[[caption-width-right:260:Armchair warrior]]

Rosemary Sutcliff (14 December 1920 23 July 1992) was a British writer of YoungAdult HistoricalFiction, who published some fifty books between 1950 and 1997. She is best-known for her novels set in Roman Britain, particularly ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth''. She was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her services to children's literature.

Sutcliff was the daughter of a Royal Navy commander, and much of her work focuses on military officers and the life of the service. At two years old, she developed juvenile arthritis which partially crippled her; she spent much of her childhood in and out of hospital and used a wheelchair in later life. Medicine and disabled characters play a prominent role in her fiction. She was educated largely at home by her mother, who introduced her to literature, especially Myth/CelticMythology and [[KingArthur the Matter of Britain]]. She also became a great admirer of Creator/RudyardKipling, who strongly influences her prose, settings, and themes. As a young adult, she trained as an artist, working as a painter of miniatures. A vivid evocation of visual detail later translated to her writing.

She published her first books, ''The Chronicles of Robin Hood'' and ''The Queen Elizabeth Story'', with Oxford University Press in 1950. They were followed by three more novels before her breakout bestseller ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth'', which as SchoolStudyMedia became the TropeCodifier of the LostRomanLegion for generations of children, and has inspired several adaptations including the 2011 film ''Film/TheEagle''. It was eventually followed by seven loosely linked sequels sometimes known as "The Eagle of the Ninth Chronicles" or "the Dolphin Ring series", after the signet ring [[GenerationalSaga passed down through the generations]] of a Roman British family.

Sutcliff was commended six times for the UK's most prestigious award for children's writing, the UsefulNotes/CarnegieMedal. ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth'' (1954), ''[[Literature/TheDolphinRing The Shield Ring]]'' (1956), ''The Silver Branch'' (1957), and ''Literature/WarriorScarlet'' (1958) were shortlisted before ''The Lantern Bearers'' won in 1959. After a rule change that allowed repeat winners, she received her final commendation for ''Tristan and Iseult'' in 1971.

The official site of her literary estate is [[http://rosemarysutcliff.com/ rosemarysutcliff.com]]. A 1983 [[Creator/TheBBC BBC]] Radio ''[[Radio/DesertIslandDiscs Desert Island Discs]]'' interview with Sutcliff can be heard [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/desert-island-discs/castaway/cf9decb8 here]]; a 1986 interview can be read [[http://d.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/text/interview-with-rosemary-sutcliff here]].

!! Sutcliff's works include examples of:


