September: Reading Daphne Du Maurier

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September: Reading Daphne Du Maurier

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1lauralkeet
Ago 27, 2009, 4:43pm

I read my very first Du Maurier, the classic Rebecca, in July. And I was enthralled. So enthralled, in fact, that I've decided to read TWO in September: Jamaica Inn and My Cousin Rachel.

What's everyone else planning to read?

2teelgee
Ago 27, 2009, 5:37pm

I have Rebecca standing by. I read it MANY years ago and remember loving it but not much else about it.

3englishrose60
Ago 27, 2009, 5:40pm

I have:
Rebecca on audio and waiting for book from BookMooch
The Rendezvous and Other Stories
The House on the Strand
Frenchman's Creek
The Parasites

I shall read as many of them as I can.

4englishrose60
Ago 27, 2009, 5:42pm

Rebecca is a favourite of mine too. Have the DVD. Ingrid Bergman is one of my favourite actresses.

5sqdancer
Ago 27, 2009, 5:47pm

I will be reading a lovely copy of Rebecca that I received from an LT friend for Christmas.

If I find the time, I have Rule Britannia, Jamaica Inn and Frenchman's Creek around here somewhere.

6christiguc
Modificato: Ago 27, 2009, 5:53pm

I think I'm going to read The Glass-Blowers, as it's one I have that I haven't yet read. It's set during the French Revolution--looks interesting.

Edited to say: And I'll probably reread Rebecca too, as it's been years and it's due for another look!

7teelgee
Ago 27, 2009, 5:54pm

I had no idea she'd written so many books!

I'll probably look for Rebecca - the movie - after I read the book.

8wookiebender
Ago 27, 2009, 8:44pm

I've just re-read Rebecca, and don't have any of her other books to hand. I think I'll sit this one out this month. (Still haven't found any of Ngũgĩ wa Thiongʾo's books, so this month was a wipeout for me too! The library doesn't stock them, and no luck in the bookshops. Dagnabbit.)

9mrspenny
Ago 27, 2009, 9:00pm

>8 wookiebender: After a lot of searching, our librarian found Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o's books listed under Ngugi not Thiong'o which is where she was searching.

10wookiebender
Ago 27, 2009, 9:10pm

#9> I did all my searching online, and tried all sorts of variations on his name, plus searches on his most popular book titles (according to LT). Absolutely no luck.

One of the city bookshops reckons they have his stuff on their website, but I didn't have any luck when I popped in.

I do want to read his books, so I might have to bite the bullet and order from an overseas website. Or order in at my local bookshop, who are good at this sort of thing for me.

11theaelizabet
Ago 27, 2009, 10:40pm

I'm still immersed in Thiong'o's Petals of Blood, but should be ready for du Maurier come September. I've read Rebecca, Frenchman's Creek and My Cousin Rachel, so I think I'll try Jamaica Inn. Of course, I read Rebecca years ago so I might be ready for a reread, too.

12jillmwo
Ago 29, 2009, 6:45pm

My Cousin Rachel is a particular favorite of mine. I blogged about this title a while back; I don't know if potential readers want to read that review or not, but it can be found here: http://individualtake.blogspot.com/2007/07/my-cousin-rachel-review.html

13bell7
Ago 31, 2009, 7:15pm

Jumping in for my first monthly author read...I think I'll try Jamaica Inn, having read Rebecca not long ago.

14englishrose60
Set 1, 2009, 5:22am

Still waiting for Rebecca to arrive so I shall start with Frenchman's Creek.

15christiguc
Set 1, 2009, 11:10am

There is a website for the legendary Jamaica Inn in Cornwall which those who are reading Jamaica Inn might find interesting.

16christiguc
Set 1, 2009, 11:45am



Gribben Head, near Du Maurier's home in Fowey. Part of the landscape that inspired Rebecca.

17christiguc
Modificato: Set 1, 2009, 11:47am



Lanteglos Church, where Du Maurier was married. (And it is also featured in her book The Loving Spirit).

18christiguc
Set 1, 2009, 11:50am

And, in case anyone has some spare cash to spend. . . Du Maurier's Frenchman's Creek house hit the market in July 2009. Story here.

