Welcome to the latest in a series of bulletins on all things Mary Stewart!  Earlier bulletins can be found here, here and here.


Are you aware that quite soon it will be Mary Stewart’s birthday? – she was born on 17 September 1916 and died on 9 May 2014. 17 September is a day to celebrate and from now on I’m going to be referring to the big day as:

MS Day 2

I hope to write a few posts for Mary Stewart Day and I would love to hear from as many of you as possible: how would you like to see her day commemorated? Let me know if you write something on Mary Stewart or one of her books and would like me to reblog your post, or to host you here on Mary Queen of Plots if you don’t have your own blog. Let’s make Mary Stewart Day a day to remember!


Do you remember this blog’s  ‘favourite heroine’ polls? I divided Mary Stewart’s 15 suspense novel heroines into three separate polls, for – roughly – the 1950s, the 1960s, and the 1970s-90s suspense novels. Well, voting for these polls is going to close on 17 September – Mary Stewart Day – so that we can celebrate our three winning heroines. By immediately pitting them against one another in a new vote, for our all-time favourite Mary Stewart suspense heroine!

The heroines in the three time periods who currently have the most votes are:

  • 1950s – Charity from Madam, Will You Talk? 
  • 1960s – Vanessa from Airs Above the Ground
  • 1970s-90s – Perdita from The Wind Off the Small Isles (or, if you prefer, The Wind Off the Small Isles and The Lost One).

But the polls are open until Mary Stewart Day so the heroines who win through to the Grand Final may yet change, depending on your votes.

So if you haven’t voted yet, please do so! The polls are accessible from the sidebar or click here, here and here.

(Note that I will close these polls and open our ‘all-time favourite’ poll at some point on 17 September but I can’t say exactly when. Sundays are very busy days for me. So cast your vote in good time!)


I have just found out that this year’s UK National Poetry Day takes place a week earlier than usual, on 28 September 2017. The theme for 2017 is freedom. I hope to write about one of Mary Stewart’s poems for this date. Have you read any of her poetry?


This Japanese anime fantasy film, based on Mary Stewart’s children’s book The Little Broomstick, was released in Japan on 8 July. I wondered if it was a clue to the UK film release date when I spotted that The Little Broomstick was due to be re-issued in the UK by Hachette Children’s Group (an imprint of Hodder) on 5 October 2017 but this date has now been changed to 5 April 2018 (see here). This fits with @ponoc_intl’s twitter announcement yesterday:

In case this tweet doesn’t stay embedded, this is the Variety magazine article referred to in the tweet. The article informs us that

It [Mary and the Witch’s Flower] is expected to release in the U.S. later this year.

 Altitude Film Distribution will release the film in the U.K. and Ireland early in 2018. Madman Entertainment has rights Australia and New Zealand and will premiere the film at the Madman Anime Festival in Melbourne in early November.

So my new prediction for the UK release date of Mary and the Witch’s Flower is April 2018, again in line with the book re-issue by Hachette. I really hope there are no more delays, especially now that I know that the characters will be voiced by actors like Kate Winslet and Jim Broadbent!


I don’t know if everyone has spotted Lucy Cunningham’s wonderful information-sharing comment under the most recent Mary on Monday post? Lucy has discovered that, while there is no podcast available for when Mary Stewart was a guest on BBC Radio’s Desert Island Discs programme, it is possible to obtain – at a price – the transcript of the programme. Thank you for letting us know, Lucy!

Mary Stewart appeared on the programme on 21 April 1969. There is a summary of her appearance including her music choices here – what do you think of her chosen book being an encyclopaedia? I’d love to hear her explain why – hopefully I will be able to read why once I have hold of a transcript. And I imagine Mary Stewart’s paper and pencils ‘luxury’ was for drawing as well as writing.


I hope you have found something of interest in this month’s bulletin. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.