Treasure trove of Rosemary Sutcliff, British writer of historical fiction and children’s literature correspondence in decades long friendship with Canadian Christina Duff Stewart discovered at Toronto Public Library

Rather unsystematically gathering information about my relative, British writer of historical fiction and children’s literature, Rosemary Sutcliff, I have come across online mention of a carefully archived and indexed collection of 33 years correspondence with Rosemary Sutcliff donated to Toronto Public Library by her Canadian friend Christina Duff Stewart. There are 83 letters, 14 Christmas cards, and 7 ‘Round Robins’ of correspondence and also various books given to ‘Chris’ and ‘Christina’ by Rosemary. It’s a veritable treasure trove!

The contents are listed in a document which itself is intriguing. I was moved to learn, for example, that ‘Letter 82’ (of November 16th 1981) has a particular connection to my immediate family.

2-page letter with news of a minor car accident, work on the Bonnie Dundee book, and the birth of Rowan Rosemary Lawton, her godson Anthony’s (me) daughter.

Perhaps influenced by Sutcliff-Lawton genes (Rosemary Sutcliff was my first cousin-once-removed, my great aunt Nessie’s daughter) my daughter who is referred to now a literary agent!

The introduction to the detailed list of contents gives an idea of what is there. Unfortunately in my case to consult the collection in person,, and maybe to obtain copies or at least transcripts, Toronto is about 3,500 miles away from Leicestershire in England where I am writing this

A listing of all the books of Children’s Literature and Historical Fiction by British writer Rosemary Sutcliff

A Rosemary Sutcliff Bibliography

The widely read and acclaimed The Eagle of the Ninth, published in 1954, still in print, is just one of some sixty books by Rosemary Sutcliff. This list has every book by Rosemary Sutcliff — author, historical novelist and children’s writer. For a short biography of Rosemary Sutcliff see Life tab.

Eagle of the Ninth and similar

The Eagle of the Ninth (1954) illustrated by C. Walter Hodges
The Silver Branch (1957) illustrated by Charles Keeping
The Lantern Bearers (1959) illustrated by Charles Keeping
The Capricorn Bracelet (1973) illustrated by Charles Keeping
Both Three Legions (1980) and The Eagle of the Ninth Chronicles (2010) are omnibus editions containing the first three books
The Eagle of the Ninth Collection Boxed Set (2012) is also an omnibus edition of the first three books.

Camelot or King Arthur novels

Sword at Sunset (1963)
The Sword and the Circle (1979)
The Light Beyond the Forest (1979)
The Road to Camlann (1981)
The King Arthur Trilogy (1999) is an omnibus of The Sword and the Circle, The Light Beyond the Forest, and The Road to Camlann

Other children’s and young adult novels

Chronicles of Robin Hood (1950)
The Queen Elizabeth Story (1950) illustrated by C. Walter Hodges
The Armourer’s House (1951)
Brother Dustyfeet (1952)
Simon (1953) illustrated by C. Walter Hodges
Outcast (1955) illustrated by Richard Kennedy
The Shield Ring (1956)
Warrior Scarlet (1957) illustrated by Charles Keeping
Lady in Waiting (1957)
Knight’s Fee (1960) illustrated by Charles Keeping
The Bridge Builders (1959)
Dawn Wind (1961) illustrated by Charles Keeping
Beowulf (1961) illustrated by Charles Keeping (also published as Dragon Slayer)
The Hound of Ulster (1963) illustrated by Victor Ambrus
The Mark of the Horse Lord (1965) illustrated by Charles Keeping
The Flowers of Adonis (1965)
A Saxon Settler (1965)
The Chief’s Daughter (1967)
The High Deeds of Finn MacCool (1967)
A Circlet of Oak Leaves (1968)
The Witch’s Brat (1970)
Tristan and Iseult (1971)
The Truce of the Games (1971)
Heather, Oak, and Olive (1972) is omnibus of three titles The Chief”s Daughter, A Circlet of Oak Leaves, and A Crown of Wild Olive (originally published as The Truce of the Games)
The Capricorn Bracelet (1973)
The Changeling (1974) illustrated by Victor Ambrus
We Lived in Drumfyvie (1975) with Margaret Lyford-Pike
Blood Feud (1976) illustrated by Charles Keeping
Sun Horse, Moon Horse (1977)
Shifting Sands (1977)
Song for a Dark Queen (1978)
Frontier Wolf (1980)
Eagle’s Egg (1981)
Bonnie Dundee (1983)
Flame-Coloured Taffeta (1986) illustrated by Rachel Birkett
The Roundabout Horse (1986)
A Little Dog Like You (1987) illustrated by Jane Johnson
The Best of Rosemary Sutcliff (1987) is an omnibus edition of Warrior Scarlet, The Mark of the Horse Lord and Knight’s Fee
Little Hound Found (1989)
The Shining Company (1990)
The Minstrel and the Dragon Pup (1993) illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark.
Black Ships Before Troy (1993) illustrated by Alan Lee
Chess-dream in the Garden (1993) illustrated by Ralph Thompson
The Wanderings of Odysseus (1995) illustrated by Alan Lee
Sword Song (1997)

