Goodbye, Mary Stewart

Mary Stewart, author of my favorite romantic suspense novels, died on May 10th.  Here is her obituary, at The Guardian.   My mother gave me my first Mary Stewart romance, The Moon Spinners, when I was twelve, and I couldn't decide which I loved most about it--the beautiful descriptions of place, or the romantic frissons.   This combination, sometimes more successfully than others, makes her an author I still treasure (mostly in memory, because I read her books so often that my mind can just scroll through them at will).    I wonder if my mother ever noticed that I took all her Mary Stewart books away with me....she had them practically memorized too, so perhaps not.

I'm so glad her books got reissued recently, and she found new fans!

And I loved her children's book, The Little Broomstick, and her vision of the Dark Ages, put forward in her Merlin series that beings with The Crystal Cave, had a huge impact on me.

Here's the one thing I hold against Mary Stewart--she made me feel inadequate about my inability to wear crisp linen dresses while traveling (see Madam,Will You Talk).   (No matter how crisp a garment is when I put it on, almost immediately the rot sets in....)


  1. I haven't read The Moon-Spinners (yet), but Stewart's Merlin trilogy (assigned as summer reading when I was in high school--so grateful!) had a huge impact on me, too.

  2. Was shocked to hear this. I have to say that I thought that she had already passed on.

    I love her books too, especially The Little Broomstick. One time in a fit of decluttering around the house, I almost donated my copies of her Merlin books but changed my mind at the last minute. So glad I did!

    She had a life well lived!


  3. I loved her Merlin books, too! And I hear you on the issue of crispness - maybe we don't use as much starch nowadays? If that's the reasons, we're probably more comfortable, if less crisp.

  4. HA. NOBODY can wear a crisp linen dress when they travel. Linen never stays crisp, which is why it is better as a bedsheet material than as a dress. If Mary Stewart implied that one of her heroines kept a linen dress crisp throughout the traveling process, then she was straining credulity.


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