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Du Maurier Forum Archive - 2006

Another year older, and I wonder if I'm any wiser. Probably not; more likely I'm more confused than ever - at least by the madness all around. Religion, which should bind us and hold us, just seems to tear us all apart. The Almighty (wherever He is) must surely be scratching his head, and wondering if he ought to go back to the 'drawing board' and create a new plan. There are enclaves, pockets, where sanity survives, our du Maurier Board is one, thank goodness. I've been watching it now from almost the day it opened, courtesy of John Baxendale, our unassuming and unspoken leader. Thanks John for your sterling work. The du Maurier Festival has been a delight thease past years, and I'm looking forrard' to 2007, the centenary of Daphne's birth, I gather it's to be 'special'. All the Very Best everyone, I hope you have a Merry Chrismas and a Happy New Year. Sam
- Saturday, December 23, 2006 at 18:30:12 (GMT)
I wish all Daphne fans a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year!
Mildred <>
- Friday, December 22, 2006 at 12:53:12 (GMT)
I listened to 'A Room of Her Own - Daphne' on Woman's Hour this week and really enjoyed it. It was a beautifully constructed piece and the conversations that Daphne had with the old woman were a very clever twist. This evening David and I went to St Andrew's Church, Tywardreath for the Christmas Tree Festival Switch-on celebrations. Included in the programme was 'Happy Christmas' performed by the Tywardreath Players. Visitors to the du Maurier festival will know that the Tywardreath Players present a play based on one of Daphne's books each year during the festival. This evenings offering was brilliant. They had adapted the short story and presented it as a live performance of a radio play transmitted in the late 1940's. Other items included hand bell ringing by the children of Tywardreath School and a musical nativity performed by the local beavers, cubs and brownies. All this in the church which was lit by 48 Christmas trees, each one decorated by a different group or organisation in the village. It was a wonderful evening.
- Friday, December 01, 2006 at 21:39:59 (GMT)
7.45 pm Tuesday 28 November on BBC Radio 4 "A Room of her own - Daphne". A play by Katie Hims which celebrates the place where Daphne first had a room of her own.Recorded at Ferryside. Can be picked up on the BBC website for 7 days afterwards.
- Tuesday, November 28, 2006 at 11:49:59 (GMT)
I have just purchased a fine etching, by an artist whose name I can not read. The etching has on the back " home of Daphne Du Maurier in Cornwall....Smugglers Inn " Can someone tell me if this was in fact her house, and if possible who the artist may be. Regtards.
Barry Weston <>
- Monday, November 13, 2006 at 11:12:28 (GMT)
Many thanks to Jeremy for clearing up my North London Mystery. I had only a small while with this book covering a lesson for a sick colleage (I'm a teacher) and with a well behaved class you tend to read anything to hand and for some reason DDM had stuck in my mind. David
David Woollard-Kingston <>
- Wednesday, October 04, 2006 at 20:55:49 (GMT)
Hi, just joined this and i wanted to share my experience. I have seen the house!! It was worth waiting for a very magical place!
- Wednesday, October 04, 2006 at 18:19:06 (GMT)
David, I think I can help you. First of all, I think the story you are referring to is not by DdM at all, but by one of her great disciples, Ruth Rendell(aka Barbara Vine). It called The Green Road To Quephanda, and can be found in the collection,The New Girlfriend and other stories. I have walked this path many times. It is called Parkland Walk and runs from the Archway Road in Highgate via Crouch End winding up in Finsbury Park. It can be clearly traced on page 28 of Geographer's London A-Z. It is a wonderful walk, like a country lane through the heart of North London. The story is one of her best, and once read never forgotten.
- Wednesday, October 04, 2006 at 04:23:51 (GMT)
I wonder if someone can possibly advise me. Several years ago I was browsing through an anthology of ghost stories to fill an hour and came across one by Daphne Du Maurier. The story concerned an area of North London where I grew up and the subject matter was the track of an old disused railway that ran through Highgate. I've searched lists of short stories in vain trying to re-find this. Unfortunately I cannot recall the name of the story - does it sound familiar to anybody. Thanks in anticipation. David
David Woollard-Kingston <>
- Tuesday, October 03, 2006 at 21:15:01 (GMT)
Dear Christopher & Melanie, In researching my PhD I have also come across a couple of articles/books that begin to deal with Daphne in terms of psychological readings e.g. a chapter in Michele A Masse's 'In the Name of Love: Women, Masochism & the Gothic.' 'Rebecca' has been dealt with in terms of Freud in 'The Female Oedipal Drama of Rebecca from Novel to Film' by Karen Hollinger. And, of course, Zlosnik and Horner's groundbreaking study also begins to look at Daphne's work in terms of the psychological, particularly related to the Gothic. However, Daphne's work has only recently become the object of critical analysis and I think we can look forward to seeing an increase in such articles over the next few years.
Amber Larner
- Tuesday, October 03, 2006 at 13:44:18 (GMT)
My family and I had been visiting Cornwall for many years. However, one day, on the drive down, I saw a strange building and asked my father what it was. He replied that it was Jamaica Inn. That prompted me to search a little and I came across a book of the same name. Obviously I was hooked! I have to say, that even after reading all of Daphne's books, Jamaica Inn will always be my favourite. This summer, my adorable boyfriend Adam took me back to Cornwall and we went 'Du Maurier' hunting.. We went to Fowey and took a little boat trip, we went to Menabilly beach and read none other than Rebecca.. It was the most amazing weekend of my life and I will be returning to the Festival, and Cornwall, year after year.
Natalie <>
- Tuesday, October 03, 2006 at 11:35:25 (GMT)
Cristopher, I don't think there is any full length study of Daphne's work from a psychological view point, although there are probably papers in various journals that pick up on the idea. Amber Larner and myself are both exploring Daphne's work through her interest in the writings of Carl Jung, although I guess his psychological standpoint verges on the mystical/religious.