19christiguc
Set 1, 2009, 11:58am



Readymoney Cove, featured in Frenchman's Creek and mentioned in others.

20lauralkeet
Set 1, 2009, 1:00pm

Beautiful photos! My books are waiting for me at the library but I won't pick them up until Friday and hopefully will be about ready to start reading them then, too.

21theaelizabet
Set 1, 2009, 1:26pm

Oh my! If we all chipped in might we buy her house? What a beautiful area.

22englishrose60
Set 1, 2009, 3:54pm

I think I might raise enough funds to buy the gatepost! Beautiful house.

23englishrose60
Set 2, 2009, 7:27am

Frenchman's Creek by Daphne Du Maurier. I enjoyed this adventure/love story set in 17th Century Cornwall, England. Du Maurier's descriptive prose made the Cornish coastline come to life.

24englishrose60
Modificato: Set 5, 2009, 5:38pm

The Parasites by Daphne Du Maurier. I enjoyed this story of three siblings coping with their lives.

Edited for Touchstone

25lauralkeet
Set 5, 2009, 5:30pm

OK, I'm ready to roll. I picked up my two DuMaurier books from the library yesterday, finished what I was reading, and am now poised to start Jamaica Inn. Yay!

26englishrose60
Set 5, 2009, 5:41pm

Laura, I hope you enjoy Jamaica Inn. That's one I don't have yet. I am about to start The House on the Strand.

27wookiebender
Modificato: Set 6, 2009, 10:03pm

Having said above I wouldn't be joining you all for this month, I was tidying the free bookshelf at the cafe we go to (yes, that is mostly just an excuse to see if any new and interesting books have turned up!) and there was a copy of Frenchman's Creek! So there you go, I will be reading a Daphne Du Maurier later this month with you.

Edited for clarification

28lauralkeet
Set 6, 2009, 9:36pm

29Donna828
Set 6, 2009, 10:16pm

>27 wookiebender:: I wish I had someplace to check for free books! What a great idea.

I have started reading My Cousin Rachel. I read and loved Rebecca many years ago. I will reread it someday when I'm not so busy. I'm eager to read the comments on some of her other books that I am not familiar with.

30charbutton
Set 7, 2009, 3:27am

I've just finished My Cousin Rachel - it's Rebecca narrated by a man! Naive youngster at the mercy of a mysterious older woman, Cornwall, big house...a good read but nothing more, for me.

31MuggleMagic
Set 7, 2009, 4:45am

I only discovered Du Maurier this year and I absolutely love her books :) I have read Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel. I have Jamaica Inn on my book shelf ready to go :)

32englishrose60
Set 7, 2009, 7:07am

The House on the Strand by Daphne Du Maurier. Liked this one but was a little disappointed with the ending. Nevertheless a very good 'time travel' story.

33lauralkeet
Set 7, 2009, 8:05pm

Well, I zipped through Jamaica Inn and have just posted my review. It was enjoyable, if a bit "typical" for its genre. But a nice diversion for a long holiday weekend. Next up, Rebecca in drag (see #30) ... aka My Cousin Rachel.

34charbutton
Set 8, 2009, 3:14am

I'll be interested to know if you do feel like it's Rebecca in drag!

35Donna828
Set 8, 2009, 9:51am

>Laura and Char...Rebecca in drag...what a hoot! It has been ages since I read Rebecca, but I seem to recall a more sinister tone than in My Cousin Rachel, at least in what I have read so far. Rachel seems to be toying with Philip much like a cat teases a mouse before the kill.

36lauralkeet
Set 9, 2009, 8:08am

>30 charbutton:, 35: Donna & Char ... Philip is just about to meet Rachel. So far the similarities to Rebecca are numerous! Just take each character, change their gender, stir in an iconic dead person, a big house and travel abroad ...

37englishrose60
Set 10, 2009, 1:52pm

Not After Midnight by Daphne Du Maurier. I enjoyed the first 2 stories very much.

38lauralkeet
Set 12, 2009, 7:00pm

Totally, totally, TOTALLY annoyed with My Cousin Rachel !!! Charbutton, you and I seem to have similar reactions to books (remember The Judge?) ... but even if you hadn't weighed in on Rachel first, this book would have annoyed the daylights out of me. It even prompted me to write a "letter" to Daphne Du Maurier ... see my review here !

39englishrose60
Set 13, 2009, 10:11am

The Rendezvous and Other Stories by Daphne Du Maurier. I enjoyed all 14 stories in this collection.

40wookiebender
Set 13, 2009, 9:06pm

#38> lindsacl, loved the review. I see it made it onto the Hot Reviews list! Congratulations!

I finished Frenchman's Creek this morning, and I did enjoy it. While it didn't have the brilliance of Rebecca, it was a good fun adventure romance. But not at all standard, with our heroine being married and a mother. My copy rather sniffily says on the back that Dona is a character that we would all love, despite her somewhat "questionable" behaviour.

I think that the reviewer who wrote those lines never got stuck in a miserable marriage, and quite possibly Dona is a character many women love because of her behaviour. (Not that I'm in a miserable marriage, but looking back at some previous relationships, I am incredibly grateful for living in an era when one isn't bound irrevocably to one man. I made some choices that would never have lasted happily, although they were fun at the time.)

41lauralkeet
Set 13, 2009, 9:15pm

Excellent thoughts on Frenchman's Creek, wookie! I've heard good reports on it and whenever I recover from Rachel, that will be one to look for.

42theaelizabet
Set 14, 2009, 11:10pm

I first read Rebecca when I was in high school and wondered if it would hold up for me now. Short answer: Yes. I think it is still a wonderful book. I had a new copy handy in case my young teenage daughter should ever decide to give it a look.

43christiguc
Set 16, 2009, 4:54pm

Those that like audio books can listen to Frenchman's Creek, adapted into six thirty-minute episodes, on BBC7. Old episodes are available online for up to seven days after airing.

44charbutton
Set 17, 2009, 5:50am

>38 lauralkeet:, Laura I think that is the best book review I've ever read!!

We certainly do seem to have similar reactions.

45lauralkeet
Set 17, 2009, 8:03am

>44 charbutton:: Thanks char! I had fun writing it!

46rainpebble
Modificato: Set 25, 2009, 12:42pm

I decided to grab a nonfiction for my Daphne Du Maurier read this month and chose Myself When Young and I am enjoying every single word. I have always loved her prose.
An interesting note accompanied the book. At Du Maurier's death in 1989, Margaret Forster, (who was actually not a big fan of Du Maurier), wrote of her: "No other popular writer has so triumphantly defied classification.....She satisfied all the questionable criteria of popular fiction, and yet satisfied too the exacting requirements of "real literature", something very few novelists ever do."
belva

47englishrose60
Set 25, 2009, 1:10pm

I shall be starting My Cousin Rachel tonight. Have been looking forward to it after reading comments re its likeness to Rebecca. I shall also be reading Daphne by Justine Picardie as a Du Maurier related book.

I am still waiting for a copy of Rebecca from BookMooch. If it does not arrive soon I shall listen to audio version of it read by Jenny Agutter. I also have the DVD to watch again.

48teelgee
Set 25, 2009, 2:28pm

I'm about 1/3 through Rebecca and really loving it. I'll be at the beach for the weekend and probably mostly reading, so should be able to finish it by Monday.

49englishrose60
Set 27, 2009, 7:29am

Finished My Cousin Rachel and really enjoyed reading this one. Yes, there may be comparisons to Rebecca but it was still a very good story.

50lauralkeet
Set 27, 2009, 9:03am

Glad you enjoyed it, er60!

51englishrose60
Set 27, 2009, 9:05am

thanks Laura!

52teelgee
Set 28, 2009, 1:54am

I finished Rebecca today - what a great book. I know I read it many many years ago, but didn't remember a thing about it, so it was all fresh and the surprises were all ... surprising! Loved it. There's quite a bit of supplemental writing in my edition, including the author writing about her experience with Rebecca and an epilogue. Will read those in the next day or two.

I was happy to "discover" this book again!

