bunn: (Logres)
I got a rather charming drawing of Ambrosius from Sword at Sunset, for Sutcliff Swap.  I like it a lot.

I wrote one story for Sutcliff Swap this year  : There Will Be Commotions and Turbulent Times.  It is a late sixth-century Britain story, with Owain and Regina from Dawn Wind, plus Taliesin, who turned out to be visiting the area and donated the title. :-D

Read more... )

I thought I'd finished this when I posted it to the Sutcliff Swap collection, but now I'm wondering if I want to write more about Taliesin.  He seems to be quite a strong personality.

And then I made a drawing :  "Hands off, My Friend" [On Ao3, with notes]
Read more... )
bunn: (upside down)
I finally finished and posted my story in which both the main characters of Eagle of the Ninth are dead, and Cottia is extremely old and solves crimes in the Downs like a second-century Miss Marple with the aid of Servius Placidus's great grandson!

Sixty years after the Eagle of the Ninth, Cottia still lives on the farm in the Downs that she, Marcus and Esca set up together. Britain is in confusion after four years of civil war across the Empire. The great house of Placidus backed the wrong imperial claimant, and now young Servius Placidus, the last of a long line, is on the run from the newly-established Emperor Severus's revenge. Then one of Severus's men is found dead....

Read on Ao3 It's 18618 words. Nobody has sex.

Now with some lovely art by [livejournal.com profile] emisolde!
Read more... )
bunn: (upside down)

Signups next Friday! Anyone in?

I am in a Sutcliff mood, for I have finally finished writing Death in Noviomagus Reginorum, (it's for smallfandombang, so posting in couple weeks or so). I struggled with it for ages, but at the end it was lots of fun again. Although the fun was definitely not the whodunnit aspect. I don't think I am well adapted to writing whodunnits, although I love reading them. I sit there with my mouth open looking at the crime, going 'Well! I wonder who did THAT???' Which is not ideal if your detective is supposed to be actually *solving* the crime :-D.

Anyway, I am hoping for some interesting prompts! I think I may request Cottia and Eagle of the Ninth. Having spent ages writing Very Old Cottia it would be interesting to read other takes on her. And perhaps also something Constantinoply? Constantinople is such a great setting, and I could request Blood Feud or The Shining Company...
bunn: (Skagos)
The 2014 collection is open! I haven't read all the stories yet...

But I have read my gift, Fiat Justicia by opalmatrix. It's all about Aunt Honoria, a minor character in The Silver Branch who I personally consider to be more interesting than the protagonists, and she really lives up to that billing in this story, being both awesome and ruthless!

[livejournal.com profile] motetus drew me an Aunt Honoria as a treat, and she is a perfect fit with the story.  There is even more Aunt Honoria to look forward to in the other stories too.  She seems to be turning into something of a third century version of Judi Dench's M, which is a move that one can really only applaud delightedly.

With bonus extra Vikings!
I wrote two things for Sutcliff Swap this year, and both of them were kind of Vikingy:

Born in the Purple is ostensibly a Blood Feud story - although to be honest there is a bushel of history in there and not much more than a teaspoon of Sutcliff. My heroine, Anna Porphyrogenita, the princess of Constantinople who was sold to the Viking Rus in 988AD in return for an army, only appears by report in Blood Feud, and was a real person.

I had a lot of fun researching Constantinople and the Rus (although in the end there was less Rus than I'd intended).   It was a difficult story to write though, because it's basically the story about forced marriage that I managed to wangle my way out of writing when I wrote about Flavia.   I don't know why I chose to come back to that theme, given that I'm sure I've complained before that historical fiction has way too much rape in it, and far too few people with hernias or toothache or being trampled by cows.   Maybe next time I should make an effort and have everyone tragically trampled by cows or killed by a randomly collapsing building.

