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.