53englishrose60
Set 28, 2009, 6:54am

The Flight of the Falcon by Daphne Du Maurier.
I enjoyed this book set in Italy.

54rainpebble
Modificato: Set 28, 2009, 6:22pm

I finished Myself When Young and moved onto The Loving Spirit; finished that one and am now halfway through I'll Never Be Young Again; all by Daphne Du Maurier. I absolutely loved the first two but am finding the third to be just so-so.
belva

55digifish_books
Set 28, 2009, 10:45pm

>54 rainpebble: Belva, I started I'll Never Be Young Again two weeks ago but put it aside after a few chapters. It didn't grab my attention for some reason...

56englishrose60
Set 29, 2009, 7:08am

I am still waiting for Rebecca from BookMooch. In the meantime I am reading Daphne by Justine Picardie which I am enjoying very much. If the book Rebecca does not arrive tomorrow then I will listen to an audio version of it read by Jenny Agutter.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this month's author and shall continue reading more of her work, as and when I get it.

57Booksloth
Set 29, 2009, 7:26am

Independently of this thread ('cos I hadn't discovered it at the time) I read Daphne, by Justine Picardie and based on DdM's life, a couple of months ago. It's a super book and I recommend it to all Daphne fans. That made me get out all my old DdM books and start re-reading. I've replaced the tattiest ones with new copies and am working my way through chronologically. In the novels, I'm up to Jamaica Inn so far (because I am reading other books as well) and I just spent a few days in hospital with several short story collections as my companions (The Birds, The Rendezvous and The Breaking Point. The Rendezvous contains my all-time favourite of her short stories, No Motive.

I live about 40 miles away from Jamaica Inn and, to my shame, haven't been there in more than 30 years. I do keep meaning to go back and, now that I'm more active than I was before the hospital visit, I really do mean to make the journey some time soon. I also mean to walk the trail walked in The House on the Strand sometime.

Daphne's books are ones I can read over and over again although I do agree somewhat with digifish_books about I'll Never Be Young Again - I don't think she really hit her stride until Jamaica Inn - but my goodness, she hit it then with a vengeance! It's great to hear from all these people who are reading Daphne for the first time. My father had an omnibus copy of Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel and Frenchman's Creek which I discovered when I was about 14 and I've never looked back. I'm reminded of that every time I hear someone say they've just discovered these wonderful books.

58rainpebble
Set 30, 2009, 12:10pm

>#55 & #57:
digifish_books & Booksloth;
Regarding I'll Never Be Young Again; I had to force myself to read the first half, but it improved dramatically in the second half and I enjoyed the remainder of the book. I quite loved her The Loving Spirit.

I, too, am trying to read her in order this time around and have been surprised to see the number of her books I've not yet read as I began to read her in the 60s or 70s.
This has been a great month for "Monthly Author Reads". I picked a great month to begin. The Progress of Julius is next up and has not arrived as of yet so it looks like I am done for this month of reads.
Back to War and Peace and Dracula; both group reads. I am looking forward to next month's reads with Henry James.
See you then.
belva

59rainpebble
Modificato: Ott 1, 2009, 9:40pm

I didn't make it back to War and Peace nor Dracula because laytonwoman3rd kindly reminded us that it was "Banned Book Week" so I read Their Eyes Were Watching God and have begun The Awakening. From there I will go on to To Kill a Mockingbird and then The Catcher in the Rye, given time.

In regard to Daphne Du Maurier; (I just joined the group on like the 25th) I read: Myself When Young, The Loving Spirit, and I'll Never Be Young Again. I only managed the three. I would have liked to have worked in a biography given time, but one can't do everything nor read everything. Hopefully I will do better with Henry James this month.
belva

60englishrose60
Ott 2, 2009, 6:30am

My mooch for Rebecca has not been sent to me yet, so today I am going to listen to audio version read by Jenny Agutter and afterwards I shall rewatch the DVD. I also have Mrs de Winter by Susan Hill to read. And then on to Henry James.

61Booksloth
Ott 2, 2009, 6:42am

#60 You really don't want to read Mrs de Winter before you've read Rebecca however strong the temptation.

