Writer of historical fiction Rosemary Sutcliff had a “mystical communion with the past” and an “uncanny sense of place”

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Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-1992) had several editors during her long writing career which produced over 60 books. One editor wrote (in a website post that I can no longer trace):

(Rosemary Sutcliff) had, as did Henry Treece, a mystical communion with the past, which enabled her both to recreate tiny details, and to confound military historians with her understanding of the art of battle in any situation she cared to devise. Her sense of place was uncanny, in that she could get no nearer to a site than the seat of a car on an adjacent road. Friends often served as her eyes, and also as her researchers, but it was the conclusions she drew from the evidence, and her re-creations of them, that made her contribution to the literature about the ancient world so distinctive. Where she was simply embellishing recorded history, she was no better than anyone else. She also had one of the rudest senses of humour in anyone I have met.”

2 comments

    1. No, because of her disability and need for wheelchair access (and difficulty of travelling). She mainly borrowed books from The London Library for her research. She used the services of various university-based friends to help with occasional bits or research, I believe

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