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Mary Ann Shaughnessy Books In Order

Publication Order of Mary Ann Shaughnessy Books

A Grand Man (1954) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Lord and Mary Ann (1956) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Devil and Mary Ann (1958) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Love and Mary Ann (1961) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Life and Mary Ann (1962) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Marriage and Mary Ann (1964) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mary Ann's Angels (1965) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mary Ann and Bill (1967) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bill and the Mary Ann Shaughnessy (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


English author Catherine Cookson has a legacy as writer that has become hugely influential over the years, paving the way for many female novelists to follow in her footsteps, inspiring countless writers, and creating a legacy that is just as pronounced today as it ever was, as it rapidly gains momentum for many generations to follow. With a wide selection of books behind her, it appears everyone knows her name, whether they are a follower of the romance genre or not. This was due to them containing universal themes that didn’t simply limit themselves to the confines of the genre, as she herself didn’t like the label of romance, feeling she was more of a historical novelist who used the tropes and conventions of the romance novel to convey her themes and messages. Seeing her books adapted for television and the stage during her lifetime, she managed to create a strong legacy whilst she was alive, during her long and ever illustrious writing career. Reaching a worldwide audience and being translated into countless languages, she has built a strong presence within the literary establishment and it’s easy to see why. With a series such as the Mary Ann Shaughnessy series she projects a realistic character who is both likeable and relatable in equal measure.

Following the exploits of a young woman called Mary Ann Shaughnessy, these books chart her progress as goes about her day-to-day life undergoing all the trials and tribulations a life of poverty brings. Living in a dockside tenement, the series is located in Tyneside, North East England, she is hoping against all odds to find a better life for both her and her family, lifting them up as they aim to make it in the world and achieve their goals of living a more comfortable life. Starting in 1954, there have been nine books in total in the series, with recurring characters cropping up throughout, making this an ongoing saga that many have warmed to over the years. Finishing in 1991, this series lasted for almost forty years, as Catherine Cookson returned to this particular character again and again with much love and passion, something which rubbed off on her audience. As word continues to spread, this is an appeal that will carry on in the many years to come.

A Grand Man

This being the first in the series to introduce the character of Mary Ann Shaughnessy to the public at large, it was also made into the 1954 film Jaqueline. Originally published in 1954 itself, it marked the arrival of an exciting new franchise and talent, giving voice to a whole new character that had previously been unseen on the page and a new world that wasn’t usually depicted.. Creating the style and the tone of much of what was to come, this helped established the world she lived in, giving it its gritty and realistic setting for much of the action to take place in.

Set within Tyneside, in the North of England, it sees Mary Ann Shaughnessy who, on the surface, appears to be a rather ordinary and normal plain girl, but underneath she is a fierce and passionate fighter. Formidable, fierce and independent as she is strong, she hopes to give her family all that they want and provide for them gaining a better way of life than they had previously. This especially goes for her dad, or ‘the grand man’, as she wants to look after him and take them to a far better place than they ever could dream of. Will she ever be able to get what she wants both for them and herself, living the life she only dreamed of? How will she find her way and manage to achieve what she is looking for? What will become of her and her family as she attempts to look out for a grand man?

The Lord and Mary Ann

Following on from the previous novel, this goes about picking up from where the last left off, as it continues the story of Mary Ann Shaughnessy and her life living in Tyneside, North England. With her character firmly established now, the groundwork is already there and well laid out for the reader to continue reading and jumping straight back into the action with the narrative. The setting of Tyneside has already been brought to life as well, and it manages to develop further here, as more emphasis is placed upon her arc and her wanting to be able to leave there.

Her father now has a farm job acquired for him by Mary Ann Shaughnessy and she believes this is the job that will keep him on the straight and narrow away from all the temptations of the town. Things don’t quite turn out as she’d initially hoped for, as her father succumbs to his ever human frailties and foibles, which he now must fight if they’re ever to be truly free. Believing that this job is the ticket to their success as a family, she sets about making sure that he keeps the job at the farm and remains happy working. Will she be able to help her dad? Can she get her family out of poverty? What will become of the lord and Mary Ann?

The Mary Ann Shaughnessy Series

Leaving a strong legacy behind her in the form of female protagonist Mary Ann Shaughnessy, she has created one of literature’s most beloved and enduring characters to date, with her legacy being secured for many generations to come yet. The series itself is extremely human, focusing on the many hardships she has to endure as a person who has big dreams, and it is this that the audience follows and roots for, sympathising with her every step of the way, as she goes on to make her way in the world. With her problems being universal, her struggle is easy to relate to on a universal scale, which is another factor in what makes Catherine Cookson’s writing so enduring for readers of all varieties. As word spreads this popularity will continue for years to come, as it creates a following, with legions of fans and loyal followers reading her for a number of years yet.

Book Series In Order ┬╗ Characters ┬╗ Mary Ann Shaughnessy