Saturday, May 3, 2008

Photo gallery: Madam, Will You Talk?

Since Mary Stewart's books are so famous for their exotic and well-described settings, I thought it would be fun to find photos of those settings and post them here on the blog. I hope eventually to make my way through all the novels. I'm starting with Madam, Will You Talk? The book's heroine, Charity Selborne, makes her way through much of southern France.

Le Pont d'Avignon
photo by Navas
"...presently, round a curve in the city wall, the old bridge of the song came into view, its four remaining arches soaring out across the green water to break off, as it were, in midleap, suspended halfway across the Rhone."

The Pont du Gard
photo by Wolfgang Staudt
"I suppose the ten or twelve minutes that David and Rommel and I spent gazing at those golden arches spanning the deep green Gardon were like the last brief lull before the thunder."

Nimes, the Temple of Diana
photo by smithco
"I left my chair and went through the crumbled arches into the tiny square of the temple. It was like being miles from anywhere. Behind me, back through the crumbled archway, was the hot white world with its people and its voices; here, within, was a little square of quiet and green coolness. Trees dripped over the high broken walls, shadows lay like arras in the pillared corners, fronds of ferns lent softness to every niche and crevice."

Les Baux
photo by kahala
"The deserted town of Les Baux, in medieval times a strong and terrible fortress, stands high over the southern plains....The prospect is wild enough, and strange enough, to satisfy anyone who, like myself that evening, felt so pressingly the need for quiet and my own company."

Marseilles, Chateau d'If
photo by Axel13000
"I sat on the low parapet of the turret of the Chateau d'If watching the white stone slowly flush to a tender rose. I watched the softly breaking water of the tideless sea wash and wash cross the whispering white pebbles, aquamarine rippled through with liquid gold."

The port of Marseilles
photo by bfalk
"Presently we found ourselves in a cobbled street which slanted along the sea front, with tall houses to the left of us, and a low sea-wall to the right. Away ahead, floating in the starlit air like a vision, glimmered the gold statue of Our Lady who stands on the high summit of Notre Dame de la Garde."

*All quotes are from Madam, Will You Talk? copyright 1955, Mary Stewart
**A note about the photos. All photos are from flickr--each attribution has links to the photo and the artist's profile. If you own one of these photos and would like it removed, simply let us know in the comments. Thanks!


Kerry said...

This is such a cool idea. What beautiful photos. Thank you for doing this. You're doing a great job with this blog.

MaryK said...

This is so cool! It'll be great to see photos of the settings.

Jennie said...

Thanks! I'm having so much fun with both the website and the blog. I had this idea last week and I must say I was very pleased with myself. :p

It's fun to search through the book for settings and then in flickr for the photos.

Marmee said...

Beautiful photos,and I'd never thought to look for pictures of where these novels are placed.
But now I want to GO there too.
Thanks for the virtual tour -- and the inspiration for a future vacation.
Can't wait 'til you get to Greece.

Jennie said...

Mama--How long do you think it'll take to save up enough frequent flier miles to get the whole family to France? :p

Angiegirl said...

What a wonderful idea! So much of the appeal of her books for me is the marvelous sense of setting she conveys.

Jennie said...

Her settings are definitely one of the reasons to love Stewart. :)

Anonymous said...

what a thrill to see the photos of all those spots. Some of them gave me chills, thinking about how Charity was there, and how vividly Mary Stweart described them all.

mia said...

Just found this website and as a long time fan of Lady Stewart am overjoyed. Love the idea of the photos - one of the reasons I enjoy her work so much is that I feel I've been there, even tho I can't afford to! The pictures perfectly illustrate her words. Great job!

JWood said...

amazing photos! thanks for sharing! i've read all mary stewarts books, i'm a great fan, thanks for blogging...

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous idea! When will you be doing your next book? Could I suggest "Nine Coaches Waiting"? I LOVE that book, but have never been to France and can't even picture the countryside and chateau Linda Martin finds herself in.

Anonymous said...

Lovely idea. My sister and I recently visited the Cuillin on Skye and I compiled my photos in a photo book using quotations from "Wildfire at Midnight" for the captions. It was great to see these views from "Madam Will You Talk?"

Anonymous said...

I looked up MS after rereading [for the 10th time?] Madam, Will YOu Talk? I have loved MS for years, and was tickled to find this site. The photos are wonderful-- why did you stop? I hope you're traveling! Thanks.

A traveller in time said...

Ditto, I am really enjoying your blog not least because it's wonderful to see photos of the settings of novels I have loved for years.
As to which is my favourite, I simply can't choose. I love them all, I have read them all many, many times, they are like old friends.
Love the website as well - so lovely to see so many photos of Mary herself. She looks like the kind of woman I would enjoy talking with.
I wrote to her many years ago to thank her for the enjoyment her novels had given me. She wrote me a lovely letter in response. I have it tucked away.
My only complaint? I wish she was more prolific. Don't want much do I!

Mary-Kay (Australia) said...

Wow, these photos are great...and really bring the novel alive. Thankyou very much. When I was in Austria a few years ago, I made a special visit to the see the beautiful dancing Lippizaner horses described in 'Airs Above the Ground' - they were magnificent, well trained and impressive, just as Mary Stewart described them.

Anonymous said...

I am a big Mary Stewart fan. I've read her books over and over. They are like vacation spots that i visit repeatedly in my mind. I am an audio book fan and really wish that more were available in that format. I have Rose Cottage, Thornyhold, and Stormy Petrel abridged on cassette. You can get some of the other books unabridged at Recorded Books, but the prices are exorbitant. I LOVE your blog and the pictures of the places in her books. Thanks for doing this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the pictures. I have been a Mary Stewart fan for over 50 years and have never yet made it to even one of the sites of her stories. This is so cool. Thanks again.