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Rosemary Sutcliff | The Eagle of the Ninth

The Eagle of the Ninth | The dark hour before the dawn

‘The best kind of historical fiction, far too good to be limited to children’s bookshelves’

We are pleased to announce the publication of two new titles in the Slightly Foxed Cubs series of highly collectable classic children’s books, The Eagle of the Ninth and The Silver Branch by Rosemary Sutcliff.

Sutcliff was an author whose imagination, as Sue Gaisford writes in the forthcoming issue of Slightly Foxed, ‘was unbounded by time, space or experience’. Her four great novels, The Eagle of the Ninth (1954), The Silver Branch (1957), Frontier Wolf (1980) and The Lantern Bearers (winner of the 1959 Carnegie Prize), tell the story of the Roman occupation of Britain through the fortunes of several generations of the Aquila family, from the Empire’s glory days to its final withdrawal, weakened by increasing pressure from Saxon raiders and internal power struggles at home.

Sutcliff was writing primarily for children, but she never talks down to her readers, and adults too find these novels impossible to put down. All of them are based on historical fact but it’s Sutcliff’s imaginative brilliance that makes you smell the burning cherry log warming old Uncle Aquila’s cosy study, feel the tension in the air at the Saturnalia Games, and shiver in the icy winds howling round the bleak frontier forts along Hadrian’s Wall. As well as being brilliant reads, together these novels make sense of a far-off period that left its mark on almost every aspect of British life. They have been difficult to find for some time and we’re delighted to be reissuing them with their original illustrations.

Please read the newsletter for an excerpt from the first in the series, The Eagle of the Ninth and follow the links within to buy this and The Silver Branch as single titles, or a limited-edition set of all four books, to include The Lantern Bearer and Frontier Wolf which will follow on publication in September 2020. (Click here to skip reading the excerpt and view the books on our website.)

Don’t forget, if you place an order in August to the value of £20 or more, by way of thanks we’ll send you a complimentary pack of handsome postcards. Just use the code SUMMER-CLEAN at the checkout or over the phone. A reminder of the various bundles and discounts on offer appears at the foot of this email.

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