Thursday, December 10, 2009

This Rough Magic in the Chicago Tribune, 1964

I just came across a condensation of This Rough Magic that appeared in the Chicago Tribune! They published the story in 18 installments running from Nov. 8 - Nov. 24, 1964, which must have been just as the book was released in the U.S. The illustrations are very 1960-ish.

The quality of the images isn't that great, seeing as they're from a newspaper, but it's still fun. I especially love the taglines that they put at the top of each installment: "Bullets Shatter a Peaceful Vacation," "Spiro Tells of His Brush with Death," "Keeping a Killer off his Victim's Trail." And the best of all: "Suspense Winds an Ever Tighter Coil as Lucy Waring Creeps up like a Ghost from the Sea on the Spy who Tried to Kill Her".

I'm posting the first two pages, as I think that's all I'm allowed due to copyright. I located these images using the ProQuest Historical Newspaper database.

Click on the images to view them larger.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Links of interest

Thanks to author Dee Davis, we finally have a blurb for Wind Off the Small Isles! I've been searching for years for a copy of Wind that had the jacket intact and have never been able to find one. It's Mary Stewart's only novella, which was published in the UK but not in the US. I read it just recently and will try to post a review soon.

Check out Dee's website -- she's an author of romantic suspense who cites Stewart as a source of inspiration. As a tribute, she included references for one of Mary Stewart's books in each of her first fifteen books.

Niranjana Iyer has written a great post about Mary Stewart on her blog. My favorite bit: "Stewart’s heroines are never passive—they usually tumble into adventure in the course of aiding the vulnerable (a child or a wounded animal are favorite hooks). The trouble they land in is never of their own making, but they are nonetheless eager to help. They are also resourceful and practical and don’t care too much about their appearance. A Mary Stewart heroine would always have spare batteries in the kitchen drawer and sheets flapping whitely on a line out back, and her hair would never fall in her eyes."

And AAR has posted several great reviews for Mary Stewart books in the last few weeks: My Brother Michael, Madame Will You Talk, and Wildfire at Midnight.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The winner is....

Rylie! I'll be emailing you shortly to get your mailing address.

Thanks to all who entered! I wish I could send out copies to you all. For those of you who haven't read Mary Stewart, get to your local public library! Most libraries of decent size should have some Stewarts.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy Birthday to Mary Stewart!

Today is Mary Stewart's 93rd birthday. We send our best wishes to her for a happy day!

In honor of the event, we'd like to do a little GIVEAWAY! Chicago Review Press has been reissuing some Mary Stewart titles in trade paperback editions with lovely covers. The lastest is The Ivy Tree.

The publisher was nice enough to send us a review copy -- we, in turn, will pass it along to one of you. Simply leave a comment and you'll be entered in a drawing to win it. (International is fine, but please be aware that I will send it by the cheapest, slowest delivery method available to me. I'm a poor grad student, you know.) We'll pick a name out of the hat this Sunday.

Don't know what The Ivy Tree is about?! Read the blurb! It's so fabulous. Believe me.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Contacting Mary Stewart

We've gotten several emails from people asking if we know how to get fan mail to Mary Stewart. I'm afraid I don't have a very good answer. I've never tried to write to her. Has anyone ever been successful in getting mail to her?

The only suggestion I have is to write to her c/o her publisher. Her American publisher is HarperCollins. Their contact page says that they will forward fan mail on to their authors. You should address the envelope as follows:

Mary Stewart
c/o Author mail, 7th Floor
HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022

Her British publisher, Hodder, does not have any info on their website about contacting authors. They might forward mail as well, but I'm not sure. I've written emails to them a couple times about it, but haven't gotten any response.

If anyone has any other info to share, please do!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Better scans from LHJ!

A few weeks ago, I posted about the Nine Coaches Waiting condensation that was published in Ladies Home Journal in 1958. I'd scanned some images from a microfilm copy, and the quality was really sad. I have a wonderful mother who loves to shop online (she can find anything!) and who also loves Mary Stewart. So I was surprised by a package on my stoop -- a print copy of the September 1958 Ladies Home Journal. Yay! Here are much improved scans (in color!). They're so pretty.

