Hodder reissues 'lost' novella for Mary Stewart anniversary

Hodder reissues 'lost' novella for Mary Stewart anniversary

Hodder & Stoughton is reissuing The Wind off the Small Isles, a "lost" novella by Mary Stewart, known for her gothic romantic thrillers and historical novels.

The new edition of The Wind off the Small Isles, to be published on 22nd September, will feature cover art by Dawn Cooper and include a foreword by Stewart’s niece, Jennifer Ogden. The book has been out of print for nearly four decades.

The book is a "sweeping, romantic long-lost novella” about a 23-year-old secretary called Perdita West, who in 1963 travels to Lanzarote, "the strangest and most wild of the Canary Isles", on a research trip, where she falls in love with her author boss’ estranged son.

Commissioning editor Anne Perry negotiated the deal for world rights with Ogden.

Hodder plans to reissue the book as a "lynchpin" of a programme to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Stewart’s death this year. Stewart, wrote 14 novels including her first novel, 1954’s Madam, Will you Talk?, This Rough Magic and The Moon-Spinners.

She also wrote a five-book fantasy series exploring the lives of Merlin and Arthur, which sagas Hodder intends to republish with "eye-catching" new jackets by Aaron Munday.

Editor Anne Perry, who is credited in spearheading Hodder’s Mary Stewart centenary activities, said: "I have loved Mary Stewart’s novels since I first read The Crystal Cave at age 11. Her gothic romances didn’t just pioneer the genre; they remain the benchmark by which all such novels must measure themselves. Both her gothic these and her Arthurian novels feature her evocative writing, sharp characterisation, action, adventure and thoughtful meditation on love and life. It has been a dream come true to update the entire list and to bring the brilliant little book, The Wind off the Small Isles, back into print."

Ogden added: "There will never be another new Mary Stewart book, but the ones she wrote will stand the test of time to be read over and over again by new generations. It is so pleasing that this lovely little lost book, The Wind off the Small Isles, is being republished in time to celebrate what would have been Mary’s one hundredth birthday."

The Wind off the Small Isles will he published in hardback at £12.99.