The Capricorn Bracelet
post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: The Capricorn Bracelet
Author: Rosemary Sutcliff
Major Themes: Britain, British History, Roman Army
Synopsis: Six stories follow the history of Roman Britain for 300 years, with a family line and a bracelet in common.
The Capricorn Bracelet is a bit different from Rosemary Sutcliff’s other books set in Roman Britain times. Rather than telling the story of a single character, this one follows a family line. There are six short stories included, each about a different person, a son or grandson of the main character in the previous chapter, all tied together by the bracelet given to the man in the first chapter. This is a masterful way to show the entire picture of the Roman domination of Britain!
The first chapter stars a young man whose father is a wine merchant in Londinium. The young man, however, wants to join the Eagles, the Roman army. When the Queen of the Iceni leads her people in an uprising, and Londinium (where London now stands) is burned to the ground, his life changes forever. Following chapters describe the building of Hadrian’s Wall across England, and the gradual decline of Roman power over the next 300 years.
Because there is no connected plot, I found The Capricorn Bracelet to be a little harder to read than the Roman Britain trilogy. Told in 1st-person, it is a bit difficult to figure out who the people are. On the other hand, it is a memorable picture of the history of Britain.