The distinctive features of historical novelist and children’s Rosemary Sutcliff’s ministrel’s magic

Injured hero, landscape and seasons, friendship, adventure, slow tension, thrilling escape, humour and horror, justice and fairness, dog and man, clashing worlds, slow romance, military understanding, hopeful endings, Devon

Rosemary Sutcliff, historical novelist

Signature of Rosemary Sutcliff showing her name is not Sutcliffe with an E

Helen  posted  a comment on this blog about on “the features which make up the ‘sum of parts’ that are a Rosemary Sutcliff  novel” and  “the indefinable minstrel’s magic that makes it all alive”:

  • A hero, set apart from his peers both by his injury and his past
  • Landscape and the seasons as living entities in themselves
  • Friendship
  • Adventure
  • Scenes of slow tension and thrilling escape
  • Flashes of both humour and horror
  • The sense and quest for justice and fairness
  • The clash of two worlds and the places where the distance narrows to nothing between them
  • The relationship between man and dog, and to a lesser degree, man and horse
  • The slow romance
  • Understanding of a military world
  • A hopeful, ‘song of new beginnings’ ending
  • Devon!

 

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.

4 thoughts on “The distinctive features of historical novelist and children’s Rosemary Sutcliff’s ministrel’s magic”

  1. On another post Anne writes of Rosemary Sutcliff’s “… favourite themes:the land as a potent entity in its own right; discovery of the self and one’s place in the world; love and comradeship; the struggle to maintain the light in dark times; and freely-given sacrifice for the greater good.”

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