Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mary Stewart on Happy Endings

A quote from the preface to the 1969 Hodder & Stoughton Mary Stewart Omnibus I:

But one convention of the mainstream of adventure fiction I have kept right through my novels, the convention that the good ends happily, the bad unhappily. "That is what fiction means," said Oscar Wilde. We can laugh at it, but it is sound tradition. A complicated plot rounded off with the reader's imagination projected willingly into the future, is a deeply satisfying reading experience. It is also much more difficult to write effectively than the unresolved or the tragic ending.


Dody Jane said...

Hi Ladies - I read many of Mary Stewart's novels as a teenager and young woman back in the 60's and 70's.
I was pidder paddering around Barnes and Nobel last week and found the re-prints of Nine Coaches Waiting and The Ivy Tree. Suffice it to say, I am having a lovely wallow and plan to track down Thornyhold - I think it is my favorite, although I am having trouble voting in your poll.

Anyway, love your website and blog - I am here in NC, too.

Sometimes it is good to re-visit the books we loved in our youth!

Jennie said...

Hi Dody Jane--I'm glad you found us! Mary Stewart seems to make lots of people nostalgic--so many people fondly remember reading her books decades ago. And I'm so glad that the publishers are still reprinting them, so they can be rediscovered again and again. :)

Thornyhold is one of my favorites too!

Anonymous said...

Hello Fellow Mary Stewart Fans-
I discovered her in the early 1970's at the age of 14. The first of her books I read was Thunder on the Right. I had always been an avid reader, but no previous book prepared me for the delicious satisfaction of this experience. Today I was amused to read that it is her least favorite! Somehow this just makes it all the more dear to my heart. My very favorite (and they are all favorites of mine) is Airs Above Ground. I just loved the atmosphere. It is easy to imagine that I am the heroine of this story.

Recently I reread Thunder on the Right because I needed to take a vacation, and didn't have time to take a real one! Then I went out and bought every single one of her novels that I could find. I will read them all once again.