This is a BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Rosemary Sutcliff's much-loved tale of honour, comradeship and courage. Somewhere around the year 117AD, a Roman garrison called the Ninth Legion was ordered to put down an uprising among the Caledonian tribes. Four thousand men vanished without trace into the swirling mist of the north of Roman Britain. Many years after their disappearance a young centurion, Marcus Aquila, decides to discover the truth about what happened to the legion and to its First Cohort Commander - his father. This gripping dramatisation tells the story of Marcus' often perilous journey as he searches to solve the mystery, and to bring back the symbol of the lost legion's honour - their standard, the Eagle of the Ninth. Now adapted as a major motion picture - "The Eagle", starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell and Donald Sutherland - "The Eagle of the Ninth" is a timeless tale that will thrill all listeners. This recording was previously available on cassette.
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 of the Ninth trilogy, of which the second book in the trilogy, The Lantern Bearers, was awarded the 1959 Carnegie Medal.
Sadly, Rosemary died in 1992 at the age of 72.