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Du Maurier Forum Archive - 2007

On 31st December a short season of Celebrity Mastermind begins on BBC1 and at 7pm on 1st January Jan Ravens is appearing with her specialist subject being Daphne du Maurier. It will be interesting to see how she gets on and how many of the answers we du Maurier enthusiasts know. Good luck Jan I hope you do really well.
- Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 18:01:29 (GMT)
Many thanks Collin. I am happy to wait until May and look forward to meeting up again. Have heard from Sue that Ann has had to take it easy after slipping a disc. So Ann hope you are feeling much better.
- Saturday, December 01, 2007 at 11:44:26 (GMT)
The Dream and Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier is actually a level 4 (intermediate) Penguin/Longman active reading paperback, aimed at introducing children to writers and styles of writing. Books in this series include either a novel or a number of short stories, written more simply and including questions to encourage the reader to think about what they are reading, there is often a CD with the book. This particular title includes ‘The Birds’ by Daphne du Maurier and five other short stories including ‘The Dream’ by Frank Tilsley and ‘The Blind Man’ by D.H. Lawrence. A small number of Daphne du Maurier’s best know novels are also included in this series, such as ‘Jamaica Inn’ and ‘Rebecca’ and I have found them useful for people whose first language is not English, that want to read something by Daphne du Maurier but are daunted by the full size novel. I hope this helps.
- Friday, November 30, 2007 at 11:45:33 (GMT)
I am currently reading all of Daphne du Maurier's work (sort of) in sequence and in parallel reading Margaret Forster's biography. On Amazon I came across Dream and other stories. Can anyone tell me where they fit in?
Barbara Stock
- Friday, November 30, 2007 at 11:16:28 (GMT)
Re: Collin Langley Hello, I have been searching for a copy of the BBC2 Daphne drama (2007) for quite some time now and hoping that someone had a copy. So I was really pleased to see your message from Tues, 16th October Collin, saying that you would be happy to lend out your copy. If this is still okay, I would love to borrow a copy please, and you would be a God-send! If you would be able to contact me on the e.add given, I can pass on my details. Many Thanks, & Wishing You Well, Ag.
Ag <>
- Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 08:52:48 (GMT)
Linda, I have very fond memories of the du Maurier Conference in May particularly the visit to Ferryside and the new friends I made. I remember you well and our exchange of views. Thanks for your kind comments on my presentation. I live in Chelmsford and certainly plan to attend the 2008 Festival. I should be happy to post you the list of music or bring it with me to Fowey. It's rather long to include in the Members Forum. Best wishes. Collin
Collin Langley
- Friday, November 23, 2007 at 18:53:00 (GMT)
Yes Colin I would be interested in seeing the full list. I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation at the Conference. Do you think you will be at next year's Festival?
- Thursday, November 22, 2007 at 18:02:38 (GMT)
I was interested in Melanie's comments on the BBC 2 film 'Daphne' (Members Forum 27/5/07). I'm very interested in Daphne's musical tastes and presented a paper on the subject at this year's Conference. Tom Smail is credited with providing the incidental music to the BBC film and he very kindly sent me a complete listing which I'd be willing to share with any du Maurier enthusiast.
Collin Langley
- Friday, October 26, 2007 at 08:12:09 (GMT)
Good day all, I am in the U.S. My Aunt was a friend of Dame du Maurier. I would like to order the two DVDs which are listed on the home page, "Make Believe...." and "Vanishing Cornwall" as gifts for my Aunt. My question is are these two DVD's playable on a DVD player in the U.S.? Thank you for any help.
John Jayne <>
- Friday, October 19, 2007 at 13:04:16 (GMT)
I have a copy of the BBC film 'Daphne' I'd be willing to lend. This is a controversial film that has been severely criticised for good reason, by Daphne's family and many du Maurier enthusiasts that I've spoken to.I also have a copy of Rick Stein's more interesting Du Maurier Country which was broadcast on 12 May last.
Collin Langley
- Tuesday, October 16, 2007 at 10:53:18 (GMT)
I have a question that a du Maurier fan could possibly answer: When I was very young, I once read a short story - a novella really - about a woman who starts using a ouji board and connects with someone called "The Captain" or "Captain (somebody)". This was a creepy, wonderful gothic-style tale that has stayed with me. I believe it was written by Daphne du Maurier but have never been able to find it. Is anyone familiar with this story? I would appreciate any information I can get. Thanks in advance!