- Sunday, October 01, 2006 at 19:54:31 (GMT)
Somehow my earlier posting has reappeared. I have no idea how that happened but my apologies if it was my fault (probably was). We have just been watching a DVD of a BBC 4 part serialisation of Jayne Ayre made in 1973 with Sorcha Cusack, which I suspect is much closer to the book than other films ---in regard to the scenes ( scenes of the burning down of the house) and the language, much more of which I am sure is from the original text. It seemed very 'stilted' (that is not the right word) but then became very compelling. Chris
Christopher Clayton
- Sunday, October 01, 2006 at 18:28:15 (GMT)
This summer we spent a few days of our holiday at the Bronte Caravan Site from where we visited the Bronte Parsonage Museum. During these few days I was reading Daphne's 'The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte'. The book made me feel very sorry for this talented and greatly criticised brother of the Bronte sisters, who suffered from epilepsy and schitzophrenia which were not understood at the time. There are suggestions that he actually wrote 'Jane Ayre' or more likely made some contribution to it ---- the brother and three sisters collaborated in their writing from an early age. A few days later I was reading Daphne's biograpy of her father 'Gerald' and laughing out loud at her brilliant descriptions of his antics. I can see that as well as DDM's fiction her biographies are another treat in store. Chris
Christopher Clayton
- Sunday, October 01, 2006 at 18:11:18 (GMT)
Hello Melanie. Although Daphnie aimed to 'rehabilitate' Branwell even she, as we can see from Justine Pickardie's introduction to the new Virago edition, became somewhat exhasperated at his self-inflicted failure ---- a not uncommon experience for those suffering with mental ill health. But there is I believe in existence a still unpublished typescript by Daphne titled 'Second thoughts on Branwell' in which she admits that her judgment may also have been too harsh. See 'Brother in the Shadow -- Stories and Sketches by Branwell Bronte' by Butterfield and Duckett, 1988. Apart from the biograhies I have not so far come across much written about Daphne specifically seeking to interpret both her writing and life from a psycholgical standpoint. Does anything of this nature exist? Chris
- Sunday, October 01, 2006 at 11:33:35 (GMT)
Hi Cristopher, I am glad you enjoyed Daphne du Maurier's biography of Branwell Bronte. I was impressed by her willingness to try and rehabilitate Branwell's reputation and to give him credit for his part in the family inspiration. I feel Daphne wrote her biography of Branwell at a time when people were trying to gain a better understanding of 'mental illness' (late 50s/early 60s). I went to see the du Maurier archives in Exeter University Library and I found that there was a note with the typescript to this biography about the work of RD Laing - The Divided Self (a study in schizophrenia). This book was published at a similar time to the book on Branwell so I'm not sure if Daphne was influenced by it or whether someone had recommended it to her as something she might be interested in given the content of her book. Either way I was fascinated by the fact that she knew of this work and saw it as in some way connected with her own. Kind Regards to everyone.
- Friday, September 29, 2006 at 22:21:05 (GMT)
This summer we spent a few days of our holiday at the Bronte Caravan Site from where we visited the Bronte Parsonage Museum. During these few days I was reading Daphne's 'The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte'. The book made me feel very sorry for this talented and greatly criticised brother of the Bronte sisters, who suffered from epilepsy and schitzophrenia which were not understood at the time. There are suggestions that he actually wrote 'Jane Ayre' or more likely made some contribution to it ---- the brother and three sisters collaborated in their writing from an early age. A few days later I was reading Daphne's biograpy of her father 'Gerald' and laughing out loud at her brilliant descriptions of his antics. I can see that as well as DDM's fiction her biographies are another treat in store. Chris
Christopher Clayton
- Friday, September 29, 2006 at 16:07:10 (GMT)
Thanks for your response, Sam. Your answer was what I should have concluded on my own. It’s so fun to speculate, though. I read “Mrs DeWinter” a long time ago but will be sure to read the prequel you suggested. Having so many unanswered questions in “Rebecca” made for a great discussion in our book group.
Rebecca in VA
- Saturday, September 23, 2006 at 16:15:40 (GMT)
> Hello Rebecca, I enjoyed your description ofyour boat trip very much. You make it sound most mysterious. Like you and your friends, I too have speculated upon Rebecca's background. I never thought of her as aristocratic, more of a social climber. Why else would she wish to ensnare Maxim. Her links with the revolting Favell (weren't they cousins?) suggests a rather seedy background maybe. There is a quite good sequel written (a 'prequel' more accurately I guess) which imagines and explores the background of the character of Rebecca. It is called 'Rebecca's Tale' by Sally Beauman. I read it with some pleasure, and recommend it to you. As we are talking fiction here, Rbecca's story can be whatever the writer wants it to be, so if we don't care for Sally Beauman's version, we can write our own! Best Wishes
- Friday, September 22, 2006 at 20:40:54 (GMT)
Hello, I’m a member of a book club in Virginia and we have just read "Rebecca". The most interesting part of our discussion, for myself, was that many book club members had first read "Rebecca" in their early twenties. Most are now retired, and we were surprised at how much our perspectives as readers have changed since the first time we read "Rebecca." Many were swept away by the romance the first time we read "Rebecca", but we seemed to appreciate the novel for different reasons this time around. Enjoying the work as a commentary on social status was a strong theme in our discussion. Du Maurier’s beautiful prose and wonderful descriptions of Manderley, were also popular. After our lively chat, we took a tour on a pontoon boat around Swift Creek Reservoir . Our group packed a lunch and sailed for about an hour and a half. Motorboats are not allowed on the reservoir, and it was wonderful to glide along the silent waters, enjoying the end of our long, often brutal summer. Thankfully, there were no holes in the boat and no one was hit in he head. One point that our group could not come to agreement on, was the background of Rebecca. One person insisted that she was a grifter of sorts. An opportunistic person who winnowed her way up the social ladder with her well practiced manners and charm. Another member insisted that she was of an aristocratic background. Does anyone have insight on this point?
