Rosemary Sutcliff to BBC Radio Times in 1977 on her historical novel The Eagle of the Ninth and hero Marcus

When the BBC adapted and broadcast Rosemary Sutcliff‘s historical novel The Eagle of the Ninth in 1977, the BBC Radio Times wrote about her approach to children, writing, the Romans and her hero Marcus—’part of me was in love with him’.

Her passion for the Romans stemmed from her childhood. Her mother read aloud to her from books like Rudyard Kipling‘s Puck Of Pook’s Hill.  His three Roman tales entranced her.

I didn’t read myself till the last possible minute, about nine. I was brought up on Arthur Weigall’s Wanderings In Roman Britain and Wanderings In Anglo-Saxon Britain. He mentions this eagle dug up at Silchester and I’ve been fascinated by it since I was five.

Continue reading “Rosemary Sutcliff to BBC Radio Times in 1977 on her historical novel The Eagle of the Ninth and hero Marcus”

Country of Origin of Viewers of the Rosemary Sutcliff web-site in 2016 | Top 5—USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany

For 2016 so far the countries that viewers of pages of this blog have come from are:

Countries of Origin of viewers of www.rosemarysutcliff.com blog on writer Rosemary Sutcliff

Sunday Times writer Sally Hawkins chooses Rosemary Sutcliff historical novel The Eagle of the Ninth as the book that changed her life

The Eagle of the Ninth, original book jacket OUP

Sally Hawkins, who writes for the Sunday Times, was asked to choose a ‘special book’ that changed her life, and explain why it means so much to her.

When I was eight, my taste suddenly moved on from What Katy Did at School and Swallows and Amazons to history. History with boys in it. The Eagle of the Ninth wasn’t the first historical novel I read, but it is one I found myself caught up in all over again, when the film version appeared in 2011. Fifty years on, I found its you-were-there depiction of Roman Britain and gripping plot as beguiling as ever.

I now realise I can trace my academic choices back to this tale of a young man searching for a lost legion — and missing father. Rosemary Sutcliff based it on authentic sources, and this intrigued me. The novel fired my interest in history; it was lurking behind my teenage passion for the First World War poets; and, from there, it was just a short step to my signing up for postgraduate degrees in medieval literature.

Re-reading Sutcliff, I realise just how un-condescending to younger readers her style and vocabulary are: what they don’t understand will just have to be looked up in a dictionary or on the internet. But the story is so compellingly told, they won’t be put off. More important, the book taught the younger me about friendship, courage and integrity. Sutcliff’s heroes are models of how to be good people, but never priggish or unbelievable. I bet George R R Martin read this book before embarking on his Game of Thrones series. The Wall for him is as potent a symbol of the divide between civilisation and darkness as it is for Sutcliff’s young Roman officer.

Rosemary Sutcliff in her own words on radio and in her autobiography in 1983

Rosemary Sutcliff tells her own story, about her life until her first books were published, and she started writing a diary, in Blue Remembered Hills—A Recollection. It has been most recently republished by Slightly Foxed. It was first published in 1983 by The Bodley Head.

Rosemary Sutcliff talks about herself and her writing—the only recorded interview with her that I have heard— in an interview on BBC Radio with Roy Plomley for an edition of the long-running, classic radio programme Desert Island Discs, also in 1983. Roy Plomley had presumably read her memoir. 

When anybody asks me where I was born, or when I am called on to provide that information in filling out a form, I admit with a distinct sense of apology that I was born in Surrey.
(Blue Remembered Hills, opening sentence)

Information on The Eagle film by Kevin Macdonald and Duncan Kenworthy of The Eagle of the Ninth best-selling historical novel by Rosemary Sutcliff

Now that it is several years since the making of the film The Eagle (2011) of the historical novel The Eagle of the Ninth (1954) by Rosemary Sutcliff, Ipost here in a post some of the material I originally gathered as a separate page on this http://www.rosemarysutcliff.com blog.

The Eagle film (initially entitled ‘The Eagle of the Ninth)

The Eagle is the title of the film (movie) based on world-renowned historical novelist  Rosemary Sutcliff’s famous historical novel – The Eagle of the Ninth. Academy award-winner Kevin Macdonald directed it;  Duncan Kenworthy produced it. Channing Tatum (other films before then included G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Dear John) lead the cast,  with Jamie Bell (Defiance, Jumper), Donald Sutherland, Mark Strong  (Sherlock Holmes, Robin Hood, Kick Ass) and Tahar Rahim (The Prophet). Jeremy Brock, BAFTA Award-winning screenwriter of Macdonald’s 2006 film The Last King of Scotland, adapted the screenplay of The Eagle  from Rosemary Sutcliff’s classic novel.  Continue reading “Information on The Eagle film by Kevin Macdonald and Duncan Kenworthy of The Eagle of the Ninth best-selling historical novel by Rosemary Sutcliff”