Notes for The White HareThe Eagle of the Ninth
was published in 1953 - Rosemary Sutcliff's first Roman Britain book. She hadn't realised that there was no archaeology at the time that supported the idea that Exeter had a Roman occupation, and was delighted to find out, later on, that 'traces of the Second Legion were being dug up all over the city'.
Snag is, it turns out now that a lot more excavating has been done that the Second Legion occupation of Exeter was in the first century, not the second, when Eagle of the Ninth
is set. It looks like the Second Legion campaigned successfully in the Southwest, then left. By the time Marcus was supposed to be posted to Isca, they had moved elsewhere, leaving their huge legionary fortress on the Red Mount largely empty, and Isca Dumnoniorum was a city served by an aqueduct (although exactly how developed it was is not entirely clear, because of medieval ground clearances which have removed a lot of the Roman bits). ( Read more...and more... and more! To the point of mild monomania, possibly. )