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Roman Britain Trilogy

post written by Emma Filbrun

Roman Britain Trilogy, by Rosemary SutcliffTitle: Roman Britain Trilogy
Author: Rosemary Sutcliff
Major Themes: British History, Roman Britain
Synopsis: A trilogy of historical novels shows the decline of Roman power in Britain over the course of a few hundred years.

As part of our study of the Roman Empire this year, we have read the Roman Britain trilogy. We read Eagle of the Ninth a few years ago, and this year we reread that one, and read The Silver Branch and The Lantern Bearers as well. All three books are quite well-written. I think I like Eagle of the Ninth best, but some of my children like The Silver Branch best. Taken together, this series gives a fairly complete—and certainly memorable—picture of the decline of Roman influence in Britain over the course of a few hundred years. These books seem to be very well researched; many of the characters in power are people you can find in history books. In fact, we were excited, after reading these books, to find many names we recognized on our copy of The Timechart History of the World, and then as we read The Story of the World, Volume II: The Middle Ages, we recognized some of them again.

The Eagle of the Ninth takes place as Roman influence in Britain is beginning to decline. The Silver Branch takes place about 150 years later, and the main characters are descendants of the main character in The Eagle of the Ninth. Then, The Lantern Bearers takes place after another 150 years or so, as Rome withdraws the last troops from Britain, and again, the main character is a descendant of the men in the first two books. The stories are not only good history, but absorbing stories in their own right. I highly recommend them! Find the individual reviews here:

WARNING: See the warnings on the individual reviews.

Age Levels:

Read Aloud—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 13, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 10 – 12, 12 – 15


Keywords: British History, Roman Britain

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