You Write!

This page is to help me gather material about Rosemary Sutcliff, historical novelist, writer of children’s books and  fiction for young adults; and for you to take part, should you wish!

Posts made because of contact from this page or by email include:

You might use this page to send me copies of reviews, or links to your own or other people’s material that you think might interest me and the increasing number of visitors to this blog. What have you read of Rosemary’s or about her or her work? What did you enjoy? Why? Would you recommend it to others? Have you recommended it? Who to ? Was your career (if you have one) or life influenced by Rosemary Sutcliff or her books at all? Anything else you want to suggest I put here about her? Do you have advice on improving this site and especially on fostering a network of the many people interested in Rosemary or touched by her in her lifetime or since? Anybody in particular to connect with for some reason? I look forward to hearing from some of you

Thank you! Anthony Lawton
a(dot)g(dot)lawton(at)gmail(dot)com

151 comments

  1. I just noticed that two Dutch translations (“De sage van Finn Mac Cool” and “Helden en Monsters”) are illustrated by Tonke Dragt. But Tonke Dragt is more famous for her fantastic youth books. Yes, Tonke Dragt is my other favourite author. In the early sixties I read “De brief voor de koning” and “Geheimen van het wilde woud”. To my amazement these books weren’t translated in English till now. They are called “The Letter for the King” and “Secrets of the Wild Woods”, translated by Laura Watkinson. Here is a link:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/tonke-dragts-the-letter-for-the-king-has-finally-been-translated-into-english-50-years-on-9826857.html

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  2. I have a copy of the Dutch translation of Sword at Sunset: Zwaard des Konings. (1968) I suppose it has been a property of a library. The quality is not excellent but it has no severe damages. As far as I know, there is no reprint of the book. The problem with this edition is that it has photos from a movie. As you can imagine: these photos contradict the atmosphere of Sutcliffs story. Is someone interested in this book?

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  3. I have noted that Rosemary received the OBE in the early 1980s, and was promoted to CBE in 1992, I believe, shortly before her death. I cannot seem to find a citation for this award, certainly not on the Honours website. Could someone assist me in this, please?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It was indeed for contributions to children’s literature. In the lists of recipients there is usually a phrase describing the person’s services. I can’t even find a citation for Rosemary. Who deserved it more?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Some years ago I came upon a mentioning of Rosemary Sutcliff’s book “A little dog like you”. It took me some time to get hold of a copy, but when I finally read it, as a person owned by a Chihuahua, I was overwhelmed. I knew my little dog’s breeder would adore it, but I also knew she doesn’t understand English. So I did a translation into German just for her and sent it to her together with the original book (which is so lovingly illustrated, it’s a treasure even for a non-English speaker).

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    1. This is really interesting. Somewhere long ago I read an article which talked about authors whom we love, and a work or works of that author which we wish he or she had not done. For years Dickens enthusiasts wished he had not written The Old Curiosity Shop, now getting the critical attention it deserves, for good or ill. A Little Dog Like You has been my least favourite of Rosemary’s works since it was published. I actually met Barnaby on one occasion, and he nearly bit me. I think if she had done it, Rosemary could easily have produced a very fine dog story — look at the dogs in Warrior Scarlet or Dawn Wind, for example. Well, only one out of fifty-eight is a wonderful record!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have loved Rosemary Sutcliff’s books from almost as early as I can remember, and snap them up whenever I find them in second-hand bookshops here in Australia. The copies I read as a child (many of which were handed down to me by my mother) are all in France, where I grew up. Every now and then I fall back into one of her novels, and am amazed that I could have enjoyed them aged 7 or 8, and yet not at all surprised because as soon as you start reading them you are completely spellbound.
    The reason I found my way here tonight is because I am full of joy at having convinced my partner to read a Rosemary Sutcliff book — one I only discovered as an adult, but which I have re-read many times: Sun Horse Moon Horse. I expressed the desire the other day to visit the Uffington White Horse when we are in England at the end of the year, and he was only mildly interested — so I pulled out Sun Horse Moon Horse, and said that if he read the book and still didn’t feel like going, we wouldn’t. He read it, and I quote his message to me: “I did like it, and the ending was excellent. I feel there is something missing, but it is hard to put my finger on it. It may simply be the ephemeral difference between excellence and perfection.”
    Such a sweet victory for me! Not only did I get him to read a much loved book of mine that he wouldn’t have ever picked up himself (and thereby sneakily introducing him to an author whom I was certain he would like), but of course now we are definitely visiting the White Horse.

