Rosemary Sutcliff commended and highly commended for The Carnegie Medal for The Eagle of the Ninth, The Shield Ring, The Silver Branch, and Tristan and Iseult

In earlier times The Carnegie Medal used to have “commended” and “highly commended” books each year, as well as a winner—I do not think it does now.

Rosemary Sutcliff was awarded the medal in 1959 for The Lantern Bearers. But she was several times commended too. In:

1954 for The Eagle of the Ninth
1956 for The Shield Ring
1957 for The Silver Branch

And highly commended in:

1971 for Tristan and Iseult


Landscape and nature in Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Silver Branch

The Silver Branch by Rosemary Sutcliff Folio Society Edition cover
The Silver Branch, Folio Society Edition

Even the briefest of entries to Rosemary Sutcliff’s diary demonstrates her love of landscape and nature, so evident in her novels and autobiography, and noted by a contributor to The Scottish Book Trust site.

When I was just getting confident about reading, my mother asked our local librarian to recommend something that would stretch me a bit. The Silver Branch was her choice. It began a lifelong love affair with this wonderful writer. But it did much more than that.  Read More »

Place names in Roman Britain | In The Silver Branch | Rosemary Sutcliff Discovery of the Day

Acqua SulisBath
Venta – Winchester
Laighin – Leinster
Dubris – Dover
Eburacum – York
Portus Adurni – Portchester
Vectis – Isle of Wight
Durovernum – Canterbury

Web book chat on Rosemary Sutcliff’s novel The Silver Branch

Rosemary Sutcliff's  The Silver Branch 1957 book coverThe Silver Branch  by Rosemary Sutcliff was chatted about on the web on June 15 (2011). Commenting on the advance notice of this discussion (see below) ‘Annis’ (“The Silver Branch is the bridesmaid of The Eagle of the Ninth trilogy, but my personal favourite”) noted that “there was a recent discussion about the novel at the Historical Fiction Online forum “.  That discussion was kicked off by ‘Parthianbow’, aka historical novelist Ben Kane. He concluded his review (first published here):

The Silver Branch has a much larger list of characters than The Eagle of the Ninth, and this adds to its appeal. As well as Justin and Flavius, we have the genial Carausius, the cold, calculating Allectus, Evicatos, the brooding warrior, and Cullen, the faithful King’s Hound. Last but not least, there is the fierce old matriarch, Great-Aunt Honoria. Every one of these protagonists is simply but splendidly drawn, and their presence successfully enlarges the tale for the reader. Rich images from the first book also reappear: the Aquila signet ring with the carved green dolphin at its heart and the eagle standard that Marcus retrieved in Scotland.

Themes of comradeship and loyalty ― to family and friends, as well as to ideals ― are central to the plotline, and appeal to us all. As always, Sutcliff’s descriptions of the time are vivid and for the most part, extremely authentic. It is this rare ability to draw us completely into ancient times that makes The Silver Branch and her other works such a joy to read. Be sure to read The Eagle of the Ninth first, however!

Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Silver Branch | The Folio Society beautiful illustrated edition | Sutcliff re-Discovery of the Day

Rosemary Sutcliff’s novel, The Silver Branch, Folio Society’s 2004 edition, is beautifully drawn by Roman Pisarev. This illustration is of little Cullen.

As Anne in comments below has highlighted, “this illustration shows the moment when Flavius and Justin present their ‘tatterdemalion’ Lost Legion, gathered together after the death of Carausius, to Constantius’ astonished Praetorian Prefect, Asklepiodotus. Among the ‘reckless disreputable crew’ is ‘little Cullen, with his Silver Branch in the girdle of his tattered motley, holding the wingless Eagle proudly upright, but standing himself on one leg like a heron,which somewhat spoiled the effect’ “.

You can buy this edition of the book  from the Folio Society’s website. There is also a stunning version of The Eagle of the Ninth, probably Rosemary Sutcliff’s most famous novel which, you can also buy here.

(To regular readers: We are republishing and developing some November and December posts because of a glitch in the system which seemed to prevent them being indexed. This post was prompted and further helped by  comments from Anne thank you!.)