Treasure trove of Rosemary Sutcliff, British writer of historical fiction and children’s literature correspondence in decades long friendship with Canadian Christina Duff Stewart discovered at Toronto Public Library

Rather unsystematically gathering information about my relative, British writer of historical fiction and children’s literature, Rosemary Sutcliff, I have come across online mention of a carefully archived and indexed collection of 33 years correspondence with Rosemary Sutcliff donated to Toronto Public Library by her Canadian friend Christina Duff Stewart. There are 83 letters, 14 Christmas cards, and 7 ‘Round Robins’ of correspondence and also various books given to ‘Chris’ and ‘Christina’ by Rosemary. It’s a veritable treasure trove!

The contents are listed in a document which itself is intriguing. I was moved to learn, for example, that ‘Letter 82’ (of November 16th 1981) has a particular connection to my immediate family.

2-page letter with news of a minor car accident, work on the Bonnie Dundee book, and the birth of Rowan Rosemary Lawton, her godson Anthony’s (me) daughter.

Perhaps influenced by Sutcliff-Lawton genes (Rosemary Sutcliff was my first cousin-once-removed, my great aunt Nessie’s daughter) my daughter who is referred to now a literary agent!

The introduction to the detailed list of contents gives an idea of what is there. Unfortunately in my case to consult the collection in person,, and maybe to obtain copies or at least transcripts, Toronto is about 3,500 miles away from Leicestershire in England where I am writing this

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