The Best of Rosemary Sutcliff The Best of Rosemary Sutcliff discussion

Is this book obscure?

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Lora When I stumbled upon Rosemary Sitcliff, I was astounded at the stories she wrote for children. I had had just the right kind of family that this book SHOULD have fallen into- and yet I had never heard of her growing up. I had to order a copy printed in Czechoslovakia and sent to me from the U.K. I have since let my own children read it.
So tell me this: Is Rosemary Sutcliff well known among childrens' literature in the US or has she become obscure? Are many kids familiar with her, or not?
I plan on an informal survey of my own. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?

Lora Well, it's been a week...I think it's true, many people simply have never heard of Rosemary Sutcliff. The ones I polled (informally) that have heard of her, heard of her from me.
Oh well!

message 3: by Sigrun (new) - added it

Sigrun I totally agree with you, Rosemary Sutcliff is not well known in the U.S. I read my first books by her in the 1950s and loved them, but they weren't easy to find. North America was overrun by Disney literature, and anyone like Rosemary Sutcliff was lost, especially in the U.S. I'm lucky enough to live in Canada and able find her books. For a few years I didn't look very hard--my education got in the way--but I've been building my trove of her books. There are only a few I have yet to read and I have acquired about 75% of them. I'll be passing them on to my sister's grandchildren. I find them fantastic. But then, I love history as well as reading.

If you want to get some more of her books, the UK is the best place to get them. All of Canada's books by her come from there. Since the making of the film THE EAGLE OF THE NINTH, there has definitely been a renewed interest in her books, but perhaps she is just not what most children used to TV and the easy books available here are really interested in. You may be able to get some bookstore to order Sutcliff's books from the UK. I don't know if her books ever sold well in the U.S. for the reason I stated. She is definitely more popular in Europe and probably read by readers who learned English as a second language.

If you could do anything to popularize her in the U.S., that would be a great step. I'll certainly help you wherever I can. After all, though few, there are people like you and me who do enjoy her books. Luckily, my city library has about half her books and I've been able to at least read almost all of her books.

Go, Lora!

Lora I have to come back and comment that things have certainly changed from when I first ordered The Best of Rosemary Sutcliff. We have found a couple more of her books on Amazon, and they were available in the U.S. I double checked just now and a lot more are showing than when I first ordered The Best of-, years ago. Maybe she's catching on!
It is good to have places to go as the general culture insists on providing so much low quality stuff. I know I risk sounding like the 'mom who frowns at things a lot', but really, you know good ice cream from the stuff that tastes like vanilla glue. It's like that with books.
I have told my friends about this author, and the funny thing is, the homeschoolers tend to leap on it while the others just sort of shrug. I don't know if that is any real indication of things, I just happened to notice it. Maybe it wasn't homeschoolers vs ps people, but rather people who use few of the mainstream media as opposed to those who rely on mainstream.

message 5: by Sigrun (last edited Mar 09, 2013 04:13PM) (new) - added it

Sigrun Lora, I'm not at all surprised that homeschoolers go for the Sutcliff books. One thing that many have praised about her books is that she never writes down to children--well, except maybe in the picture books for younger children. Yet I enjoy those as much as her other books. Before I forget, one of her few living relatives, a nephew who still lives in England and helped take care of her during her last years--she was sick from childhood and was home schooled herself--continues her(?) blog on the Internet. The following was the latest from him:
You'll be able to get a little better acquainted with her and her work.
And I totally agree with your last sentence. We came from Europe in 1951. Our parents wouldn't let a TV into the house until 1965, and then it was in the basement. They wanted us to read instead of just watch TV or even go to a show, though they would let us watch TV if someone invited us.

Perhaps you could remove the link to Sutcliff instead of leaving it open for others, although...maybe that would create some interest as well. But maybe you could just leave her bare site address. I hope this gives you some more to work with. Maybe I'd better have a look on Amazon again. Perhaps the Eagle movie has brought more people out of the woodwork.

Kate I grew up in the UK and was lucky enough to be able to go to the library and devour every single book Rosemary Sutcliff had ever written. She remains one of the great influences on my own writing and inspired me to take up history and get my degree in it.
I was surprised when I moved to the U.S. that she seemed completely unknown, which is to me a terrible shame.
I introduced my own children to her books, but I can't say they were terribly interested. :(

Lora Sometimes we can't predict what our kids will choose in life. I know sometimes my kids weren't terribly excited about certain books that I thought they would be.

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