Books

Beowulf, Dragonslayer

Rosemary Sutcliff

In this thrilling re-telling of the Anglo-Saxon legend, Beowulf, the renowned children's historical fiction writer Rosemary Sutcliff recounts Beowulf's most terrifying quests: against Grendel the man-wolf, against the hideous sea-hag and, most courageous of all - his fight to the death with the monstrous fire-drake.

The Eagle of the Ninth

Rosemary Sutcliff (and others)

The Everyman edition reprints the classic black and white illustrations of C. Walter Hodges which accompanied the first edition in 1954.

Around the year 117 AD, the Ninth Legion, stationed at Eburacum - modern day York - marched north to suppress a rebellion of the Caledonian tribes, and was never heard of again. During the 1860s, a wingless Roman Eagle was discovered during excavations at the village of Silchester in Hampshire, puzzling archaeologists and scholars alike. Rosemary Sutcliff weaves a compelling story from these two mysteries, dispatching her hero, the young Roman officer Marcus Aquila, on a perilous journey beyond Hadrian's Wall to find out what happened to the discredited legion in which his father served, and to salvage, if he can, its Eagle and its honour.

All the essential elements of a classic adventure are here - the daring quest, the uncovering of the secrets of the past, and a nerve-racking escape across the mountains, pursued by vengeful tribesmen. But it is the human element which triumphs, and one of the most memorable scenes in the book is Marcus appealing to a crowd baying for blood to save a young British gladiator from certain death during the Saturnalia Games. Proud son of a Brigantian chieftain, Esca becomes his slave, then his freedman, and the indispensable companion of his travels. The Eagle of the Ninth is partly the story of their growing friendship, crossing the divide created by conquest and colonialism; and partly Marcus's journey of self-discovery as he learns of his father's fate and comes to terms with the end of his own military career. At the end he embraces a different, more hopeful future - not in Rome but 'under the pale and changeful northern skies' - acquiring a farm in the Downs, and marrying the girl next door.

The Eagle of the Ninth has all its author's hallmark qualities - a mature and complex story, a wealth of historical detail, cultural sensitivity, wit and compassion. Above all, Sutcliff is able to conjure up the atmosphere of a distant age in a totally convincing way. It is hardly surprising that her work would set the standard for all historical fiction to come.

The Sword and the Circle

Rosemary Sutcliff

Rooted in folklore, medieval ideals of chivalry, and the last gallant struggles of the British against the Saxon invaders, the legends of King Arthur have been told in song and story since the middle ages.

The Sword and the Circle by Rosemary Sutcliff tells of the birth of Arthur, the gift of Excalibur, the forming of the Round Table and the first noble quests of its knights until the arrival of Percival . . .

Warrior Scarlet

Rosemary Sutcliff

Drem longs for the day he will win his Warrior Scarlet. But with a withered spear arm, how will he take part in the ritual Wolf Slaying which will prove his worth as a man of the tribe?

With over forty books to her credit, Rosemary Sutcliff is now universally considered one of the finest writers of historical novels for children. Winer of the Carnegie Medal and many other honours, Rosemary was awarded a CBE in 1992 for services to children's literature.

Tristan And Iseult

Rosemary Sutcliff

Rosemary Sutcliff's starkly simple retelling of the uniquely tragic and romantic story of the warrior Tristan and his love for the fair Iseult of Ireland, his uncle's chosen bride.

The Mark of the Horse Lord

Rosemary Sutcliff

'Take my place, Phaedrus, and with it, take my vengeance . . .'

Phaedrus the gladiator wins his freedom after years of bloody battles in the arena. Soon he finds himself riding north towards the wilds of Caledonia on a strange mission. He is to assume the identity of Midir, Lord of the Horse People, to seek vengeance against the treacherous Liadhan, who has usurped the throne.

Ahead of him lies more adventure and more danger than he had ever known in the arena . . .

Song For A Dark Queen

Rosemary Sutcliff

From the day Cadwan fashioned a sword from a willow wand and composed a victory song for his young mistress, Boudicca, he has loyally charted her rise to Queen. Boudicca is the strong and brave leader of the Iceni tribe - courageously guiding her people from one victorious battle to her next. Then Emperor Nero rules that the royal line of the Iceni is to be ended, and Boudicca knows this is one battle she cannot afford to lose . . .

Simon

Rosemary Sutcliff

It had never seemed important during their boyhood that Simon Carey was for Parliament and his friend Amias Hannaford a royalist. But when Civil War breaks out, they find themselves fighting on different sides.

Finally the day comes when the friends must put their friendship to the test.

Blood Feud

Rosemary Sutcliff

Jestyn the Englishman had once been Thormod the Viking's slave, but after saving Thormod's life he became his shoulder to shoulder man and sworn brother in the deadly blood feud to avenge Thormod's murdered father, a feud that would take them all the way to Constantinople.

Knight's Fee

Rosemary Sutcliff

Randall is an unloved and unwanted orphan kennel boy at Arundel Castle. And then, one fateful day, he upsets the new Lord's mettlesome horse.

Against the violent and turbulent backdrop of Norman England, Sutcliff tells the moving story of a young boy who is wagered and won in a game of chess between a lord and a minstrel . . .