Rebecca in VA
- Wednesday, September 20, 2006 at 22:37:28 (GMT)
- Monday, September 18, 2006 at 00:18:02 (BST)
Hi Melanie. Good luck with the abstract. I've just finished mine. I gave papers at two conferences this year; one was an international one and very nerve-wracking, but a great feeling when I'd done it. I'm sure you'll be fine. It will be great to see you at the conference if we get accepted. We can provide moral support for each other!
- Tuesday, September 12, 2006 at 21:42:54 (BST)
Hi Amber, I have submitted an abstract for the conference. Not sure if it's been accepted yet though. Public speaking makes me nervous but I'm prepared to give it a go.
- Tuesday, September 12, 2006 at 19:13:00 (BST)
Hi Melanie, I've been incredibly busy too with teaching and PhD so didn't see your post until now. It was great to meet you too and discuss your work on Daphne. Are you preparing an abstract for the conference next year? Mine is still in progress! Once again, it was great to visit Fowey and all the wonderful events that were taking place. Looking forward to next year's festival already! Amber
- Tuesday, September 12, 2006 at 11:07:31 (BST)
Hello Karen, I mentioned Caerhays Castle and its gardens in my contribution to this website on 24 May 2006. Best Wishes.
Hao Clayton
- Sunday, September 10, 2006 at 10:30:34 (BST)
Hi Karen, The 1970's film "Rebecca" was made in Caerhays Castle in Porthluney Cove. Made by BBC-TV, Joann David was the star.
- Wednesday, September 06, 2006 at 21:15:51 (BST)
does anyone know at what location in cornwall rebecca was filmed and what was the name of the house they used to film from
karen tracy <>
- Wednesday, September 06, 2006 at 20:45:08 (BST)
Does anyone know at what location rebecca was filmed i holiday in cornwall nd every time try to find out without much luck, and also if possible what was the name of the house that was used to film from
- Wednesday, September 06, 2006 at 20:38:45 (BST)
I am looking for an online version of "The Birds". Does anyone know if this exists? I was trying to find an MP3 version which I could purchase for my class.
- Wednesday, September 06, 2006 at 14:04:33 (BST)
Hi all Life has been so busy lately that I have not really tuned in much to the website. I enjoyed the festival as much as ever. It was really lovely to meet Amber Larner - a fellow PhD student looking at Daphne du Maurier's work. It was also good to see familiar faces like Sam, Ann and David. I am just coming to the end of the third year of my PhD. So all my active research is done and I just need to write it up as quickly as possible in the 4th year as I won't be getting paid any more by the Uni. Got to finish it before I go broke! I bought Happy Christmas for all my friends last Christmas - took me a while to track down enough copies as its reasonably rare. Just been so see a production of 'My Cousin Rachel' at Nottingham Theatre Royal - part of their thriller season. Seemed to run pretty true to my memories of it so I wasn't disappointed with it. Best wishes to everyone.
- Friday, September 01, 2006 at 16:52:11 (BST)
Hello, Thanks to all who have discussed "Happy Christmas". I had not heard of it before. I found a good copy on e-Bay. It is a great addition to my "Daphne Collection". The book is hardback with a blue cover.
- Tuesday, August 29, 2006 at 19:23:29 (BST)
Hello, I have been reading the messages about Happy Christmas and talking to Sue about it. I have a copy of Happy Christmas which is very like Sues copy, in that it has a red cover with white lettering and a sprig of holly on the front. It was published by Todd Publishing Company, it is not dated but it has a previous owners inscription inside and that is dated 1942. I also have a copy which is the same size (about 7ins x 5ins), but this one is very thin with a paper cover, like a magazine. It is white with red lettering and a green and red sprig of holly on the front cover. This one is not dated either, but was published by Vallancy Press Ltd. Inside the titles are printed in red and the text is printed in green. I have never seen Happy Christmas published in a compilation of Daphne du Maurier’s short stories, but it does appear in a number of books of short stories, where various authors have contributed.
- Tuesday, August 08, 2006 at 17:14:50 (BST)
Sam - many thanks for your excellent Review of this years Festival. It warrants a page on its own, so I've removed it from this page and created a link to it on the left hand menu, under Festival News. Best wishes, John
- Monday, August 07, 2006 at 21:34:27 (BST)
The copy of Happy Christmas that I have (with the blue cover) is just Happy Christmas. It's a small book with just the one story in it.
John K
- Monday, August 07, 2006 at 04:55:53 (BST)
I discovered Daphne du Maurier for the first time in '1996' when our local library had a book sale. I bought 'The House on the Strand' and fell in love with her style writing. I only just now found her site and had no unearthly idea of her many accomplishments. I will surely be back. I hope that you never take it down! I would surely miss it. It is a site one would enjoy coming to more then once. Thank You Mary
- Sunday, August 06, 2006 at 23:33:48 (BST)
Can someone tell me what the other stories are in Happy Christmas ---- I am guessing it is a compilation and as is often the case the stories appear in other compilations, with a different main title
Chris Clayton
- Sunday, August 06, 2006 at 18:17:47 (BST)
thanks for the info on Happy Christmas.
