The historical chronology of the historical fiction by Rosemary Sutcliff | Novels for children, young people and adults

A Chronology of Rosemary Sutcliff’s historical fiction, which is not a tightly-linked series, although there is some continuity.

900 BCE: Warrior Scarlet (1958)
415 BCE: The Flowers of Adonis (1969)
100 BCE: Sun Horse, Moon Horse (1977)
33 CE: Song for a Dark Queen (1978)
126 CE: The Eagle of the Ninth (1954)
130 CE: Outcast (1955)
180 CE: The Mark of the Horse Lord (1965)
292 CE: The Silver Branch (1957)
341 CE: Frontier Wolf (1980)
450 CE: The Lantern Bearers (1959)
480 CE: Sword at Sunset (1963)
585 CE: Dawn Wind (1961)
595 CE: The Shining Company (1990)
890 CE: Sword Song (1997)
986 CE: Blood Feud (1976)
1090 CE: The Shield Ring (1956)
1094 CE: Knight’s Fee (1960)
1115 CE: The Witch’s Brat (1970)
1184 CE: The Chronicles of Robin Hood (1950)
1534 CE: The Armourer’s House (1951)
1564 CE: Lady in Waiting (1957)
1569 CE: The Queen Elizabeth Story (1950)
1581 CE: Brother Dusty-Feet (1952)
1640 CE: Simon (1953)
1642 CE: The Rider of the White Horse (1959)
1683 CE: Bonnie Dundee (1983)
1750 CE: Flame-Coloured Taffeta (1986)
1807 CE: Blood and Sand (1987)

Collection of Rosemary Sutcliff covers via Google Images March 2016
Collection of Rosemary Sutcliff covers via Google Images March 2016

Encyclopaedia Brittanica says “fair reason” to call Rosemary Sutcliff “the finest writer of historical fiction for children…using English”

There was fair reason to consider Rosemary Sutcliff not only the finest writer of historical fiction for children but quite unconditionally among the best historical novelists using English. A sound scholar and beautiful stylist, she made few concessions to the presumably simple child’s mind and enlarged junior historical fiction with a long series of powerful novels about England’s remote past, especially that dim period stretching from pre-Roman times to the coming of Christianity. Among her best works are The Eagle of the Ninth (1954),The Shield Ring (1956), The Silver Branch (1957), The Lantern Bearers (1959), and especially Warrior Scarlet (1958).
Source: Encyclopaedia Brittanica entryA picture of Rosemary Sutcliff (not Rosemary Sutcliff: eminent writer for children and adults

Medieval Lending Libraries

The Flower of Nature (MS 11390) is a natural encyclopedia and bestiary in Middle Dutch verse newly put into its digitised manuscripts collection by The British Library. In addition to its fantastical drawings, it also provides rare evidence of a medieval lending library. An oath is written on the last page, which states that its borrower swears on the cross drawn next to the text that he or she will return the manuscript or die! The oath is signed by a woman, in a 14th- or 15th-century hand, who identifies herself as ‘abstetrix heifmoeder’ (‘obstetrix’ means midwife).


Rosemary Sutcliff Historical Novels and the North-East of England

One Alan Myers once compiled an ‘A to Z of the many writers of the past who had a significant connection’ with the North-East of England. It seems now to have disappeared from the web . He writes of Rosemary Sutcliff:

“One of the most distinguished children’s writers of our times, Rosemary Sutcliff wrote over thirty books , some of them now considered classics. She sets several of her best-known works in Roman and Dark Age Britain, giving her the opportunity to write about divided loyalties, a recurring theme. The Capricorn Bracelet comprises six linked short stories spanning the years AD 61 to AD 383, and Hadrian’s Wall features in the narrative.

The Eagle of the Ninth (1954) is perhaps her finest work and exemplifies the psychological dilemmas that Rosemary Sutcliff brought to her novels. It is a quest story involving a journey north to the land of the Picts to recover the lost standard of the Roman Ninth Legion. A good part of the book is set in the North East around Hadrian’s Wall (a powerful symbol) and a map is provided. The book has been televised, and its sequels are The Silver Branch (1957) and The Lantern Bearers (1959), which won the Carnegie medal. Sutcliff returned to the Romano-British frontier in The Mark of the Horse Lord (1965) and Frontier Wolf (1980).

Northern Britain in the sixth century AD is the setting of The Shining Company (1990), a retelling of The Goddodin (v. Aneirin) a tragedy of epic proportions. The story, however, is seen from the point of view of the shield-bearers, not the lords eulogised in The Goddodin, and treats themes of loyalty, courage and indeed political fantasy.”

Rosemary Sutcliff’s novels relevant to contemporary politics and society?

How relevant are Rosemary Sutcliff’s novels to contemporary politics and society?

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John Fitzgerald writes a piece about the referendum, about which he himself says (in his own words, in a comment elsewhere here)

It’s written from a pro-Leave standpoint and is quite religious in its outlook … So, it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I hope it goes to show just how relevant RS’s novels are to contemporary politics and society.

Source: Londinium: The Fourth Rome? Guest Post by John Fitzgerald