Frontier Wolf

Rosemary Sutcliff

'We are the scum and the scrapings of the Empire. They tipped out the garbage-bin of the Eagles to make us what we are.'

In disgrace after a mistake that cost the lives of half his men, Alexios arrives in Castellum. It's his first command, but it isn't really a promotion. The Frontier Wolves who man this outpost in the far north of Roman Britain are a fierce and savage bunch, a far cry from the regular legions he'd served in before. Alexios will only survive if he learns to understand them and win their respect - and he's determined to try.

Flame-Coloured Taffeta

Rosemary Sutcliff

Damaris Crocker had not lived her twelve years in smuggling country without knowing when a Run was planned. This night smugglers would bring more than just the usual contraband of brandy and lace. They would bring adventure, romance and danger in the form of a mysterious, wounded, young man . . .

With over forty books to her credit, Rosemary Sutcliff is now universally acknowledged one of the finest writers of historical novels for children. Winner of the Carnegie Medal and many other honours, Rosemary was awarded the CBE in 1992 for services to children's literature.

The Witch's Brat

Rosemary Sutcliff

The Abbey of New Minster means safety to Lovel. It is the reign of Henry I in England, and the monks protect Lovel from the people who think that, because of his crooked back and healing skills, he must be a witch. And, he has nowhere else to go.

Then he meets Rahere, the King’s Jester, in the abbey – and makes a bargain that will take Lovel to London, to establish a life of his own at the great hospital of St Bartholomew.

The Light Beyond the Forest: The Quest for the Holy Grail

Rosemary Sutcliff

Rooted in folklore, medieval ideals of chivalry, and the last gallant strugglesof the British against the Saxon invaders, the legends of King Arthur have been told in song and story since the middle ages.

When Percival comes to Camelot and Galahad sits in the Seat Perilous, as Merlin foretold, the quest for the Holy Grail scatters Arthur's Knights far and wide, bringing death to many and bitter disappointment to the great Lancelot . . .

The Road To Camlann

Rosemary Sutcliff

Rooted in folklore, medieval ideals of chivalry, and the last gallant struggles of the British against the Saxon invaders, the legends of King Arthur have been told in song and story since the middle ages.

The best and noblest of Arthur's Knights lost in pursuit of the Grail, the shining days of Camelot draw to their tragic close - and Arthur's son and doom Mordred leads him to the last desperate battle against the coming of future darkness.

Beowulf: Dragonslayer

Rosemary Sutcliff

Grendel prowled in, hating all men and all joy and hungry for human life. So swift was his attack that no man heard an outcry; but when the dawn came, thirty of Hothgar's best and noblest thanes were missing.

Only Beowulf, foremost among warriors, has the strength and courage to battle with Grendel the Night-stalker.

In this thrilling re-telling of the Anglo-Saxon legend, Rosemary Sutcliff recounts Beowulf's most terrifying quests: against Grendel the man-wolf, against the hideous sea-hag and, most courageous of all - his fight to the death with the monstrous fire-drake.

The Chronicles of Robin Hood

Rosemary Sutcliff

A classic tale of adventure and bravery charting the transformation of Robert of Locksley into Robin Hood, the outlaw of myth and legend.

Join Robin and his band of Merry Men as they battle injustice and seek to defeat the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham and Guy of Gisborne.

The Armourer's House

Rosemary Sutcliff

If only she'd been born a boy, Tamsyn would never have been sent away to Uncle Gideon's - the armourer's - house when her grandmother died. She could have stayed by the wild sea that she loved with her Uncle Martin, the ship merchant.

But instead, she is bound for busy, bustling Tudor London, and the armourer's house, far from the coast and far from her beloved ships. Homesick and lonely in the loud family of cousins, it isn't until she meets the strange old Wise Woman that Tamsyn is finally promised her "heart's desire"...

The Sword And The Circle

Rosemary Sutcliff

Rooted in folklore, medieval ideals of chivalry, and the last gallant strugglesof the British against the Saxon invaders, the legends of King Arthur have been told in song and story since the middle ages.

The Sword and the Circle tells of the birth of Arthur, the gift of Excalibur, the forming of the Round Table and the first noble quests of its knights until the arrival of Percival . . .

The King Arthur Trilogy

Rosemary Sutcliff

‘Traitor! Now is your death-time upon you!’

You may think you know all about King Arthur, the young boy who plucked the sword from the stone. You’ve probably heard stories about Merlin's magic powers and the Knights of the round table…these are the stories we learn at school.

But they are just the beginning. Here are tales of human sacrifice, dragons, sword fights to the death, noble quests, tragedy and great courage: this the real world of King Arthur.

Are you brave enough to enter?

Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can test your knowledge of the legends and find out which Knight of the Round Table you most resemble.

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Biography

Rosemary Sutcliff was born in 1920 in West Clanden, Surrey. With over 50 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 1959 her book The Lantern Bearers won 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. In 1975, Rosemary was awarded the OBE for services to Children's Literature and the CBE in 1992. Unfortunately Rosemary passed away in July 1992 and is much missed by her many fans.