The table of contents page has a little biography of Mary Stewart. It says that in her spare time she "directs college plays and exercises race horses." I knew about her passion for drama, but exercising race horses? So glamorous! I guess that's why The Ivy Tree's horse-whisperer heroine seems so authentic.

Thanks, Mama!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Congratulations to Lady Stewart!

On July 3, Mary Stewart was awarded an honorary degree (a Doctor of Letters) by her alma mater, Durham University. This news release states that she is one of six to be honored this summer, though the article is sadly almost entirely about some British newscaster who I don't care about. However, I was able to find a copy of the speech that was to be read at Mary Stewart's ceremony, which includes a nice biographical sketch. Stewart attended Durham University as a student from 1935 to 1938, and then returned in 1941 as a Lecturer of English, during which time she also received her MA. She taught at Durham until 1945, when she married.

Durham Cathedral, where the ceremony took place

The speech doesn't really provide any new info that I haven't found previously in other sources (and I think my biography is a little better!). But it does mention that Stewart currently still resides in her home on the shores of Loch Awe in Scotland. I love the idea of Mary Stewart enjoying her retirement in a picturesque Scottish house on the shores of a beautiful lake.

Loch Awe

I'll keep an eye out for any photos or info that surface on the Internet about the ceremony.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Charles Geer retrospective at Mulford Gallery

Charles Geer is a children's book and cover illustrator who did the beautiful drawings for many of the William Morrow editions of Mary Stewart's hardcovers. I've tried to do research on him, but have been unable to find too much. Here are a couple of his Stewart covers:

I came across an announcement for a show of Geer's work at the Mulford Gallery in Rockland, ME. From the announcement, it sounds like there will be drawings from his Stewart covers there, though I'm not sure. Anyone live near Rockland who can go check it out for us? The show runs through June 15.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Coronet covers

A couple of kind Stewart fans have sent us a few more covers that we'd never seen before, including these two Coronet paperback covers. I've seen other Stewarts in this style and have loved them. They're obviously done by the same illustrator, and I think they really capture the feeling of Stewart's books, with a certain 1970s flair.

Look how glamorous Gianetta looks!

I have to say this one is less attractive than the others. I suppose that man must be Con? He looks so angry and mean he just couldn't possibly be Adam! And in Kelly's words, Annabel looks vapid.

Here are some more that we already had in our collection. This Madam, Will You Talk is my absolute favorite! We loved it so much that we used the illustration on the header of the website. Richard is looking very James Bond with his pistol.

I love that you can see the dead body washed ashore in the background. And Lucy looks so unconcerned.

Beautiful! But why is Jennifer wearing a Grecian outfit? And what is to the left of her? Is that a boat? There are no boats in Thunder, are there?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Nine Coaches Waiting in Ladies Home Journal, 1958

Many of Mary Stewart's novels were condensed and published in women's magazines around the time that the novels were first published. Though this sort of thing is done infrequently now, back in the day I think it was a fairly common way to publicize a new book by a well-known author. I was unable to find print copies of any of them (I guess women's magazines weren't considered worthy of preservation), but my local university library has many of them on microfilm.

The image above is the illustration by Harry Anderson that accompanied the condensation of Nine Coaches Waiting in the September 1958 issue of Ladies Home Journal. I'm sorry the quality isn't great -- the microfilm was black and white and a bit fuzzy. But it's a lovely picture. It must depict the scene when Linda is in Madame de Valmy's room trying on the ballgown she'd made. Raoul finds her there and they have a nice little interlude. ;)
I pushed away from him at last, both hands against his chest. "But Raoul, why?"
"What d'you mean why?"
"Why me? Your father called me 'Jane Eyre,' and he wasn't far wrong. And you--you could have anyone. So ... why?"
"Do you want to know why?" His hands turned me around to face the mirror again, holding me back against him. I could feel his heart hammering against my shoulder blade. His eyes met mind in the glass. "You don't have to be humble, ma belle. That's why."


