This Rough Magic

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First edition
(publ. Hodder & Stoughton)
Cover art by Val Biro

This Rough Magic is a romantic suspense novel by Mary Stewart, first published in 1964. The title is a quote from William Shakespeare's The Tempest. Like several other novels by Stewart, it is set in Greece and has an element of suspense.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

Lucy Waring, a young actress, is on holiday in Corfu with her sister Phyl, who is married to a rich Italian. Lucy meets photographer Godfrey Manning, the famous actor Sir Julian Gale, his aloof son Max, and Phyl's housekeeper Maria, whose husband is imprisoned in Albania. She also befriends a dolphin tame enough to approach humans. The peaceful scene is shattered when Maria's teenage son is reported drowned after falling overboard while out at night sailing in Godfrey's boat. When Lucy stumbles on a second dead man, she realizes something is terribly wrong on the idyllic island.

The book's major theme is Shakespeare's play The Tempest, which Sir Julian believes was set on Corfu.

Julian Gale and the play Tiger, Tiger (with a different author) are also mentioned in The Wind Off the Small Isles (1968) by the same author.


The book was serialised in the British magazine Woman's Journal.[2]


  1. ^ Lenemaja Friedman (1990). Mary Stewart. Twayne Publishers. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-8057-6985-2.
  2. ^ Recycled Mags