Simon (1953), an English Civil War novel of historical fiction and children‘s literature book that Noel Streatfield recommends “with all my heart” .

Simon, (1953) by Rosemary Sutcliff, is one of her early books of historical fiction & children’s literature. It deals with aspects of the English Civil War(s) (1642-51), what some (e.g. historian Christopher Hill) call the English Revolution. In her Author’s Note she wrote:

“Most history books deal with the final campaign of the Civil War in a single paragraph, and the Battle of Torrington they seldom mention at all. In this story I have tried to show what the final campaign in the west was like, and re-fight the battles fought over my own countryside.

Most of the people I’ve written about really lived; Torrington church really did blow up, with 200 royalist prisoners and their Parliamentary guard inside, and no one has ever known how it happened, though the chaplain Joshua Sprigg left it on record that the deed was done by “one Watts, a desperate villain”.

Now there is just a cobbled mound in the church-yard where it is said that those who died in the explosion were buried in a mass grave.

“Here is an author who writes with great distinction…Simon is a book that I recommend with all my heart” . So said acclaimed writer Noel Streatfield—she of Ballet Shoes & much more besides—about Rosemary Sutcliff and the book

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