- Monday, October 15, 2007 at 15:56:55 (GMT)
FAO Judi who wrote on the 7th of Oct: You were not being dense, in fact Menabilly can't be visited as it is privately owned. I would like to relate my experiences on my recent travels to Cornwall. My finacé and I went and visited in late September and to be honest, I was very disappointed how little on Daphne there is to be seen in Fowey. My first stop was the Tourist Information Centre and after having a look around the very meagre display I asked the lady at the desk if there was a museum on Daphne in Fowey. She said, "This is it". When I asked if Menabilly could be visited, she looked at me as if I was completely mad and said, "Well she only lived there for 25 years. It has been owned by the Rashleigh family for hundreds of years!". (I felt like saying, "And who is more famous?" but I didn't.) The friendly man in the bookshop on the corner, (Bookends of Fowey) directly opposite, was being a lot more helpful in that he told me about the Festival that takes place every year in May and he also pointed me in the direction of Ferryside. Finacé and I walked to the edge of the water and I at least had the chance to take a few nice pictures. On the whole though, I think they could make a whole lot more of an effort to honour and remember Daphne in Fowey. It is a beautiful place but it almost seems like there is no effort made to commemorate her at all. Very very disappointing.
Katharina, Germany
- Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 08:05:39 (GMT)
We went to look for Menabilly - found the villagfe but no one seemed to know where the house was - were we being dense?
- Sunday, October 07, 2007 at 20:41:40 (GMT)
If anyone is interested, The Daphne Du Maurier event at Cheltenham Literature is my top blog story today. Does anyone have the Rick Stein Video or DVD I could borrow? Jake, Cheltenham
Jake Stavrinides <>
- Sunday, October 07, 2007 at 18:39:26 (GMT)
In the course of collecting information for my books and stories I have interviewed hundreds of people, each one with a tale to tell. It is therefore surprising that in spite of the fact that my mother had known Daphne Du Maurier in the 1920s, I had never sat down with pen and paper to collect the details. The situation has now been remedied and the result is a short story entitled "Muriel's Friend". If anyone would like a copy please e-mail your request. Tony Mansell
Tony Mansell <>
- Saturday, September 29, 2007 at 17:49:01 (GMT)
In the course of collecting information for my books and stories I have interviewed hundreds of people, each one with a tale to tell. It is therefore surprising that in spite of the fact that my mother had known Daphne Du Maurier in the 1920s, I had never sat down with pen and paper to collect the details. The situation has now been remedied and the result is a short story entitled "Muriel's Friend".
Tony Mansell
- Wednesday, September 26, 2007 at 13:11:37 (GMT)
Yesterday I saw a local news story to the effect that the Festival had made a loss o over £30,000 and Restormal were considering its future. The problem presumably is not poor attendance, as almost everything I went to was (as usual)very well supported. I hope we will be kept informed of developments. Chris Clayton
- Wednesday, September 19, 2007 at 17:58:28 (GMT)
I have been wanting to put a message on to the guestbook in answer to the question about the Reverend Frederick Densham, Vicar of Warleggan and the fictitious Reverend Frances Davey, and I do apologise for taking so long to reply. It has been very hectic in Fowey with summer visitors and then Regatta Week, but now things have calmed down to a more sedate pace and there is time to answer e-mails and catch up with people again. The question of whether the character of the Rev. Davey in Daphne du Maurier’s novel Jamaica Inn was in some way inspired by the very real and eccentric Rev. Densham is one that crops up from time to time. There is a paragraph in Daphne’s autobiography Growing Pains: The Shaping of a Writer, Victor Gollancz 1977 page168 in which she refers to spending two nights at Jamaica Inn with Foy Quiller-Couch, this being the occasion when they became lost on the moor with their horses. She recalls sitting in the inn by the peat fire reading Treasure Island and the parson from Altarnun talking to her during one of the evenings. She sites these events as being memories that brewed in her mind and found their way into the novel of Jamaica Inn. In Vanishing Cornwall, Victor Gollancz 1967 page 134 she tells the extraordinary true story of the Rev. Densham of Warleggan. She says that Foy Quiller-Couch had told her about the Rev. Densham and that they made another visit to Jamaica Inn and from there to Warleggan to see the church and the vicarage where silence and desolation engulfed them. It seems that the Rev. Denham would have been vicar of Warleggan at the time when Daphne and Foy made their visits to Jamaica Inn and yet it was Foy and not the parson from Altarnun who told Daphne about the strange vicar at Warleggan. It is a great theory that the evil and madness of Francis Davey could have been based on Frederick Densham, but I can not find anything in Daphne’s writing to confirm this…unless anyone else knows different.