[[folder:Recurring Tropes]]
* ActionFilmQuietDramaScene: Her calling-card, too many to list.
* AllFirstPersonNarratorsWriteLikeNovelists:
** Artos, ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; a dozen narrators in ''The Flowers of Adonis''; Dexius in ''Swallows in the Spring''; six generations of Calpurnii in ''The Capricorn Bracelet''; fourteen citizens in ''We Lived in Drumfyvie''; Jestyn Englishman in ''Literature/BloodFeud''; Cadwan and Agricola in ''Literature/SongForADarkQueen''; Quintus in ''Eagle's Egg''; Hugh Herriot in ''Bonnie Dundee''; Prosper in ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''.
* AnimalMotifs: In keeping with her broader focus on nature, lots of people are associated with symbolic animals:
** CanineCompanion: Little John, ''The Chronicles of Robin Hood''; Esca "the Centurion's hound" in ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth''; Cullen "the Hound of Curoi" in ''[[Literature/TheDolphinRing The Silver Branch]]''; Drem is a "Hound of Dumnorix" in ''Literature/WarriorScarlet''; Randal the dog-boy in ''Literature/KnightsFee''; ''The Hound of Ulster'', Cú Chulainn; Jestyn Englishman in ''Literature/BloodFeud''; Hugh Herriot in ''Bonnie Dundee''; Conn in ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''.
** SavageWolves: Saxon raiders, or "Sea Wolves"; the Frontier Scouts of ''Literature/FrontierWolf''; Ari "Grey Wolf" Knudsen of ''[[Literature/TheDolphinRing The Shield Ring]]''; "lone wolves" Aquila of ''The Lantern Bearers'' and Jestyn again; adopted "wolf-cubs" Beric in ''Literature/{{Outcast}}'' and Tethra in ''The Changeling''.
** Foxes: [[Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth Cottia]]; Vortigern and sons in ''The Lantern Bearers''; Vedrix of ''Eagle's Egg''.
** NobleBirdOfPrey: the Roman Legions, or the Eagles; [[Literature/TheDolphinRing the Aquila family]]; the Grandfather of ''Literature/WarriorScarlet''; Captain Faa of ''Bonnie Dundee''; [[Literature/KnightsFee the Montgomery brothers]]; [[Literature/SwordAtSunset Pharic and Maelgwn]].
** Small birds: Cordaella, ''Literature/{{Outcast}}''; Regina, ''Dawn Wind''; Rahere, ''The Witch's Brat''; Anita Anderson, ''We Lived in Drumfyvie''.
** HeroicDolphin: The titular Dolphin House in ''The Armourer's House''; the Aquila family signet Literature/TheDolphinRing; Aquila's nickname and Bruni's crest in ''The Lantern Bearers''.
** Cats: Conory, and the Wild Cats in ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord''; Erland Silkbeard in ''Literature/BloodFeud''. Tussun Bey in ''Blood and Sand'' is lion-like.
* AnyoneCanDie: Protagonists, best friends, dads, mentors, dogs, horses, babies...no one is safe.
* AuthorAppeal: Every trope in this folder, pretty much, but DescriptionPorn, UndyingLoyalty, HeroicSacrifice, HeterosexualLifePartners and a CanineCompanion are a good start.
* AuthorCatchphrase: Lots, including the coinages "woodshore" (the edge of the woods) and "house-place" (pointless alliteration).
** The North "went up in flames" about once per book
** "It is in my heart that" this is a long way to say "I think"
** Leaf-buds are like green flame or smoke, fire is like a flower, white flowers are like curds, and sea-foam is like cream
** "stirabout": [[Literature/TheToughGuideToFantasyland because "stew" is cliche]]
** "wave-lift": the shape a hill reminds one of, usually the Downs of southern England
** A Celtic woman invariably "carried herself like a queen". She may also wear braids "as thick as a swordsman's wrist" and her love interest may be able to "warm my hands at you". If she's really into him it's probably a case of "whistle and I'll come to you my lad" (a line stolen from Creator/RobertBurns' poem.)
** The green plover is always calling. Always.
*** To say nothing of the curlew.
** Young men and dogs who "plunge joyfully" into fights.
** "Juicy" wounds.
* BandOfBrothers:
** Robin Hood's outlaws, ''The Chronicles of Robin Hood''; the Lost Legion, ''The Silver Branch''; the Spear Brotherhood, ''Literature/WarriorScarlet''; the Company, ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; the Varangian Guard, ''Literature/BloodFeud''; the Frontier Scouts, ''Literature/FrontierWolf''; ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''.
* BasedOnATrueStory: Most of her HistoricalFiction is set in the context of true events. Though protagonists are usually fictional characters on the ground, they often cross paths with a real HistoricalDomainCharacter.
** ''Shifting Sands'' dramatises the abandonment of Orkney's prehistoric Skara Brae site.
** ''The Flowers of Adonis'' and ''A Crown of Wild Olive'': the career of Alkibiades and the Peloponnesian War.
** ''Sun Horse, Moon Horse'' is the story of the Iron Age artist who designs the White Horse of Uffington.
** ''Literature/SongForADarkQueen'': the Roman conquest of Britain and the rebellion of [[UsefulNotes/{{Boudica}} Boudicca]].
** ''Eagle's Egg'': Agricola's Caledonian campaigns and the Battle of Mons Graupius.
** ''The Silver Branch'': the Carausian rebellion.
** ''Literature/FrontierWolf'' is reportedly an incident from the 3rd Anglo-Afghan War RecycledInSpace
** ''The Lantern Bearers'' and ''Literature/SwordAtSunset'': the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain and the possible historical KingArthur
** ''Dawn Wind'': the landing of Augustine of Canterbury, apostle to the English.
** ''Literature/TheShiningCompany'': the Battle of Catraeth.
** ''Sword Song'': the unification of Norway and Viking exodus to Scotland and Iceland.
** ''Literature/BloodFeud'': the foundation of Russia and Byzantine conquest of Bulgaria.
** ''The Shield Ring'': the Norse resistance against the Normans.
** ''Literature/KnightsFee'': the battle of Tenchebrai.
** ''The Witch's Brat'': the founding of St. Bartholomew's Hospital.
** ''Lady in Waiting'': the career of Walter Raleigh
** ''The Rider of the White Horse'' and ''Literature/{{Simon}}'': the Civil War campaigns of Sir Thomas Fairfax.
** ''Bonnie Dundee'': the campaigns of Lord Dundee in the Covenanter and Jacobite rebellions.
** ''Blood and Sand'': Ottoman campaigns in Arabia and the career of Thomas Keith.
* BittersweetEnding: Victory is fleeting, but HeroicSacrifice is forever. They'll [[EarnYourHappyEnding Earn Their Happy Ending]] at the least; at worst TheHeroDies. And the dog dies. And the horse.
* BuryYourDisabled: Averted, along with other disability tropes. Sutcliff was physically disabled from early childhood, and wrote many characters who work around congenital defects, CareerEndingInjury, chronic illnesses, and in a few cases mental illness, as well as the odd disability-adjacent issue like stammering or disfigurement.
** Congenital physical defects: Adam Hilyarde, ''The Queen Elizabeth Story''; Robert Cecil, ''Lady in Waiting''; Drem, ''Literature/WarriorScarlet''; Vadir Cedricson, ''Dawn Wind''; Gwalchmai, ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; Archibald Campbell, ''Heroes and History''; Lovel, ''The Witch's Brat''; the Emperor Claudius, ''Literature/SongForADarkQueen''.
** Acquired physical disabilities: Robin, ''The Chronicles of Robin Hood''; John Carey, ''Literature/{{Simon}}''; Marcus, ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth''; Talore, ''Literature/WarriorScarlet''; Midir, ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord''; Lucian, ''The Fugitives''; Timotheus, ''The Flowers of Adonis''; Lucianus Calpurnius, ''The Capricorn Bracelet''; Rory the Dirk, ''We Lived in Drumfyvie''; Jestyn Englishman, Hakon One-Eye, Bardas Schlerus, ''Literature/BloodFeud''; Moon-Eye, ''Shifting Sands''; Hugh Herriot, ''Bonnie Dundee''; Anoud bin Aziz ibn Rashid, ''Blood and Sand''; Conn, ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''; Onund Treefoot, ''Sword Song''.
** Invisible physical conditions: Sir Thomas Fairfax, ''The Rider of the White Horse''; Aracos, ''A Circlet of Oak Leaves''; Prasutagus, ''Literature/SongForADarkQueen''.
** Mental irregularities: The Tom-o'-Bedlam, ''Brother Dusty-Feet''; the mazelin, ''The Shield Ring''; Cullen, ''The Silver Branch''; Stripey, ''Swallows in the Spring''; Daft Fergie, Old Nannie, and Geordie Breck, ''We Lived in Drumfyvie''.
* CallToAgriculture: Part-time occupation or ultimate destiny of many characters, true to their pre-industrial and often rural settings.
** Robin of Locksley, ''The Chronicles of Robin Hood''; Adam Hilyarde, ''The Queen Elizabeth Story''; Simon Carey, ''Literature/{{Simon}}''; Marcus et al., ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth''; Beric and Justinius (as horse-breeders), ''Literature/{{Outcast}}''; Bjorn and Frytha, ''The Shield Ring''; Flavius, ''The Silver Branch''; Drem, ''Literature/WarriorScarlet''; Aquila (as a slave), ''The Lantern Bearers''; Sir Thomas Fairfax, ''The Rider of the White Horse''; Randal and the d'Aguillons, ''Literature/KnightsFee''; Owain, ''Dawn Wind''; Artos (horse-breeding), ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; Aracos, ''A Circlet of Oak Leaves''; Lovel (physic gardening), ''The Witch's Brat''; Jestyn Englishman (cow herd), ''Literature/BloodFeud''; Damaris Crocker and Peter Ballard, ''Flame-Coloured Taffeta''; Bjarni and Angharad, ''Sword Song''.
* CanineCompanion: HeroesLoveDogs, [[AuthorAppeal as did their author]].
** Trusty, ''The Chronicles of Robin Hood''; Bran and Peterkin, ''The Queen Elizabeth Story''; Bunch, ''The Armourer's House''; Argos, [[Literature/TheSongOfRoland Roland and Oliver]], ''Brother Dusty-Feet''; Jillot and Joram, ''Literature/{{Simon}}''; Cub, ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth''; Gelert and Canog, ''Literature/{{Outcast}}''; Garm, ''The Shield Ring''; Whitethroat, ''Literature/WarriorScarlet''; Cabal, ''The Lantern Bearers'' and ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; Math, ''The Bridge-Builders''; Bran and Gerland, Joyeuse, Matilda, Math and Mathonwy, ''Literature/KnightsFee''; Boatswain, ''Houses and History''; Dog, ''Dawn Wind''; Syrius, ''The Fugitives''; Dexius's hound, ''Swallows in the Spring''; Garm, ''Tristan and Iseult''; Brindle, ''Literature/BloodFeud''; Caspar, ''Bonnie Dundee''; Gelert, ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''; Astrid and Hugin, ''Sword Song''.
* CapitalLettersAreMagic
* Myth/CelticMythology: Most of Sutcliff's fiction is set in the British Isles and Ireland, in a period when most of the population is Celtic. She wrote two volumes of Celtic legends, and referenced elements of Celtic mythology in many of her novels.
** ''The Hound of Ulster'': retells the life of Cú Chulainn, including the [[Literature/TainBoCuailnge Táin Bó Cúailnge]] and [[Literature/TheExileOfTheSonsOfUisnech the Exile of the Sons of Uisnech]]. He's also mentioned in ''Literature/FrontierWolf'' and ''Sword Song''.
** ''The High Deeds of Finn Mac Cool'': retells the life of Fionn Mac Cumhail.
** ''Literature/TheShiningCompany'' is based on the semi-historical Welsh poem ''Y Gododdin''.
** "[[Literature/TheChildrenOfLir The Children of Lir]]" is retold in''The Queen Elizabeth Story'', and mentioned in ''Sword Song''.
** The Washer at the Ford, a forerunner of death, appears (or is thought to appear) in ''The Hound of Ulster'', ''Literature/SongForADarkQueen'', ''Literature/FrontierWolf'', and ''Bonnie Dundee'', and is perhaps alluded to in ''Flowering Dagger'' and ''The Changeling''.
** Using a sword to mark ThisIsMySide of ThereIsOnlyOneBed in ''Literature/SwordAtSunset'' and ''Literature/SongForADarkQueen'' refers to Pwyll of Dyfed's adventures in the ''Literature/{{Mabinogion}}''.
* ChildhoodFriendRomance: Romance is not a prominent element, so if anyone does get together, it's probably two longtime platonic friends, and frequently via LastMinuteHookup.
** Robin and Marian, ''The Chronicles of Robin Hood''; Perdita Pettle and Adam Hilyarde in ''The Queen Elizabeth Story''; Tamsyn and Piers Caunter in ''The Armourer's House''; Simon Carey and Susanna Killigrew, and Amias Hannaford and Mouse Carey in ''Literature/{{Simon}}''; Marcus and Cottia, ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth''; Frytha and Bjorn, ''The Shield Ring''; Drem and Blai, ''Literature/WarriorScarlet''; Randal and Gisella, ''Literature/KnightsFee''; Owain and Regina, ''Dawn Wind''; Gault and Levin, ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; Hugh Herriot and Darklis Ruthven, ''Bonnie Dundee''; Damaris Crocker and Peter Ballard, ''Flame-Coloured Taffeta''; Conn and Luned, ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''.
* ComingOfAgeStory: Classic YoungAdult growing up, figuring out where you belong, deciding what to do with your life stuff.
** ''Literature/{{Simon}}''; ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth''; ''Literature/{{Outcast}}''; ''The Shield Ring''; ''Literature/WarriorScarlet''; ''Literature/KnightsFee''; ''Dawn Wind''; ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord''; ''The Witch's Brat''; ''A Crown of Wild Olive''; ''The Capricorn Bracelet''; ''The Changeling''; ''Literature/BloodFeud''; ''Sun Horse, Moon Horse''; ''Flowering Dagger''; ''Literature/FrontierWolf''; ''Bonnie Dundee''; ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''; ''Sword Song''.
* ConflictingLoyalties: Though their [[HonorBeforeReason duty is usually clear]], characters are often challenged with personal ties to enemy friends or the other side of a MixedAncestry.
** ''The Chief's Daughter'': Ness arranges the escape of a captive she's befriended.
** ''The Truce of the Games'': Athenian Amyntas befriends Spartan Leon and debates whether ToBeLawfulOrGood.
** ''The Changeling'': Tethra chooses between his adopted father's and his birth mother's peoples.
** ''The Eagle of the Ninth'': Esca, a British rebel, owes his life and personal service to Marcus, a Roman soldier.
** ''The Bridge-Builders'': Androphon and Cador force a truce between Roman garrison and Celtic tribe.
** ''Frontier Wolf'': Alexios fights his best friend in a blood feud and the Arcani desert to the tribes.
** ''The Lantern Bearers'': Flavia and Ness marry into the enemy and Aquila spares the life of his Saxon nephew.
** ''Sword at Sunset'': Bedwyr and Guenhumara leave Artos over their TriangRelations.
** ''Dawn Wind'': British thrall Owain serves a Saxon family.
** ''Literature/BloodFeud'': Christian and doctor Jestyn Englishman swears a pagan blood feud.
** ''The Rider of the White Horse'' and ''Literature/{{Simon}}'': the English Civil Wars.
** ''Bonnie Dundee'': Hugh fights his rebel family as a redcoat.
** ''Blood and Sand'': Thomas Keith converts to Islam.
* CreatorProvincialism: Sutcliff grew up in north Devonshire and later lived in the Down Country in Sussex. She set many of her books in both regions. On a broader scale, almost all of her writing concerns the history or mythology of the British Isles, with few sidetrips elsewhere.
** The West Country: ''The Queen Elizabeth Story'', ''The Armourer's House'', ''Brother Dusty-Feet'', ''Literature/{{Simon}}'', ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth'', ''Literature/{{Outcast}}'', ''Literature/SwordAtSunset'', ''Tristan and Iseult'', ''Literature/BloodFeud''.
** The Down Country and Selsey: ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth'', ''The Silver Branch'', ''Literature/WarriorScarlet'', ''The Lantern Bearers'', ''Literature/KnightsFee'', ''Dawn Wind'', ''Literature/SwordAtSunset'', ''The Witch's Brat'', ''Sun Horse, Moon Horse'', ''Flowering Dagger'', ''Flame-Coloured Taffeta''.
** OopNorth: ''The Chronicles of Robin Hood'', ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth'', ''The Shield Ring'', ''The Silver Branch'', ''The Rider of the White Horse'', ''Literature/SwordAtSunset'', ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord'', ''A Circlet of Oak Leaves'', ''The Capricorn Bracelet'', ''We Lived in Drumfyvie'', ''Literature/FrontierWolf'', ''Literature/TheShiningCompany'', ''Sword Song''.
** UsefulNotes/BonnieScotland: ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth'', ''Literature/SwordAtSunset'', ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord'', ''A Circlet of Oak Leaves'', ''The Capricorn Bracelet'', ''The Changeling'', ''We Lived in Drumfyvie'', ''Shifting Sands'', ''Literature/FrontierWolf'', ''Eagle's Egg'', ''Bonnie Dundee'', ''Literature/TheShiningCompany'', ''Sword Song''.
** UsefulNotes/{{Wales}}: ''The Lantern Bearers'', ''The Bridge-Builders'', ''Literature/SwordAtSunset'', ''A Circlet of Oak Leaves'', ''The Chief's Daughter'', ''Literature/TheShiningCompany'', ''Sword Song''.
** UsefulNotes/{{Ireland}}: ''The Hound of Ulster'', ''The High Deeds of Finn Mac Cool'', ''Tristan and Iseult'', ''Literature/BloodFeud'', ''Sword Song''.
** Aversions: ''The Flowers of Adonis'', ''A Crown of Wild Olive'', ''Literature/BloodFeud'', ''Black Ships Before Troy'' and ''The Wanderings of Odysseus'' (Greece); ''Literature/{{Outcast}}'' (Italy); ''Beowulf'' (Scandinavia); ''Blood and Sand'' (Ottoman Egypt).
* CultureClash: Individuals connecting across cultural barriers is Sutcliff's bread and butter.
** Briton vs. Briton: ''The Changeling'', ''Literature/WarriorScarlet'', ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord''
** Celts vs. Romans: ''Literature/SongForADarkQueen'', ''Eagle's Egg'', ''The Eagle of the Ninth'', ''Frontier Wolf'', ''The Bridge-Builders''
** Roman Britons vs. Anglo-Saxons: ''The Silver Branch'', ''The Lantern Bearers'', ''Sword at Sunset'', ''Dawn Wind''
* DatedHistory: Not all of her research has held up against later discoveries and interpretations most egregiously, the Ninth Legion might or might not have been [[LostRomanLegion lost.]]
** The galley slaves in ''Literature/{{Outcast}}'' owe more to ''Literature/BenHur'' than to history.
* DidTheResearch: Nevertheless.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The colonization of Roman Britain (or Norman England) and the crumbling of the Roman Empire evoke UsefulNotes/TheBritishEmpire, particularly UsefulNotes/TheRaj, to the point of anachronism. Most of these novels were written during the dismantling of the British Empire and following in the footsteps of Creator/RudyardKipling.
** The looming threat of the Saxon invasions and the imminent [[DarkAgeEurope Dark Ages]] also evokes [[UsefulNotes/TheHomeFront the Battle of Britain]], which Sutcliff lived through in her early twenties.
* EndOfAnAge: [[TropeCodifier The decline and fall of the Roman Empire]] in Britain, with the Dark Ages in the role of AfterTheEnd.
* TheExile: A recurring form of marginalisation, like disability and enslavement.
** Beric in ''Literature/{{Outcast}}''; Evicatos, ''The Silver Branch''; Drem in ''Literature/WarriorScarlet''; Owain, ''Dawn Wind''; Midir, ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord''; Stripey, ''Swallows in the Spring''; Tethra, ''The Changeling''; Alexios, ''Literature/FrontierWolf''; Hugh Herriot, ''Bonnie Dundee''; Tom Wildgoose, ''Flame-Coloured Taffeta''; Bjarni Sigurdson, ''Sword Song''.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: For the Celts against the Romans; the Britons against the Saxons; and the Saxons against the Normans. Versus history, basically.
* FieryRedhead:
** Elizabeth Tudor, ''The Queen Elizabeth Story''; Amias Hannaford, ''Literature/{{Simon}}''; Cottia, ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth''; Drem One-Arm, ''Literature/WarriorScarlet''; Gisella, Hugh "Goch" Montgomery, Robert de Bellême, William Rufus, ''Literature/KnightsFee''; Elizabeth Percy, Lady Ogle, ''Houses and History''; Bryni Beornwulfson, ''Dawn Wind''; Phaedrus and Midir Mac Levin, ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord''; Iseult of Ireland, ''Tristan and Iseult''; Thormod Sitricson, ''Literature/BloodFeud''; Essylt, ''Literature/SongForADarkQueen''; Connla, ''Literature/FrontierWolf''; Alan Armstrong, ''Bonnie Dundee''; Aethelfrith the Flame-bringer, ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''.
** Aversions: Susanna Killigrew, ''Literature/{{Simon}}''; Flavius, ''The Silver Branch''; Prasutagus, ''Literature/SongForADarkQueen''; Cunorix, ''Literature/FrontierWolf''; Cordaella and Vedrix, ''Eagle's Egg''.
* GrayAndGreyMorality: Despite frequently using light versus dark as shorthand for OrderVersusChaos, most stories acknowledge that the protagonists and antagonists are just people with opposing goals or incompatible worldviews, and the cultural perspective shifts from Roman to Celt to Saxon to Viking to Norman from book to book.
* TheGreatWall: Hadrian's Wall ("the Wall") and the Antonine Wall ("the Northern Wall") hold off the Picts and allow the Romans to monitor traffic between Roman Britain and the semi-lawless territory of Valentia. In narrative terms, many a Sutcliff protagonist crosses the Wall to have adventures beyond the pale, and the Wall is [[TrappedBehindEnemyLines a refuge/plot goal that they must reach or prevent someone else from reaching]].
** Crossing and coming back: ''The Eagle of the Ninth'', ''Literature/FrontierWolf'', ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord'', ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''
** Garrison duty: ''The Capricorn Bracelet'', ''The Silver Branch'', "Swallows in the Spring"
** Building: ''The Capricorn Bracelet''
* GreyEyes: Often the mark of a cool head or other HiddenDepths.
** Esca, ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth''; Justinius, ''Literature/{{Outcast}}''; Ambrosius, ''The Lantern Bearers''; Regina, ''Dawn Wind''; Rahere, ''The Witch's Brat''; Tristan, ''Tristan and Iseult''; Thormod Sitricson, ''Literature/BloodFeud''; Nessan, ''Literature/SongForADarkQueen''; Alexios, ''Literature/FrontierWolf''; Thomas Keith and Anoud, ''Blood and Sand''.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: If it's not the central relationship of the book, the protagonist probably has one in the background. A frequent source of HoYay and a magnet for AnyoneCanDie.
** Robin Hood and Little John, ''The Chronicles of Robin Hood''; Robin Pettle and Adam Hilyarde, ''The Queen Elizabeth Story''; Simon Carey and Amias Hannaford, ''Literature/{{Simon}}''; Marcus and Esca, ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth''; Justin and Flavius, ''The Silver Branch''; Drem and Vortrix, ''Literature/WarriorScarlet''; Androphon and Cador, ''The Bridge-Builders''; Randal and Bevis d'Aguillon, ''Literature/KnightsFee''; Artos and Bedwyr, ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; Tristan and Gorvenal, ''Tristan and Iseult''; Amyntas and Leon, ''A Crown of Wild Olive''; Jamie and Johnnie Douglas, Eckie Brock and Donal Dhu, Johnnie Forsyth and Hugh Maitland, ''We Lived in Drumfyvie''; Jestyn Englishman and Thormod Sitricson, ''Literature/BloodFeud''; Lubrin Dhu and Dara, ''Sun Horse, Moon Horse''; Alexios and Cunorix, ''Literature/FrontierWolf''; Darklis Ruthven and Jean Cochrane, ''Bonnie Dundee''; Thomas Keith and Tussun Bey, ''Blood and Sand''; Prosper and Conn, ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''; Achilles and Patroclus, ''Black Ships Before Troy''.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Usually limited to cameos, but several novels are based on the lives of real (or [[KingArthur allegedly real]]) people.
** Alcibiades stars in ''The Flowers of Adonis'' and is referred to in ''Bonnie Dundee''.
** UsefulNotes/{{Boudica}} stars in ''Literature/SongForADarkQueen'' and features in ''The Capricorn Bracelet'', and is mentioned in ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth''. Her Roman opponent Suetonius Paulinus is also mentioned in ''Literature/{{Outcast}}''.
** Agricola is wistfully looked back to as the height of Roman Britain in ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth'', writes home to Mother as a young man in ''Literature/SongForADarkQueen'', and conquers Scotland as SupportingLeader in ''Eagle's Egg''.
** KingArthur
** Beowulf, the subject of ''Beowulf: Dragon Slayer'' and related by the Saxons in ''The Shield Ring'' and ''Dawn Wind''.
** Queen Elizabeth I features in ''The Queen Elizabeth Story'', ''Lady in Waiting'', and ''Houses and History'', and ''The Armourer's House'' and ''Brother Dusty-Feet'' also take place during her lifetime.
** Sir Walter Raleigh, a local hero of Sutcliff's native Devonshire, makes a cameo in ''Brother Dusty-Feet'', enjoys a gratuitous mention in ''Literature/{{Simon}}'', stars in ''Lady in Waiting'', and has a chapter in ''Houses and History''.
** Sir Thomas Fairfax is a SupportingLeader in ''Literature/{{Simon}}'', the protagonist of ''The Rider of the White Horse'', and receives a chapter in ''Houses and History''.
** Montrose doesn't get a novel of his own, but he's mentioned in ''Literature/{{Simon}}'' and ''Blood and Sand'', is the final "Hero" featured in ''Heroes and History'', is the SupportingLeader in "We Sign the Covenant" and "God Be with You" in ''We Lived in Drumfyvie'', and the kinsman and hero of Dundee in ''Bonnie Dundee''.
** Montrose's kinsman John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, in ''Bonnie Dundee''.
** ''Blood and Sand'': Thomas Keith
* HonorBeforeReason: Ubiquitous, usually in a heady combination of UndyingLoyalty, HeroicSacrifice, BecauseDestinySaysSo, and GiveMeLibertyOrGiveMeDeath.
** ''The Eagle of the Ninth'': "Let's search the entirety of Scotland for the symbol of my father's lost honour!"
** ''Sun Horse, Moon Horse'': "I shall dedicate my masterpiece with my ritual suicide"
** ''Sword at Sunset'': "I can't possibly assassinate him, it's his destiny to kill me, for my sins. Also I shall let the vengeful children of my defeated enemies go free."
** ''Literature/BloodFeud'': "I will nurse my sworn enemy though tuberculosis"
** ''Bonnie Dundee'': "We must fight to the death for our rightful king, who has abdicated"
* HumanSacrifice: A common thematic and plot point in pagan settings, often as a form of HeroicSacrifice associated with kingship (an idea borrowed from Sir James Frazer's influential ''The Golden Bough''.)
** ''Beowulf'': Beowulf faces the dragon alone because "he was the King, and for him in the last resort was the duty and the privilege of dying for the life of his people."
** ''Literature/KnightsFee'': The unexplained death of William II in the New Forest is suggested to have been ditto.
** ''Literature/SwordAtSunset'': Ditto the High King Ambrosius's death
** ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord'': the Horse Lords are expected to commit some form of HeroicSuicide if hard times require a HumanSacrifice.
** ''The Chief's Daughter'': Nessan tags in for the friend who's supposed to be the victim, because she's the king('s daughter)
** ''The Flowers of Adonis'': Alkibiades who (allegedly) sacrifices himself for Athens is identified with Adonis, a fertility god who symbolically dies every year.
** ''The Changeling'': Tethra was saved from ritual infanticide by being switched with Murna's son.
** ''Flowering Dagger'': Brychan was conceived for the purpose of ritual infanticide.
** ''Sun Horse, Moon Horse'': The horse has to be dedicated with a sacrifice. Of the guy who is sort of king.
* IntrepidMerchant: From Merchant Venturers in the Age of Exploration, to Viking traders, to wandering blacksmiths and quack doctors.
** Robin Pettle in ''The Queen Elizabeth Story''; Martin, Kit, Piers and Tamsyn Caunter in ''The Armourer's House''; Zackary Hawkins in ''Brother Dusty-Feet''; "Demetrius of Alexandria" in ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth''; Aristobulo in ''Literature/{{Outcast}}''; the bronze-smith in ''Literature/WarriorScarlet''; Laef Thorkelson in ''Literature/KnightsFee''; Sinnoch the Merchant in ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord''; Thorkel Thorkelsson and John and Anita Anderson in ''We Lived in Drumfyvie''; Hakon Ketilson in ''Literature/BloodFeud''; Phanes of Syracuse in ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''; Heriolf Merchant in ''Sword Song''.
* KillTheOnesYouLove: Or at least take a stab at it.
** MercyKill: [[spoiler:Owain and Dog,]] ''Dawn Wind''; [[spoiler:Artos and Ambrosius,]] ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; [[spoiler:Alexios and Connla,]] ''Literature/FrontierWolf''; [[spoiler:Hugh Herriot and Jock,]] ''Bonnie Dundee''; [[spoiler:Thomas Keith and Musa ibn Aziz]], ''Blood and Sand''; [[spoiler:Prosper and the white hart, Cynan and Cynran Mac Clydno,]] ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''.
** HonorBeforeReason: [[spoiler:Simon Carey and Amias Hannaford,]] ''Literature/{{Simon}}''; [[spoiler:Marcus and Cradoc,]] ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth''; [[spoiler:Cuchulainn and Ferdia,]] ''The Hound of Ulster''; [[spoiler:Phaedrus and Vortimax,]] ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord''; [[spoiler:Lubrin Dhu and Cradock,]] ''Sun Horse, Moon Horse''.
** WeUsedToBeFriends: [[spoiler:Zeal-for-the-Lord Relf and James Gibberdyke,]] ''Literature/{{Simon}}''; [[spoiler:Thormod Sitricson and Anders Herulfson,]] ''Literature/BloodFeud''; [[spoiler:Alexios and Cunorix,]] ''Literature/FrontierWolf''; [[spoiler:Hugh Herriot and Alan Armstrong,]] ''Bonnie Dundee''; [[spoiler:Tussun Bey and Thomas Keith]], ''Blood and Sand''.
* KingArthur: Sutcliff wrote four volumes of Arthurian legends, as well as making him a real person in her historical continuity, who is nostalgically invoked by characters of later ages.
** ''Tristan and Iseult''
** ''The Sword and the Circle'': Excalibur and the Round Table
** ''The Light Beyond the Forest'': the quest for the Holy Grail
** ''The Road to Camlann''
** "Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady" is retold in ''The Queen Elizabeth Story''.
** A brace of sabres named Balin and Balan appear in ''Literature/{{Simon}}''.
** The supposed historical Arthur is the second Hero featured in the "non-fictional" ''Heroes and History''.
** ''The Lantern Bearers'': the young Artos appears as a secondary character.
** ''Literature/SwordAtSunset'': the adult Artos unites Britain against the Saxons.
** ''Literature/TheShiningCompany'': Artos's unified Britain has broken into smaller kingdoms.
** ''Dawn Wind'': Artos's last successors are defeated by the Saxons.
* MadeASlave: Happens with some regularity to protagonists or their sidekicks. See also SlaveLiberation.
** Esca, ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth''; Beric and Jason, ''Literature/{{Outcast}}''; Aquila and Flavia, ''The Lantern Bearers''; Owain and Regina, ''Dawn Wind''; Dara, ''The Chief's Daughter''; Timandra, and the Athenian prisoners, ''The Flowers of Adonis''; Jestyn Englishman, ''Literature/BloodFeud''; the Iceni-Epidi tribe, ''Sun Horse, Moon Horse''; Thomas Keith, ''Blood and Sand''; Conn and Aneirin, ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''; Muirgoed and Erp Mac Meldin, ''Sword Song''.
* TheMedic: One of the professions Sutcliff was most interested in, frequently in conjunction with soldiering.
** Jonathan Whiteleafe, ''Brother Dusty-Feet''; Brother Ninnias, ''The Lantern Bearers''; Lovel, Brother Eustace, and Brother Peter, ''The Witch's Brat''; Wattie Aiken, ''We Lived in Drumfyvie''; Brother Pebwyr, ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''.
** CombatMedic: Little John, ''The Chronicles of Robin Hood''; Amias and Odysseus Hannaford, ''Literature/{{Simon}}''; Marcus (posing as an occulist), ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth''; Justinius, ''Literature/{{Outcast}}''; Justin, ''The Silver Branch''; Gwalchmai, ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; Aracos, ''A Circlet of Oak Leaves''; Tethra, ''The Changeling''; Jestyn Englishman, ''Literature/BloodFeud''; Donald [=MacLeod=], ''Blood and Sand''.
** Wise-women: Lizzy Cobbledick, ''The Queen Elizabeth Story''; Tiffany Simcock, ''The Armourer's House''; Mother Trimble, ''Literature/{{Simon}}''; Rowena, ''The Lantern Bearers''; Ancret, ''Literature/KnightsFee''; Ia, ''The Changeling''; Lovel's grandmother, ''The Witch's Brat''; Iseult of Ireland, ''Tristan and Iseult''; Old Effie and Old Nannie, ''We Lived in Drumfyvie''; Genty Small, ''Flame-Coloured Taffeta''; Old Nurse, the Queen and Princess Niamh, ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''; Angharad, ''Sword Song''.
* AMinorKidroduction: The novels are typically loosely-plotted affairs with their opening chapters devoted to [[SliceOfLife minor incidents of youth]] that [[ForWantOfANail happen to set the protagonist onto their path]]. Most novels that close on a teenage or young adult protagonist open in their childhood.
** ''Literature/{{Simon}}'', ''Literature/{{Outcast}}'', ''The Shield Ring'', ''Lady in Waiting'', ''Literature/WarriorScarlet''; ''Literature/KnightsFee''; ''Dawn Wind''; ''The Witch's Brat''; ''Sun Horse, Moon Horse''; ''Literature/SongForADarkQueen''; ''Bonnie Dundee''; ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''. ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth'' has an important flashback embedded in its first chapter.
* MixedAncestry: A lot of people, reflecting the themes of CultureClash and gradual cultural evolution. They're often a target of HalfBreedDiscrimination.
** Beric and Justinius, ''Literature/{{Outcast}}''; Bjorn Bjornsson, ''The Shield Ring''; Carausius/Curoi, Serapion, and the Flavius family, ''The Silver Branch''; Blai and the Half People, ''Literature/WarriorScarlet''; the Minnow and Mull, ''The Lantern Bearers''; Artos, Bedwyr, Ygerna, and Cerdic, ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; Randal, ''Literature/KnightsFee''; Uncle Widreth, ''Dawn Wind''; Phaedrus, Sinnoch, and Liadhan, ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord''; Tethra (by adoption), ''The Changeling''; Jestyn Englishman and Erland Silkbeard, ''Literature/BloodFeud''; Lubrin Dhu, ''Sun Horse, Moon Horse''; Prasutagus and Nessan, ''Literature/SongForADarkQueen''; Alexios, ''Literature/FrontierWolf''; Darklis Ruthven, ''Bonnie Dundee''.
* MostWritersAreWriters: Sutcliff was both a writer and a painter. Her creative types include draughtsmen, painters, and sculptors; musicians, storytellers, actors, and medieval jesters, and memoirists.
** Artists: Piers in ''The Armourer's House''; Jason in ''{{Outcast}}''; Lucian in ''The Fugitives''; Nick Redpoll and Brother Luke in ''The Witch's Brat''; Lubrin Dhu and Gault in ''Sun Horse, Moon Horse''; Hugh Herriot, his father, and Cornelius van Meere in ''Bonnie Dundee''; Colonel D'Esurier, ''Blood and Sand''.
** TheBard: Rhiada in ''Literature/{{Outcast}}''; Bjorn and Haethcyn in ''The Shield Ring''; Cullen in ''The Silver Branch''; Tristan in ''Tristan and Iseult''; Sinnoch, ''Sun Horse, Moon Horse''; Cadwan of the Harp in ''Literature/SongForADarkQueen''; Aneirin in ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''.
** TheJester: Peterkin, ''The Chronicles of Robin Hood''; Jonathan Whiteleafe, ''Brother Dusty-Feet''; Hunferth, ''Beowulf''; Rahere, ''The Witch's Brat''.
** Poets and playwrights: Jonathan, ''Brother Dusty-Feet''; Sir Philip Sidney, William Shakespeare, Andrew Marvell, Lord Byron, ''Houses and History''.
** TheStoryteller: Deborah Caunter in ''The Armourer's House''; Jonathan Whiteleafe in ''Brother Dusty-Feet'', Unna in ''The Shield Ring''.
** WanderingMinstrel: Robin "the Minstrel", ''The Chronicles of Robin Hood''; the Palmer in ''Brother Dusty-Feet''; Pentecost Fiddler in ''Literature/{{Simon}}''; Rhiada in ''Literature/{{Outcast}}''; Bjorn and Haethcyn in ''The Shield Ring''; Cullen in ''The Silver Branch''; Herluin in ''Literature/KnightsFee''; Bedwyr in ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; Rahere in ''The Witch's Brat''; Thorn in ''Literature/BloodFeud''; Cadwan of the Harp in ''Literature/SongForADarkQueen''; Shadow Mason in ''Flame-Coloured Taffeta''; ''The Minstrel and the Dragon-Pup''.
* NarrativeFiligree
* OfficerAndAGentleman: Most protagonists are their culture's equivalent, be it Roman army officers, chieftains' sons, or English knights. This is unsurprising, as Sutcliff's father was an officer and she grew up on Royal Navy bases (what is perhaps surprising is that she never wrote about WoodenShipsAndIronMen).
* OrderVersusChaos: Romans and Roman Britons representing order and the Celts and Saxons representing chaos. Since the SympatheticPOV is usually on the Romans, order is generally seen as a good thing, but they're also shown to be at fault for inflexibility in dealing with their Celtic subjects.
* OurFairiesAreDifferent: The Little Dark People are [[{{Demythtification}} demythtified]] aboriginal Britons in her HistoricalFiction. The Sidhe appear in her myth retellings like ''The Hound of Ulster'' and ''The High Deeds of Finn Mac Cool''.
* PerfectlyArrangedMarriage: TruthInTelevision compels some characters into ArrangedMarriage, but it generally turns out all right, after perhaps a little BelligerentSexualTension.
** Lucilla and Valarius Longus, ''Literature/{{Outcast}}''; Gille and Gerd, ''The Shield Ring''; Anne de Vere and Thomas Fairfax, ''The Rider of the White Horse''; Aquila and Ness, ''The Lantern Bearers'' and ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; Philip de Braose and Aanor, ''Literature/KnightsFee''; Artos and Guenhumara, ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; Phaedrus and Murna, ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord''; Boudicca and Prasutagus, ''Literature/SongForADarkQueen''; Thomas Keith and Anoud bin Aziz ibn Rashid, ''Blood and Sand''; Aud the Deep-Minded and Olaf the White, Onund Tree-foot and Aesa, Groa and Dungadr, ''Sword Song''.
* PeopleOfHairColour: Romans, Picts, and Little Dark People are (you guessed it) mostly dark, while Celts, Saxons, and Norsemen are fair, and characters of MixedAncestry tend to look tellingly like the side of their parentage they identify less with.
* PropheciesAreAlwaysRight:
** The Wise Woman in ''The Armourer's House''; Unna in ''The Shield Ring''; Ancret and the Norman crone in ''Literature/KnightsFee''; the Old Woman, ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; the Old Man of the Green Hills in ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord''; Cordaella, ''The Capricorn Bracelet''; Old Effie and Old Nannie in ''We Lived in Drumfyvie''; Dark Thorn in ''Literature/BloodFeud''; Darklis in ''Bonnie Dundee''; Genty Small, ''Flame-Coloured Taffeta''.
* ProudWarriorRace: Celts, Romans, Irish, Saxons, Vikings, Normans, Scots. . . all of them, in fact.
* TheQueensLatin: There are no accents in text, but Roman characters clearly speak British English... in contrast to ''British'' characters.
* SatelliteLoveInterest: To a degree. Female love interests are rounded characters, but their story function is to be the hero's female friend. While sometimes very important to his motivations or CharacterDevelopment, they're seldom directly involved in the main events of the plot or shown interacting much with the other main characters. Sutcliff's few female protagonists tend to have {{Deuteragonist}} male love interests.
** Susanna Killigrew, ''Literature/{{Simon}}''; Cottia, ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth''; Ness, ''The Lantern Bearers''; Gisella, ''Literature/KnightsFee''; Regina, ''Dawn Wind''; Guenhumara, ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; Alexia, ''Literature/BloodFeud''; Anoud, ''Blood and Sand''; Niamh, ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''; Angharad, ''Sword Song''.
* SceneryPorn: Prone to DescriptionPorn of all kinds, especially in her most SliceOfLife stories, but SceneryPorn is most abundant. Usually involves UsefulNotes/BritishWeather. Consider a typical description of Scotland in late winter:

--> "They mounted the waiting ponies, and with hounds loping on in front, headed down the steep slope to the river crossing, where the black stone that the troops called the Lady stood in the sere winter grass beside the ford. They splashed across it and headed on up the estuary, past the faint track that Alexios had ridden with the old Commander on their courtesy visit to the Lord of Six Hundred Spears, and still on towards the ruins of Credigone and the eastern end of the old Northern Wall. Presently they turned inland, with no track to follow this time, leaving the narrowing estuary with its gulls and its crying and calling shore-birds behind them, and heading up a side glen where alder and hazel crowded the banks of a small fast burn. The burn was coming down in spate, running green with melting snow-water from the high moors, so that they must follow the bank a good way before they could come to a good crossing-place; but between the darkly sodden wreck of last year's bracken and the soft grey drift of the sky, the catkins were lengthening on the hazel bushes, making a kind of faint sunlight of their own, and in one especially sheltered place, as the two young men brushed past, the first pollen scattered from the whippy sprays so that they rode through a sudden golden mist. Even here at the world's end, spring was remembering the way back, and for a moment a sense of quickening caught almost painfully at Alexios somewhere below the breastbone." '''''Literature/FrontierWolf''', ch. 5''

* ShoutOut: See also KingArthur and Myth/CelticMythology.
** ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth'''s Esca is borrowed from George Whyte-Melville's ''The Gladiators''.
** To Creator/RudyardKipling alone:
*** Sutcliff reused several of the settings visited in Kipling's ''Literature/PuckOfPooksHill'' and its sequel ''Literature/RewardsAndFairies'' (in which two children are told stories of England's past by various ghosts) in her novels, and directly lifted several of his turns of phrase. She also wrote a monograph about his writing for children ([[http://rosemarysutcliff.com/2010/04/25/3772/ condensed version here]]).
*** Marcus Flavius Aquila of ''The Eagle of the Ninth'' was inspired by Parnesius, the similarly bushy-browed young Romano-British officer of auxiliaries from ''Puck of Pook's Hill''.
*** ''Literature/{{Outcast}}'''s Justinius is inspired by "The Roman Centurion's Song".
*** The Dacian Cavalry, who appear in ''The Eagle of the Ninth'', ''The Capricorn Bracelet'', ''A Circlet of Oak Leaves'' and ''Swallows in the Spring'', was not a historical unit. It's the outfit Parnesius wanted to join in "A Centurion of the Thirtieth".
*** Parnesius and Pertinax's participation in the [[MysteryCult cult of Mithras]], which Kipling treats like his beloved Freemasonry, is probably the reason why [[Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth Marcus]], [[Literature/{{Outcast}} Justinius]], [[Literature/TheDolphinRing Flavius]], [[Literature/FrontierWolf Alexios]], and [[Literature/SwordAtSunset Ambrosius]] are Mithrans.
*** "The Men's Side" and "the Women's Side", which appear in all Sutcliff's British tribes, are inspired by "The Knife and the Naked Chalk"'s accompanying verse, "Song of the Men's Side", from ''Rewards and Fairies''.
*** "Seisin", a ritual dedication that appears in ''Brother Dusty-Feet'' and ''Literature/KnightsFee'', is performed by the children in ''Puck''.
*** The rowing song ("A long pull for Miklagard!") in ''Literature/BloodFeud'' is inspired by "Thorkild's Song" ("A long pull for Stavanger!") in ''Puck''.
*** The character of Rahere in ''The Witch's Brat'' is influenced by his portrayal in "The Tree of Justice" in ''Rewards''.
*** The phrase "a singing magic", used in ''Literature/WarriorScarlet'', ''The Lantern Bearers'', ''The Hound of Ulster'', and ''The Changeling'', is taken from "[[http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/k/kipling/rudyard/justso/chapter11.html#chapter11 The Cat Who Walked By Himself]]" in the ''Literature/JustSoStories''.
*** "Oar-thresh", a word used by Bruni in ''The Lantern Bearers'', is coined by a character in "[[http://www.online-literature.com/kipling/3775/ The Finest Story in the World]]".
*** Sutcliff's ''The Bridge-Builders'', in which no literal bridges are built, is presumably named in tribute to Kipling's ''[[http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/k/kipling/rudyard/days/chapter1.html#chapter1 The Bridge-Builders]]'', in which one is.
* ShownTheirWork: Most of her stories are situated quite precisely in time and geography, though this is usually indicated via CrypticBackgroundReference in her work for children. Her five adult novels are much more explicit about "kings, dates, and battles".
* SlaveLiberation: With few exceptions, characters who are MadeASlave tend to get out of it again.
** Esca in ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth''; Beric in ''Literature/{{Outcast}}''; Drem in ''Literature/WarriorScarlet''; Aquila and Flavia in ''The Lantern Bearers''; Randal (as a villein) in ''Literature/KnightsFee''; Owain and Regina in ''Dawn Wind''; the citizens of Eburacum in ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; Phaedrus in ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord''; Dara in ''The Chief's Daughter''; Arcadius and Timandra in ''The Flowers of Adonis''; Jestyn Englishman and Anders in ''Literature/BloodFeud''; the Iceni in ''Sun Horse, Moon Horse''; Thomas Keith in ''Blood and Sand''; Conn and Aneirin in ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''; Muirgoed and Erp Mac Meldin in ''Sword Song''.
* SupportingLeader: Powerful and high-ranking people, particularly {{Historical Domain Character}}s, are almost invariably seen through a SupportingProtagonist.
** Elizabeth I in ''The Queen Elizabeth Story''; Sir Thomas Fairfax in ''Literature/{{Simon}}'' and ''The Rider of the White Horse''; Jarl Buthar and Aikin the Beloved in ''The Shield Ring''; Carausius in ''The Silver Branch''; Ambrosius in ''The Lantern Bearers'' and ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; Philip de Braose in ''Literature/KnightsFee''; Aethelbert and Augustine in ''Dawn Wind''; Alkibiades in ''The Flowers of Adonis''; Rahere in ''The Witch's Brat''; Sir James Douglas and Montrose in ''We Lived in Drumfyvie''; Vladimir of Kiev and Basil "the Bulgar Slayer" in ''Literature/BloodFeud''; Constans in ''Literature/FrontierWolf''; Agricola in ''Eagle's Egg''; Claverhouse in ''Bonnie Dundee''; Muhammad Ali Pasha, Ibrahim Pasha, Tussun Pasha, Abdullah ibn Saud, ''Blood and Sand''; Mynyddog, Ceredig, Gorthyn, and Cynan Mac Clydno in ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''; Onund Treefoot, Thorstein the Red, and Aud the Deep-Minded in ''Sword Song''.
* SupportingProtagonist: Relationships of UndyingLoyalty usually involve a leader and a follower. The leader might be a SupportingLeader, TheMentor, or just the more assertive HeterosexualLifePartner, and is seen from the perspective of the follower, who is often more reserved, lower-ranking in some way, or sometimes the LoveInterest or a FirstPersonPeripheralNarrator.
** Hugh Copplestone, ''Brother Dusty-Feet''; Simon Carey, ''Literature/{{Simon}}''; Frytha, ''The Shield Ring''; Justin, ''The Silver Branch''; Bess Throckmorten, ''Lady in Waiting''; Anne Fairfax, ''The Rider of the White Horse''; Randal, ''Literature/KnightsFee''; Timotheus, Arcadius, Timandra et al., ''The Flowers of Adonis''; Jestyn Englishman, ''Literature/BloodFeud''; Blue Feather, ''Shifting Sands''; Lubrin Dhu, ''Sun Horse, Moon Horse''; Hugh Herriot, ''Bonnie Dundee''; Prosper, ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''; Bjarni Sigurdson, ''Sword Song''.
* TragicBromance:
** [[spoiler:Randal and Bevis,]] ''Literature/KnightsFee''; [[spoiler:Artos and Bedwyr,]] ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; [[spoiler:Conory and Midir,]] ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord''; [[spoiler:Eckie Brock and Donal Dhu, Johnnie Forsyth and Hugh Maitland,]] ''We Lived in Drumfyvie''; [[spoiler:Jestyn and Thormod,]] ''Literature/BloodFeud''; [[spoiler:Lubrin and Dara,]] ''Sun Horse, Moon Horse''; [[spoiler:Thomas Keith & Tussun Pasha,]] ''Blood and Sand''; Achilles and Patroclus, ''Black Ships Before Troy''.
* TryingNotToCry: MenDontCry, and neither do women or children if they have any self-respect.
* TurbulentPriest:
** Allies: Friar Tuck, ''The Chronicles of Robin Hood''; Timothy Pettle, ''The Queen Elizabeth Story''; Peter Copplestone, ''Brother Dusty-Feet''; Zeal-for-the-Lord Relf, Mistress Killigrew, and other Puritans, ''Literature/{{Simon}}''; Anthonius, ''The Silver Branch''; Midir, ''Literature/WarriorScarlet''; Brother Ninnias, ''The Lantern Bearers''; Priscilla and St. Augustine, ''Dawn Wind''; the Archbishop of Venta, ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; Laethrig, ''The Chief's Daughter''; Rahere, the Benedictines of New Minster, and Lovel, ''The Witch's Brat''; Master Gilliechrist, Master Simon, Andrew Beaton, and John Meikle, ''We Lived in Drumfyvie''; Aneirin, ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''; Aud the Deep-Minded, Brother Gisli, and Brother Ninian, ''Sword Song''.
** Antagonists: the Abbot of St. Mary's and Abbess Ursula, ''The Chronicles of Robin Hood''; the wandering druid, ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth''; Merddyn the Druid, ''Literature/{{Outcast}}''; the Church, ''Literature/SwordAtSunset''; Liadhan, ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord''; the Covenanters, ''We Lived in Drumfyvie''; Long Axe, ''Shifting Sands''; Morvidd the Oak Priest, ''Literature/FrontierWolf''; the Covenanters, ''Bonnie Dundee''; the Wahabis, ''Blood and Sand''; Asmund and Thara Priestsdaughter, ''Sword Song''.
* TheVerse: Despite a dearth of direct sequels, WordOfGod has it that [[http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/intrvws/sutcliff.htm "it is all part of the same series, really"]], as borne out by consistent world-building and a few recurring details.
** Literature/TheDolphinRing: The Flavius family's signet ring, a dolphin on a flawed emerald, is passed down through ''The Eagle of the Ninth'', ''The Silver Branch'', ''Literature/FrontierWolf'', ''The Lantern Bearers'', ''Literature/SwordAtSunset'', ''Dawn Wind'', ''Sword Song'', and ''The Shield Ring''.
** Artos, or KingArthur, in ''The Lantern Bearers'', ''Literature/SwordAtSunset'', ''Dawn Wind'', and ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''.
** Frontier Wolves in ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord'', ''The Capricorn Bracelet'', ''Literature/FrontierWolf'', and ''Literature/TheShiningCompany''.
** A song called "The Girl I Kissed At Clusium" in ''The Eagle of the Ninth'', ''A Circlet of Oak Leaves'', and ''Eagle's Egg''.
** ''Literature/KnightsFee'' takes place in the same valley as ''Literature/WarriorScarlet'', featuring the Hill of Gathering. Lewin the shepherd's left-handed flint hand-axe is implied to have belonged to one-handed Drem.
* VestigialEmpire: Britain, where most of her books are set, is of course cut loose from the crumbling Western Roman Empire and its inhabitants left to fend for themselves. ''The Lantern Bearers'', ''Literature/SwordAtSunset'', ''Literature/TheShiningCompany'', and ''Dawn Wind'' are set in the immediately post-Roman period, but even 400 years later the Viking protagonist of ''Sword Song'' can recognise Roman ruins.
* UndyingLoyalty: A major source of AuthorAppeal.
** ''The Eagle of the Ninth'': "I am the Centurion's hound, to lie at the Centurion's feet."
** ''The Silver Branch'': "I am the Hound of Curoi"
** ''The Lantern Bearers'': "I never had a sister, but if I had, I hope I would be as loyal to her after twenty years"
** ''Sword at Sunset'': "I ran off with your wife but left her to come back to you"
** ''Literature/KnightsFee'': "along with most of their faults he has learned the hound's chief virtue of faithfulness"
** ''Literature/BloodFeud'': "he had whistled me to heel like a hound; and like a hound I had followed"
** ''Blood and Sand'': "My boss sent an assassination squad after me, but we're still best friends"
* WhiteStallion: A favourite symbol of leadership (and therefore HeroicSacrifice)
** ''The Rider of the White Horse'': Sir Thomas Fairfax, Parliamentarian general, rides them
** ''Dawn Wind'': the Saxons set white stallions as the 'kings' of the horse herds and sacrifice them in place of men
** ''Sword at Sunset'': Artos rides white stallions and is crowned on the White Horse of Uffington
** ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord'': Phaedrus sacrifices a white stallion at his coronation
** ''Sun Horse, Moon Horse'': a prince ransoms his tribe with the White Horse of Uffington

[[folder: Young Adult Novels]]
!! ''Sun Horse, Moon Horse''
Lubrin Dhu, the Iceni chief's BlackSheep artist son, [[YouAreInCommandNow finds himself the spokesman of his clan]] when they are conquered by the Attribates. He ransoms his SlaveRace with the design and construction of a great boundary marker [[spoiler: and his own HeroicSacrifice]].
* BecauseDestinySaysSo: As Lubrin puts it, "it is the pattern of things."
* BestFriendsInLaw: Lubrin's HeterosexualLifePartner Dara is chosen as the future husband of his sister Teleri, the heiress of the tribe. It makes things a little weird for awhile.
* FriendlyEnemy: Lubrin and Cradock might have been friends, if Cradock hadn't conquered his tribe and enslaved him.
* HumanSacrifice: The White Horse must be dedicated with a death, and a chieftain must die for the good of his people.
* LandmarkOfLore: The Iceni's building project is the famous prehistoric chalk drawing the White Horse of Uffington.
* {{Matriarchy}}: Almost. The patriarchal Attribates assume Lubrin, the chief's surviving son, is the new chief of the Iceni. They're actually matrilineal, so the legitimate chief is his sister Teleri's husband, Dara.
* TheMigration: The novel purports to explain the coincidence of both the Scottish Epidi tribe's and the East Anglian Iceni's names meaning "horse people" by having Lubrin's conquered Iceni depart for greener pastures in Argyll that Lubrin and Dara once heard of from a wandering trader.
* SolarAndLunar: The Iceni worship a moon goddess and the Atribates a sun god. The White Horse secretly symbolises both.
* WhiteStallion: What the White Horse was supposed to be. Cradock remarks after it's finished that he may not be an artist, but he can recognise a mare when he sees one.
!!''The Witch's Brat''
Lovel, an orphan with a crooked back and foot, becomes an infirmarian monk and helps found St. Bartholomew's Hospital.
* CareerEndingInjury: Nick Redpoll was born to be a builder, but he crippled his leg in a fall off a scaffold.
* TheJester: HistoricalDomainCharacter Rahere is King Henry I's Jongleur or minstrel, a role with which he is not entirely content.
* TheMedic: Lovel learns medicine from his grandmother and then the infirmarian brothers of New Minster. He takes the job when Rahere founds St. Bart's and, not content with splints and herbs, invents physical therapy on the go by experimenting on Nick Redpoll.
* PatronSaint: After nearly dying of malaria in Rome, Rahere decides to found a hospital for the poor in London. In a dream, St. Bartholomew tips him the nod that if he throws in a priory as well, he can get the devout King Henry to pay for the lot.
* TakingTheVeil: After the loss of young Prince William and the White Ship, Rahere has a religious epiphany and joins the church. Lovel takes his vows mostly because he could never afford secular training as a physician.
* WitchHunt: Eleven-year-old Lovel is prime suspect in the case of "Who Put the Evil Eye on My Cow?"
!!''The Chronicles of Robin Hood''
* ActionGirl: Marian uses a sword and bow [[spoiler:and dies in battle defending her ancestral castle, leading to Robin's return to the Greenwood.]]
* AnAssKickingChristmas: One Christmastide is spent rescuing Will Stukely from the gibbet.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: Per legend, Robin acquires many of his followers by challenging them to a fight or a shooting contest, including Little John, Will Scarlet, and Friar Tuck. He also duels Marian in disguise.
* DisguiseTropes: [[MasterOfDisguise Robin]] poses as a minstrel and a potter; Marian runs away [[SweetPollyOliver in drag]]; Much pretends to be [[ObfuscatingStupidity a halfwit]]; Will Stukely claims to be a thatcher (he hasn't got the hands for it); [[KingIncognito King Richard]] disguises himself as a monk; Guy of Gisburne dresses up as the Phantom Horse of Barnsdale, and Robin steals his costume.
* TurbulentPriest: Friar Tuck is a hard-hitting priest who's been kicked out of his monastery. Robin is first stitched up by the local abbot who wants his land, and spends his career as an outlaw specially targeting rich churchmen. He is finally betrayed by the acquisitive Abbess Ursula, his own cousin.
!!''The Armourer's House''
Tamsyn Caunter, who desperately wishes she could be a merchant venturer, must instead go to live with her uncle in London. She settles into the colourful life of the household and city while sharing the secret of their mutual seafaring ambition with her quiet cousin Piers.
* ChekhovMIA: Piers's hopes of becoming a sailor went down with his elder brother Kit's ship.
* ChildhoodMarriagePromise: Tamsyn and Piers agree to marry so Tamsyn can also sail on Piers's theoretical future ship.
* CoolShip: Piers's ''Dolphin''; Tamsyn's ''Joyous Venture''; the royal fleet's ''Great Harry'' and ''Mary Rose'', which they tour on a visit to the Dockyard.
* ChristmasMiracle: Kit returns alive and well on Christmas Eve, after a miraculous rescue plus all-expenses-paid two-year round trip to India, no opt-out.
* DescriptionPorn
* FantasySequence: Tamsyn and Piers reimagine the attic as the deck of their ship.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn make a cameo appearance.
* IntrepidMerchant: The "merchant venturers" like Tamsyn's uncle Martin who are exploring the New World in search of new profits.
* SliceOfLife
* ShowWithinAShow: Most of one chapter is an in-story telling of Literature/TamLin.
!!''The Queen Elizabeth Story''
Perdita Pettle, who can see "[[OurFairiesAreDifferent Pharisees]]", is granted her wish to see the Queen's Grace in a year and a day. The year passes through the adventures of Elizabethan country childhood.
* BestFriendsInLaw: Perdita makes friends with Adam Hilyarde, her brother Robin's bestie, when they take her to the fair. They marry many years later.
* CoolOldLady: Incurably rude Great-Aunt Phoebe, who once walked down a London street cross-dressed.
* CoolShip: Bideford's tallest wool trader, the ''Rose of Sharon'', which Perdita receives a guided tour of courtesy of her master, whose ears were trimmed on the Inca death stone.
* DescriptionPorn
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: This first novel is the only one of Sutcliff's HistoricalFiction to have a significant magical element, the wish-granting fairies, but even they could be MaybeMagicMaybeMundane.
* FantasySequence: The chapter in which Perdita and Adam Hilyarde reimagine his drawing room as Samarkand the Golden and its tapestry figures as their party guests.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Queen Elizabeth I.
* IntrepidMerchant: Perdita's brother Robin is to go to sea with their uncle, and means to become master of his own ship.
* SliceOfLife
* ShowWithinAShow: Two chapters are given over to in-story recountings of "[[KingArthur Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady]]" and Literature/TheChildrenOfLir.
* UndyingLoyalty: Meeting Her Majesty inspires a lifelong quasi-religious fervour in Robin.
!!''Brother Dusty-Feet''
Hugh Copplestone runs away from home and falls in with a company of strolling players.
* CanineCompanion: Hugh ditches his abusive aunt and uncle because they've finally done the intolerable: threatened to put down his BigFriendlyDog Argos. He runs away with Hugh and later becomes the beneficiary of a ChristmasMiracle.
* FiveManBand: The Joyous Company Tobias Pennifeather is TheLeader, Jasper Nye is TheLancer, Benjamin Bunsell is TheBigGuy, Jonathan Whiteleafe is TheSmartGuy, Nicholas Bodkyn is TheChick. Hugh is their TagalongKid.
* FriendToAllLivingThings: The Palmer, or the Piper, has an Orphean power to charm animals with his music, which he offers to teach to Hugh.
* TheRunaway: Hugh aims for Oxford, the demi-paradise where his father went to university, but the Joyous Company does just as well for him. Eventually he is spotted by an old friend of his father's and offered a settled home and the tuition, an opportunity which the actors insist he seize.
* StockPunishment: The reward of actors who perform without a license, especially in miserable little villages in the New Forest.
* WalkingTheEarth: Travelling actors belong to the fraternity of itinerant riff-raff, along with pilgrims like [[WanderingMinstrel the Palmer]], [[SnakeOilSalesman Zackary Hawkins]], [[CrazyHomelessPeople the Tom-o'-Bedlam]], and other assorted carnies and ne'er-do-wells. The Tom-o'-Bedlam gives Hugh an InitiationCeremony called the Seisin of the Road.
* YoungFutureFamousPeople: The Fine Gentleman, Captain Walter Raleigh.
!!''Bonnie Dundee''
Hugh Herriot becomes galloper to Claverhouse, leader of government forces against the Scottish Covenanters. When William of Orange takes the English throne, Claverhouse's men become rebels in turn.
* AnArmAndALeg: Hugh retires from soldiering in France when he loses an arm. So the obvious thing to do is take up painting instead.
* ConflictingLoyalties: Young Hugh initially wavers between his extremist Scottish Covenanter family and the forces of law and order, which his FieryRedhead cousin Alan quickly resolves for him by executing a wounded Government soldier in front of him. He feels some misgivings about following Claverhouse back into his native country in a red coat, but quickly resolves that for himself by killing Alan in battle.
* ForWantOfANail: Happens with great regularity to Hugh the news of his grandfather's death on a particular day sends him into Jean's household; replacing a sick rider one day makes him Claverhouse's galloper; the sight of a beggarwoman's hands holding a flower leads him to his second career and his reunion with Darklis.
* FreakierThanFiction: "Roof falls; everybody dies"
* GiveMeLibertyOrGiveMeDeath: The Scottish Covenanters complain about Claverhouse attacking poor farmers who only want freedom of religion. Claverhouse's men retort that if they want to be left in peace, they should stop shooting at government troopers.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Jean and Darklis, an unusual female example for Sutcliff.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee; other lords and officers.
* IShouldWriteABookAboutThis: Hugh writes his account of the career of his beloved commander Bonnie Dundee at the behest of his wife, who wants to defend the reputation of their erstwhile employer. Dundee also has a TagalongChronicler, real person James Phillip of Amryclose, who wrote ''The Graemiad'' on which the novel is partly based.
* TheLadysFavour: The pin Darklis gives to Hugh for a token is also what shows the Tinklers that he's under her protection.
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: The title and epigraph come from the version of the folk-song ''Bonnie Dundee'' written specifically about Claverhouse by Creator/WalterScott.
* ManInAKilt: Highlander Coll [=MacDonald=] of Keppoch, an anachronism even in 1689.
* MixedAncestry: Darklis's family background is based on a ballad about a Scottish noblewoman who ran off with a Tinkler (gypsy). Though she lives with her kinswoman Jean, her Tinkler kinsman Captain Faa keeps a protective eye on her.
* PropheciesAreAlwaysRight: Darklis has a vision of the collapse of the Castle of Antwerp Inn in a pool under an elder tree on Midsummer's Eve about a decade before it happens. Given the freak nature of the accident, which really happened, the novel needed something to set it up.
* SupportingProtagonist: Hugh and his LoveInterest Darklis are both the SideKick to Claverhouse and ''his'' LoveInterest Jean respectively. Darklis needles Hugh about being too much of a follower, and he retorts that she's no different. They don't commit to each other until their prior obligations to the first objects of their loyalty are moot.
!!''Flame-Coloured Taffeta''
Two children in the Sussex smuggling country shelter a wounded Jacobite courier.
* BatmanInMyBasement: Damaris discovers Tom "Wildgoose" in the woods with a bullet in his leg the day after a smuggling run and stashes him in an abandoned cottage. She enlists her best friend Peter and the local witch doctor Genty Small to perform surgery and feed him. Luckily for Tom, hiding hot goods and dodging the customs officers is in their blood.
* ExactWords: When Damaris asks Tom whether he's a spy, her new friend replies that the letters he's carrying can't possibly threaten King George's peace.
* GreatEscape: After Tom is arrested and locked up in the squire's barn, Damaris and Genty [[VoodooDoll threaten the stablemaster]] into arranging [[FieryCoverup a distraction]] to cover his escape. Then he has to skulk in Genty's secret cellar until it's time to retrieve his secret documents by walking into the middle of a smuggling run intercepted by a police raid.
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: A ShoutOutToShakespeare from ''Theatre/HenryIVPart1'', in a rather different context.
* StillFightingTheCivilWar: Tom is too romantic to abandon the Jacobite cause, even knowing that Bonnie Prince Charlie is a hopeless prospect in more ways than one.

[[folder: Adult Novels]]
!!''The Flowers of Adonis''
The rise and fall (and rise and fall and rise and fall) of Alkibiades, the notorious Athenian politician and of Athens through the eyes of his companions as he sets out on the Sicilian Expedition, reignites UsefulNotes/ThePeloponnesianWar, seduces the queen of Sparta, escapes to the Persians, is welcomed back with open arms by the Athenians, and then loses it all again.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Alkibiades; Antiochus; Timandra (loosely); Timea; Agis; Endius; Pharnobazus; Creator/{{Socrates}}; many others.
* SupportingProtagonist: At least eleven, including one from beyond the grave: the Citizen, the Soldier, the Seaman, the Dead, the Priest, the Queen, the King, the Spartan, the Rower, the Whore, the Satrap.
* ProtagonistCenteredMorality: Sympathetic character = forgives Alkibiades anything.
* ButNotTooGay: Alkibiades is said by Antiochus to be strictly a ladies' man, though he was noted for his beauty in a society where bisexuality was normal (this is consistent with Plutarch's remark that he spurned all his admirers but Socrates.) Arcadius ("The Soldier") falls in love with a comrade who dies before they can do anything about it, and then is never interested in another man.
!!''Lady in Waiting''
Sir Walter [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Ralegh]] spends his life courting royal support for his expeditions to the New World, and his wife Bess spends hers supporting her husband's all-consuming dream.
* HappilyMarried: Despite the fact that their whole family life revolves around Ralegh's dangerous, time-consuming career, they love each other and she doesn't resent it.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Elizabeth Throckmorton, Sir Walter Raleigh, their family; Elizabeth I; Sir Robert Cecil; Henry Stuart; many others.
!!''The Rider of the White Horse''
Sir Thomas Fairfax, followed by his wife Anne, commands Parliamentarian forces in the northern campaign of the UsefulNotes/EnglishCivilWar, culminating in the battle of Marston Moor.
* ArrangedMarriage: Anne and Thomas. She eventually fell in love with him, and he feels bad that he didn't.
* BasedOnATrueStory
* FlorenceNightingaleEffect
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Anne Fairfax, Sir Thomas Fairfax, etc.
* OopNorth
* ShoutOut: "Young Relf" is a reference to Corporal Relf from 1953's ''Literature/{{Simon}}'', if not the man himself.
* WhiteStallion
!!''Blood and Sand''
UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars. Thomas Keith, a British POW, is befriended by Tussun Bey, son of the Ottoman Viceroy of Egypt, and serves their family through a power struggle in Egypt and a war in Arabia, rising to become governor of Medina.
* BasedOnATrueStory: Thomas and company were {{Historical Domain Character}}s.
* BraveScot: Thomas is a [[ManInAKilt private of the 78th Highlanders]] who ends up a general of Arab cavalry.
* DuelToTheDeath: Thomas fights a duel of honour with Aziz Bey, a Mameluke rival for Tussun's favour. He's then arrested for murder and has to be rescued by the Vicereine.
* MrExposition: Thomas's new friends Colonel D'Esurier and Zeid ibn Hussein.
* FreakierThanFiction: The author's note highlights the "single-handedly fought off ten assassins" scene as too implausible to invent.
* TheFundamentalist: The second half of the novel follows the events of the Ottoman-Saud War, in which the Ottoman Egyptians set out to retake Mecca and Medina from the puritan Wahabi sect of the Arabian interior.
* GoingNative: Thomas is sent to train as an officer among the Bedouin cavalry of Upper Egypt. Under the influence of his friend Zeid, he adopts the Bedouin as his "second people" and eventually converts to Islam.
* IChooseToStay: When the British prisoners are repatriated, both Thomas and TheMedic Donald [=MacLeod=] have discovered better career prospects in Egypt.
* KillTheOnesYouLove: Mameluke conspirators contrive to get the impetuous Tussun drunk and enraged against Thomas. He orders his assassination. Paradoxically this brings them closer together by clearing Thomas's sense of debt to Tussun.
* LastStand: Thomas leads a small relief force to Tussun's aid at El Rass. He is intercepted by a vastly superior force of Wahabi cavalry. Tussun can't get there in time, and Thomas and his men go out in a SelfDestructiveCharge with only the hope of TakingYouWithMe.
* LoveAtFirstSight: Thomas and Tussun Bey fall in something rather like it. [[HomoeroticSubtext Platonically speaking]].
* MadeASlave: Thomas and Donald [=MacLeod=] are bought from their captors by a Turkish general until their eventual repatriation. This bothers Thomas less than his SlaveLiberation at Tussun's expense, for which [[IOweYouMyLife he feels indebted]].
* MerchantPrince: Muhammed Ali, Viceroy of Egypt and threat to the Ottoman Sultan, started his career as an Albanian tobacco merchant.
* RescueRomance: Thomas rescues a murdered merchant's daughter named Anoud from being assaulted in the street during the looting of Medina. She has nowhere to go, so they enter into a PerfectlyArrangedMarriage.
* SacredHospitality: Muhammed Ali violates it whenever expedient, notably slaughtering the Mamelukes of Cairo at a banquet, arresting the Grand Shariff at a meeting, and impaling twelve surrendered Wahabis before the gates of Mecca.
* SiblingYinYang: Hot-headed Tussun and his elder brother, the coldly capable Ibrahim Pasha.
* TacticalWithdrawal: The disastrous campaign against the hill fortress of Terraba, occupied by a dreaded female sheikh reputed to be a witch, ends in a RunForTheBorder.
* TragicBromance: Thomas is killed coming to Tussun's relief at El Rass. Tussun ends his campaign, goes home, and dies about a year later.
* TrapIsTheOnlyOption: On their first attempt to take Medina, the Egyptian force plans to trigger the inevitable ambush in the Jedaida pass, but they weren't expecting the local tribesmen to be massively reinforced by Wahabi cavalry.

[[folder: Short Stories]]
!! ''Shifting Sands''
[[OldManMarryingAChild A twelve-year-old girl is promised to the tyrannical chief]] of her prehistoric village, who proposes to [[HumanSacrifice sacrifice]] the [[MurderTheHypotenuse boy she prefers]] to the gods who protect [[ChekhovsVolcano the great sand dune on which the village sits]].
* ChekhovsGift: The CombatHaircomb Long Axe gives to Moon Eye is the only weapon allowed into the sacrificial gathering.
* FullBoarAction: Singing Dog attracts Long Axe's notice when he disputes the credit for killing a ferocious sow. Unfortunately for his survival prospects, this is regarded as tantamount to ChallengingTheChief.
* RescueRomance: Blue Feather and Singing Dog get together when she hurts her foot on the beach.
* AStormIsComing: It's a foregone conclusion to the reader, but Moon Eye warns Long Axe about the rising winds. Unfortunately, Long Axe practices HeadInTheSandManagement.
!!''The Chief's Daughter''
Nessan [[AirVentPassageway frees]] a prisoner intended for {{human sacrifice}} and [[HeroicSacrifice volunteers]] to take his place.
* TheChiefsDaughter: Averted; the protagonist ''is'' the chief's daughter. And she's ten.
* CargoCult: Nessan's people worship a standing stone called the Black Mother. The negotiation of sacred debt that causes the characters so much mental agony is all done in the name of a rock.
* EquivalentExchange: Nessan initially saved Dara from HumanSacrifice by offering a glass bracelet to the Black Mother. When the stream dries up and the priest decides they need to sacrifice him after all, she engineers his escape knowing that [[BalancingDeathsBooks someone will have to take his place]]. His guard knows he'll have to take the fall, until Nessan [[HeroicSacrifice volunteers]] in his place. When Dara comes upon the Black Mother and finds a spear left as an offering, he takes it in exchange for all his food, inadvertently undamming the stream. When the water returns, the priest concludes that Nessan's ''willingness'' to die was an acceptable sacrifice.
* RidiculouslyDifficultRoute: Nessan sends Dara down the cliff face that's usually covered by the water of the stream.
!!''Flowering Dagger''
[[StarCrossedLovers A chief's daughter and a hostage from another tribe]] fall in love, before discovering an even more insurmountable obstacle.
* FourthDateMarriage: After being distantly acquainted for more than a year, Saba and Brychan suddenly notice each other for the first time, then immediately acknowledge [[LoveAtFirstSight a powerful sense of connection]]. They pledge their devotion to each other and make plans to elope during their second conversation.
* MosesInTheBulrushes: Brychan was a DoorstopBaby. The titular dagger is his OrphansPlotTrinket, which combined with his DistinguishingMark leads to the revelation of his parentage.
* SuddenlySuitableSuitor: Subverted. Yes, they're from the same tribe after all. That's not all they're both from!
* [[spoiler:SurpriseIncest]]: Whoops.
* [[spoiler:TogetherInDeath: Good thing they've got this dagger handy.]]
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Pervasive. Aside from the characters' conscious hints in dialogue, we have:
** The first paragraphs describe what the scene doesn't yet look like so early in the year, with full growth and beauty still to come, just as Saba and Brychan aren't yet mature (and never will be.)
** Cuckoos aren't just a sign of spring
** The women washing at a ford in the first scene is probably another of Sutcliff's references to the Washer at the Ford, a harbinger of death from Myth/CelticMythology.
** The observation that Cordaella's husband was of the correct degree of kinship to marry, and that Saba is more free to choose, is ironic. Cordaella and Garim's sibling interaction is a marked contrast to Saba and Brychan in the same scene.
** The death of the bee by the sting that's compared to the dagger, the superstitious associations of the elder flower the bee is sitting on, and Saba's remark that she doesn't care if Brychan hurts her removing the sting.
** The observation that Brychan's parents' relationship didn't get enough time for "flowering and fruiting", just as his won't.
** The symbolism of flowering dagger, whose blade holds both life (the flower design) and death, and which is both beautiful and fatal, like Saba and Brychan's love for each other.
!!''The Changeling''
Tethra, a [[ChangelingTale changeling child]] adopted by the chief of the Epidi, is driven out to rejoin the Little Dark People. When his father is mortally wounded, he must choose between his two tribes.
* MosesInTheBulrushes: Complete with OrphansPlotTrinket, in order to escape HumanSacrifice. He is HappilyAdopted by a MamaBear and PapaWolf.
* OfThePeople: Other Epidi claim that he isn't, and Tethra has to choose whether to throw in his lot with his biological mother or the father who raised him. [[spoiler: He decides that UpbringingMakesTheHero.]]
!!''The Truce of the Games'', or ''A Crown of Wild Olive''
A young Athenian runner [[NotSoDifferent befriends]] his [[WorthyOpponent Spartan competitor]] at the UsefulNotes/OlympicGames in the middle of UsefulNotes/ThePeloponnesianWar.
* ToBeLawfulOrGood: Amyntas is torn between his duty to represent his city and honour the gods, and his feeling that NoChallengeEqualsNoSatisfaction after Leon is injured.
* DontYouDarePityMe: It's TheSpartanWay. Leon refuses to acknowledge to Amyntas that his injury might affect his performance. [[spoiler: Leon is trying to validate the race for Amyntas, as Amyntas did for him by competing in earnest.]]
* SuckOutThePoison: In a gratuitous, poison-free example, Amyntas washes the dirt out of Leon's cut foot, then sucks it just to be sure.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: After the Olympic truce expires, Athens and Sparta will resume their war and Amyntas and Leon will return home and enter opposing armies. There is no [[TakeAThirdOption third option]], and they have no realistic hope of meeting again without bitterness.
!!''Eagle's Egg''
Quintus, a standard-bearer, can't marry Cordaella without a promotion to Centurion, but it will take Agricola's three-year Caledonian campaign, a mutiny, and the battle of Mons Graupius to get it.
* FramingDevice: How I Met Your Grandmother
* UnableToSupportAWife: Quintus, a junior officer, isn't allowed to marry before reaching the centuriate.
* TheMutiny: One is brewing in Quintus's fort when a few men are given ATasteOfTheLash for stealing wine during their third miserable winter in Scotland.
* TensionCuttingLaughter: Quintus makes an incredibly lame joke about the eagle standard and a duck egg that the troops decide through ContagiousLaughter is SoUnfunnyItsFunny. Cue EverybodyLaughsEnding to the mutiny.
* [[AlasPoorVillain Alas, Poor Antagonist]]: Quintus sees Calgacus only once, when his body is lying on the battlefield of Mons Graupius after his LastStand. He also points out that DoomedMoralVictor Calgacus's famous "Rome makes a desolation and calls it peace" RousingSpeech was [[WrittenByTheWinners written by Tacitus]].
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: The Caledonian campaign is closely based on Tacitus's account in his ''Life of Agricola'' (including the {{Historical Domain Character}}s Agricola, Calgacus, and the dead GlorySeeker), even quoting it, but Quintus and his experiences are fictional.
!!''Swallows in the Spring''
A survivor of the Ninth Legion returns to Eburacum.
* LostRomanLegion: The vanished Ninth Legion casts a long shadow over their replacements the Sixth Victrix, even a dozen years after their disappearance. No one knows whether they were really destroyed, or worse, deserted.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Fulvius, who was [[SurvivorGuilt left behind by the Ninth]] and then kept in the same fort as part of the Sixth; Stripey; and to some extent the narrator, Dexius, who claims that a lifetime in the frontier garrisons would drive anyone mad.
* StrangerInAFamiliarLand: Stripey was one of Fulvius's men from the Ninth Legion, but he's so covered in [[GoingNative Pict tattoos]] he's unrecognisable, and so [[TraumaInducedAmnesia traumatised]] that he [[TheSpeechless can't tell anyone]].
!!''A Circlet of Oak Leaves''
Aracos, a medical orderly, turns a battle against British tribesmen while disguised as a standard bearer.
* EmergencyImpersonation: Aracos takes the place of nearly-IdenticalStranger Felix, a ShellShockedVeteran, so Felix won't be charged with desertion.
* BattleAmongstTheFlames: The valour of the auxiliary cavalry is at issue in the tavern because they stampeded when the Picts fired the heather. Only the Dacian cavalry, which Aracos led, rode through the flames because they train their mounts to charge through fire in a trick riding display. Aracos collapses afterward from smoke inhalation.
* ScrapHeapHero: Aracos, two or three times over rejected from the cavalry for a heart defect, left to join the medical corps; invalided out of the army, ending up an obscure horse-breaker in Britain; and by the end of the story, believed to have lied about winning the Corona Civica by everyone in his local pub.
!!''The Bridge-Builders''
Androphon, the son of a fort commander on the western border of Roman Britain, is held hostage by Britons during a territorial dispute.
* [[IHaveYourWife I Have Your Son]]: Kyndylan the Chief plans to use Androphon as leverage for persuading the Commander to abandon the construction of the signal tower.
* SheWillComeForMe: Androphon threatens Kyndylan with his father's DisproportionateRetribution, but he's bluffing, as the Romans don't know where Kyndylan's village is, and Kyndylan is planning to move him somewhere better hidden anyway.
* ShameIfSomethingHappened: The story is bookended by two indirectly threatening conversations. Kyndylan claims that his hotheaded young warriors will be upset by the building of a signal tower in the tribe's lands, leading the Commander to predict a series of fatal accidents during the construction. Then Androphon pointedly doesn't accuse his "host" of kidnapping him, so that the Commander can spare the British village and Kyndylan can cooperate in return.
!! ''The Fugitives''
Lucian, an army officer's paralysed son, hides a deserter from the men sent to recapture him.
* FaceYourFears: Lucian hates acknowleding his disability to other people. The deserter has to decide whether army life is worse than life on the run.
* PrayerIsALastResort:
-->The affair was out of his hands now; only the gods could hold back the terrible thing from happening. In desperation, with no time to think, he did the one thing that was left. He made a sacrifice to the gods. It was an odd sacrifice, but strong, for it meant giving up old dreams that he had not known until that instant he was still clinging on to; it meant doing the hardest and bravest thing he had ever done in his life.
* ThrowingOffTheDisability: An aversion, which is the whole point. To save the deserter, Lucian has not only to finally accept his DreamCrushingHandicap, but cheerfully admit it to the Centurion.
* WouldHurtAChild: The deserter is desperate enough to threaten Lucian, which doesn't work.
!!''The Capricorn Bracelet''
Six short stories of a Romano-British family, linked by an heirloom military decoration, from the Boudiccan Rebellion to the end of the Roman occupation.
* 61 CE Death of a City: LastStand
* 123 CE Rome Builds a Wall: TheEngineer, OneLastJob
* 150 CE Outpost Fortress: EnsignNewbie, FaceYourFears
* 196 CE Traprain Law: ForWantOfANail, MaybeMagicMaybeMundane
* 280 CE Frontier Scout: BringHelpBack
* 383 CE The Eagles Fly South: GreatOffscreenWar, EndOfAnEra
!!''We Lived in Drumfyvie''
Citizens of a Scottish Royal Burgh witness its social changes and great events over the course of more than seven hundred years. Originally written as radioplays for BBC Scotland.
* 1137 CE Duncan the Red: FeudalOverlord
* 1139 CE The Red Sheriff: KarmicDeath
* 1160 CE Midsummer Fair: IntrepidMerchant, BarBrawl, StockPunishment, LoopholeAbuse
* 1314 CE The Man Who Liked A Peaceful Life: StormingTheCastle
* 1360 CE A Burgess Builds His House: RichSuitorPoorSuitor, UnableToSupportAWife
* 1443 CE The Pest Comes to Drumfyvie: ThePlague
* 1512 CE The Man-at-Arms: HeterosexualLifePartner, CurbStompBattle
* 1562 CE A House With Glass Windows: BigFancyHouse, NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished
* 1588 CE WitchHunt!: ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin
* 1638 CE We Sign the Covenant: HeterosexualLifePartner, GiveMeLibertyOrGiveMeDeath
* 1644 CE "God Be with You": FightingTheLancer, SupportingLeader, HeroicSuicide
* 1740 CE Anderson Brothers: IntrepidMerchant, BlitheSpirit
* 1785 CE Drumfyvie Elects A Provost: KingOfTheHomeless
* 1897 CE The Jubilee Wing: TheVicar, RibbonCuttingCeremony
!!Sutcliff's list of works:
[[AC:Historical Novels]]\\
Sutcliff's historical fiction isn't a tightly-linked series, but it forms a consistent {{Continuity}}.
* 900 BCE: ''Literature/WarriorScarlet'' (1958)
* 415 BCE: ''The Flowers of Adonis'' (1969)
* 100 BCE: ''Sun Horse, Moon Horse'' (1977)
* 33 CE: ''Literature/SongForADarkQueen'' (1978)
* 126 CE: ''Literature/TheEagleOfTheNinth'' (1954)
** ''Film/TheEagle'' (2011)
* 130 CE: ''Literature/{{Outcast}}'' (1955)
* 180 CE: ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord'' (1965)
* 292 CE: ''[[Literature/TheDolphinRing The Silver Branch]]'' (1957)
* 341 CE: ''Literature/FrontierWolf'' (1980)
* 450 CE: ''[[Literature/TheDolphinRing The Lantern Bearers]]'' (1959)
* 480 CE: ''Literature/SwordAtSunset'' (1963)
* 585 CE: ''[[Literature/TheDolphinRing Dawn Wind]]'' (1961)
* 595 CE: ''Literature/TheShiningCompany'' (1990)
* 890 CE: ''[[Literature/TheDolphinRing Sword Song]]'' (1997)
* 986 CE: ''Literature/BloodFeud'' (1976)
** ''The Sea Dragon'' (1990, television)
* 1090 CE: ''[[Literature/TheDolphinRing The Shield Ring]]'' (1956)
* 1094 CE: ''Literature/KnightsFee'' (1960)
* 1115 CE: ''The Witch's Brat'' (1970)
* 1184 CE: ''The Chronicles of RobinHood'' (1950)
* 1534 CE: ''The Armourer's House'' (1951)
* 1564 CE: ''Lady in Waiting'' (1957)
* 1569 CE: ''The Queen Elizabeth Story'' (1950)
* 1581 CE: ''Brother Dusty-Feet'' (1952)
* 1640 CE: ''Literature/{{Simon}}'' (1953)
* 1642 CE: ''The Rider of the White Horse'' (1959)
* 1683 CE: ''Bonnie Dundee'' (1983)
* 1750 CE: ''Flame-Coloured Taffeta'' (1986)
* 1807 CE: ''Blood and Sand'' (1987)
** ''Love and Death in Arabia'' (2008, {{Takarazuka}} musical)

[[AC: Short Stories]]\\
More historical fiction in shorter form, most originally published as storybooks.
* Stone Age: ''Shifting Sands'' (1977)
* Bronze Age: ''The Chief's Daughter'' (1967)
* Bronze Age: "Flowering Dagger" (1977, in ''The Real Thing'')
* Iron Age: ''The Changeling'' (1974)
* 412 BCE: "A Crown of Wild Olive" (1971, originally ''The Truce of the Games'')
* 60 CE: ''The Capricorn Bracelet'' (1973, collection)
* 80 CE: ''Eagle's Egg'' (1981)
* 130 CE: "Swallows in the Spring" (1970, in ''Galaxy'')
* 150 CE: ''A Circlet of Oak Leaves'' (1965)
* Roman: ''The Bridge-Builders'' (1959)
* Roman: "The Fugitives" (1964, in ''Another Six'')
* 1137 CE: ''We Lived in Drumfyvie'' (1975, collection, with Margaret Lyford-Pike)

[[AC:Myths and Legends]]\\
Novellas that include the magical and anachronistic elements of their source material.
* ''Literature/{{Beowulf}}: Dragon Slayer'' (1961)
* ''The Hound of [[Literature/TainBoCuailnge Ulster]]'' (1963)
* ''The High Deeds of [[Myth/CelticMythology Finn Mac Cool]]'' (1965)
* ''Literature/TristanAndIseult'' (1971)
* The KingArthur Trilogy
** ''The Sword and the Circle'' (1981)
** ''The Light Beyond the Forest'' (1979)
** ''The Road to Camlann'' (1981)
* ''Black Ships Before [[UsefulNotes/TheTrojanWar Troy]]'' (1992)
* ''The Wanderings of [[Literature/TheOdyssey Odysseus]]'' (1993)

* ''Rudyard Kipling'' (1960)
* The Batsford Living History Series:
** ''Houses and History'' (1960)
** ''Heroes and History'' (1965)
* ''Blue Remembered Hills'' (1983)