The second thing I wrote was:
Audrsaga, for [livejournal.com profile] osprey_archer. It's a Sword Song story, based on Sutcliff's last and posthumously published novel about a hot-tempered Viking boy who is given a five-year sentence of exile for murder in around 890AD, and spends the time wandering around Dublin and the Western isles as a sword-for-hire.   He ends up in the Hebrides and Caithness, working for first Thorstein the Red, and then his mother, Aud the Deep-minded.  Like Anna, Aud and Thorstein were real people.  Aud is one of the founder-figures of Iceland, so she appears in a number of the Icelandic sagas, as well as being one of the more memorable characters in Sword Song.    The prompt asked what Aud did after she sailed out of the book to settle on Iceland.

This was much easier to write!  According to both the sagas and Sutcliff, Aud was a portly lady in her early sixties, a Christian in a period when most Vikings weren't, and very definitely a personality.   If I hadn't been struggling to write about Anna at the same time it could easily have been much longer, and I think I may try to take it up to at least the point where Aud sets up her own settlement at Hvamm. 
bunn: (dog knotwork)
Notes for The White Hare

The 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. )
bunn: (dog knotwork)
« Back to Part 1

Esca shook his head, as if coming out of deep water. “You served in Isca Dumnoniorum yourself,” he said. “Don’t you remember hearing anything about hares while you were here?”

“Well, I was not there for very long,” said Marcus, “and I don’t think that the people I knew in Isca – the people who might have known about the sacred things – I don’t think they would have talked to me about something like that. Even the people I thought I knew...well, I was very young, and very new to the country.”
Read more... )

Notes Here
bunn: (dog knotwork)
It's Sutcliff Swap time again!  Can I tempt anyone to join in?

Here is my Sutcliff Swap Dear Creator thingy!
I requested:
Read more... )

Basically, I like All the Sutcliff Things. So probably I'm going to be delighted with whatever you make!  But possibly more detail would help?
Read more... )


Mar. 18th, 2014 08:43 am
bunn: (Logres)
I suspect that probably anyone who really wants to watch a three and a half hour play based on Sutcliff's Arthurian epic, Sword at Sunset has already picked up the link from http://blueremembered.blogspot.co.uk/ or http://rosemarysutcliff.com/ but just in case you didn't (and so I've got the link)

I haven't watched it yet, but am looking forward to it!

Also, muchly amused by this review: "Of the two or three weddings I have been forcibly removed from, the most memorable was in Lewes. “How can you say you don’t like Rosemary Sutcliff?” I angrily demanded of the classicist groom, “You’re getting married in the very Sussex Downs that fired her imagination.” The desk sergeant who brought me morning tea in the cells agreed."

And while I'm at it, there is this!
bunn: (dog knotwork)

Apparently so.  I imagine that such a fat (and on places, let's face it, slow) book must have needed a fair bit of pruning, but I wish I was close enough/could spare the time to go and see what they made of it! 
bunn: (Trust me)
New Year's parties are, frankly, my idea of hell on earth, so here is a ridiculous story about the Tribune Placidus in an absurd fake moustache that I wrote while I was more or less ignoring the New Year. Happy 2014!

warnings: Placidus being... well, Placidus, and a bit creepy, honestly.
Word Count: 1070
Inspired by motetus's awesome card here: http://i.imgur.com/G8DaOJV.jpg
In which the Tribune Servius Placidus goes undercover in a ridiculous fake moustache, and learns that Yorkshire girls should really not be messed with.

(When Marcus asks Placidus what he thinks of Britain, Placidus replies "The girls are well enough, and the hunting. For the rest - Roma Dea! I can bear to leave it behind me!". I wondered which girls he had met, and how...)
Read more... )
bunn: (Dark Ages)
For a series of whodunnits, in which a very elderly Cottia investigates mysteries around the South Downs, with young Servius Placidus from the Horses of the Chalk story that I wrote, as her sidekick.  Because, I love genteel whodunnits. And I love Roman whodunnits. And elderly ladies investigating crimes.  So, surely the best thing of all would be a Genteel Roman Whodunnit with an ancient lady detective!

Whether this will actually get written is another matter, but I felt the idea was so pleasing I would at least make a note of it here.
bunn: (dog knotwork)
Title: Different for Boys
warnings: late pregnancy is not much fun.
Word Count: 1500

Summary:   A very pregnant Cottia realises that marriage to Marcus may not be the escape she had hoped, but talking to Esca helps.