The title page is below -- the typography is so, so pretty. If you click on the picture it'll take you to a larger version, though I'm not sure you'll be able to read the text. The condensation is quite long -- I think around 15 pages or so. I found it sort of odd that they decided to condense the whole thing rather than just print an excerpt (and who did the condensing, I wonder, and what did Mary Stewart think of it?!). It was discomfiting to read an abridged version since I'm so familiar with the original text.

I've only had time to locate this one article so far, but I'll try to scan the others soon. If anyone has an attic full of Ladies Home Journals or Good Housekeeping from the 1950s and 60s, let me know! I'd love to see color scans of these!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New Favorites Poll

We've had a poll running over on the sidebar since we put the blog up -- asking what people's favorite Mary Stewart book is. I've just posted a new one, since someone noticed that not all of Stewart's books were listed as options. Sorry! I think I'd only put my favorites on there, which was very egocentric of me. :)

So go vote! (Again, or for the first time.)

Here are the top results of the previous poll. 107 people voted.

Nine Coaches Waiting -- 19%
This Rough Magic -- 14%
Madam, Will You Talk -- 13%
The Crystal Cave -- 9%
Airs Above the Ground -- 9%
My Brother Michael -- 9%

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Madam, Will You Talk giveaway!

Angie has posted a lovely essay about how she discovered Mary Stewart's books. She's also giving away a free copy of Madam, Will You Talk. So head over there and comment -- you could win! The contest closes tonight (May 6) at midnight.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Covers from Susanna Kearsley!

Susanna Kearsley (an author whose books I love and which are very reminiscent of Mary Stewart) scanned a bunch of her Mary Stewart covers and sent them to us. Yay! Thanks, Susanna!

I've added them all to the cover gallery on the website. Here are some of my favorites:

The Gabriel Hounds, original UK hardback, Hodder & Stoughton, 1967. I love the colors on this one.

Touch Not the Cat, UK hardback, Hodder & Stoughton, 1976

Thunder on the Right, US Fawcett paperback. I like this one, but why on earth is Jennifer Silver wearing a medieval costume??

Monday, April 27, 2009

Literary Guild Review -- This Rough Magic

A few years ago I was at the Strand (a great used bookstore in NYC) and found a beautifully preserved hardcover copy of my very favorite Mary Stewart book, This Rough Magic. When I opened it up a little pamphlet fell out--the Literary Guild Review that came with the book when the original owner received it in 1964. I did a little happy dance right there in the store. It contains an interview with Stewart and a summary illustrated with these fantastic drawings. I had some fun with Photoshop and added in little excerpts of the text.

Lucy meets Sir Julian Gale.

Oh, Max. *Swoon*

Such great adventures.

Wings: The Literary Guild Review, August 1964. Garden City, NY: Literary Guild of America, Inc., 1964.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Susan Wiggs likes Mary Stewart too

Bestselling author Susan Wiggs has posted a list of her five favorite authors. Mary Stewart didn't quite make her top five. But she had such trouble narrowing her list down, she added a few more, one of which was Mary Stewart.

Nice list, Ms. Wiggs!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The mighty Google recognizes us.

Again, we have to apologize for the long, long wait between blog posts. Infrequent updating is a cardinal sin in the world of blogging, but time has gotten away from us. We've got lots of good stuff to post, so hopefully we'll get some interesting things up in the next couple weeks. We've also received lots of emails lately, which we have not answered, but hope to get to very soon. Several people have sent some great old covers -- we'll post them soon.

Today's good news is that I've realized that Mary Stewart Novels now comes up as the third hit on Google when you search for Mary Stewart. Woo hoo! We used to be down on the third page somewhere. Thanks to everyone who has linked to us and let the Googlebot know we're here! And welcome to everyone who has found us recently.

Also of note today -- the blog Romance Vagabonds did a post called "Celebrating Women in Romance" this week, which lists Mary Stewart along with Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Georgette Heyer, and others. Very nice company for the "mother of the modern romantic suspense novel."