I am enjoying reading The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff. It was a gift from my dear friend Paul Hinderlie who has been reading history of every kind forever. Although written for older children, these wonderful stories of Roman Britain work for readers of all ages.
The Eagle of the Ninth tells the tale of an injured Roman and his now-freed Briton slave as they go in search of the Eagle emblem of the Ninth Legion that mysteriously disappeared into the north of England, into the realm of Caledonia. It is really fun to read through the geography outlined, especially as they enter the north side of Hadrian’s Wall at what is now Corbridge. We were just there last summer, and it adds to the drama and depth of this wonderful novel to have the scenes of the place in my mind’s eye.
The book was purchased through the inestimable Slightly Foxed. They resurrect and publish these treasures of old so we can enjoy and relish these amazing tales. The Eagle of the Ninth is the first of four. The second is The Silver Branch, then Frontier Wolf, and The Lantern Bearers. I’m looking forward to them all. You can check them out at www.foxedquarterly.com
Here are pictures of Hadrian’s Wall from our visit there in August: