Rosemary Sutcliff’s finest historical novel and ‘masterpiece’ is The Mark of the Horse Lord, suggests Oxford The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature

The The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature from 2006 has a long entry on Rosemary Sutcliff. It suggests that The Mark of the Horse Lord (published in 1966) is her finest historical fiction in the eyes of many people.

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Rosemary Sutcliff’s thank-you address to the American Children’s Literature Association in Arbor, Michigan, 19th May 1985 | For the Phoenix Award for The Mark of the Horse Lord

Rosemary Sutcliff sent an address to the Children’s Literature Association in Arbor, Michigan, 19th May 1985 when she received the Phoenix Award for The Mark of the Horse Lord. This is an excerpt.

The Mark of the Horse-Lord  is one of my best-beloved books, amongst my own, and has remained so warmly living in my mind, though I have never re-read it, that when I heard that it had won an award for a book published twenty years ago, my first thought was “How lovely!! But my second was, ‘But it can’t be anywhere near twenty years old; it’s one of my quite recent books; there must be some mistake!” And I made all speed to get it out of the bookcase and look at the publication date, to make sure. And having got it out, of course I started reading it again.

Re-reading a book of my own is for me (and I imagine for most authors) a faintly nerve-wracking process, Read More »

Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Mark of the Horse Lord loved by Cornish writer Anna Maria Murphy

I discovered in 2010 that renowned Cornish writer Anna Maria Murphy was a great fan of  Rosemary Sutcliff, author of children’s books and historical fiction. Anna writes for  Theatre, as well as radio.

As a girl and a young woman, Rosemary Sutcliff was my absolute favourite writer and The Mark Of The Horse Lord one of my favourite books of all time. She was unlike any other writer for young people … ahead of her time by generations. She was one of the reasons I wanted to write as a young person … I always wanted to meet her … I wrote to her once, and she sent a lovely reply, but I lost the letter many years ago.

Anna began to write for theatre to avoid playing a dog! Her writing for Kneehigh has included ‘Don John’, ‘The Bacchae’, ‘The Red Shoes’, ‘Tristan & Yseult’, ‘Skulduggery’, ‘Doubtful Island’ ‘Ghost Nets’, ‘Women Who Threw the Day Away’, ‘Telling Tales’, ‘Wild Bride’ (The Shamans) and the film ‘Flight’. She has also written for Theatre Alibi, Platform 4, Brainstorm Films, The Eden Project, and several plays for Radio 4.

(Re-post from 2010, slightly updated)

The Mark of the Horse Lord by Rosemary Sutcliff | Award-winning historical and children’s novel

Like the sudden opening of a cavern in his head, reality burnt upon Phaedrus, and in that ice-bright splinter of time he understood at last that this was a fight to the death, that he was fighting, not his comrade Vortimax, whom he had fought scores and hundreds of times before, but death, red-rending death such as the stag’s had been, and the hooks of the mercuries in the dark alleyway.

(from The Mark of the Horse Lord by Rosemary Sutcliff )

More about Rosemary Sutcliff‘s The Mark of the Horse Lord