Brother Dusty Feet was first Rosemary Sutcliff book broadcast on BBC Home Service’s Children’s Hour, in 1954

I have always thought that The Eagle of the Ninth (published in 1954) was the first book of Rosemary Sutcliff’s to be turned into a serial on Children’s Hour on BBC Radio. But it wasn’t! It was Brother Dusty Feet (published in 1952) which was billed as ‘A Chronicle of the Road by Rosemary Sutcliff’ in the Radio Times. I learn this from a website I have come across which is new to me—the BBC Genome project, which contains the listings information which the BBC printed in Radio Times between 1923 and 2009. You can search the site for BBC programmes, people, dates and Radio Times editions.

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Historical and children’s novelist Rosemary Sutcliff’s Brother Dusty Feet excerpt chosen in collection of adventure stories for ten year olds

Good morning, and Happy Father’s Day , at least in the UK…

I have been sorting my shelves of books connected with historical novelist and children’s writer Rosemary Sutcliff –  from her research library, the collection of titles and books which I inherited from her, and those I have acquired since her death in my role as her literary executor. (It it must be done, for we are moving house.)

Adventure Stories for Ten Year Olds, chosen by Helen PaibaAdventure Stories for Ten Year Olds ( Macmillan Children’s Books, 2001) was ‘compiled’ by Helen Paiba, and illustrated by Douglas Carrel. According to the blurb, Helen Paiba was “known as one of the most committed, knowledgeable, and acclaimed children’s booksellers in Britain.” For “more than twenty years she owned and ran the Children’s Bookshop in Muswell Hill, London, which under her guidance gained a superb reputation for its range of children’s books and for the advice available for its customers.” In 1995 she was awarded the Eleanor Farjeon Award, given for distinguished service to the world of children’s books.The story from Rosemary is an extract from Brother Dusty Feet (Oxford University Press, 1952, pp  23-33). It begins Read More »

Dedication of Brother Dusty Feet by Rosemary Sutcliff

Rosemary Sutcliff dedicated Brother Dusty Feet (on BBC Radio 4 extra, starting this week) to my grandfather, Harold Lawton, who lived in Parkstone, Dorset.

Brother Dusty Feet by Rosemary Sutcliff inside cover

Rosemary Sutcliff historical novel Brother Dusty Feet on BBC Radio

Brother Dusty Feet historical fiction by Rosemary Sutcliff original UK coverRosemary Sutcliff‘s Bother Dusty Feet is coming to radio in the UK and on the internet. Along with his faithful dog Argos, eleven-year-old orphan Hugh Copplestone decides to leave his Aunt and Uncle’s house after one beating too many, and marches off to Oxford to seek his fortune and the New Learning. When he meets a group of strolling players along the way, Hugh joins them and becomes part of their acting troupe. He walks “with his legs straight and his shoulders back as the Players taught him”. Or as The Radio Times says:

Set in the days of the first Queen Elizabeth, Rosemary Sutcliff’s children’s novel, written in 1952, has more than a touch of ‘lashings of ginger beer’ and Wizard of Oz innocence about it. Young Hugh, an orphan, is bound for the dreaming spires of Oxford, with only his beloved dog and the stars for company, when he meets a kindly band of travelling  players, and joins them on a series of adventures and derring-do. Shaun McKenna’s adaptation is full of fanciful myths, legends and encounters with historical heroes. The whole family will be eager to find out if young Hugh finds his rainbow, somewhere along the dusty roads of southern England.

To discover what the New Learning was Read More »

Interesting views & titles already from collecting on Twitter and Website views about eminent writer of children’s literature and historical fiction Rosemary Sutcliff‘s best books of fiction & re-telling

Rosemary Sutcliff’s Best Books

So far almost twenty of Rosemary Sutcliff’s books of children and young adults fiction and historical fiction have been cited either here or on Twitter (#BestRosemarySutcliffBook) after my call for choices and rationales. Some people snuck in more than one choice.

Of those, some raised possible distinctions between reading and re-reading, reading as a child and as an adult, reading novels written for adults and those written for children, and those books of fiction versus her re-telling of saga and legend

A Little Dog Like You (first published 1987)
Blood Feud (1976)
Brother Dusty Feet (1952)
Dawn Wind (1961)
Frontier Wolf (1980)
Simon (1953)
Song for a Dark Queen (1978)
Sword at Sunset (1963)
The Armourer’s House (1951)
The Eagle of the Ninth (1954)
The Flowers of Adonis (1969)
The High Deeds of Finn MacCool (1967)
The Hound of Ulster (1963)
The Lantern Bearers (1959)
The Mark of the Horse Lord (1965)
The Shining Company (1990)
The Silver Branch (1957)
The Witch’s Brat (1970)
Warrior Scarlet (1957)