Young adults not invented when eleven-year old CB read Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth

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CB editions, as it says of itself, publishes “short fiction, poetry, translations and other work which, as the Guardian noted, ‘might otherwise fall through the cracks between the big publishers’ “. CB, I assume, is taken from the initials of the one-person band that is the publishing house, and who I think writes the blog Sonofabook which I have just enjoyed discovering.

Late last month a list of forty books that CB  read when eleven or twelve was posted. “I found it in a shoe box after my mother died in 2004. I’ve written here about this list before, but then I put it in a safe place and lost it; now I’ve found it again, disguised as a bookmark, so it gets another airing.”

Rosemary Sutcliff features, unfortunately but understandably for a eleven-or-so-year-old , spelt with an ‘E’; the book was listed as The Eagles of the Ninth (sic), a slight if significant rewording of the title (The Eagle of the Ninth, just one eagle!). Forty years on CB knows well the author and the title:

There are just two women writers on the list, Baroness Orczy and Rosemary Sutcliff. And only one book, I think, that was specifically written for children (Sutcliff’s Eagle of the Ninth). ‘Young adults’ hadn’t yet been invented. Nor, of course, had PlayStations and Xboxes, which left a lot of time to fill.

The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff, first edition cover

The full list is:

Young reader CB’s booklist, including Rosemary Sutcliffe’s (sic) The Eagles of the Ninth (sic); should be The Eagle of the Ninth, singular

Source: Sonofabook blog

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