Mary Stewart Profile and Books

Mary Stewart was born Mary Florence Elinor Rainbow on September 17 1916 in Sunderland, County Durham, England and died on May 9th 2014. Her father was an Anglican clergyman who had travelled extensively while younger. Her parents met in New Zealand while her father was travelling. Mary was the oldest of three children and was a born storyteller (she was inventing stories at 3 ½ years old). She studied English and then teaching at Durham University. Her goal was to lecture in English at Oxford, but when she finished university in 1939, jobs were scarce because of the war. She became a school teacher and then taught at Durham University. She met her husband, Frederick Henry Stewart at a VE Day celebration at the university and they were married three months later. After she married, Mary continued to teach part-time but also focused on her writing. She had her first novel published in 1953. In 1956 she and her husband moved to Scotland where she still lives today.

Mary Stewart’s interests are apparent in her novels – gardening, natural history, Ancient Rome and Greece.  She has also travelled extensively, for her personal pleasure and to research details for her books. Most of Stewart’s novels are romantic suspense novels. Her Merlin chronicles are a cross between history and fantasy. She is probably best known for her Merlin books which provide a very original perspective on the classic Arthurian story.

The list of Mary Stewart novels is as follows:

Merlin Chronicles


  • Rose Cottage (1997)
  • Stormy Petrel (1991)
  • Frost on the Window: And other Poems (1990) (poetry collection)
  • Thornyhold (1988)
  • A Walk in Wolf Wood (1980) (children’s novel)
  • Touch Not the Cat (1976)
    Read Review of Touch Not the Cat
  • Ludo and the Star Horse (1974) (children’s novel)
  • The Little Broomstick (1971) (children’s novel)
  • The Wind Off the Small Isles (1968)
  • The Gabriel Hounds (1967)
  • Airs Above the Ground (1965)
  • This Rough Magic (1964)
    Read Review of This Rough Magic
  • The Moon-Spinners (1962)
  • The Ivy Tree (1961)
  • My Brother Michael (1959)
  • Nine Coaches Waiting (1958)
  • Thunder on the Right (1957)
  • Wildfire at Midnight (1956)
  • Madam, Will You Talk? (1954)


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