Alkibiades, the hero of Rosemary Sutcliff’s novel The Flowers of Adonis, was one of the more enigmatic figures of Greek history. When this historical novel ‘for adults’ was published in 1969 by Hodder and Stoughton (costing 35 shillings in old money), Rosemary was inteviewed by The Times newspaper (Oct 27, 1969).
I was trained at art school, but then the desire to scribble came over me. I got my interest in history from my mother who had a sort of minstrel’s, rather than historian’s knowledge. Inaccurate, but full of colourful legend. I disliked history at school ….
… They do say that to be a successful children’s writer one has to have a large lump of unlived childhood in one. I certainly think I have that.
You have to show children that good does overcome evil, but that does not necessarily mean that the old lady you helped then pays for your ballet lessons! The satisfaction should just be coming from the fact that you have done right.
… It is easier to give a book a historical setting, because children will take things happening then rather than right on their own doorsteps now.
Source: The Times, Oct 27, 1969, p6.