Next Author: Tui T. Sutherland
Previous Author: Patrick Suskind

Rosemary Sutcliff

Rosemary Sutcliff(1920-1992)
Rosemary Sutcliff was born in December 1920 in West Clanden, Surrey. With over 40 books to her credit, Rosemary Sutcliff is now universally considered one of the finest writers of historical novels for children. Her first novel, The Queen Elizabeth Story was published in 1950. In 1972 her book Tristan and Iseult was runner-up for the Carnegie Medal. In 1974 she was highly commended for the Hans Christian Andersen Award and in 1978 her book, Song for a Dark Queen was commended for the Other Award. Rosemary lived for a long time in Arundel, Sussex with her dogs and in 1975, she was awarded the OBE for services to Children’s Literature. Unfortunately Rosemary passed away in July 1992 and will be much missed by her loyal army of fans.

The Legends of King Arthur: One of the best retellings

Readers’ average rating:

THE LEGENDS OF KING ARTHUR TRILOGY by Rosemary Sutcliff

There are countless retellings and adaptations concerning the life and times of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and I'm not even close to having read all of them. Therefore, it's impossible for me to say that Rosemary Sutcliff's version is the definitive Arthurian retelling. However, it's certainly one of the best. Told in Sutcliff's graceful prose that is both epic and intimate when need-be, and the tricky subjects like incest, adultery and bloodshed are conveyed without being either too prudish or overly graphic.

The first instalment, The Sword and the Circle: King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, is thicker than the next two books combined, and Sutcliff draws on a wide range of sources with which to build her own narrative... Read More

More children’s fantasy novels by Rosemary Sutcliff

Rosemary Sutcliff book reviews Chronicles of Robin Hood, Beowulf: Dragonslayer, Chess-dream in the Garden, Black Ships before Troy: The Story of the Illiad, The Wanderings of Odysseus Sword at Sunset — (1963) Publisher: This brilliant reconception of the Arthurian epic cuts through the familiar myths and tells the story of the real King Arthur: Artos the Bear, the mighty warrior-king who saved the last lights of Western civilization when the barbarian darkness descended in the fifth century. Artos here comes alive: bold and forceful in battle, warm and generous in friendship, tough in politics, shrewd in the strategy of war — and tender and tragically tormented in love. Out of the interweaving of ancient legend, fresh research, soaring imagination, and hypnotic narrative skill comes a novel that has richly earned its reputation as a classic.


Rosemary Sutcliff book reviews Chronicles of Robin Hood, Beowulf: Dragonslayer, Chess-dream in the Garden, Black Ships before Troy: The Story of the Illiad, The Wanderings of Odysseus Chronicles of Robin Hood — (1950) Publisher: The legend of Robin Hood.


Chronicles of Robin Hood, Beowulf: Dragonslayer, Chess-dream in the Garden, Black Ships before Troy: The Story of the Illiad, The Wanderings of OdysseusBeowulf: Dragonslayer — (1961) Publisher: Only Beowulf, foremost among warriors has the courage and strength to fight Grendel the man-wolf. In this re-telling of the Anglo-Saxon legend, the author recounts Beowulf’s terrifying quests against Grendal, the hideous sea-hag and his fight to the death with the monstrous fire-drake.


Rosemary Sutcliff book reviews Chronicles of Robin Hood, Beowulf: Dragonslayer, Chess-dream in the Garden, Black Ships before Troy: The Story of the Illiad, The Wanderings of OdysseusChess-dream in the Garden — (1993) Publisher: Godmund, the White King and Hrosmunda, his Queen, live in warmth and peace with their people in the garden. But one day a coldness arose between the King and the Queen, which allowed the enemy, the Red Horde, to invade the garden, led by a serpent with the head of a man. Then the chessboard at the centre of the garden becomes the battefield for the battle to end all battles.


Rosemary Sutcliff book reviews Chronicles of Robin Hood, Beowulf: Dragonslayer, Chess-dream in the Garden, Black Ships before Troy: The Story of the Illiad, The Wanderings of OdysseusBlack Ships before Troy: The Story of the Illiad — (1993) Publisher: A retelling of the classic, epic poem, “The Iliad”. It offers younger readers an introduction to the heroes of ancient Greece whilst providing the complete story of the siege of Troy.


The Wanderings of Odysseus Rosemary SutcliffThe Wanderings of Odysseus — (1995) Publisher: The long siege is ended. Troy lies in ashes. The black ships of the Greek war-host set sail for home – but for King Odysseus of Ithaca, the return voyage holds hazards far greater than any he faced in the Trojan War. Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey” is transformed by Rosemary Sutcliff into a traveller’s tale with a spectacular cast of magicians and monsters. This book is a sequel to her story of the Trojan War entitled “Black Ships Before Troy”. It includes a Greek pronunciation guide and a map of Odysseus’ incredible journey.