Nicholas Stuart Gray

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Nicholas Stuart Gray (23 October 1922, Scotland – 17 March 1981) was a British actor and playwright, perhaps best known for his work in children's theatre in England. He was also an author of children's fantasy; he wrote a number of novels, a dozen plays, and many short stories. Neil Gaiman has written that Gray "is one of those authors I loved as a boy who holds up even better on rereading as an adult".[1] Many other modern fantasy authors, such as Hilari Bell,[2] Cecilia Dart-Thornton,[3] Kate Forsyth,[4] Cassandra Golds,[5] Katherine Langrish,[6] Sophie Masson,[7] and Garth Nix,[8] cite Gray's work as something they enjoyed as children.

Perhaps his best-known books are The Seventh Swan and Grimbold's Other World. Gray often produced adaptations or continuations of traditional fairy tales and fantasy works, as in his Further Adventures of Puss in Boots. His The Stone Cage is a re-telling of Rapunzel from a cat's point of view. Over the Hills to Fabylon is about a city whose king has the ability to make it fly off across the mountains if he feels it is in danger.

Gray maintained a long-term collaborative relationship with set designer and illustrator Joan Jefferson Farjeon (niece [9] of Eleanor Farjeon and Harry Farjeon); she supplied the costume and scenic designs for many of the theatrical productions of his plays, as well as the illustrations for most of his printed plays and for the novel version of The Seventh Swan.


Plays for Children[edit]

  • Beauty and the Beast (1951)
  • The Princess and the Swineherd (1952)
  • The Tinder Box (1954)
  • The Hunters and the Henwife (1954)
  • The Marvellous Story of Puss in Boots (1955)
  • New Clothes for the Emperor (1957)
  • The Imperial Nightingale (1957)
  • The Other Cinderella (1958)
  • The Seventh Swan: A Play (1962)
  • The Stone Cage: A Play (1963)
  • New Lamps for Old (1968)
  • Gawain and the Green Knight (1969)

Novels for Children[edit]

  • Over the Hills to Fabylon (1954)
  • Down in the Cellar (1961)
  • The Seventh Swan: A Novel (1962)
  • Grimbold's Other World[10] (1963)
  • The Stone Cage: A Novel (1963)
  • The Apple Stone (1965)
  • The Further Adventures of Puss in Boots (1971)
  • The Wardens of the Weir (1978)
  • The Garland of Filigree (1979)

Short Stories for Children[edit]

  • Mainly in Moonlight (1965) — collection of twelve short stories
  • The Edge of Evening (1976) — collection of eight short stories
  • A Wind from Nowhere (1978) — collection of nine short stories
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentices (1986) — picture book of a story from Mainly in Moonlight with new illustrations

Novel for Adults[edit]

  • Killer's Cookbook (1976)


  • Facets: Poems and Pictures (1977)


  • The Boys: Cats with Everything (1968)


  1. ^ Includes special guest review, Neil Gaiman, 26 November 2005,
  2. ^ Archipelago, World. "Hilari Bell". Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "Author Spotlight". Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  4. ^ "Books I've been reading in 2011". Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Katherine Langrish's 5 Favourite Books". Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  7. ^ Books, Boomerang. "Five Very Bookish Questions with author Sophie Masson - Boomerang Books Blog - Boomerang Books Blog". Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  8. ^ "Garthnix - Interview 1: Sabriel". Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  9. ^ Joan Jefferson Farjeon papers, 1860-1992: Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
  10. ^ Review of Grimbold's Other World, from Kirkus Reviews

External links[edit]