62digifish_books
Ott 2, 2009, 9:06am

Fittingly, the Persephone Post (Sep 29) featured a photo of du Maurier at her typewriter, taken in 1944 at http://thepersephonepost.blogspot.com/

63englishrose60
Ott 2, 2009, 11:25am

Spent a lovely afternoon with Rebecca - audiobook of Daphne Du Maurier best known story read by Jenny Agutter with Simon Williams. I shall watch DVD tomorrow.

I shall take your advice Booksloth about Mrs de Winter.

digifish, interesting photo, she does not look too happy at being interrupted from her work.

64rainpebble
Ott 2, 2009, 1:38pm

>#62:
Laura;
Thank you so much for taking the time to share that link with us. What a lovely grouping of pictures and the descriptions going along with them went down very well with my morning coffee.
belva

65teelgee
Ott 2, 2009, 2:14pm

>62 digifish_books: Oh Daphne! The ergonomics! Your poor neck and shoulders!

66geneg
Ott 2, 2009, 4:37pm

But she knows how to sit up straight!

67digifish_books
Ott 2, 2009, 10:46pm

>65 teelgee:,66 I didn't notice the ergonomics! The obsessional in me was too busy focussing on that crooked lampshade :P

68englishrose60
Ott 3, 2009, 7:12am

^ Oh! Yes! It casts a mean shadow!

69englishrose60
Ott 4, 2009, 7:11am

Read Mrs De Winter by Susan Hill. I thought this was quite a good sequel to Rebecca.

70Booksloth
Ott 4, 2009, 7:17am

Questo messaggio è stato cancellato dall'autore.

71Booksloth
Ott 4, 2009, 7:20am

Mrs de Winter was a good attempt but the one that really does the trick (and even takes into account some of the events in MdW) is Rebecca's Tale by Sally Beauman, which gives us a glimpse of Rebecca's side of the story. One of the few sequels (by a different author than the original) that really can be proud of itself.

72englishrose60
Ott 4, 2009, 7:55am

Booksloth - thanks! Another book to add to my wanted list.

73rainpebble
Ott 6, 2009, 9:04pm

Booksloth;
Thank you for the rec on waiting to read Mrs de Winter until after Rebecca because I was going to do the same thing as englishrose60 while awaiting the arrival of Rebecca.
And thank you also for the rec of Rebecca's Tale by Sally Beauman. I will have to order that one.
You have done your good deeds for the day.
catch you later,
belva

74Booksloth
Ott 7, 2009, 5:58am

Now that's really feels good - doing good deeds without even knowing it! Nice of you to say so nannyb!

75BookConcierge
Lug 27, 2018, 4:26pm



My Cousin Rachel – Daphne du Maurier
Digital audio performed by Jonathan Pryce
4****

Philip Ashley is the young heir to the great Cornwall estate owned by his cousin, Ambrose, who is his guardian and has been like a father to him. For health reasons, Ambrose goes to Italy in the winter months, but this time he does not return. He has married the lovely widowed Contessa and is staying for a time until her late husband’s affairs are fully settled. But then Ambrose dies suddenly, and Cousin Rachel shows up in Cornwall. Is she the bereaved widow? A temptress and gold-digger? Could she have poisoned Ambrose?

Oh, what a tangled web we weave …. Wonderfully atmospheric, gothic psychological suspense. Philip is a naïve young man who is seemingly easily manipulated by the worldly Rachel. Or is he? Is the mutual attraction a figment of his over-active imagination? Does he believe the cryptic notes cousin Ambrose sent him? Or should he shrug them off as the product of a diseased and fevered brain? Rachel, herself, is the soul of propriety one moment, and then seemingly giddy as a schoolgirl at her good fortune the next. She is flirtatious one moment, and standoffishly proper then next. She seems callously indifferent in one scene and then solicitous and concerned about Philip on the next page. She’s both captivating and infuriating!

I was second-guessing myself as often as Philip was. At the end I’m left wondering what really happened. And that’s a good thing.

Johnathan Pryce does a marvelous job narrating the audio book. He’s a talented actor and he gives all the characters, men and women, distinct voices that really bring them to life.