Friday, May 16, 2008

Forgotten Books Friday

Terrie Farley Moran, who blogs over at Women of Mystery has volunteered the Bag Lady to blog about Forgotten Books. This idea comes to us courtesy of Patti, who blogs at Pattinase. She has instituted the idea in order that great books from years past will not be forgotten.


The Bag Lady left a comment on Terrie's post regarding forgotten books, mentioning her all-time favourite author, Mary Stewart. She wrote mysteries, and her elegant prose is what hooked the Bag Lady on reading. She was a wonderful descriptive writer, and she set her novels in a variety of countries. You could almost smell the dust in the hot sun of a Greek Island, or feel the damp chill of an English morning dew.


She also wrote a series of novels about Merlin the Magician and King Arthur that sparked the Bag Lady's interest in Stonehenge. The Crystal Cave is still one of the Bag Lady's favourite novels. It chronicles the life of Merlin from his early childhood, and does a wonderful job of weaving Merlin's "magic" into the legend of King Arthur.

Here is an excerpt:


I am an old man now, but then I was already past my prime when Arthur was crowned King. The years since then seem to me now more dim and faded than the earlier years, as if my life were a growing tree which burst to flower and leaf with him, and now has nothing more to do than yellow to the grave.


This is true of all old men, that the recent past is misted, while distant scenes of memory are clear and brightly coloured. Even the scenes of my far childhood come back to me now sharp and high coloured and edged with brightness, like the pattern of a fruit tree against a white wall, or banners in sunlight against a sky of storm.


Mary Stewart is truly an author who should not be forgotten.


17 comments:

bunnygirl said...

I read some of Mary Stewart's books when I was a teen. Thanks for the reminder that they're worth a revisit!

the Bag Lady said...

Anytime, Bunnygirl! I loved her books when I was growing up, and still have almost all of them, slightly tattered paperbacks.

Leah J. Utas said...

I read her Merlin series because you lent it to me.
Thanks.

the Bag Lady said...

Loved that series, but in truth, I loved everything she wrote.

Missicat said...

I loved the Mary Stewart books about Merlin! Need to hit the library this weekend and look them up again.

the Bag Lady said...

I'm so glad I posted about this and reminded people of her books!!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I loved her books as a young woman. Thanks for reminding me.

Reb said...

We we grew up and had separate abodes, I had to go out and buy my own copies! They are pretty battered too. Love those books.

the Bag Lady said...

Pattinase - you're welcome! Thanks for dropping by.
Reb - my copies are pretty tattered, too, but I still read them!

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Nice Job, df Bag Lady,

Let's not forget Moonspinners!

Terrie

the Bag Lady said...

dfTerrie - I'd be hard-pressed to pick an absolute favourite! Love the Ivy Tree, Nine Coaches Waiting, Thunder on the Right, and yup, the Moonspinners, too!
Thanks for the opportunity to do this! It was fun!

Crabby McSlacker said...

How funny that there are so many Mary Stewart fans among us!

I absolutely LOVED the Merlin books as a teen and they left quite an impression on me.

Excellent choice!

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, Crabby. It is kinda funny, isn't it, that we all read her!? Or perhaps it just means that she was universally loved...

Sagan Morrow said...

Have you heard of Bernard Cornwell? He's written some really good books; my favorites are his trilogy about King Arthur. They're really fantastic- "The Winter King", "Enemy of God", and "Excalibur". I think I've read them each about 5 times and could happily do it all over again:)

Also Roger Zelazny's "The Great Book of Amber" has some stuff to do about Merlin and the like; it's a really great book too.

the Bag Lady said...

Sagan - I'll have to keep an eye out for those!

JavaChick said...

I love Mary Stewart's King Arthur & Merlin series. I've read a few different tellings of the King Arthur story and hers is one of the best. I'm pretty sure I read Nine Coaches Waiting too, though it was a long time ago and I don't remember anything about it other than the title!

Terry said...

javachick - I have read all of her books, except the children's books, and all of them are excellent...love the m all!!