Novels for adults

Lady in Waiting (1957)
The Rider of the White Horse (1959)
Sword at Sunset (1963)
The Flowers of Adonis (1969)
Blood and Sand (1987)


Rudyard Kipling — A Monograph (1960)
Houses and History (1960)
Heroes and History (1965) illustrated by Charles Keeping
Arthur Ransome, Rudyard Kipling and Walter De La Mare (1968) (with Leonard Clark and Hugh Shelley) reproduces the Rudyard Kipling mongraph—above
Is Anyone There? (1978) (with Monica Dickens)
Blue Remembered Hills (1983) — A memoir, her autobiography, or ‘recollection’ as she called it

Writer of historical fiction and children’s literature Rosemary Sutcliff’s major theme was ‘reconciliation’ according to Oxford Companion to English Literature 7th ed.

This is the entry on Rosemary Sutcliff in the Oxford Companion to English Literature (7th ed.)

Screenshot 2015-12-24 16.15.32


A Crown of Wild Olive by Rosemary Sutcliff is a children’s book about two athletes who discover the meaning of friendship when competing in the Olympics

A Crown of Wild Olive was the title given to the Rosemary Sutcliff story The Truce of the Games (1971) when it was re-published in 1972 in the USA in an omnibus collection of stories, Heather, Oak and Olive. That collection also included The Chief’s Daughter and A Circlet of Oak Leaves.

  • Brief summaries of the stories see the Sutcliff Stories tab on this blog
  • Posts about A Crown of Wild Olive on this Rosemary Sutcliff blog 
  • Posts about The Chief’s Daughter on this Rosemary Sutcliff blog
  • Posts on A Circlet of Oak Leaves, on this Rosemary Sutcliff website

  • Review of Simon, a historical novel of the English Civil War, by Rosemary Sutcliff — on Goodreads

    It had never seemed of much importance during their boyhood that Simon Carey was for Parliament and his friend Amias Hannaford a Royalist. But when the Civi War between the two parties broke out, and two years later they were old enough to take part in it, they found themselves fighting for different sides.

    This story tells of the last stages of the Civil War waged in the west country; and the account of the part played by Simon in the fighting makes exciting reading. Several times in the course of it he encounters Amias ; and these meetings leave him torn by conflicting loyalties. Finally the day comes when he is forced to put the strength of the friendship to the test, weighing it against his loyalty to the Parliamentarian cause.

    Rosemary Sutcliff has written a compelling and unbiased story of the troubled times of the civil war, describing vividly and accurately the final campaign in the west and sharing the life and thoughts and feelings of some of the people who became involved in it.

    “Here is an author who writes with great distinction…Simon is a book that I recommend with all my heart” – Noel Streatfield

    via Simon by Rosemary Sutcliff – Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists.