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On a blustery autumn day a galley was nosing up the wide loop of a British river that widened into the harbour of Rutupiae.
The tide was low, and the mud-banks at either hand that would be covered at high tide were alive with curlew and sandpiper. And out of the waste of sandbank and sour salting, higher and nearer as the time went by, rose Rutupiae: the long, whale-backed hump of the island and the grey ramparts of the fortress, with the sheds of the dockyard massed below it.
The young man standing on the fore-deck of the galley watched the fortress drawing nearer
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ROSEMARY SUTCLIFF is the author of 50 historical novels for children. The third book in the Roman Britain trilogy, The Lantern Bearers, won the Carnegie Medal in 1959, and Tristan and Iseult was a runner up in 1972. She also won the first Phoenix Award in 1985 for The Mark of the Horse Lord and the most recent in 2010 for The Shining Company. Rosemary Sutcliff received an OBE (Officer of the British Empire) for services to Children’s Literature in 1975 and in 1993, the year after her death, was promoted to CBE (Commander of the British Empire).