ROSEMARY SUTCLIFF (1920-92)

This much Rosemary Sutcliff knew | A virtual interview with the award-winning historical novelist and writer for children

Rosemary Sutcliff (b. 1920; d. 1992) was internationally-acclaimed for her writing for children and adults, the subject of many magazine profiles. But sadly she is no longer alive to create a ‘This much I know’ feature in The Observer newspaper’s magazine. But this much she did know—revealed within her answers to Roy Plomley on BBC Radio’s Desert Island Discs.

“This much I know” | Rosemary Sutcliff | Award-winning historical novelist and writer for children and adults | ‘I feel most at home in Roman Britain’

I don’t think I’m a particularly masculine kind of woman—although most of my books are told from a male point of view. I can’t write about girls from the inside. I don’t think the absence of sexual encounters is because I’m writing for children—I don’t honestly know why, it’s just happened that way.

Rosemary Sutcliff writes about being a disabled writer—a doubly lonely life

Writing is known, amongst writers, to be just about the loneliest way of making a living that there is – even for the able-bodied writer. It is a job done completely alone in a world inhabited only by oneself and the creatures of one’s own creation. In the ‘Real’ world, one’s contact with other people tends to suffer. For the disabled writer, it suffers doubly. Because I am fairly badly disabled, I cannot go off and do things on my own.