John K
- Tuesday, August 01, 2006 at 19:24:24 (BST)
Just wanted to add some information about Happy Christmas. This was originally published in 1943 by Todd, London. I have two copies, both hardback, one published 1953, which has a red and white cover with a sprig of holly on it, and the other is published by Century in 1984 and has a blue and white cover with a round inset picture of a large house. Basically the book is one short story about a wealthy happy family spending a traditional Christmas together, until things are suddenly disrupted by the arrival, in their home,of two refugees with no where to go. As with some of Daphne's other stories, there is a twist at the end, but I am not going to give it away! Its an interesting little book and a good addition to aynone's collection, hope you enjoy it. Sue
- Monday, July 31, 2006 at 19:13:42 (BST)
I just picked up a copy of the book Happy Christmas on ebay. I didn't see anything listed about it on the site. Does anyone know anything about it? I just recently finished Rule Britannia and was once again awed by Du Maurier's style and imagination. Plus, I just watched the masterpiece theatre edition of Frenchman's Creek and loved it!
John K
- Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 02:36:55 (BST)
Thank you Sam for the prompt response with the source of the Du Maurier quotation that I was looking for. I work with a bereavement group for the local hospice and we hand out Hickman's excellent book to all those that attend grief-counseling sessions. On a personal note, I found it most helpful after my wife of 58+ years died five years ago. Thanks again. RTM
Robert McPherson <>
- Wednesday, July 19, 2006 at 13:47:21 (BST)
Found it, knew it was so familiar. It was in "The Rebecca Notebooks, and Other Memories", from the chapter headed appropriately Death and Widowhood, where Daphbe describes for herself, and for others so afflicted, the death of a much loved husband, and the coming to terms with it's aftermath: grief, shock, loneliness, and all the other. As I read it, I hear her voice, and find it so moving. I remember my own losses, and that's maybe why Daphne tried to help, bless her, and why we honour, at least in part, her memory
- Monday, July 17, 2006 at 22:03:40 (BST)
Help someone.....the quote is Daphne talking after she was widowed, isn't it, but I forget from which book, presumably her later memoirs? Best wishes all.
- Monday, July 17, 2006 at 21:50:43 (BST)
The book "Healing After Loss – Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief" by Martha Whitmore Hickman [Avon Books, 1994] contains several quotes attributed to Daphne Du Maurier. I have contacted the author but was informed that she could not find her notes that would identify the source of any quotations used in the book. Could anyone possible identify the source of the following quotation: "The evenings were the hardest to bear. The ritual of the hot drink, the lumps of sugar for the two dogs, the saying of prayers – his boyhood habit carried on throughout our married life – the goodnight kiss. I continued the ritual..." Thanks for your help. RTM
Robert McPherson <>
- Monday, July 17, 2006 at 17:57:31 (BST)
Thanks to Sam for a wonderful review of this year's Festival, anyone who was unable to come will certainly have a vivid picture of it now. The weather did eventually improve and June and July so far have been glorious. I enjoyed working as a Steward again and it was lovely to see so many friends and familiar faces back again. I am busy now working as part of the Bookends and Bookends too "team" in Fowey, and looking forward to the rest of summer. I recently heard that a new film version of The Birds is being considered, see the following website: Sue
- Tuesday, July 04, 2006 at 20:12:18 (BST)
Rita, I have duplicate hardback copies of "My Cousin Rachel", "Flight of the Falcon", and "The House on the Strand". If you would like to have them, I will send free of charge. I have some others in paperback.
Mildred <>
- Thursday, June 29, 2006 at 21:37:22 (BST)
Hello Rita, Have you tried E-Bay? Good Luck.
Hao Clayton
- Thursday, June 29, 2006 at 16:57:54 (BST)
Hello! My name is Rita and i love daphne books especialy Rebecca.But I wish to have more books of Daphne, but in Portugal is very dificult...
Ana Rita Simoes <>
- Thursday, June 29, 2006 at 16:00:42 (BST)
We too enjoyed the Festival again this year, particularly the inventive treatment of The House On The Strand, and the thought-provoking'Macabre' discussion. We would have welcomed some attempt to define macabre and to examine Daphne's particular views on 'the supernatural' (she said she had neither experienced it nor believed in it, but again that depends on what you mean by it.) I will be trying to learn mre about the association with J.M. Barrie ----- was Piers Dudgeon teasing us as a way of promoting his forthcoming book? While at Fowey, staying in a caravan site near Castle Dore, I read CASTLE DORE and walked there after having asked for directions at the Forge which is referred to in the book! There is a film about Tristan and Isolde soon to be released ---- I wonder which of the many versions of the legend it will be based on. Chris
- Sunday, May 28, 2006 at 18:42:50 (BST)
Cream teas, cornish pasties, du Maurier: all the delights of Cornwall, but alas not much sunshine during the du Maurier Festival. Nevertheless, it did not stop those attending the Festival from enjoying themselves. My husband and myself certainly had a good time in Fowey and look forward to reading your views, Sam. It was most extraordinary the way we met Sam. I was sitting outside The Galleon and my husband was inside ordering food. A gentleman approached my table and asked whether I minded if he joined me: of course I did not mind. He put down his things and went into the pub where my husband heard the woman behind the bar saying , “Hello Sam, it must be du Maurier festival time again” My husband came out after placing an order and said to me “If you want to meet Sam you have found him”. When the gentleman returned I asked, “Are you Sam?” I wish I had my camera ready to capture the expression on his face. We ended up having a good chat and our photographs taken. We bumped into Sam several times during the Festival and met Ann and David from Bookends. Their bookshop is a must for visitors to Fowey. It has a large collection of interesting and unusual books. Through Ann and David we also met Sue. While in Cornwall we visited Caerhays Castle where the BBC drama series, REBECCA, starring Jeremy Brett, Joanna David and Anna Massey, was made in 1978. Caerhays Castle, which is located in a sheltered valley overlooking Porthluney Cove in South Cornwall, is surrounded by 60 acres of woodlands and garden. Caerhays was originally a small manor house when first built in 1370. It has been lived in by two families ever since. In 1808 it was rebuilt as a castle by John Nash. I have studied most of Nash’s work and this building does not appear to be one of his finest. In fact, Nash never visited his creation during its construction. Caerhays Castle and gardens are opened for only a short spell in the Spring. We were thankful that the du Maurier Festival was held in May because the Castle gardens were at their best when we visited. Everywhere, the ground was carpeted with bluebells. In REBECCA, the second Mrs de Winter said “We came to Manderley in early May, arriving, so Maxim said, with the first swallows and the bluebells. It would be the best moment before the flush of summer, and in the valley the azaleas would be prodigal of scent, and the blood-red rhododendrons in bloom”. We did not see any swallows but there was a profusion of azaleas, rhododendrons and wisteria and the gardens could have been those of Manderley. It was a pity we could not bottle the scent of the blooms and release it in the depths of winter in East Anglia, where we live, while reminiscing about our wonderful trip to Cornwall. Sadly, by then the scent will be past its sell-by date. During our tour of Caerhays Castle I tried to identify the main rooms of Manderley, but to my disappointment I was informed by the guide that the BBC film crew never actually went inside the house. All filming was done outside! I’m still trying to persuade the BBC to show the series again, but so far, without success. Best wishes to all.
