Rosemary Sutcliff Sheila A. Egoff - Essay

Sheila A. Egoff

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

A virtually perfect mesh of history and fiction can be found in the writing of Rosemary Sutcliff. She seems to work from no recipe for mixing fact and imagination and thus, like fantasy, which it also resembles in its magic qualities, her writing defies neat categorization. Still, what cannot be defined can be observed. Thus what one perceives is that Sutcliff begins with a very well stored mind and an affinity for a given period in the distant past that she sets forth as if it were something she herself had once experienced, richly remembers, and recounts—much as some ordinary person talks about the memories of childhood or a trip. Sutcliff easily, unobtrusively, and naturally seems able to supply just the right...

(The entire section is 446 words.)