Rosemary Sutcliff

alexandra.bolintineanu at alexandra.bolintineanu at
Thu Dec 2 23:45:47 EST 1999

Hallie wrote:

"My nine-year old is getting Rosemary Sutcliff's Eagle of the Ninth.
I don't think anyone on the list has ever talked about Sutcliff, except
for me, but this book is a long-time favourite.  Any book which can be
read and re-read in childhood, read to one child and then read to the
next, and still be enjoyed has got to be a winner!"

I enthusiastically agree.  I first read Eagle of the Ninth last summer,
and thought it delicious.  Sutcliff is superb at creating vivid characters
(vivid both personality-wise and physically), landscape that appeals to
one through all one's senses, and very fine stories indeed.  But I think
my very favourite feature of her writing is her way of "bringing the past
to life" (pardon the cliche) through little background-noise details--the
sound of somebody's bronze-shod spearbutt on the ground, the marks left by
a helmet worn for many years, the food, the manners... Like Diana Wynne
Jones, she is a writer of accurate and thorough imagination; the kind of
writer who thinks through her creation, who would never assume (among
other things) Immunity from Scurvy on the Tour.


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