To be published on 12th March 2024 Handheld Biographies 6
Blue Remembered Hills is a memoir of childhood, youth and her first love affairs by the acclaimed British historical novelist Rosemary Sutcliff, author of, among many others, The Eagle of the Ninth, Dawn Wind, The Mark of the Horse Lord and The Lantern-Bearers. It’s a classic of perfect writing about her close and not always easy relationship with her bipolar mother, life in the naval dockyards where her father was based, and the beloved family dogs, interspersed with her stoic endurance of physical and emotional pain. We can trace the origins of many of her much-loved novels in this story of her early life.
This new edition of Rosemary Sutcliff’s classic memoir includes an introduction by disability campaigner and sociologist Tom Shakespeare.
To be published in paperback and as an ebook.
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Rosemary Sutcliff’s lyrical descriptions of the beauty around their remote house in Devon distract the reader from the excruciating clinical treatment she underwent for years as a child to repair the damage caused by Still’s Disease on her joints. She describes how her isolation and her awareness of being physically different informed some of her best-loved novels, as did her early love affairs. Born in East Clandon, Surrey, in 1920 Rosemary Sutcliff went to art school at fourteen and became a talented painter, only beginning to write fiction as a secret occupation for her private pleasure. Her first novels were published in 1950, and her most well-known success was The Eagle of The Ninth (1954), the first of her novels about the Romans in Britain. She published over fifty novels for children and young adults and lived in Chichester, Sussex. She became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Member of the Royal Society of Miniaturists, and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1992, the year of her death.
The original cover art is by Wendy Bryant from a now lost photograph of Sutcliff.
You may also enjoy our other biographies
Peter Haring Judd’s The Akeing Heart, about the intense love triangle between Sylvia Townsend Warner, Valentine Ackland and Elizabeth Wade White.
The Conscientious Objector’s Wife, the letters between an imprisoned First World War conscientious objector and his doughty wife, keeping the family together by her own efforts for two and a half years.
A Quaker Conscientious Objector, the letters of Wilfrid Littleboy, imprisoned during the First World War for his absolutist pacifist beliefs, finding joy in his nature observations from his prison cell.
Where Stands A Winged Sentry by Margaret Kennedy, author of The Constant Nymph and The Feast, her remarkable account of evacuation and invasion fears in south west England in 1940.
Valentine Ackland. A Transgressive Life by Frances Bingham, the first biography of this astonishing poet, cross-dresser, antiques dealer and lifetime companion of Sylvia Townsend Warner. Shortlisted for the Polari Prize in 2022.
Dreaming of Rose. A Biographer’s Journal, by Sarah LeFanu, telling the inside story of researching and writing her acclaimed biography of Rose Macaulay in 2003.
T H White by Sylvia Townsend Warner, her classic biography of the author of The Sword in The Stone and The Goshawk from 1967.
Hilda Matheson by Michael Carney and Kate Murphy, the first biography of the first lady of the BBC and a powerful influencer in British arts and politics between the wars.