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Through reading - and rereading - her books over many years Mary Stewart has given me so much pleasure. She and Virginia Woolf are the two authors in my house with a shelf of their own. My favourite is the one starting with "It was the egret, flying out of the lemon grove, that started it'. The Moon-Spinners


That was one of my teenage ones (must re-read); how lovely that you have a shelf dedicated to Mary Stewart, Cath.

Philippa Kirkpatrick

Can't decide between Stormy Petrel, with its wonderful evocation of a Hebridean island, or Thornyhold with its intriguing hints of the supernatural. But I enjoy all her books - she always conveyed an excellent sense of place, e.g Greece or France.


She's good on the supernatural, and as you say Philippa, great on place.
She had so many strengths.


Sad news indeed, 97 is a grand old age to reach though.


Yes, and from what I know of it she seems to have had a happy life.

Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

I haven't read any Mary Stewart since I was a child, but on repeated recommendation I just took out Thornyhold from the library. I look forward to discovering more of her work.

Linda Gillard

So irrational to be angry & upset that she's finally left us after 97 years, but this is the end of an era for me.

I discovered her books as a teenager in the '60s. I still re-read her and regard her as a major influence on my own novels. I treasure a signed copy of MY BROTHER MICHAEL that I found in a secondhand bookshop, but my favourites (so hard to choose!)are NINE COACHES WAITING and THE GABRIEL HOUNDS.

We shall not look upon her like again.


I hope you will love it, Lory.


Linda, your comment shows just how great a writer's reach can be, and your reaction is entirely natural, I think.


I am so sorry to hear this--hers books really are so comforting to read and always such reliably good reads. I have enjoyed each and every book by her that I have read and that she has given so many readers so much pleasure is an accomplishment indeed. She will be missed but certainly still much loved! I think my favorites are Touch Not the Cat and My Brother Michael, but I still have a number of her books as yet unread--lucky really as I have something still to look forward to (and then rereading of course...).


Sad news, but she had a long & happy life so it's hard to be too sad. I read most of her books as a teenager but I'd like to reread one or two now. It's lovely that her books are back in print now as well so readers will go on discovering her.

Linda Gillard

Someone just posted on my FB page to say that news of Lady Stewart's death is a hoax. There's certainly some internet buzz about a hoax, but since she has an obituary on the Times website, I'm inclined to think the hoax is a hoax, but I thought I'd better mention it.


Love the Merlin series particularly but really all of her books were "good reads", time to go looking for some of them again.


I caught wind of that hoax story last night, but assumed that as it was her publishers who had announced her death, their word could be relied upon. I see from Wikipedia this morning that her date of death is now listed and is given as 10th. May, so there must be some factual basis behind that, one would hope.


There's often talk about which authors' work will endure and why, and being much-loved is surely a big part of that longevity.


I agree, Lyn.


I must begin the Merlin books a.s.a.p.

Barbara MacLeod

In our younger days we used to regularly visit her next door neighbours, Mary and Bob, in Lochawe. I recall that Mary (Stewart) always gave them a copy of her newly published novels. Although she and her husband left Lochawe some years ago, the people who were part of her life will now feel, as we all do, a great loss.


How lovely that you had a connection to her, Barbara.


So sad, I do love her books!


If these comments alone are anything to go by, she will not be forgotten, for her books will find new readerships as well as being enjoyed again and again by her long-term fans.

Margaret Powling

Yes, a sad day in literary circles. Few are the writers who can please teenagers and adults alike (or perhaps, my own generation of teenagers - don't know what teenagers today would make of them, but oh, very sad to hear of her death.)

Joan Kyler

I just bought four of her books last week, thinking that I hadn't read any of them since I was a teenager and so many people talk about loving them. I'm sad she's died, but I'm happy she had a long, happy life. I look forward to re-reading the books I just bought.

Margaret Powling

I have just read on the internet that this is a hoax and is one of several such hoaxes.


That rumour was going about yesterday, but The Times have today given Mary Stewart a full-page obituary, so presumably they have verified the facts. As Linda says above, it looks as though the hoax story is itself a hoax.


From the lengthy piece about her in the press today it sounds as though her life was happy, despite her great sadness at being unable to have children, but that lack itself 'pushed' her into writing.


I hope she is still read by young people today.


For anyone who can't access the Times piece, here is the Guardian obituary:

Liz Davey

Reading Wildfire at Midnight at the moment (coincidentally). I had thought to google her to see if she was still alive, but it seems no need. An author much enjoyed as a teenager and rediscovering when I want a jolly good yarn to read.

Margaret Powling

Yes, the Telegraph has also published an obit today, so presume the news must be true.


Here's the Telegraph piece:


"Jolly good" is right, Liz!


The Moonspinners! I think it was the first one I read, but not the last--Airs Above the Ground, Nine Coaches Waiting, My Brother Michael. . My sister and I gobbled them down. What nice books, is all I can say!


'Nice' is underrated, I think; there should be more books in that category.


One of my favourite authors, her books have a special place in my reading life. My favourite is Airs Above The Ground. I've read it several times and one scene (you'll know which one if you know the book) always chokes me up!


She seems to occupy a special place in many hearts, and that's a great achievement.


I've always attributed my love of travel to her books which I read as a teen. They had such a strong sense of place! Vienna, Crete, Corfu, the south of France, Damascus - in her writings, they all sounded so exotic to a 14 year old living in a small town.


I have been sadly out of touch with a lot over the past couple of weeks and this has only just come to my attention.
This is end of an era for me too - Mary Stewart's books meant a great deal to me when I was a bookish teenager and I still re-read them from time to time and I can confirm that today's teenagers can still enjoy them as I passed a few on to my younger daughter to take her mind off AS level stress three years ago and she loved them!
My favourites were always the Arthurian series (especially The Crystal Cave), Wildfire at Midnight, Airs Above the Ground and the two Linda mentioned too - The Gabriel Hounds and Nine Coaches Waiting.
Thank you Mary Stewart - you will be missed.


One of my students once said she liked "nice peopley books," which just about covers it! Great literature is great literature, but when I'm tired, I want a nice peopley book. Mary Stewart did those well!

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