Rosemary Sutcliff’s orphans Beric, Jestyn, Randall, Hugh not for Katherine Rundell’s top 10 orphans in children’s books

  Rosemary Sutcliff historical and children’s book and novel Blood Feud coverOutcast by Rosemary Sutcliff hardback coverKnight's Fee IllustrationBrother Dusty Feet historical fiction by Rosemary Sutcliff original UK cover

Sadly (and perhaps remissly) Katherine Rundell – winner of the Blue Peter book award 2014 for best story – did not include any of Rosemary Sutcliff’s characters in her recent ’10 of the best orphans’ at The Guardian’s children’s books site. She might have chosen Beric in Outcast, Jestyn in Blood Feud, Randall the dog-boy in Knight’s Fee, Hugh Copplestone in Brother Dusty-Feet. (And what are the  others I have forgotten?).

She chose:

  1. Mowgli, The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
  2. Cinderella
  3. Cat Chant, Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones
  4. Anne, Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery
  5.  Alex Rider, Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
  6. Harry, Harry Potter by JK Rowling
  7.  Lyra, His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
  8. Sophie, The BFG by Roald Dahl
  9. Peter, Peter Pan by J M Barrie
  10. The Fossil Sisters, Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield

Source: Katherine Rundell’s Top 10 Orphans

Author: Anthony Lawton

Chair, Sussex Dolphin, family company which looks after the work of eminent children’s & historical fiction author Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-92). Formerly CEO, chair & trustee of various charity, cultural & educational enterprises in UK.

2 thoughts on “Rosemary Sutcliff’s orphans Beric, Jestyn, Randall, Hugh not for Katherine Rundell’s top 10 orphans in children’s books”

  1. Hugh in “Bonnie Dundee”, Lovell in “Witch’s Brat”, Tamsin in “Armourer’s House”, both Frytha and Bjorn in “Shield Ring”, Owain in “Dawn Wind”, Red Phaedrus in “Mark of the Horse Lord” and of course Artos in “Sword at Sunset” and so on — in fact, maybe the question should be which of Sutcliff’s heroes weren’t orphans? :) The hero as orphan making his way in the world is of course a traditional fairy story and/or mythic trope.

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