This is the third in my occasional series of catch-up posts on all things Mary Stewart; the earlier bulletins are to be found here and here.
POLL ON FAVOURITE GENRE
I set up this poll to explore which genre of Mary Stewart writing was most popular with contemporary readers. Voting closed last night and, in total, 88 votes were cast. The absolute runaway winner from the beginning was the Early Suspense (1950s – 1970s) category which in the end won 71 of the 88 votes cast, or a whopping 80.68% of votes. Second was the Merlin/historical/fantasy category with 10 votes; third equal were the Late Suspense (1980s and 1990s) and Children’s categories with 3 votes apiece; and Poetry received 1 vote.
I have written before now on my surprise at the overwhelming popularity of the early suspense novels over the Merlin books, especially since Mary Stewart herself valued the latter category more highly. Of course, the poll is not scientific and has no statistical significance, it is only a snapshot of the views of a small number of people who go online, have found my blog, and wanted to participate in the vote. And fans of the early suspense books are much more likely to have discovered my blog – glance at the ‘Pages’ I have written so far and you can see that I am looking at Mary Stewart’s writing pretty much in chronological order and have not blogged about the Merlin books yet.
Still, I find the poll interesting. The early suspense novels are my personal favourites too (usually – that can change when I am reading a book from one of the other categories!)
Thank you to all who voted. Your suggestions are most welcome for future polls – what should we vote on next?
POLLS ON FAVOURITE HEROINES
In the meantime, have you voted in the ‘favourite Mary Stewart suspense heroine’ polls? I divided the 15 suspense novel heroines into three separate ‘Saturday surveys’, covering what (at a bit of a stretch) we can call the 1950s novels, the 1960s novels, and the final suspense novels. So far, Charity from Madam, Will You Talk? is leading the earliest category, Lucy from This Rough Magic is just winning in the middle years and Perdita from The Wind Off the Small Isles (or more accurately now The Wind Off the Small Isles and The Lost One) is romping home in the final category. Why not take a look and vote?
The polls are here, here and here.
I would rather like to have a ‘vote-off’ between the winning heroines of the three polls to see who we choose as our overall Mary Stewart heroine queen – but I would like to see more votes cast first so that I feel a little more confident that it truly is your favourites who go forward to the grand final! So please do vote.
MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER
This Japanese anime fantasy film, based on Mary Stewart’s children’s book The Little Broomstick, was released in Japan earlier this month, on 8 July. We still do not have release dates for the UK and elsewhere in the world; this Anime Herald article states Mary and the Witch’s Flower is to be shown in 155 countries/regions. You can read a review of the film in this Anime News Network piece by Kim Morrissy.
I wonder if it is a clue that The Little Broomstick is due to be re-issued in the UK by Hachette Children’s Group (an imprint of Hodder) on 5 October 2017? Will this date coincide with the cinema release? You can read about the book publication here.
BOOK COVER GALLERY
If you look at the Book Covers section of this blog you will see that my Mary Stewart collection is still growing with more gorgeous old covers on display. My next step, hopefully fairly soon, will be to scan in my covers from The Crystal Cave onwards, as so far I have only uploaded images as far as The Wind Off the Small Isles and The Lost One.
What do you think of Mary Stewart book covers? There have certainly been many different styles over the years. Which ones are your favourites? Are there any you strongly dislike? The cover below on the left is one of my current favourites, whereas the one on the right… Not. A. Fan.
Okay, please let me know your views on book covers, whether you are interested in the film Mary and the Witch’s Flower, ideas for future polls to carry out, or anything else Mary-Stewart related that you would like to discuss.
I would like a poll of favorite MS romantic couple. Also best villain.
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Thank you, these are fabulous ideas! I had thought of heroes but not couples, I like your thinking. I will get to work on a new poll hopefully quite soon.
Favorite book covers… I like this rough magic mass-market. The one done all in blues. Very serene mysterious and slightly frightening at the same time. I also like nine coaches waiting the trade paperback Sepia photo. That one just has such a Jane Eyre feel to it!
I also very much like the retro covers from the 50s where the protagonist is running around in high heels on the side of a cliff!
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I don’t know the US covers very well but you have got me interested with these descriptions, I am going to look online to find the covers you describe. Thanks for sharing your favourites!
A possible thought for a survey would be our favorite secondary character. Having just finished reading “This Rough Magic,” Sir Julian Gale would definitely be in the running for me. I also think that Timothy in “Airs Above the Ground” is such an unusual and likable character.
The version of “This Rough Magic” that I read this time has the blue cover mentioned here in another comment! I also very much like the hardback cover, with the dolphin leaping out of the water, but wanted a lighter copy to read this time.
I always look forward to your posts, Allison!
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Thank you so much for your lovely comments, Linda!
A poll on favourite secondary characters is a really good idea – and my initial thought is that I think Donald Seton would win my vote, with Tim a close second. I will have to get to work and start posting polls…
This Rough Magic is such a popular book and its covers seem to be equally popular, all those deep blues, and who can resist a dolphin?
Thanks again for your encouragement