Hao Clayton
- Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 17:21:49 (BST)
This years Daphne du Maurier festival was great, with all sorts of different events and lots of interesting speakers. Jonathan and Kate should be congratulated for organising, what I think was, the best festival yet. It is always good to see familiar faces coming back to Fowey for the festival each year, but we really missed one or two friends who could not be with us this time. There were a number of events that I particularly enjoyed including the Tywardreath Players wonderful adaptation of “The House on the Strand”, and events about Tristan and Iseult, Jane Austen, Kenneth Grahame and Virginia Woolf. However the event I was really looking forward to was on Friday afternoon – du Maurier and the Macabre, and I was not disappointed. The event took the form of a discussion between Justine Picardie and Piers Dudgeon, chaired by Ella Westland, and discussed Daphne du Maurier’s novels including Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel as well as a number of her short stories, which are often overlooked in discussions about her work. Sadly Piers Dudgeon, in trying to prove a biographical link between Daphne and the affect of the macabre on her writing, made a great many bizarre comments about the relationships and influence that Barrie had on Daphne and her cousins, and seemed to be working on the assumption that if you say something in a clear and positive manner people will accept that it is true. Hopefully not, because he made some very wild accusations, without providing any evidence to back up his comments. Fortunately Justine and Ella knew their subject well and were able to speak with equal confidence, supported with facts, thus providing an excellent discussion. Lets just hope that Mr Dudgeon decides not to go into print with his particular spin on the connection between the du Maurier family and J.M. Barrie. Our dear friend Sam set of for home yesterday and I am hoping that he will put a lengthy account of his feelings about the festival on to this guest page very soon.
- Monday, May 22, 2006 at 16:35:37 (BST)
Just spent a delightful Easter staying with my parents in Cornwall including our usual visit to Fowey. Recharged our batteries with a glimpse of sunshine, crab sandwiches and a boat trip. Marri if you are still around could I PLEASE have my family photos back dear?! Much appreciated and will refund your postage. Jo
joanna wilson
- Tuesday, April 25, 2006 at 16:41:05 (BST)
So here we are again, Festival almost upon us once more. Are we all beginning to buzz, I certainly am. Although I won’t be able to meet a couple of friends from previous years, which I regret, I look forward to happy hours in my favourite place, and I know that Ann and David at Bookends of Fowey will be there, and Rosie and Rob, and Melanie, and others. I,m particularly looking forrard to meeting again my friend Mildred from the Carolinas, who is coming so far, makes my 360 miles from Lincolnshire seem positively puny by comparison. The programme looks really good, and coupled with the well known delights of lovely Cornwall, I expect a magic time. Over recent weeks I’ve been quite preoccupied for, loving Daphne as I do, I’ve found someone whose short stories equal Daphne’s work. Where Daphne’s tend to be serious, even gloomy, (certainly the term ‘gothic’ hovers about), Annie Proulx’ stories have a macabre humour which is quite amazing. I found Annie Proulx because of her story ‘Brokeback Mountain’, which has made such an exceptional film, and Shipping News which was so good with Judy Dench and Kevin Spacey, but in the same book of short stories is one about a man eating horse which is devilishly funny, and another of an obese girl in Wyoming rancher country, who has a two way conversation with an old Fordson tractor, grotesque! I remember Daphne’s The Birds, and Don’t Look Now and most of all (for me) The Old Man, and they are wonderful, but they are quite serious, where Annie Proulx provides an opportunity for laughter, admittedly of the wry uncomfortable kind! It’s interesting to compare the two writers, Daphne as we know comes of an artistic, privileged family, and Annie Proulx, born of French Canadian stock, a three times married, mother of children, seventy year old retired (in favour of writing) American university professor living in Ucross, Wyoming in the ‘mid west’, both able to paint word pictures to ‘die for’. Where does inspiration come from, where does the ability to communicate it come from? It’s enough to make non believers concede the Divinity, for who else could allow human minds to leap from the mundane to the sublime in that way. Anyway my friends, I do hope to meet as many of you as possible in Fowey, if not at the events, then at Safe Harbour up the snicket beside the church, or lounging on the Galleon patio by the river, or on the sunniest spot on a nice day, the Old Ferry next to Ferryside, or maybe just wandering idly about the town. I feel like a football fan, heading for an away game, except that it’s rather like going home really! Best Wishes.
- Monday, April 24, 2006 at 17:10:49 (BST)
Hi Amber, yes please feel free to e-mail me. Also, if you're going to the festival perhaps we could meet up at some point. Monday 15th would be a good day for me. Kind Regards
Melanie <>
- Thursday, April 06, 2006 at 17:58:52 (BST)
I would agree with Melanie that it is very difficult to define Daphne's works as belonging to one particular genre as she wrote in so many (often within the same novel or short story). My own interests lie with the Gothic and psychological aspects of her writing, combined with her work on landscape, place and space (whether literal or symbolic). Melanie - you mentioned in your response to me last October (sorry for the delay in replying!) that you use Jungian theory in relation to Daphne's works. I am also using Jung to examine Daphne and Stephen King's Gothic landscapes. I would be very interested to discuss this further with you (by e-mail) if you have time (I know how busy you'll be with your studies!)as I am just at the beginning of my PhD and still getting to grips with Jungian theory. Best wishes to all. Not long now until the festival!