I really should have got this beta'd before posting it, but I wrote it for the ninth-eagle fanmedia challenge, and ended up posting it well after the official deadline and only about 40 minutes before the really really mean it deadline, so there was So Much No Time.  Apparently I still have Lots of Thoughts about this book!

Read more... )

Notes, in which I witter on about Cottia and Esca a bit )
bunn: (dog knotwork)
Title: Coming Home for the Summer
Rating: gen
Characters: Marcus Flavius Aquila, Flavius Aquila (jr) Cara Flavia(?) Aquila, Cottia, Esca
Word Count: 1169
Summary: Marcus has been to Calleva to sort things out after Uncle Aquila's lamented but hardly premature death, taking his two older children along with him.  This is a brief scene on the way home.  Not much happens, but... you get to see Marcus being a dad?

Written for the ninth-eagle fanmedia challenge, inspire by the photo of the stream, and if I'm honest, also by this song which despite its prosaic origin as an advert for sausages, has got stuck in my head.
Warnings : written in a hurry even by my usual slipshod standard, and unbeta'd.
Read more... )
bunn: (dog knotwork)

About: It's 117 AD. The Ninth Legion march North into the mists. All the tribes of the North rise against them.
Words: 3303
Starring: Marcus Flavius Aquila (Senior),  Tradui of the Seal People, Cunoval ap Cunomor

(Actually, Cunoval only gets a walk-on part, but in my head he has a lot to say. )
From Marcus Flavius Aquila, Primus Pilus of the First Cohort of the Ninth Hispana

Dear Mouse
I am sorry that it has been some time since my last letter. Things continue to be difficult here, and it has got worse since the news of the Emperor’s death reached us, so that it has been hard to find the time to write a proper letter.

Read more... )


NotesIn which I become ridiculously excited that the archaeology appears to back up my fanfic.  )


Jul. 14th, 2013 11:37 pm
bunn: (dog knotwork)
I have not achieved much today - too hot! I tried to finish my story about Druim and the Arcani, and again failed dismally.  I just can't decide where it should be going: it has a setup and a plot, but I can't get my head around characters, somehow.  This is the reverse of my usual situation of having characters and setting, but no plot.  Perhaps I should give up on it and write something for the Eagle fanmedia challenge instead.  I'm tempted by the idea of Old Tradui, (played by an aging Tom Baker, of course) telling a series of increasingly improbable and wild tales about the adventures of his youth.

 I thought about painting, but didn't.  I considered working on one of the websites I volunteer to help out with, and - didn't.  I drank an enormous quantity of iced coffee and lolled about the house, watered the greenhouse and mowed a lawn.

 But I did assemble two of these lightshades, each composed of 30 identical plastic bits.

Which felt like an achievement of a sort.
bunn: (upside down)
I seem to have been a bit flighty and scattered about Sutcliff Swap this year.
Read more... )

Finally I realised that at this rate I wasn't going to finish *anything*, and hurriedly wrote for melannen : 'Not The Emperor's Bodyguard' which is basically about how, when you get orders to go and re-occupy a remote Scottish fort that has been standing empty for about a hundred years, the place is going to be in the most awful mess when you get there.

If you are in the mood for art, I muchly recommend the painting 'Into the Emptiness Within Him' by [livejournal.com profile] motetus which captures that lovely moment where Aquila meets the High King Ambrosius and is given a sword superbly well.

My gift was "When in Calleva" about Cottia's Aunt Valaria's experience as an Iceni girl trying to settle into Romanised British society in Calleva after her marriage to Uncle Kaeso. It's a terrifying portrait of not-so-subtle social pressure, and really made me think. I had previously seen Valaria as almost a comedy cutout, but this gave her much more depth.
bunn: (dog knotwork)
So I have it handy, and just in case anyone else should want it.  Text in italics only happens in the book.  The rest is history, or at least, history as she do appear in Wikipedia.
Read more... )

And here is the fort at Castellum. I must say my mental image of the area was more moorlandy, somehow. 


bunn: (Default)

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