The Eagle of the Ninth reaches a new generation

Fascinating story behind Rosemary Sutcliff's classic novel

The recent cinematic release of The Eagle (out on DVD and Blu-ray in June), has brought well-deserved attention back to Rosemary Sutcliff's extraordinary career. Numerous articles and profiles have appeared in the press, including a feature by the Guardian's chief arts writer Charlotte Higgins, in which she explains her enduring affection for Sutcliff's source novel, The Eagle of the Ninth. On the one hand Higgins praises the quality of Sutcliff's prose, 'the rightness with which Sutcliff gives life to physical sensation'. On the other, her characterisations, and her interest in questions of identity, make the books timeless: 'What does it mean to be British? Where is home? Can a slave and a free man be friends?'

Rosemary Sutcliff contracted Still's disease, a form of arthritis, at the age of two. Confined to a wheelchair for much of her life, she had an uncanny ability to create vivid masculine characters and convey the physicality of the Romano-British period. Ultimately, as Charlotte Higgins says, it is Sutcliff's ability to create 'a world that is entirely credible; a world that could trip you into believing in it as historical truth' that has brought her novel to the screen sixty years after it was first published. You can read the full Guardian article here.

We are delighted that the Folio edition of a third novel in Sutcliff's Eagle of the Ninth chronicles, The Lantern Bearers, is now available to order, with delivery scheduled in June. Click on any of the links below to find out more. This trio is a marvellous way to introduce Sutcliff to a new generation, or rediscover her books for yourself.

The Eagle of the Ninth

The Silver Branch

The Lantern Bearers

last modified: Mon, Sep 12th 2011Bookmark and Share
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