBC website

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Do you want to hear what Rosemary Sutcliff sounded like, as well as some of her observations about her life and writing?The BBC has now made available the original recording of Rosemary Sutcliff on Desert Island Discs with Roy Plumley  from October 1st, 1983. She talks about her career, about the difficulties caused by arthritis since she was a child and she chooses the eight records that she would take to the mythical island. They were:

  • Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 in E minor ‘From the New World’
  • Dykes/Whiting: Eternal Father Strong To Save
  • Claude Debussy: Prélude à l’après midi d’un faune
  • Richard Tauber: We’ll Gather Lilacs
  • John D. Burgess: The Flowers Of The Forest
  • Dylan Thomas: Under Milk Wood
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
  • Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata No. 147: Herz und mund und Tat und Leben

Mind you, Charlotte Higgins, Chief Arts Writer of The Guardian, commented in a tweet:

4 comments

  1. Thank you for posting Rosemary’s diary entries! I’ve been a fan of hers since I was 14 and still love her books to bits.

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  2. Anne, Funnily enough (in return) I used to read Elizabeth Byrd way back when – I’m sure I’ve read “Immortal Queen”. On the other hand I may be confusing her with Margaret Irwin… Let me know what you think of “Flowers of the Forest”, will you?

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  3. Funny you should mention Flodden, Jane – I’ve recently come across an author of a similar vintage to RS who wrote several historical novels. Well-regarded back in the day, but now fallen into obscurity, Elizabeth Byrd was American but had an affinity with all things Scottish and made her home in Scotland. I’ve just bought a couple of her books second-hand and will be interested to see how they stack up – “Immortal Queen”, about Mary, Queen of Scots, and “Flowers of the Forest”, which is, as you might expect, about James IV of Scotland and the Battle of Flodden Field.

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  4. Oh, the Naval Hymn (Eternal Father Strong to Save). Must listen to that programme and find out why.
    What a wonderful mixture. Given that she mentions “Flowers of the Forest” at least once in her writing (in “Simon”?) I’ve always wondered if she might one day have written about Flodden.

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