- Thursday, September 06, 2007 at 11:55:29 (GMT)
Can anyone please confirm that `Jamaica Inn` was at least in part inspired by the eccentricities of the Reverend Frederick Densham, Vicar of Warleggan? The ficticious Reverend Frances Davey was the Vicar of Altarnun and shared the same initials and locality as Densham. I am researching Frederick Densham and came across a reference somewhere that his eccentricities were the inspiration for one of the du Maurier novels....but it omitted to say which one. `Jamaica Inn` seems to be the leading candidate but I would be grateful either for confirmation....or the true alternative. Thank you so much for your help.
Peter Hopgood <>
- Thursday, August 23, 2007 at 16:11:09 (GMT)
My wife recently received a letter written in 1954 to her mother by Daphne du Maurier. My mother-in-law had written to Daphne du Maurier to ask her whether she was planning to write a sequel to Rebecca. The letter which I have contains the response. It is on letterhead "Menabiily Par Cornwall". Is there any interest in this document?
Henry Zimmer <>
- Tuesday, July 31, 2007 at 22:27:25 (GMT)
This is a wonderful web site and very informative. Myself and my husband went ro Cornwall about 2 years ago and went to many of the places mentioned in Miss du Maurier's books our favorite was Jamica Inn where we stayed overnight, to say it was creepy at night is an understatement. On the whole tho she was a wonderful writer and much misunderstood in her lifetime.
tracy lawrence <>
- Thursday, July 05, 2007 at 15:56:45 (GMT)
Thank you Sam for your wonderful review of the Festival and Fowey. I missed the action this year but I am delighted that there will be another in 2008.
- Saturday, June 02, 2007 at 12:34:13 (GMT)
(Sam's review of the 2007 is available HERE)
Sam <>
- Friday, June 01, 2007 at 20:35:40 (GMT)
Despite the wet weather, Doug [my long-suffering husband]and I had a great time at the DDM Festival. The best session was the one where DDM's children reminisced to a large audience! I was utterly transfixed and wished I had taken notes. Does anybody know whether there will be a transcription of that session? I would love to think somebody had recorded it for posterity. It was nice to meet so many like-minded people.
Helen <>
- Wednesday, May 30, 2007 at 22:58:14 (GMT)
Hello, I am hoping my friends have managed to record this. So I will keep you posted. I am not sure how true to life the film of Daphne was, and I watched it with some trepidation especially since Daphne's children advised us all to watch Eurovision instead. I have to say that I ignored the fact that it was about Daphne and just watched it for the 40s glamour. I also loved the songs of the era on the soundtrack. I am too young to remember the 40s, but my mother watched it and she said she was captivated by all the memories of the era that it brought back from when she was little.
- Sunday, May 27, 2007 at 13:08:18 (GMT)
Hi everyone , Just have to say how much i enjoyed the televised film of Daphne du Maurier which was shown on the BBC a few weeks back Did anyone manage to record this or have a copy available for sale? Thanks
Charmaine <>
- Saturday, May 26, 2007 at 13:03:30 (GMT)
Hello, so the Centenary Conference and Festival have come and gone and it's goodbye to Fowey for another year. I enjoyed my week in Cornwall immensely. The Conference seemed to go really well and I particularly enjoyed the fact that people came from all over the world for it. Festival: I can only agree about the Event where Daphne's Children reminisced - such a great session. I also enjoyed seeing Michael Portillo. I bumped into him in the street looking lost and had a quick chat with him. Enjoyed meeting up again with Ann, David, Sam, Amber and family. Met lots of new and lovely people. Hope to see you all again next year.
- Wednesday, May 23, 2007 at 19:53:45 (GMT)
Does anyone have any comments on the article in the Daily Mail, Sat May 12? Chris
- Friday, May 18, 2007 at 18:55:51 (GMT)
Just a quick reply to Wilson, re Daphne's birth date, 13th May 1907. The festival is going really well again this time, despite a months worth of rain in about two days! - still people come and enjoy. The highlight of all the festivals had to be last Saturday afternoon in a audience with Daphne's children in conversation with Helen Taylor - absolutely wonderful and so lovely of them to come and talk freely about their mother and share their memories with us all, much apreciated. Sue
- Monday, May 14, 2007 at 17:57:13 (GMT)
Just began my fourth Du Maurier book tonight, Frenchman's Creek. The Birds, Jamiaca Inn and Rebecca have given me so much pleasure that I'm sure this one will too. Great dramatisation on BBC7 also. Have missed the Rick Stein doc. Is it repeated on BBC4 I wonder?
