The non-pareil of historical fiction is Rosemary Sutcliff

Imogen Russell Williams wrote last year that “for me the nonpareil of children’s historical fiction remains Rosemary Sutcliff”:

Historical fiction for adults ranges in stature from the Booker-winning to the bodice-ripping – scholarly rambles or gleeful romps through a past animated, elucidated, or (at worst) knocked together into an unconvincing stage set by the writer’s imagination. The label carries its own baggage, however; like “crime”, or “fantasy”, sticking “historical” before “fiction” might, for some snobbish and deluded readers, require an “only” to complete the description.

It’s my feeling that historical fiction for children suffers less from the snootiness sometimes attracted by grown-up writing in the genre, perhaps because the educational cachet outweighs the sense that a “made-up” book is less worthwhile than a collection of primary sources. Certainly the best historical fiction of my childhood has remained with me, Read More »

The Eagle of the Ninth and Warrior Scarlet by Rosemary Sutcliff | Favourite books of Philip Reeve

The Eagle of the Ninth and Warrior Scarlet by Rosemary Sutcliff  (are one of my favourite books) … or I could have chosen Knight’s Fee, or The Lantern Bearers, or Sun-horse, Moon-horse, or Frontier Wolf Rosemary Sutcliff is one of my favourite children’s authors, and I doubt she ever wrote a bad book, but these were the two I liked best when I was growing up.Read More »

Rosemary Sutcliff historical novel Warrior Scarlet | SZKARŁAT WOJOWNIKA | Polish edition

Rosemary Sutcliff’s wonderful Warrior Scarlet (SZKARŁAT WOJOWNIKA in Polish) has a cover illustration in Poland which is a new one on me!

Cover of Polish Warrior Scarlet edition

I found it via ebay.

SZKARŁAT WOJOWNIKA | Rosemary Sutcliff historical novel Warrior Scarlet | Polish edition

This cover of a Polish edition of Rosemary Sutcliff’s wonderful Warrior Scarlet is a new one on me! I found it via ebay.

Cover of Polish Warrior Scarlet edition

Rosemary Sutcliff’s Warrior Scarlet in critic Julia Eccleshare’s Top Ten Children’s Books

Rosemary Sutcliff's Warrior Scarlet hardback coverWarrior Scarlet by Rosemary Sutcliff is recommended by Julia Eccleshare, children’s books editor of the Guardian newspaper, as one of her  Top Ten Children’s Books in Babyccino Kids, ‘an international lifestyle website for modern mums’:

… true burning Warrior Scarlet … was the very colour of courage itself. No woman might wear the colour, nor might the Half People who came and went at the Tribe’s call. It was for the Men’s side.

Warrior Scarlet, published in 1957,  is indeed  a wonderful historical novel, illustrated by Charles Keeping. Of the story, Julia Eccleshare writes:

Rosemary Sutcliff had an exceptional ability to bring the past to life; in Warrior Scarlet it is the Bronze Age. Drem needs to kill a wolf to become a man of the tribe. How he first fails and then succeeds in doing so despite his withered arm is a moving story about overcoming adversity.

Julia Eccleshare compiled  1001 Children’s Books: You Must Read Before You Grow Up,