24 April 2005

Richard Harris in a sulk? - Sword at Sunset

This cover looks rather fantasy medieval - armour, sword, crown and throne! Safe to say, it doesn't reflect the content of the book.

Sword At Sunset, UK, Coronet, Paperback, 1971

23 April 2005

Honourable mention for Sutcliff!

In my hunt for other covers to 'Sword at Sunset', I came across this article which reviews the lamentable recent movie 'King Arthur' but also goes onto survey some of the recent fiction about Arthur:

Warrior queens and blind critics by Robin Rowland, CBC News Online, July 13, 2004

I'll put the 1971 Coronet cover (a touch of the Richard Harris in 'Camelot' I think) on separately. The writer of the article seems to think 'Sword At Sunset' is still in print, but I don't think that's so unless Tor are reissuing their 1980s edition?

19 April 2005

Death of the Corn King by Barbara L Talcroft

If you want to read a literary analysis of Sutcliff's books, it's worth looking at:

Talcroft B.L. 1995, 'Death of the Corn King: King and Goddess in Rosemary Sutcliff's Historical Fiction for Young Adults,' The Scarecrow Press

To give you an idea of the content, here is a list of chapters:

The Kingship Themes
The Themes in Celtic Setings
The Themes in Roman Settings
The Themes in Arthurian Settings
The Themes in Post-Arthurian Settings

It also includes a short biography, and a list of Rosemary Sutcliff's publications.

Big-boned as a Jute's - Sword at Sunset

I don't own this copy, but the picture on the cover hints that the illustrator might well have read at least the opening pages of the book. It fits in with: '... my face looked back at me, distorted by the curve of metal, but clear enough in the light of the dribbling candles, big-boned as a Jute's, and brown-skinned under hair the colour of a hayfield when it pales at harvest-time." (page 15, 1963 edition) In addition, the sword on the left of the cover looks like a long-bladed spatha, which is actually correct for the period!

Sword At Sunset, US, Tor, Paperback, 1987

Portable copy - Sword at Sunset

This is my portable copy. If I think I might want to read 'Sword' while I'm away from home, this is the copy I'll take with me!

Sword At Sunset, UK, Coronet, Paperback, 1989 (2nd impression; first Coronet Impression 1971)

First copy - Sword at Sunset

'Sword at Sunset' is Rosemary Sutcliff's take on a historical 'King' Arthur. Consequently, this novel is set in 5th century AD Britain, where Roman rule has come to an end, and British Artos rises to power.

This (see below) is the cover of my first copy of 'Sword at Sunset' I was 12 or 13 and waiting to be signed up for the Adult Library so I could get a copy of this book by inter-library loan, as my library didn't have a copy on the shelves. Somehow I'd found out about its subject matter (this was in the days before the Internet, so I don't know how) and knew I wanted to read it. But, just before I got into the adult library, this copy appeared on the Library's 'Sale' shelf. Couldn't believe it! It cost me the princely sum of 25p. I now have a more pristine copy, which I keep in a cupboard, but this is my 'original' ex-library and pretty battered copy :-)

Sword At Sunset, UK, Hodder & Stoughton, Hardback, 1963

18 April 2005

Blue Remembered Hills: a recollection by Rosemary Sutcliff

Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Paperback, 1983

Rosemary Sutcliff, Arundel, 1985

I took this photograph when I went to interview her in Arundel in Sussex. In the future, I hope to post the interview on the blog. The only problem is that it is in print form, and I'll have to type it all out again! Yes, I've got a scanner but my OCR software doesn't work :-(

Rosemary Sutcliff

This blog

This is where I will deposit information about historical fiction author Rosemary Sutcliff, including web links, books, and anything else I can find. The links on the right hand of the page will take you to various places, including the Historical Novel Society, my article on Rosemary Sutcliff (which appeared in the HNS journal Solander 8, 2000), and Anthony Lawton's blog.

Anthony Lawton is Rosemary Sutcliff's literary executor. As the writer of an article about her, I am often asked if there is a biography being produced. Mr Lawton was able to say that although one was not being written now, there would a biography in future.

More to come and feel free to contribute!

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