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The Eagle of the Ninth (BBC Radio) [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Rosemary Sutcliff , Full Cast
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
RRP: 13.25
Price: 9.27 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

7 Mar 2011 BBC Radio
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.

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The Eagle of the Ninth (BBC Radio) + His Dark Materials Trilogy: BBC Radio 4 Full-cast Dramatisation (BBC Audiobooks)
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Product details

  • Audio CD: 2 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Audiobooks Ltd (7 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408467763
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408467763
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 12.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yes - and No 21 Jun 2011
By Hazel Vicary VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Firstly I have to say, I ordered this in error. I actually thought I was ordering a book so it was a new experience to 'listen' to a book. The story itself was a good tale but I was put off by the Roman horn 'music' which rapidly became more than a little irritating. I also had to get used to the 'Romans' Scottish accents (we all know they really had American accents) and I found it very hard to get right into the characters in the same way I can with a good, well written book. On the good side I could listen to it whilst doing other things but really, if I am honest, I would far prefer to read a book and will take more care when I do my ordering in future. For those who enjoy their yarns in this format, its a reasonably good story - for me, well I'll just stick to a good, old fashioned book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dusted off in time for the movie! 1 Jun 2011
By Mr. J. C. Clubb VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Eagle of the Ninth (audio play)


The audio play tells a tale of a noble and very brave centurion, Marcus Aquila (Tom Smith) who is almost crippled when he attacks an enemy chariot in battle. As he recovers he saves the life of a gladiator, Esca (Tony Kearney), and buys him as his slave. Having formed a bond with the man he then releases him from slavery, but asks him if he would like to accompany him on a perilous journey. Impressed by his former master's kindness and a desire to see the homeland he was originally taken from, Esca agrees to accompany Marcus.

Marcus's mission is to find the Eagle of the Ninth Legion. This standard is thought to be in the possession of a Caledonian tribe in the north of Britain, a tribe that destroyed the Ninth Legion in 117 AD, not long after the erection of Hadrian's Wall. This legion's demise brings possible disgrace on the Roman Empire and the thought of a British tribe using it as inspiration for others, is enough encouragement for Marcus's superiors to let him go on the mission. However, Marcus has other reasons for going on the quest. He wishes to discover the truth about the last stand of the legions of First Cohort Commander - his father...


With 2011's release of a somewhat amped up and bloodthirsty major motion picture rendition of the much loved children's classic "The Eagle of the Ninth" by Rosemary Sutcliff (filmed under the alternative publication title, "The Eagle") it is little surprising that earlier dramatizations would suddenly get the re-release treatment. This radio play was last aired in 1996.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than I was expecting! 21 Dec 2011
By J. Scott TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)

I had this set of disks in my hot little hands before I realised that a)it was a dramatisation of the book, not a reading of the book itself, and b) the original book was actually a 'young adults' book.

Both a) and b) left me feeling 'I'm not really going to enjoy this...'

I needn't have worried. It really is a cracking yarn, and the dramatisation is first-rate. I don't want to spoil the story in any way, but if you have the slightest interest in the Roman/Ancient world, Ancient Britain, or if you just enjoy a good story, then I recommend this very highly. It's two hours of very enjoyable listening!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well produced radio play of a marvellous book 10 July 2013
Format:Audio CD

There can be very few school boys of the 1950's who had not read and enjoyed the historical novels of Rosemary Sutcliff. For myself, The Eagle of the Ninth was probably my first introduction to the historical novel and the book that hooked me onto the genre for life.

The release of the new film `The Eagle' has triggered a new world wide interest in Rosemary Sutcliff's Roman books with new editions in the bookshops and a belated re-release of the BBC Radio drama on CD. I have owned the cassette edition since it was released in 1999 and have been waiting for the CD release for over ten years.

THE EAGLE OF THE NINTH follows the adventures of a young Roman soldier who is determined to discover the truth about the disappearance of his father, the legion eagle standard and the 4000 soldiers of the Ninth Legion who marched into Ultima Thule (present day Scotland or Alba) never to be seen of heard of again. My personal favourite of the three Roman Britain novels, the story is well crafted, exciting and the historical background and locations realistic and generally accurate.

The radio play is well scripted with good performances from the cast BBC Radio Scotland cast of stock players none of whom are particularlt well known beyond radio drama and has a haunting sound track which features the use of authentic reproductions of Roman horns. The play is taken from a book which is build around action and therefore it does lose some of impact, combat on radio always seems a bit flat and much less exciting than in the original book but it is never-the-less a well produced play.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent adaptation 18 Aug 2011
Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Eagle of the Ninth (BBC Radio) This is an excellent adaptation of Sutcliffe's perenially popular tale of a young man's trip into the wilds of Roman-occupied Britain to establish exactly what happened to the Ninth Legion, of which his late father was a member.

The ensemble cast is pitch perfect, and the adaptation works very well - as you might expect from the BBC's radio drama department.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Eagle of the Ninth
Excellent acting, awful accompanying music
Published 4 days ago by Gill Shepherd
4.0 out of 5 stars if you can no longer read it try this
if you can no longer read it try this provided you have a CD player and can still work it
Published 4 months ago by tl2098
3.0 out of 5 stars Good.
Not having read the book or seen the film I wasn't sure what I'd find and I was pleasantly surprised. Right up with BBC Radio's usual standards.
Published 14 months ago by Stuart Burns
4.0 out of 5 stars V Enjoyable
I am more of a book man than a audio book fan but this BBC Radio 4 version of this story was very impressive. Read more
Published 15 months ago by DavyA
1.0 out of 5 stars Won't play on my car's CD player
I bought this CD to listen to in the car with my kids while we took a 2-hour drive for our holiday. However, it wouldn't play in the car's CD player, even after trying on two... Read more
Published on 28 Jun 2012 by Dr. K. E. Patrick
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Radio Adaptation.
Knowing something of the period and the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the 9th legion from the historical record, I was keen to listen to this radio drama. Read more
Published on 30 Nov 2011 by Prof TBun
2.0 out of 5 stars A promising story - a sadly lacking audio interpretation
The following review contains a couple of broad spoilers.

When I ordered this audiobook I had no idea that I had actually read the Eagle of the Ninth many moons ago when... Read more
Published on 8 Oct 2011 by Simon McMahon
3.0 out of 5 stars easy listening
The Eagle of the Ninth is well scripted and entertaining, the scenes are successfully divided and timed. Read more
Published on 25 Aug 2011 by Colliesaluki
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire
The Eagle of the Ninth is one of the most famous historical novels of the 20th century, whether written for children or not. Read more
Published on 25 Aug 2011 by S. Lindgren
5.0 out of 5 stars The Eagle Of The Ninth
This is a must for anyone who has seen the recent film The Eagle (shortened title for American audiences who wouldn't have wanted to have watched a film which was the 9th in a... Read more
Published on 5 Aug 2011 by mall1990
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