Good morning, and Happy Father’s Day , at least in the UK…
I have been sorting my shelves of books connected with historical novelist and children’s writer Rosemary Sutcliff – from her research library, the collection of titles and books which I inherited from her, and those I have acquired since her death in my role as her literary executor. (It it must be done, for we are moving house.)
Adventure Stories for Ten Year Olds ( Macmillan Children’s Books, 2001) was ‘compiled’ by Helen Paiba, and illustrated by Douglas Carrel. According to the blurb, Helen Paiba was “known as one of the most committed, knowledgeable, and acclaimed children’s booksellers in Britain.” For “more than twenty years she owned and ran the Children’s Bookshop in Muswell Hill, London, which under her guidance gained a superb reputation for its range of children’s books and for the advice available for its customers.” In 1995 she was awarded the Eleanor Farjeon Award, given for distinguished service to the world of children’s books.The story from Rosemary is an extract from Brother Dusty Feet (Oxford University Press, 1952, pp 23-33). It begins
“We’ve overslept,” said Hugh. “Yee-ow!” said Argos, leaping out of the ditch and stretching first his front legs and then his back ones, and yawning so wide that Hugh could see right down his pink throat.”
This set me musing; wanting to re-energise this blog as a public space where readers and lovers of the books and stories of Romie (as I knew her) share their enthusiasms and knowledge. So, I am prompted to ask: who is your favourite dog in a Rosemary Sutcliff book? Why? And maybe leave a quote with a reference if you have the book to hand. But if not, never mind, just recall the dog and why it meant something to you…and what! You can leave a comment below; or you can post at the You Write! tab at the top of the blog.
Finally here is the carping bit. The illustration provided of Hugo and Argos is not a patch to my mind on the ones by C Walter Hodges in the original. But worse, he collator of stories and the publishers join the roll of dishonour of people who cannot spell Rosemary Sutcliff (sic) properly. As followers of this blog, readers and fans know only too well, Sutcliffe (sic) is not her name. And just to be really picky, they get the page reference wrong for the extract ….