Jake <>
- Sunday, May 13, 2007 at 21:03:53 (GMT)
Love the site. It is very fitting for such a great imaginative author. Can anyone tell me her exact date of birth?
Wilson <>
- Saturday, May 12, 2007 at 18:41:41 (GMT)
I travelled to Fowey last summer on a research trip for my undergraduate dissertation on doubling in du Maurier's novels. I loved her then and thankfully, despite all the stress of getting the dissertation completed and handed in on time, I still enjoy reading her novels! Even though it's a little late to help me with my work I'm loving the fact that there's so much Daphne stuff going on at the moment and I'm looking forward to reading the new Companion once my exams are over. I really wish I could make it to the Festival but said exams start next week so travelling from Durham to Cornwall for the weekend is sadly out of the question. But to all those going and involved - I hope it goes fantastically well. I'll be glued to the TV for Saturday night instead. I also wanted to say a quick thank you to the Bookends staff who spent about an hour talking to and inspiring me with my research last summer. I really appreciated it! Hannah
- Tuesday, May 08, 2007 at 21:20:03 (GMT)
Thanks Ann for details of the Rick Stein programme. "Daphne" follows on at 9.00 p.m.
- Monday, May 07, 2007 at 17:30:21 (GMT)
There is a good full-page article on Daphne's short stories in The Guardian Saturday Review 05/05/07 page 22. quote "a writer of fearless originality". I think we might agree with that. We will be at the Festival again for part of the time. Chris (and Pauline) Clayton
- Sunday, May 06, 2007 at 10:18:55 (GMT)
Denham Productions is the company that has produced the Rick Stein programme - The Road to Manderley. I had a telephone call from Arzoo, at Denham, this week and she confirmed that the programme will go out on Saturday 12th May at 8.10pm on BBC2. So unless there are any last minute scheduling problems people who are at home should sit down and watch it and people who are coming to Fowey for the festival should set their DVDs before they leave home!
- Sunday, May 06, 2007 at 07:41:04 (GMT)
Referring to Sue's comments of the forthcoming productions "Daphne" and Rick Stein's "The road to Manderley". These are definately not on this weekend. I have looked up to the BBC site and "Daphne" will be on sometime in two weeks time - date to be decided. However there is no mention of when Rick Stein's programme is to be televised. I just cannot wait to see both.
Carole Thomas
- Saturday, May 05, 2007 at 13:42:39 (GMT)
Thanks Linda for your information re. Woman's Hour. There are a couple more I know of, Radio 4, Sunday 6th May Classic Serial, My Cousin Rachel, and Radio 4, Tuesday 8th May, Afternoon Play, The Alibi. Not sure of the exact times. Also the Rick Stein programme and the TV Drama about Daphne are due this coming weekend, Sat/Sun 5th-6th May, check press for exact times. Sue
- Monday, April 30, 2007 at 12:32:24 (GMT)
BBC Radio 4 Womans Hour are doing a series of articles looking at the areas in Cornwall which gave Daphne inspiration and settings for her books. Last Tuesday (24th April 2007) featured Lynn (Gould), Helen (Doe) and Kits (Browning) on Polruan and Hall Walk. It can be found on the BBC website unde: ‘Daphne du Maurier walk – The Loving Spirit’ on the following link The second one today Monday 30 April – Jamaica Inn featuring Chrissie (?) and Ella Westland can be found via I am looking forward very much to seeing friends old and new at the Festival.
- Monday, April 30, 2007 at 10:17:43 (GMT)
I posted the original article below on the Brokeback board, and thought this edited version might be of interest to my du Maurier friends.

Talking to my friend Sue from Nottingham, who apparently goes to Cornwall annually with her husband and kids.....

Where do you stay in Cornwall?; for years, back to the 'swinging sixties', I used to go to Newquay (bells and smells and all that, not me, too buttoned up), ..... years passed and Newquay went 'down market', pushchairs and drunkenness, graffiti and dog calling cards , quite horrid after what had gone before. Needless to say attempts have been made to minimize the problems, and it's a lot better now maybe, but for me the '60's were once in a lifetime, and never to be repeated or forgotten!

I started going to Fowey for the day, after Daphne died in 1989 to 'pay my respects'. It hurt me that there was nothing to see, it was as though nobody but me cared!. Then about ten years ago an annual festival commenced, ten days set around her birthday on the 13 May. So, that's where I'm off to in a couple of weeks.

