Thursday, October 14, 2010

Photo Gallery: This Rough Magic

Finally a second installment of our photo gallery feature, where we bring you pictures of the fabulous settings from Mary Stewart's novels! (Our first photo gallery was for Madam, Will You Talk.) Today we're showing photos of Corfu, the setting of This Rough Magic.

Corfu Island
photo by Robert Louden

"Perhaps I should explain (for those who are not so lucky as I) that Corfu is an island off the west coast of Greece. It is long and sickle-shaped, and lies along the curve of the coast... At its northern end the island is broad and mountainous, tailing off through rich valleys and ever decreasing hills into the long, flat scorpion's tail of the south from which some think that Corfu, or Kerkyra, gets its name."

photo by Helen Parker

photo by Marite2007

"The bay was small and sheltered, a sickle of pure white sand holding back the aquamarine sea, and held in its turn by the towering backdrop of cliff and pine and golden-green trees."

The Albanian coast
photo by theoldsmithy

"Away northward, across the dark blue strait, loomed, insubstantial as mist, the ghostly snows of Albania."

Corfu Town
photo by

Palm Sunday procession in Corfu Town
photo by mbavinton

"Presently, from somewhere, a big bell struck, and there came the distant sound of the bands starting up. Thevast crowd fell almost silent, all eyes turned to watch the narrow mouth of Nikephoros Street, where the first banners glinted, slowly moving up into the sunlight of the square. The procession had begun."

Keeping Godfrey entertained at the Achilleion
photo by Ava Babili

"I remember very little now of my tour of the Achilleion. I am sure Godfrey was a good guide; I recollect that he talked charmingly and informatively all the time, and I must have made the right responses; but I was obsessed with my new hatred of him..."

Lucy's dolphin
photo by fotolen

"Far out in the bay a curve of blue fire melted, rolled in a silver wheel, and was lost under the light of day."

*All quotes are from This Rough Magic, copyright 1964, by Mary Stewart


Anonymous said...

Oh, wow - Corfu look stunning!

The picture gallery idea is such a good one. I've never thought to look up what the places in MS' novels look like.

myrna_nora said...

Awesome! It looks like I imagined from MS's excellent descriptions.

Misfit said...

These are lovely, looking forward to more as you have time. Thank you.

Angiegirl said...

I love this feature. And since that book is one of my favorites--wow. Those are some gorgeous shots. Just how I imagined it.

jwade19 said...

Looking at those beautiful photos while reading the descriptions from Stewart reaffirm my belief that she is the undisputed master of descriptive storytelling.

Thanks for putting those up for us.

Some Birds said...

Brilliant idea! Thanks for this. I look forward to visiting Corfu sometime soon!

Thyme2Be said...


Philosophy Graduate said...

Great photos chosen ... the miracle of photosharing on the Internet married with Mary Stewart's incomparable descriptions = a delightful post.
Glad I checked back with your blog!

Sandy said...

Many thanks for taking the time to post these breathtaking photos and for including references from the book - one of my favorites!

Mary-Kay (Australia) said...

Hi Jennie and Julie, you have done such a wonderful job on your website - both presentation and content! Very classy. I love the photos! Ever since I read 'Madam, will you talk?' 20 years ago I have dreamed of following the heroines footsteps through Southern France. If I do I will send you pics! Well done. Until I stumbled on your website I thought I was the only Mary Stewart diehard!

Catmommie said...

I've just found your website and this blogsite. Thank you so much for these photos--This Rough Magic is one of my favorite Stewart novels.

Felicia said...

I just found these and have to say thank you again! Inspired by reading "This Rough Magic" I visited Corfu in 1979, and saw a lot of this from the back of a Vespa. I'm so sorry I don't still have the photos to share with you. You have captured the magic of Corfu beautifully, and I am really enjoying this site.

Tony said...

This was one of mum's favourite novels. I was re-reading it to her during her last days, she died aged 90! I wrote to Mary Stewart and told her how much mum loved her books and added that I was disappointed that her heroin seemed to have lost her Christian faith. Mary actually replied to me and told me that she herself still held on to her Christian faith!!