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Philip Reeve, June 2012 Guest Editor: "One of the best-known children’s authors when I was at school was Rosemary Sutcliff. I read a lot of her books, and still happily re-read them every few years. Most of them are historical novels, and her most famous is The Eagle of the Ninth, a brilliant story set in Roman Britain. I also loved Warrior Scarlet, which is about a boy yearning to become a hunter in a bronze-age tribe. It all takes place up on the ‘High Chalk’ of the South Downs, not far from where I lived in Brighton. I can remember reading it in a hot, stuffy classroom one wet break time, and imagining myself up there among the thorn-trees and the sheep-nibbled grass, thousands of years ago. These books gave me a real sense of history, and of all the different peoples who have lived on this land before us."
Julia Eccleshare's Comment:
The Eagle of the Ninth is one of the most celebrated children's books of the twentieth century and is now the subject of a major film, THE EAGLE, starring Channing Tatum. This new edition, with its movie tie-in cover, is being published to coincide with the film's release - see below for the trailer. Whether you've read the book on which its based or not, it's a film well worth seeing but do read the book as well. It's a classic of children's literature.
It's a welcome return of a classic story of loyalty and bravery at the time of the Romans. Brought up the stories of his father’s heroism and speculation about how he and his 5,000 soldiers disappeared without trace, Marcus sets out to try to unravel the mystery. His journey is full of danger and emotion which makes this both a thrilling adventure and a thoughtful story about one boy's search for his missing father.
The Ninth Legion marched into the mists of northern Britain - and they were never seen again. Four thousand men disappeared and their eagle standard was lost. It's a mystery that's never been solved, until now... Marcus has to find out what happened to his father, who led the legion. So he sets out into the unknown, on a quest so dangerous that nobody expects him to return. This gripping epic set against the backdrop of Roman Britain has been a firm favourite with children and adults alike for over fifty years and is now the subject of a major film - you can watch the trailer below.
Download OUP's The Eagle Reading Notes from the right hand column of this page, under Reader's Guide.
'Decades later, I can still hear echoes of The Eagle of the Ninth in my head: the chink of mail, the tired beat of the legionaries' feet' - The Independent
'What a splendid story it is, compulsive reading!' - Junior Bookshelf
'There are academics whose career began because Sutcliff – and this novel in particular – sparked an interest that has never waned. There are others for whom she was the greatest and the best, and they are still trying to find a book to read that matches up to the childhood magic. And there are those of us who are still trying to write a book that will conjure that same childhood magic.' - Manda Scott, author of the Boudica series, in The Independent.
|Publication date:||3rd February 2011|
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press|
|Suitable for:||11+ readers, 9+ readers|
Rosemary Sutcliff was born in Surrey, the daughter of a naval officer. At the age of two she contracted the progressively wasting Still's disease, and hence spent most of her life in a wheelchair. Her first children's book was published in 1950, and from then on she devoted her time and talents to the writing of children's historical novels, which have placed her name high in the field of contemporary children's literature. Rosemary received an OBE in the 1975 Birthday Honours List. Rosemary Sutcliff's novels about Roman Britain have won much critical acclaim. The best-known of these is her The Eagle ...More About Rosemary Sutcliff
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