Walking around Fowey at this time of year, I'm overwhelmed by the flowers, primroses (primeroles) violets and especially the scent of wild garlic, which I adore. The friends are great, the pubs are terrific, the whole town is one family it sometimes seems, all determined to have a happy time, and all to honour that splendid, prickly, rather antisocial, Fowey loving woman, who wrote many stories, including The Birds, Jamaica Inn, Don't Look Now, My Cousin Rachel., and of course 'Rebecca'.... 'Manderley' is based in part on Menabilly, an ages old house near by, which Daphne leased, lived in and loved for twenty or so years. We can't see it though, it's owned by the equally ancient Rashleigh family who live there now, and they treasure their privacy, quite rightly, more than jewels.

What's all this to do with our boys, nothing much. Maybe the feeling I have for ole Brokeback is echoed in my love for Daphne, whose imagination was nonpareil, without peer.... An unknown short story has just come to light, 'And His Letters Grew Colder', about a young person, groomed, used and discarded by a sophisticated man, absolutely true to life, and written by a young woman of good family with nothing to guide her but her instinctive knowledge of what 'makes people tick'!

Another Annie Proulx!
Best Wishes all
- Saturday, April 21, 2007 at 23:20:11 (GMT)

I was very pleased to read in this guest book that the BBC2 Drama "Daphne" was to be screened on 21st April. However, I have scoured my TV pages and cannot find it listed anywhere! Does anyone know the date on which it will be screened? I hope it's screened before the Festival because it should give rise to some lively discussions! I am looking forward to the Festival SO MUCH!!!
- Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at 18:15:52 (GMT)
Hi All, I read The Times article. It was interesting to read the 'lost story' and great to see Ann getting the credit for finding it. I was disappointed by the article, it was very speculative about DDM's private life and did not add to my appreciation of DDMs work.
- Monday, April 16, 2007 at 14:35:40 (GMT)
Hello, Just to say that I have read the articles published this weekend in various newspapers and find them all very interesting, although not always acurate, and personally, not always agreeing with some of the comments and information. In the April issue of Cornwall Life there are two very good articles, one on Fowey generally, and another on Ferryside with lovely photos of the inside and gardens. For those of you not here in Cornwall I understand you can order a copy online from On a personal message to Sam, don't worry we already have a spare copy waiting for you! I will be working as a steward again this year so please all come and say hello up a the Festival Village - not long now.
- Monday, April 16, 2007 at 10:27:53 (GMT)
Hi everyone, We're getting near to our annual get together at the Festival, and I'm anticipating it eagerly. I've bought a swathe of tickets, for both the Festival Village and for the Town Hall. We really are lucky to have this wonderful 'Daphne Fest' to enjoy. I just hope lovely Fowey is ready for us, in this Daphne's centenary year! I gather there is an article in The Times supplement about Daphne, tomorrow and including input from our friend Ann Willmore at Bookends of Fowey, and I'm certainly going to read that with interest and pleasure. Anything which brings Daphne to a wider audience has to be good. Additionally there is an article today in the Daily Mail media supplement, about Daphne and her love of Cornwall, as seen through the eyes of another lover of that most beautiful of counties, Rick Stein, whose fish restaurant in Padstow attracts customers from all over the globe.
- Saturday, April 14, 2007 at 11:15:02 (GMT)
My son Elliott aged 7 plays Kits in the BBC 2 drama 'Daphne' which is being shown on the 21st of April. He was so grateful to Kits for the insight into life in the 1940s/1950s. My son felt that Kits childhood was actually similar to his own. Lots of adventures and new experiences and of course the love,warmth and connection he felt towards his mother. I couldn't help being hugely impressed by the dedication and hardwork the production team had put into this fantastic drama. Gereldine Somerville really did justic to this interesting and fastinating lady. Long, long hours of concentration and focus in challenging weather conditions became a daily routine for most. Blood, sweat and tears gave this quality period drama, the WOW factor. My son, an ordinary school boy who loves acting, myself, just an ordinary housewife, felt privilidged to be part of and to witness the making of 'Daphne'. We are all proud and respectful of Daphne du Maurier and her wonderful work. Claire Bevan the Director reinforces that respect and admiration. I hope you enjoy it.