Amber <>
- Tuesday, April 04, 2006 at 17:07:37 (BST)
Hi, I think this is a very interesting question and I am not sure that the answer is at all obvious. I'm not sure that you can pin Daphne du Maurier down to just one genre. There is a book which looks at her work in the context of the Gothic - and certainly lots of her books and stories have a Gothic element to them. But she also wrote historical novels, biographical novels etc. Her works also have a strong psychological content, and don't shy away from looking at all aspects of the human condition. You could also put her in the context of regional writing - about Cornwall.
- Friday, March 24, 2006 at 11:57:14 (GMT)
Hi. I am sorry to ask such a basic question but I have heard conflicting reports and being a criminal trial attorney in inner city courts in Boston, Mass I have very limited knowledge of literature except for rudimentary concepts etc. Is Daphne du Maurier a mystery writer or a novelist or is the distinction blurred in her case? Most every novel has some element of mystery but what would someone "classify" her as re genre, and I hesitate to use those words because from what I can see she is an artist above all else !! Thanks. Davis C. Bruce
dave bruce <>
- Wednesday, March 22, 2006 at 21:39:33 (GMT)
Kits has very generously sent me some new photographs, for inclusion in the Photo Gallery. Click HERE to view them.
They include photographs of Q's Memorial, the Hall Walk, Pont Creek and Lanteglos Church.
- Wednesday, March 22, 2006 at 15:46:30 (GMT)
I want the family to know how special the Daphne duMaurier books have been to me through the years. I discovered Frenchman's Creek when I was 13 (some 40+ years ago!) and even though it's in my memory, as soon as I read about the wind rippling the surface of Helford River, I relax and sink into the past. It's like it's new to me every time even though I've had the book all these years. I have a first edition of The Parasites. I always regret that I never wrote to Dame duMaurier when she was alive to tell her how much I treasure her books. I live in Canada and visited Cornwall (Jamaica Inn) in 2004 (what a disappointment) but the countryside was magnificent. Visiting Lanhydrock was a dream come true . I plan another visit to UK in Sept 2006 and perhaps will get to Helford this time.
marilyn baptist <>
- Monday, March 20, 2006 at 17:41:21 (GMT)
Performances of My Cousin Rachel 29 March - 1 April 2006 Athenaeum Theatre, Plymouth Devon, England
- Sunday, March 19, 2006 at 17:06:26 (GMT)
Hi Lucy, it all really depends on a few things: how famous the person is that you want to see, whether it's an event about Daphne du Maurier etc. For some events, if there is enough additional interest (e.g. a walk, coach trip), they may lay on a second version of the event so you would still be OK (I think they put you on a waiting list for an event of this kind). Kind Regards.
- Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 10:51:39 (GMT)
Hi, Thanks for info on this site, I got to the on-line event booking for the festival. Does anyone know how quickly the pre-book events fill up? My traveling companions are away and won't be back until next week. Thank you to BookEnds for posting the appropriate website. Thanks, Lucy
- Monday, March 13, 2006 at 14:44:22 (GMT)
Hello, I am trying to get the 2006 festival brochure sent to me and cannot get a response from restormel site (web site not working) and I cannot get through the telephone. We have three people going to the festival and need to pre-order tickets for various events. Can you recommend how I might get the ticket order and brochure? I would be willing to pay for overnight shipment to get it asap. Thanks
lucy douty <>
- Monday, March 13, 2006 at 14:20:34 (GMT)
Hi everyone, I have finally booked my accommodation for the Daphne du Maurier Festival - so it's all one step closer now. Looking forward to seeing everyone in May. I hope Bookends is saving up some good Daphne stuff that I can raid!
- Saturday, March 04, 2006 at 15:27:04 (GMT)
Just finished Rule Brittania, and after reading The Flight of the Falcon and The Scapegoat, it is good to be back on familiar Cornish ground. However, Travanel and its inhabitants are a world removed from those of Manderley or Jamaica Inn -it comes across more as an Orwellian style cautionary tale set at Cold Comfort Farm. While her usual bounds of propriety are never overstepped, she doesn't shy away from the occasional vulgarity; the bits where the youngest boys are learning to swear using faltering Spoonerisms are actually charming - and the acronym for the United States and the United Kingdom - USUK - has been appropriated as an epithet by a younger generation(at least here in America). Though the mood of hi jinks and good humour is maintained throughout the novel, many serious ethical and political issues are raised that are worthy of discussion. I have to add that I was a bit saddened by the ending, but DdM was never a sentimentalist so I can't say that I was surprised at the denoument. It's a pity that this still quite topical book isn't better known!
- Thursday, March 02, 2006 at 20:24:29 (GMT)
Hi everybody, Check out the latest about the festival on They have done a great job. See you all there.
David <>
- Thursday, February 23, 2006 at 09:34:20 (GMT)
Hi Malinda, if you contact Ann & David at they have copies of this book and will be able to help you out I'm sure.
- Tuesday, February 21, 2006 at 20:03:25 (GMT)
In reference to my earlier post, I kept at trying to find the way to order the Angela Du Maurier book, and found it myself.. So, no response necessary... I enjoy reading everyone's thoughts about DDM's motivations that drove her stories. Very thought-provoking. Malinda in Oregon, USA
- Tuesday, February 21, 2006 at 17:20:36 (GMT)
Hello to all, I'm writing about family relationships and was intrigued to find out that Daphne had a sister who was a writer. I would like to buy a copy of Angela DuMaurier's book, It's Only The Sister, but there doesn't seem to be a PayPal link to the U.S. Can anyone tell me how to accomplish this? Thank you in advance.
- Tuesday, February 21, 2006 at 15:12:04 (GMT)
Helen Regarding staying at Fowey if you are interested in self-catering there is an agency called (if I remember) Cornish Cottages which you shold find with a Google search which has a lot of properties in Fowey. We have stayed at The Old Tack House (again if my memory is OK) which is just about 5 minutes walk from the Festival Village and also on the minibus route (they dropped us off at the gate when coming up from a visit to the town and harbour). If you are interested but cannot find the info let me know and I will find it for you. I have just thrown the Cottages book out as although we go every year to the Festival it is usually in our motorcaravan.
Chris <>
- Wednesday, February 15, 2006 at 16:08:55 (GMT)
It is great to have a guestbook to share comments and thoughts about DDM. I have always loved "Rebecca" and after a holiday in 2004, staying in Waterwich, Polruan [magical views over the water], my interest has developed greatly and I tried to visit as many places as possible pertaining to DDM's life and books. So I was wondering about coming down for the festival, or part of it. Any ideas about where to stay? Any thoughts about the best places to go?Any replies would be welcome! Helen
Helen <>
- Tuesday, February 14, 2006 at 13:47:35 (GMT)
Thanks to all concerned for putting all the photos on, it was lovely to see them all.
- Saturday, February 04, 2006 at 20:45:21 (GMT)
Just to say hello and thanks to Sam for the recent photos you have put on the site, and many thanks to Kits for allowing us all to share the wonderful views of his home.
- Saturday, February 04, 2006 at 14:59:33 (GMT)
Sam, many thanks for the additional photos. I think they deserve their own category, so I have located them in: Fowey >> Kits Photos
- Friday, February 03, 2006 at 00:50:39 (GMT)
Hello to all...after being away and out of touch for many a months, it brings me a sigh of relief and much pleasure to realise the thing we all maintain in common, - is our love of Daphne and our love of Cornwall. And what a beautiful photo and how thoughtful of you Sam, to share it with us! Fowey truly is magical, isn't it. My own current wallpaper is of Golitha Falls and it views the river flowing through at sunrise in the autumn. How beautiful it appears. One of my all time one day visit Cornwall's Beautiful Countryside and see if for myself. My journey, would no doubt, begin in Fowey. Aaah, one of these of these days! Take care everyone, and best wishes for this New Year. Sincerely,
- Monday, January 30, 2006 at 04:57:55 (GMT)
All that I love in Daphne is the other me she shows in every of her wonderful photos of a probably world. Mistery and joy, a way in beleving life
Maria Laura <>
- Sunday, January 29, 2006 at 15:09:49 (GMT)
Thanks Sam for the lovely picture. I printed it and will add it to my Fowey scrapbook.
- Wednesday, January 25, 2006 at 12:26:41 (GMT)
Sam - many thanks for uploading the photo from Kits - what a beautiful, atmospheric evening. It can be found on the photogallery, under Fowey>Ferryside - click HERE
- Wednesday, January 25, 2006 at 12:19:24 (GMT)
Hello everyone, I hope you're all well, and looking forward to warmer weather, as I am. I'm trying NOT to wish on the Festival too soon, time passes far too quickly anyway. Some time ago Kits sent me a picture he'd taken of a lovely winter sunset looking down the river to the harbour entrance, and I currently have it as a screensaver on my machine. It looks really lovely, and Kits says it's ok for me to post it on the website for us all to enjoy! I hope you all like it as much as I do. If he wouldn't mind my saying so I think he has a 'good eye' for a view, (or was it in Room With A View where they were called a 'prospect?). It really 'gets my motor running'. Best Wishes everyone.
- Monday, January 23, 2006 at 12:11:17 (GMT)
Wondering when the website will be updated for this year's 2006 festival. I've rented a house for the week of May 12 for the festival and am anxious to hear details. Any chance of getting Sally Beauman to come? I thought her book, Rebecca's Tale, was wonderful and would love to see her. Any information would be appreciated. Thank you, Lucy
- Monday, January 23, 2006 at 00:42:13 (GMT)
It has been good to see lots of discussion taking place on the guest page recently. Daphne du Maurier wrote some truly excellent short stories. ‘Ganymede’ is one such story, and is probably not particularly well known. As Richard says it appears in ‘The Breaking Point’ (1959). It appears again in ‘The Treasury of du Maurier Short Stories’ (1960) and then ‘The Blue Lenses and Other Stories’ (1970), this was the title given to ‘The Breaking Point’ when Penguin published it in paperback. As far as I can see these were the only occasions that this story was published in a du Maurier collection and all these books are now out of print. Richard is also correct when he says that ‘Ganymede’ is included in a book called ‘In Another Part of the Forrest’, this is an anthology of gay short fiction and was published in the US in 1994. Moving on to the question about the book ‘Mary Anne’ and the dedication it contains to Gertrude Lawrence. As far as I am aware the idea of Gertrude Lawrence playing the part of Mary Anne Clarke on stage was no more that an idea, which never came to fruition, because of Gertrude’s untimely death. I have never seen anything to suggest that a script was ever written and I have always imagined that the idea died with Gertrude.
- Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 18:04:37 (GMT)
Thank you Sam and Mildred for your comments on Ganymede. I have surfed the Net and found that the story was published with others within "Breaking Point" and "In Another Part of the Forest".Are both titles right? I shall try to get a copy in either Borders or the local library.On an unrelated subject: I very much enjoyed DDM's "Mary Anne"- an historical novel based upon the life of DDM's great, great grandmother, Mary Anne Clarke.The book is dedicated to both MAC and the actress Gertrude Lawrence who was to have taken the part of MAC on the stage but died [in 1952] before the play could be produced. I wonder if any members know if the play was ever produced- but with another actress- or did the producer just abandon his plans on the death of GL? I believe that GL did visit Cornwall during WW2 and that her husband/manager Richard Aldrich was stationed in Cornwall for part of the war with the US forces.
