Re-discovering Rosemary Sutcliff

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Reader Angela Roemelt posted at the You Write! tab on this blog a few days back – sorry I missed it, caught up with work demands :

I can totally relate to …  experience of rediscovery . I have read many of Rosemary Sutcliff’s books as a child and teenager. I started re-reading them a couple of years ago as a ‘mid-fortyager’ and it was like meeting old friends. visiting old places, but seeing them now from a different perspective. 

For instance I am now able to read them in English too (as a child I only read the German translations) and noticed some very interesting and peculiar aspects about the process of translation.  I understood much more of the background of the stories.

I marvel at the obvious fact that Rosemary Sutcliff’s books are equally fascinating for children and adults and somehow seem to mature from within. Everything ‘adult’ I find in them now has been there from the very beginning on. I did not overlook it then, but I looked at it with a child’s eyes. Now I look at the same things and see the adult meaning and the meaning they held for me as a child.

Take Aquila wedding Ness. As a child I was mostly troubled with how unnecessary the whole thing was, since she obviously didn’t want to marry him and he only married her to please Ambrosius. She was a nuisance! Now I can still see the trouble and pain in the story, still see them not wanting to marry each other, but as a wife and mother-of-four I can identify much better with Ness. I wonder what these books will feel like when i read them at age seventy …

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