I’ve just been on twitter and I see that several days ago the Hodder account @HodderFiction was – quite rightly – showing off its ‘irresistible new Mary Stewart editions’. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Tweet by @HodderFiction on Mary Stewart book covers


I am rather surprised that these are ‘new’: I don’t own any of these editions but I have been making eyes at them for some time on eBay and on Hodder’s Mary Stewart webpage – have these pages been using preview photos or something? [UPDATE: The four books featured in the photos will be published this Thursday (23 February 2017), according to a tweet by Melissa at Hodder. Thanks, Melissa.]

That was a fairly idle question – I’m just happy to look at the covers whether they are new or old. More pressingly, I am intrigued by the open book in the tweet photos: what is this?

Book detail from Hodder (@HodderFiction) tweet

Is this a book that shows all the Mary Stewart book covers that have ever been used? What is this book? How do I get my hands on a copy?? I replied to the tweet asking about this book and I’ll update this post if I receive a reply. If anyone here can answer me, please get in touch! [UPDATE: this is an in-house book of Hodder classics that is, sadly, unavailable to the public. I’m glad they have given us a glimpse of it.]

Meanwhile, what is your favourite Mary Stewart book cover? I adore the cover shown here for The Ivy Tree, and I like all of these covers (although I think it looks rather as though Charity is sporting a periwig or something on the Madam, Will You Talk? cover). Outside of these editions, I do have a fondness for the pulpy 60s paperbacks (see my Book Covers section for some examples). And, of course, if you’ve seen my last post, you will know that I delight in the cover by Herb Mott for The Spell of Mary Stewart, so much so that I’ve had a locket made of it.

My unique book cover locket!

Covers I’m less keen on are the ones in this series of re-issues by Hodder in 2011 (although I do like the brief bio and review quotes):

Mary Stewart book cover, Hodder, 2011

Oh and there is this horror from 1978.

Mary Stewart book cover. Heinemann/Octopus. 1978

The font! The orange background! And is the pouting woman supposed to be young Heather Macrae? Always makes me think of Geri Halliwell for some reason. Anyway, a dreadful cover but at least we are told the illustrator’s name: Robert Estall. I do resent on their behalf how rarely book cover illustrators are named.

Okay, now it’s your turn: please share your favourite or worst covers.