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    1. Thank you for posting this.
      I hope you (both) enjoy visiting The White Horse…Rosemary loved it long before she wrote the story. She knew and felt it was a special place, with echoes of centuries old traditions.

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  6. Hi
    I grew up in Canada, we moved there when I was seven. I was a voracious reader, haunting the library, just pulling down books with covers I liked.
    I remember the stories and illustrations, but not the titles. Reading through the synopses I recognise quite a few. The illustrations felt very modern, back then in the 70’s. Anyway the stories kept me connected to the uk, and I have always been interested by the archaeology and history. I ended up becoming an art conservator, eventually working in Oslo on the viking ships and collections there.
    I bought a copy of the lantern bearers at a hole in the wall second hand book shop, of the type that doesnt seem to exist anymore, years ago at uni. Its been with me over three continents. It still gets a reread every so often. I would love to reread the other books, and look at those old drawings again.
    Thanks for all the work you have put into this web site.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your intriguing post, and your kind words about the website. The ‘work’ is a pleasure: I grew up with Romey (as I knew her) in my life as a close relative.

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      1. Dear Anthony,
        I echo Nancy’s thanks, and all the more because Rosemary was my grandfather’s cousin. I grew up hearing stories about her work and her life, but through some stubbornness of youth, never really got into her books. It is only now that I have become an author of sorts myself that I have found her again… and realised what I have been missing. It is wonderful to find this community around her literature still alive and well. And I suppose as a close relative of Rosemary, you are a cousin of mine too :). So happy to find you xx

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        1. I am so sorry I have not responded before. I have been completely neglecting this site, or almost, and making a mess of approvals and replies. Lovely to hear from you. My mother, husband of Rosemary’s only first cousin, although he died young when I was only 3, was a very good friend of Romey (as I knew her) but used to say happily to anyone who asked, “oh I don’t read her books at all”!
          Anthony
          PS Who was your grandfather

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  7. Dear all,
    I’m looking for any idioms connected to Bonnie Dundee in English. Is there any? I got to this website writing “Bonnie Dundee”+idiom, there is something written in Ms. Sutcliff article, but with no example. Maybe you know some?

    Best regards,
    KSiemieniuk

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  8. As we begin WWI commemorations, I’m reminded of that comment made by British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, on the eve of Britain’s entry into the First World War: “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

    I wonder if these memorable words struck a chord with the young Rosemary Sutcliff? I hear a subliminal echo in “Silver Branch”, when Carausius says, “If I can make this one province strong enough to stand alone when Rome goes down, then something may be saved from the darkness. If not, then Dubris light and Limanis light and Rutupiae light will go out. The lights will go out everywhere.”

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  9. My first Sutcliff book was The Sword in the Circle, which I was given while on holiday in Tintagel back in 1985. I was four and it was my first ‘grown-up’ book. I loved it then and love it still. For a decade or so I reread it and the other books that make up the Arthur trilogy, every couple of months. I loved all of the Sutcliff books I came accross but it was this one that pretty much formed much of my character. I still reread the book from time to time, and it still has the same impact on me now as it did back when I was younger. I will be forever grateful to Rosemary Sutcliff for writing such amazing books. In fact there is a special thank you to here on my blog.
    http://abookwormuk.blogspot.co.uk/
    Now might have to just dig out my copy of Blood Feud, haven’t read that one in a while…….

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    1. Delighted to hear from you, in such glowing terms about the enjoyment and influence of Romie (as I knew her). May I post this as a main post, linking with your blog?

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      1. You are welcome to post this as a main post. I was interested to stumble across this site after writing on the subject yesterday. It’s lovely to read about so many other people who experienced her work in the same way I did.

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  10. Thank you for this excellent website – I’m introducing Rosemary Sutcliff’s books to my children, having enjoyed them myself. We’ve done a project on The Ridgeway this winter, and so I’ve begun by reading aloud Warrior Scarlet, in the evenings. What comes next? Without getting too hung up on chronology, is there another pre-Roman book, before I begin on the eagles? Many thanks – Clara

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    1. I will wait for some of the Rosemary Sutcliff experts who visit this site to comment! If no response then I can offer you a suggestion or two …

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