by S.P. Hendrick, contributing writer
Of all the writers whose works I devoured and found they had indeed nourished my creative soul, Mary Stewart was indeed the Grande Dame. Her world of Camelot was focused upon a young man who would grow from a lad in the Roman-occupied British Isles into the splendid wizard of King Arthur’s court. Her Merlin Chronicles, especially the first three, seemed to have a life of their own, possibly because they were told in the first person.
It was largely the autobiographical slant to those three books (The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment) which made them so believable and sucked me into them from the very beginning. I suppose they were also subconsciously the reason I wrote my two series, The Glastonbury Chronicles and Tales of the Dearg-Sidhe, in first person.
Mary Stewart passed from this world in Lochawe, Scotland at age 97, leaving behind her a wealth of literature as varied as the colors of her maiden name, Rainbow. She was a writer of mysteries, children’s stories, Gothic suspense novels and poetry, but above all, she was a thread in the age-old Arthurian tapestry, and it is for that she will be most warmly remembered.
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Her Merlin chronicles were so much more of a universe to lose oneself in than T.H. White’s “The Sword in the Stone”. Stewart transported you with her skill that never obtruded, while White wanted you to admire his skill in telling the story.