British writer Rosemary Sutcliff re-tells legends of Robin Hood, King Arthur, Beowulf, Tristan & Iseult, Finn Mac Cool, Cuchulain, the Iliad, the Odyssey

Portrait of historical novelist and children’s author Rosemary Sutcliff by Mark Gerson

Always at the same writing desk, seated in an old captain’s chair, Rosemary Sutcliff imagined a rich cast of characters to people her historical novels. But many of her works also draw heavily on legend.

In her first published book in 1950, she re-worked her  Chronicles of Robin Hood. The best-selling Sword at Sunset in 1963, written for adults, re-made the story of King Arthur. Later in her writing career, she created a trilogy of books aimed at children and young people retelling the tale of Arthur again—The Light Behind the Forest: The Quest for the Holy Grail (1979), The Sword and the Circle: King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (1981), and The Road to Camlann: The Death of King Arthur (1981). She  also wrote novels re-making the stories of Beowulf, Tristan and Iseult, and the Irish heroes Finn Mac Cool and Cuchulain, The Hound of Ulster, as well as re-telling Homer’s Iliad and The Odyssey

Odysseia (2012) | Rosemary Sutcliff in Turkey

Published this year  in Turkey, a version of The Wanderings of Odysseus by Rosemary Sutcliff!

Odysseia | The Wanderings of Odysseus, by Rosemary Sutcliff, in Turkish

… a suggestion of a classical myths and legends…sounds rather exciting … (Diary, 3/6/88)

June 3rd Friday. Poor little blackbird died in the night. I suppose the shock was too much for it. Oh dear …. Gina rang up with suggestion of doing a classical myths and legends for an old chum and colleague  in a new publishing house of hers. Sounds rather exciting.

This refers to Gina Pollinger (‘Murray Pollinger’ was her agent), and is the first mention (in the diaries) of what became two books with Frances Lincoln (publishers), Black Ships before Troy, and The Wanderrings of Odysseus

Off the Shelf | The Wanderings of Odysseus |

Rosemary Sutcliff gets mentioned in Off the Shelf, a weekly column on which highlights “the books that inspire great talents, designers and entrepreneurs”.

This week, restaurateur Andrew Tarlow (of Brooklyn’s Marlow & Sons, Diner and Roman’s restaurants, and the butcher shop Marlow & Daughters) talks about “The Wanderings of Odysseus: The Story of the Odyssey” (Delacourte Press) by Rosemary Sutcliff, illustrated by Alan Lee. “In the book, Sutcliff and Lee turn Homer’s epic poem into a compelling pictorial tale … Tarlow on the slow road to success, his family’s affinity for ancient Greek myths and the things he learned from a Phaeacian princess about the art of hospitality.

via Off the Shelf | ‘The Wanderings of Odysseus’ –