Richard Brown
- Sunday, January 08, 2006 at 12:49:55 (GMT)
About a year ago there was a contribution in the Members Forum explaining why the wonderful BBC 1978 version of 'Rebecca', featuring a brilliant cast including Jeremy Brent, Joanna David and Anna Massey, cannot be released on DVD/Video because of contractual and copyright reasons. I have, however, found out that it is possible to ring BBC Information on 08700 100 222, to request a repeat of programmes that have been previously broadcast. I have done this recently, and thought that if they receive enough requests for this version of 'Rebecca' we would maybe have a chance to savour this masterpiece again. We live in hope! Bye for now, Larraine.
- Saturday, January 07, 2006 at 16:20:37 (GMT)
Happy New Year to everybody, I hope you all had a good one. Sam, take another look it’s Ivy not Holly, and the Tinners is better than it use to be... Look forward to seeing everybody at the Festival not long now, May is just around the corner. We have Snowdrops & Daff's poking their heads up as you walk up Church Ave.
- Thursday, January 05, 2006 at 19:47:28 (GMT)
Hello Sam and All. I have enjoyed the "to and fro" from all contributors about 'Don't Look Now'. After Sam's wonderful input yesterday, I rushed to read 'Ganymede' again. My opinion, or conclusion, is that both 'Don't Look Now' and 'Ganymede'are classic Daphne where she allows us to use our own imagination to end these books as well as some of her other works. Happy New Year to all!
- Tuesday, January 03, 2006 at 14:27:58 (GMT)
Hello everyone, A Very Happy New Year, I hope all your wishes came true (mine didn’t- everyone say “oooooh!”).......... There’s been quite an interesting exchange of ideas here recently, hasn’t there? I too for a long time thought that Death in Venice was based upon a gay Mahler and I was disappointed with myself eventually when I realised that I’d been taken in by the storyline. Admittedly one can only base assumptions upon available fact, and I knew little about Mahler so I didn’t feel as let down as I might. Years ago I knew somebody who was unable to separate truth from fiction, and if a character was a certain way, then the actor must be that way too. Alf completely missed the point of an actor’s skill; bless him, and nothing I could say would change his opinion. It’s hilarious to think now what actors or actresses he had pegged as psychotic or romantic or gay, or whatever! That’s why maybe, I’m as interested in who will PLAY a character, as in anything else. I gather that while Daphne was aware if Thomas Mann’s book, and the film did come out a couple of years before Don’t Look Now, Daphne’s inspiration stemmed from her own experiences, and was not connected with Death in Venice (a beautiful film, marvellously acted, but ultimately for me, dreary - sorry devotees!) Apparently Daphne loved Venice and visited it quite a few times; I’ve read somewhere that she told the story of how on her last visit she had seen what she thought was a child jumping from boat to boat, and two old ladies, probably sisters, eating in a restaurant, and one of them was blind. And she loved walking in the back streets which she thought very sinister. So it would appear that that’s when that story began to gel! It’s maybe worth remembering that her stories did emanate from her imagination, but based upon her own experiences! I’m on shaky ground because I’m unsure of dates, but could she have written “I’ll Never Be Young Again” had she not been on a cruise to the Baltic on a private yacht? Perhaps Ann at the Bookshop will put me right if I’m wrong there, my point is valid though, I hope............. By the way Ann thanks for the picture of you and David at Safe Harbour, dressed especially for New Year’s Eve, I thought you Ann looked truly patrician, your stola was to die for. David looked like a cross between the Ghost of Christmas Past, and a refugee from ‘Up Pompeii'- BUT NONE THE WORSE FOR THAT!!! Was the ‘glow’ due to make up (less likely) than bonhomie (more likely!), and I’ve never seen holly worn quite like that before? I feel I may pay later for my critique! Going back to DLN, I think Richard might find Daphne’s short story ‘Ganymede’ interesting; it does have considerable similarities to Death in Venice, but for me is immeasurably tauter than the florid film of Death in Venice. Daphne never fails to ‘hit the spot’. This story is cruel, beautiful, callous, horrifying, and leaves one deeply aware of the difference between selfless love and the selfish variety! I’m turning into a Mills and Boon writer. And on that happy note........
- Monday, January 02, 2006 at 12:00:37 (GMT)
On the face of it, there would not appear to be many similarities between these two tales other than the brevity of each, the Venetian setting, and the three word title beginning with the letter D. Cinematically, Visconti's hazy languidity is rather a far cry from Nic Roeg's nightmarish, Felliniesque approach. The evocative use of the great Adagietto from Gustav Mahler's 5th symphony has erroneously given credence to the notion that the character of von Aschenbach was modelled on Mahler.
- Monday, January 02, 2006 at 00:36:50 (GMT)
Happy new year, Melanie. I have not read Thomas Mann's Death in Venice but I have seen the film. I must say that I can see no resemblance to Don't Look Now but that is only my opinion. The latter is based on the supernatural, misty canal labyrinths, the Church, intrigues, heterosexual passion,a drowning, a near-fatal accident and a murder. The former is based upon the Lido in Venice circa 1900, an opulent hotel and a lonely man's [ he was a German composer ] latent homosexual yearnings for a beautiful blond-haired boy. Our meetings in Fowey centred only around the Safe Harbour with Sam, Barbara, Beverley, Rob, Rose et al, also as you set off with Sam for your visit to Ferryside. Witb best wishes-Richard Brown.
Richard Brown
- Sunday, January 01, 2006 at 17:18:00 (GMT)