Initially an art-school trained painter of miniatures, Rosemary Sutcliff’s first children's book was published in 1950, and from then on she devoted her time and talents to the writing of children's books and history novels, which have placed her name high in the field of contemporary children's literature and historical fiction. The UK Guardian newspaper called her a “writer of genius” in their obituary. Rosemary received an OBE in the 1975 Birthday Honours List, and a CBE in 1990.
Rosemary Sutcliff's novels won much critical acclaim in her lifetime and since. The best-known of her Roman novels is The Eagle of the Ninth, and the related trilogy of which the second, The Lantern Bearers, was awarded the 1959 Carnegie Medal. Her re-telling of the legend of Tristan and Iseult was highly highly recommended for the same award in 1972, once the award was opened up for re-awarding to the same author.
Rosemary Sutcliff was born in Surrey, the daughter of a naval officer. Later in her life she lived in Devon and then Sussex. At the age of two she contracted the progressively wasting Still's disease, and hence spent most of her life in a wheelchair. Sadly, Rosemary died in 1992 at the age of 72.