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Caroline Stevermer

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Title: Caroline Stevermer  
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Subject: Letter game, Tom o' Bedlam, Bryn Mawr College alumni, Catch the Lightning, The Borderland Series
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Caroline Stevermer

Caroline Stevermer (born 1955) is a writer of young adult fantasy novels and shorter works. She is best known for two series of historical fantasy novels.

With Patricia C. Wrede, she wrote three novels set in an alternate Regency England where magic and non-magic society exist side-by-side and cooperatively:

  • Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot: Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country (1988, reprinted 2003)
  • The Grand Tour or The Purloined Coronation Regalia: Being a Revelation of Matters of High Confidentiality and Greatest Importance, Including Extracts from the Intimate Diary of a Noblewoman and the Sworn Testimony of a Lady of Quality (2004)
  • The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After: Being the Private Correspondence Between Two Prominent Families Regarding a Scandal Touching the Highest Levels of Government and the Security of the Realm (2006).

The authors tell these stories from the first-person perspectives of cousins Kate and Cecelia (and, in the third book, two additional characters), who recount their adventures in magic and polite society. These works are epistolary novels, written using the style of the letter game.

Her Galazon series comprise a Ruritanian romance series with magic: A College of Magics (1994) and its semi-sequel A Scholar of Magics (2004), as well as When the King Comes Home (2000), a medieval prequel. Caroline Stevermer attended Bryn Mawr College, and Greenlaw, the College in A College of Magics, may be based on her experiences there. Terri Windling selected College as one of the best fantasy books of 1994, describing it as "charmingly distinctive . . . [marked by] the sly wit and sparkling prose that have earned her a cult following".[1]

Her 1992 novel River Rats, a Minnesota Book Awards finalist, is a post-apocalyptic adventure on the Mississippi River with echoes of Mark Twain.

Her first novel written as Caroline Stevermer is a 1988 fantasy called The Serpent's Egg. She has two previous books written as C.J.Stevermer: The Alchemist: Death of a Borgia (1980) and The Duke and the Veil (1981), both published by Ace. These feature an English alchemist in the Rome at the time of the House of Borgia.

She has participated in Terri Windling's Borderlands shared universe and in the Liavek shared universe.

In 2008, she donated her archive to the department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University.[2]


  1. ^ "Summation 1994: Fantasy," The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Eighth Annual Collection, p.xviii
  2. ^ Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) Collection, Northern Illinois University

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