Author Emeritus: Rosemary Sutcliffe

Rosemary Sutcliff photoRose­mary Sut­cliff, author of children’s his­tor­i­cal nov­els, was born on Decem­ber 14, 1920, in Sur­rey, Eng­land. She wrote children’s books, nov­els, short sto­ries, and scripts for radio, TV, and film.

In child­hood, Stil­l’s dis­ease kept her in a wheel­chair and close to home. Her moth­er home­schooled her and first intro­duced her to Sax­on and Celtic leg­ends. She didn’t learn to read until the age of ten. In her auto­bi­og­ra­phy, Blue Hills Remem­bered, Ms. Sut­cliff wrote, “I had a lone­ly child­hood and grow­ing-up time. My par­ents loved me and I loved them, but I could nev­er talk to them about the prob­lems and fears and aching hopes inside me that I had most need to talk about to some­one. And there was no one else.”

The Lantern BearersSut­cliff attend­ed Bid­ford Art School at the age of 14. She began to write for pub­li­ca­tion in 1946 and was com­mis­sioned to write a children’s ver­sion of Robin Hood. She went on to write 46 nov­els for young peo­ple, sev­er­al of which were ALA notable books. The Lantern Bear­ers was award­ed the 1959 Carnegie Medal.

In 1975, she was appoint­ed Offi­cer of the Order of the British Empire for ser­vices to children’s lit­er­a­ture. In 1992, Ms. Sut­cliff was named Com­man­der of the Order of the British Empire.

She described her style as immers­ing her­self in an era, let­ting his­to­ry guide her plot devel­op­ment. She is remem­bered for her sense of his­tor­i­cal detail.

Rose­mary Sut­cliff died in 1992.

—Vic­ki Palmquist

For more Authors Emer­i­tus biogra­phies, please vis­it the AE index.


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