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The Hound Of Ulster (Red Fox Classics) [Paperback]

Rosemary Sutcliff
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Nov 2002 Red Fox Classics

The boy who takes up the spear and shield of Manhood on this day will become the most renowned of all the warriors of Ireland, men will follow at his call to the world's end, and his enemies will shudder at the thunder of his chariot wheels.

This is how the ancient prophecy went, and as the boy Cuchulain heard it, he went forward to claim the weapons of his manhood. This is the story of how he became the greatest of heroes - the Hound of Ulster.



Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Red Fox; New Ed edition (7 Nov 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099438593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099438595
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 12.7 x 19.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 555,005 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.

Product Description

Book Description

This saga of the Irish Celts is re-told by Rosemary Sutcliff with a magical weaving together of passion and poetry.

About the Author

Rosemary Sutcliff was born in 1920 in West Clanden, Surrey.

With over 40 books to her credit, Rosemary Sutcliff is now universally considered one of the finest writers of historical novels for children. Her first novel, The Queen Elizabeth Story was published in 1950. In 1972 her book Tristan and Iseult was runner-up for the Carnegie Medal. In 1974 she was highly commended for the Hans Christian Andersen Award and in 1978 her book, Song for a Dark Queen was commended for the Other Award.

Rosemary lived for a long time in Arundel, Sussex with her dogs and in 1975, she was awarded the OBE for services to Children's Literature. Unfortunately Rosemary passed away in July 1992 and will be much missed by her many fans.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
While this retelling is written primarily for younger readers it is anything but childish. The sex and bloody mayhem of the source material, central to the explanations of the actions of the protagonists, remains. Consequently, even though the stories are about "superheroes", these heroes remain, in very many ways, recognisably human, driven by deeply human motives of honour, jealousy, love, lust, greed and envy. Often the most heroic can be petty and the most venal given to acts of great courage.
Sutcliff clearly took the time to ensure that the stories were properly rooted in the geography of the North of Ireland and the West of Scotland, something that adds to the pleasure of the reading. A classic that will bear reading and re-reading again.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tale that will stay with you for life 18 Jan 2011
By Peasant TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Reading this book at about 12 years old started a lifelong interest in Celtic literature and oral literature generally, and in Ireland. It is one of the most romantic stories ever told, yet by no means "soppy". All the tales of the Ulster Cycle are retold to make a complete narrative, starting with the the birth and boyhood of Cuchulain, and finishing with his heroic death.

While making the stories suitable for older children and young adolescents, Sutcliff keeps all the power of the original; do not be fooled, there is a lot of violence and surprising amount of sex in these pages, albeit handled with the utmost restraint and without any horror or explicitness.

The illustrations by Victor Ambrus (who you may be familiar with from Time Team) are amongst the best he has ever done and are worth buying the book for alone. Adult readers will also find this a very enjoyable read.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read 17 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought this because I found The Tain unbelievably tedious. I've got an English degree and love e.g. Beowulf, Gawain and the Green Knight, Piers Plowman etc, but The Tain left me cold. This was also the unanimous view of my book group. This does a good job of turning The Tain into something one might begin to appreciate as literature on its own merits. It is certainly not just for teenagers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be back in print 4 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The Hound of Ulster is a gripping retelling of the Ulster Cycle - the Irish myths about the semi-divine warrior hero Cuchulain and the Cattle Raid of Cooley. The stories apparently date from the bronze age oral tradition, but were finally written down in the 8th century. Sutcliff writes well and vividly. The stories are a mixture of savagery and lyricism, wild fantasy and psychological realism. Cuchulain in his battle frenzy literally metamorphoses into a monster, yet when he mourns the dead he is completely human. The original Ulster Cycle, also known as The Tain, is available in an English translation by Thomas Kinsella, with stunning illustrations by Louis Le Brocquy, from Oxford University Press. But the text is extremely hard to follow: the Hound of Ulster is much more readable for newcomers to the story. And anyone who likes this novel should read the haunting WB Yeats poem, Cuchulain Comforted, about the hero's death. It's full of ambivalence about heroes and men of violence: how do we admire their courage while deploring their deeds?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Hero Tale 12 Jan 2011
By Joseph A. Tribby - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a fine story of mythical heroism (and some tragedy) of 'older' Ireland (not sure that 'ancient' is the right term). I read this book knowing very little about Cuchulain, only that he is Ireland's greatest hero of myth/folklore. It was a great telling of The Hound's life and the tales of his time and land. And ideal for those who find reading the classic texts, poems, and etc of myth boring, tedious or otherwise. I think the only aspect of this book that might dissuade people from finishing it is its sense of unreality and madness, but this is the same of any tale of myth and legend, so take that as you will. Raids, full pitched battles (some hundreds vs one), magic, monsters, and the faery kind abound. As well, Sutcliff wrote this in the way only she can putting the reader in the time and place of the story (happily as always). She writes with a style of her own but remains true to the tale, land its from, and its spirit. If you like this also check out Sutcliff's 'High Deeds of Finn MacCool'.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb retelling of the Ulster cycle of Irish legends 9 Dec 2011
By Aidan J. McQuade - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
While this retelling is written primarily for younger readers it is anything but childish. The sex and bloody mayhem of the source material, central to the explanations of the actions of the protagonists, remains. Consequently, even though the stories are about "superheroes", these heroes remain, in very many ways, recognisably human, driven by deeply human motives of honour, jealousy, love, lust, greed and envy. Often the most heroic can be petty and the most venal given to acts of great courage.

Sutcliff clearly took the time to ensure that the stories were properly rooted in the geography of the North of Ireland and the West of Scotland, something that adds to the pleasure of the reading. A classic that will bear reading and re-reading again.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Hound Of Ulster 29 Aug 2013
By Cphe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story of Cuchulain a renowned warrior and legend of early Ireland, the Hound of Ulster. This tale encompasses his early life, loves and battles up until his death. It's a rousing tale filled with chivalry, courage and honor but it is also savage and blood thirsty.

Filled with magic, myth and folklore this rather shortish novel in length is a glimpse of a legendary character who comes alive on the page.
5.0 out of 5 stars Rosemary Sutcliff has drawn the elements of this ancient lay ... 14 Aug 2014
By Mac the Lad - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Rosemary Sutcliff has drawn the elements of this ancient lay into a story tht brings the mysticism o this story to life again so those living in the present age can contact the ancient roots we are all part of, and remind us of a past that meant more than money and maybe has more relevance than it did then, Open your soul and get back to a life that has values that still apply today even if we're not sure how,
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