Rosemary Sutcliff Facebook-likers vigorously criticise Booktrust so-called ‘Best 100 children’s books of last 100 years’ | No Rosemary Sutcliff on it!

Over at the Facebook page for Rosemary Sutcliff  readers have been robust about  the error of The Booktrust’s ways in excluding Rosemary Sutcliff from their attempt to list the 100 best children’s books of the last 100 years. I asked for help in compiling a broadside.

I’m not sure this will help, but the books I enjoyed when I was 11 still engage me at 63! I’ve never felt that Rosemary Sutcliff writes for children alone. There’s probably no more poignant tale than The Lantern Bearers. Also, she has a talent for dialogue in an historical context which is unsurpassed. Most children’s authors have nothing remotely like it. (Roy Marshall)

Rosemary Sutcliff’s books last in the mind and heart. I am 63 now and they stand out as Beacons from my childhood. I have reread many in mid and later life and they are even better. I am with Roy, The Lantern Bearers is my favourite – so evocative and of our own end times too. (Rob Patterson)

Rosemary Sutcliff’s Roman books, starting with the Eagle of the Ninth (but I read all the others – The Mark of the Horse Lord was probably the one that really inspired me), were one of the influences that led me to study archaeology.

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1959 Carnegie Medal awarded to Rosemary Sutcliff for historical novel The Lantern Bearers

The Carnegie Medal for 2013  is awarded today. The Medal is awarded every year in the UK to the writer of an outstanding book for children. (2013 shortlist here).

The eminent Rosemary Sutcliff  (1920-92) won the (former) Library Association Carnegie Medal in 1959 for her historical novel for children The Lantern Bearers (she wrote for children”aged 8 to 88″, she said).  She was runner-up with Tristan and Iseult in 1972. Read More »

Rosemary Sutcliff’s historical novel for children The Lantern Bearers won The Carnegie Medal in 1959

Cover of Japanese Edition of The Lantern Bearers

Rosemary Sutcliff won the Library Association Carnegie Medal in 1959 for her historical novel for children (“aged 8 to 88” in her view) The Lantern Bearers. The Medal is awarded every year in the UK to the writer of an outstanding book for children. First awarded to Arthur Ransome for Pigeon Post, the medal is now awarded by CILIP: The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. Both the Carnegie Medal and its sister award, the Kate Greenaway Medal are awarded annually. The 2012 shortlist was recently announced, and the winners will be named on Thursday 14th June.

The Library Association started the prize in 1936, in memory of the Scottish-born philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), a self-made industrialist who made his fortune in steel in the USA. The winner now receives a golden medal and some £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choice. Rosemary Sutcliff also won or was nominated for many other awards in the UK and USA. (She won other awards in translation). She

Full list of Carnegie Medal winners here

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