For award-winning, internationally-acclaimed author Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-92). By Anthony Lawton: godson, cousin & literary executor. Rosemary Sutcliff wrote historical fiction, children's literature and books, films, TV & radio, including The Eagle of the Ninth, Sword at Sunset, Song for a Dark Queen, The Mark of the Horse Lord, The Silver Branch, The Lantern Bearers, Dawn Wind, Blue Remembered Hills.
Althea M. wrote an insightful review of Rosemary Sutcliff’s classic children’s historical retelling, The Hound of Ulster, the story of a legendary Irish hero, Cuchulain.
….in Sutcliff’s introduction, she mentions how one can tell a lot about a people and culture from the tales that they tell… and, reading these, I couldn’t help but be reminded (again) of Ursula K. Le Guin’s “Gifts,” and how she showed in that book how small and petty conflicts and rivalries could be magnified to an importance all out of proportion in an isolated, primitive culture. Here, a good deal of Cuchulain’s “heroic” exploits have to do with no more than stealing a neighbor’s cattle! It’s interesting to read these stories in contrast to so much of the extremely ‘elevated’ fantasy inspired by Celtic myth.
The book also shows, however, some of the interesting aspects of the culture – how a Queen could sometimes be more powerful than her husband, how bearing a child out of wedlock did not have shame attached, and acceptance of infidelity in marriage – things that are there in the original stories, but surprising, I thought, for a book published in 1963 and marketed to an audience including young people.
Two Rosemary Sutcliff titles are available in Welsh. Since I am temporarily working up here in Bangor in North Wales, heart of Welsh-speaking Wales, it seems right – indeed essential – to recall an older post and note that Cwchwlin Penarwr Iwerddon (The Hound of Ulster), and Merch y Pennaeth (The Chief’s Daughter). Author G R Grove, who wrote Storyteller, Flight of the Hawk, and The Ash Spear reminded me of these editions.
The widely read and acclaimedThe Eagle of the Ninth, published in 1954, still in print, is just one of some sixty books by Rosemary Sutcliff. This list has every book by Rosemary Sutcliff — author, historical novelist and children’s writer. For a short biography of Rosemary Sutcliff see Life tab.
Eagle of the Ninth and similar
The Eagle of the Ninth (1954) illustrated by C. Walter Hodges The Silver Branch (1957) illustrated by Charles Keeping The Lantern Bearers (1959) illustrated by Charles Keeping The Capricorn Bracelet (1973) illustrated by Charles Keeping Both Three Legions (1980) and The Eagle of the Ninth Chronicles (2010) are omnibus editions containing the first three books The Eagle of the Ninth Collection Boxed Set (2012) is also an omnibus edition of the first three books.
Camelot or King Arthur novels
Sword at Sunset (1963) The Sword and the Circle (1979) The Light Beyond the Forest (1979) The Road to Camlann (1981) The King Arthur Trilogy (1999) is an omnibus of The Sword and the Circle, The Light Beyond the Forest, and The Road to Camlann
Other children’s and young adult novels
Chronicles of Robin Hood (1950) The Queen Elizabeth Story (1950) illustrated by C. Walter Hodges The Armourer’s House (1951) Brother Dustyfeet (1952) Simon (1953) illustrated by C. Walter Hodges Outcast (1955) illustrated by Richard Kennedy The Shield Ring (1956) Warrior Scarlet (1957) illustrated by Charles Keeping Lady in Waiting (1957) Knight’s Fee (1960) illustrated by Charles Keeping The Bridge Builders (1959) Dawn Wind (1961) illustrated by Charles Keeping Beowulf (1961) illustrated by Charles Keeping (also published as Dragon Slayer) The Hound of Ulster (1963) illustrated by Victor Ambrus The Mark of the Horse Lord (1965) illustrated by Charles Keeping The Flowers of Adonis (1965) A Saxon Settler (1965) The Chief’s Daughter (1967) The High Deeds of Finn MacCool (1967) A Circlet of Oak Leaves (1968) The Witch’s Brat (1970) Tristan and Iseult (1971) The Truce of the Games (1971) Heather, Oak, and Olive (1972) is omnibus of three titles The Chief”s Daughter, A Circlet of Oak Leaves, and A Crown of Wild Olive (originally published as The Truce of the Games) The Capricorn Bracelet (1973) The Changeling (1974) illustrated by Victor Ambrus We Lived in Drumfyvie (1975) with Margaret Lyford-Pike Blood Feud (1976) illustrated by Charles Keeping Sun Horse, Moon Horse (1977) Shifting Sands (1977) Song for a Dark Queen (1978) Frontier Wolf (1980) Eagle’s Egg (1981) Bonnie Dundee (1983) Flame-Coloured Taffeta (1986) illustrated by Rachel Birkett The Roundabout Horse (1986) A Little Dog Like You (1987) illustrated by Jane Johnson The Best of Rosemary Sutcliff (1987) is an omnibus edition of Warrior Scarlet, The Mark of the Horse Lord and Knight’s Fee Little Hound Found (1989) The Shining Company (1990) The Minstrel and the Dragon Pup (1993) illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark. Black Ships Before Troy (1993) illustrated by Alan Lee Chess-dream in the Garden (1993) illustrated by Ralph Thompson The Wanderings of Odysseus (1995) illustrated by Alan Lee Sword Song (1997)
Novels for adults
Lady in Waiting (1957) The Rider of the White Horse (1959) Sword at Sunset (1963) The Flowers of Adonis (1969) Blood and Sand (1987)
Rudyard Kipling — A Monograph (1960) Houses and History (1960) Heroes and History (1965) illustrated by Charles Keeping Arthur Ransome, Rudyard Kipling and Walter De La Mare (1968) (with Leonard Clark and Hugh Shelley) reproduces the Rudyard Kipling mongraph—above Is Anyone There? (1978) (with Monica Dickens) Blue Remembered Hills (1983) — A memoir, her autobiography, or ‘recollection’ as she called it