For award-winning, internationally-acclaimed author Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-92). By Anthony Lawton: godson, cousin & literary executor. Rosemary Sutcliff wrote historical fiction, children's literature and books, films, TV & radio, including The Eagle of the Ninth, Sword at Sunset, Song for a Dark Queen, The Mark of the Horse Lord, The Silver Branch, The Lantern Bearers, Dawn Wind, Blue Remembered Hills.
A while back I noted that English illustrator Cyril Walter Hodges, known as C. Walter Hodges (1909-2004), worked on Rosemary Sutcliff’s early books. Born in Beckenham and educated at Dulwich College and Goldsmiths’ College, he spent most of his career as a freelance illustrator. He wrote:
Rosemary Sutcliff I also liked very much. Her work was very good, though rather sweet, but that was because she was very crippled. As soon as I met her I realised where this romantic sweetness came from. . . . When illustrating her books one realised that one was responsible to her for what one was doing in her name. After I’d illustrated some Sutcliff novels, other artists like Charles Keeping illustrated her work and to my mind, did a much better job. I was very envious of Keeping—I thought he did marvellous drawings. I knew I could never do it like that!
Source: Mathew Eve’s article ‘C. Walter Hodges: A Life Illustrating History Children’s Literature’ in the journal Education (Vol. 35, No. 2, June 2004)
Charlotte thinks that Rosemary Sutcliff’s children’s historical novel The Queen Elizabeth Story is “a lovely book, full of thick description and vivid character and history made real. And its magic is aided and abetted by the wonderful drawings of C. Walter Hodges“, her “favourite children’s book illustrator.” Charlotte was writing a review on the Charlotte’s Library blog.
What really made this book for me, when I was young, was Adam. He was my first book love ( I was nine), and I am awfully fond of him still. He is lame, but so gallant and kind that Perdita doesn’t notice it…and in a scene I especially love, he invites a sad and lonely Perdita to a private banquet at the manor, where he makes the lords and ladies of a tapestry come alive for her in a glorious magical wonderful-ness.
Zbigniew Tycienski grew up in south-east Poland but after time in Greece and Italy he migrated to the United Kingdom and settled in Edinburgh. Along the way, he read The Eagle of the Ninth and posted this intriguing article about one of Rosemary Sutcliff’s best historical novels.
Lovely, lovely book; one of my favourite books ever. It’s about the English Civil War, and manages to convey information about and the perspective of, both sides pretty fairly, which is rare in books on the subject. Although Read More »