The Geography of the stories made by Rosemary Sutcliff | Writer of historical fiction and stories for children, young people and adults

Place matters hugely in the work of  Rosemary Sutcliff. The main settings of her stories include:

The West Country in England
Blood Feud | Brother Dusty-Feet | Outcast | Simon | Sword at Sunset | The Armourer’s House | The Eagle of the Ninth | The Queen Elizabeth Story | Tristan and Iseult
The South Downs in England
Dawn Wind | Flame-Coloured Taffeta | Knight’s Fee | Sun Horse, Moon Horse, | Sword at Sunset | The Eagle of the Ninth | The Lantern Bearers | The Silver Branch | The Witch’s Brat | Warrior Scarlet
London
Brother Dusty Feet | Song for a Dark Queen | The Witch’s Brat
The North Of England
A Circlet of Oak Leaves | Frontier Wolf | Sword at Sunset | Sword Song | The Capricorn Bracelet | The Chronicles of Robin Hood | The Eagle of the Ninth | The Mark of the Horse Lord | The Rider of the White Horse | The Shield Ring | The Shining Company | The Silver Branch
Scotland
A Circlet of Oak Leaves | Bonnie Dundee | Eagle’s Egg | Frontier Wolf| Shifting Sands | Sword at Sunset | Sword Song | The Capricorn Bracelet | The Eagle of the Ninth | The Mark of the Horse Lord | The Shining Company | We Lived in Drumfyvie

Wales
A Circlet of Oak Leaves | Sword at Sunset | Sword Song | The Bridge-Builders | The Chief’s Daughter | The Lantern Bearers | The Shining Company
Ireland
Blood Feud | Sword Song | The High Deeds of Finn Mac Cool | The Hound of Ulster | Tristan and Iseult

Rosemary Sutcliff’s orphans Beric, Jestyn, Randall, Hugh not for Katherine Rundell’s top 10 orphans in children’s books

  Rosemary Sutcliff historical and children’s book and novel Blood Feud coverOutcast by Rosemary Sutcliff hardback coverKnight's Fee IllustrationBrother Dusty Feet historical fiction by Rosemary Sutcliff original UK cover

Sadly (and perhaps remissly) Katherine Rundell – winner of the Blue Peter book award 2014 for best story – did not include any of Rosemary Sutcliff’s characters in her recent ’10 of the best orphans’ at The Guardian’s children’s books site. She might have chosen Beric in Outcast, Jestyn in Blood Feud, Randall the dog-boy in Knight’s Fee, Hugh Copplestone in Brother Dusty-Feet. (And what are the  others I have forgotten?).

She chose:

  1. Mowgli, The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
  2. Cinderella
  3. Cat Chant, Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones
  4. Anne, Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery
  5.  Alex Rider, Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
  6. Harry, Harry Potter by JK Rowling
  7.  Lyra, His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
  8. Sophie, The BFG by Roald Dahl
  9. Peter, Peter Pan by J M Barrie
  10. The Fossil Sisters, Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield

Source: Katherine Rundell’s Top 10 Orphans

Illustrators of Rosemary Sutcliff’s historical fiction, re-tellings, and children’s stories books (up-dated) | 1950-95

Charles Keeping, Grendel from Beowulf

I am inching forwards in compiling a complete listing of all the illustrators of Rosemary Sutcliff’s historical novels for children and adults, and of her writing for children (and others). I think this is now  accurate  – but does not yet cover book covers – but would as always welcome comments and improvements to the updated list. I think it may now be complete? But I need to move on to editions outside the UK. All help welcome.

Illustrators  are:  Lazlo Acs, Victor Ambrus, Michael Charlton, Emma Chichester Clark, Richard Cuffari, Shirley Felts, C Walter Hodges, Jane Johnson, Charles Keeping, Richard Kennedy, John Lawrence, Richard Lebenson, Alan Lee, John Vernon Lord,  Alan Marks,  and Ralph Thompson. The books they illustrated were:Read More »

Why 29 Visitors from Afghanistan to the Rosemary Sutcliff blog yesterday?

Why were there 29 visits to this blog about Rosemary Sutcliff from Afghanistan yesterday? Film The Eagle showing to the forces? Broadcast of recent BBC version of Brother Dusty Feet or The Eagle of the Ninth? Assignment at the American School (is there one?) or an ‘English’ one? If any of ‘you’ vist here again I am intrigued to know!

There is a noble dog in many Rosemary Sutcliff books

Katherine Langrish, a fantasy author, wrote at her   Seven Miles of Steel Thistles about dogs in the work of Rosemary Sutcliff. Indeed  she wondered in a note to me if perhaps Rosemary wrote about dogs as a way of owning them … I think not, at least not in the absence of any  ‘real’ ones of her own, because Rosemary did own beloved dogs, including Sophie who we looked after for ten years after Rosemary’s death.

Historical fiction and dogs make me think immediately of Rosemary Sutcliff, whose books I devoured as a child. Sutcliff – who must easily win the title of Britain’s most loved writer of junior historical fiction – loved dogs, and there is a noble dog in many of her books – Whitethroat in Warrior Scarlet, Argos in Brother Dusty Feet – but for me the most iconic is Dog (Dawn Wind, 1961), the young war-hound that the boy Owain finds by moonlight on the ruins of the battlefield:

…it was something alive in the cold echoing emptiness of a dead world. It stood with one paw raised, looking at him, and Owain called, hoarsely, with stiff lips and aching throat: ‘Dog! Hai! Dog!’ … [It] came, slowly and uncertainly… once it stopped altogether; then it finished at the run and next instant was trembling against his legs. He was a young dog; the beautiful creamy hair of his breast-patch was stained and draggled, and his muzzle bloody in the moonlight… ‘Dog, aiee, dog, we are alone then. There’s no one else. We will go together, you and I.’