Deborah Naylor <>
- Thursday, April 12, 2007 at 17:45:40 (GMT)
Hi I am the Archivist of the West Highland White Terrier Club of England. I understand that Daphne owned 3 of these dogs and they are pictured in a photograph with her, sitting on her desk.I would very much like a copy of the photograph, along with the date of publication, to try to trace the breeding of the dogs. Many thanks Rob Hill
Robert Hill <>
- Wednesday, April 11, 2007 at 22:35:25 (GMT)
I am a woman from Norway, born in 1954. I learned to read Daphne du Maurier`s novels from my mother, who was born in 1913, an simply adored them. I like her novels so much, the composition is clever, the caracters good, and there is never a dull moment. I hope some day to visit Menabilly, and it would be nice to get in contact with other readers of her works. Sissel M. Børke
Sissel Margrethe Børke <>
- Monday, April 09, 2007 at 16:19:15 (GMT)
Just wondering if anyone knows when the T.V. programmes about Daphne will be shown?
Natalie <>
- Tuesday, March 06, 2007 at 07:47:20 (GMT)
Check out the piece my grandfather wrote about his time working at Menabilly as a young man. Does anyone know how I might be able to visit Menabilly on my next visit to Cornwall from California?
Martin Dyer
- Tuesday, March 06, 2007 at 01:07:15 (GMT)
I was interested by the two messages that Chris and Melanie posted on this guest page back in January, relating to the book ‘Daphne du Maurier: Haunted Heiress’ by Nina Auerbach. I read it when it was first published, have referred to it many times since, and have just re-read it. I think the best way to describe this book would be to say that it is an interesting and fairly comprehensive literary criticism with a small amount of biographical detail. The author pulls together strands from many sources and, if the reader is unfamiliar with some of the books/films that she uses in her comparisons with Daphne du Maurier’s work, it can become a little difficult to follow. However, as you progress through the text and become used to the authors writing style it becomes an absorbing read. I am very much looking forward to seeing Nina Auerbach in conversation with Helen Taylor at the du Maurier festival in May.
- Monday, March 05, 2007 at 22:12:43 (GMT)
A long-time Rebecca fan I'm two chapters into Jamaica Inn. With gusty winds and rain on my window, these books are stunning. If anyone knows any good Du Maurier blogs or places I should see in Cornwall, do let me know!
Jake Stavrinides <>
- Saturday, March 03, 2007 at 22:18:08 (GMT)
To be frank I am a bit unhappy about the nature of some of these postings. Maybe the drama will 'over-sensationalise' some aspects of Daphne's life, but we dont know this yet and if it deals reasonably fairly with her sexuality I feel that words like 'besmirch' and 'denigrating' are out of place. At worst they are (unintended I am sure) an attack on other people who share Daphne's orientation, and therefor (again I know not intended) an attack on Daphne herself. Her sexuality did not stop her from being loyal to her husband when it was needed did it? It did not stop her loving her children. It did not stop her being in so many respects a very fine person and a great writer (and indeed may well have contributed to it, as seems the case with many creative peope). What I am trying to say, I hope not too clumsily, is could there be a danger of playing into the hands of those who might want to 'over-sensationalise' or 'denigrate' by being too sensitive? Chris
- Sunday, February 25, 2007 at 18:26:38 (GMT)
Hi all, I just hope 'Academics' are as callous in their personal relationships as they appear to be when analysing unfortunate public figures who attract their beady eye. Lord protect us from trained and qualified 'intellectuals', their aura of superiority can appear extremely repulsive. Common sense and common decency seem to fly out of the window when there is a buck or a 'name' to be made. Callously denigrating Daphne's life while professing to celebrate it seems the height of hypocrisy. Also, applying the mores of this current benighted age to an earlier and possibly more innocent time seems deeply suspect. It might then be suggested that an earlier age (between the two world wars in this case) was NOT more innocent, in which case what value now our much vaunted progress! Like Daphne, I have friends of my own sex who I love, for their kindness and their humour and their wisdom and their support and for all their obvious virtues, but not for any carnal reason (archaic word, but as Annie Proulx famously said "play it as it lays"). Best Wishes all,
- Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 19:32:02 (GMT)
Hello all, I was interested to read the comments about academics in the notes below about the forthcoming programme. When I first started doing my PhD I was told that I was not being 'critical' enough of du Maurier's work. I found this really hard to take at the time, especially since I had been to Fowey and met many genuine, caring du Maurier enthusiasts. I told my supervisor that what she was saying was difficult because there are relatives of du Maurier who might find certain forms of 'criticism' distressing. I had a long discussion about it. I suppose, unfortunately, that criticism is one of the 'academic methods'. Academics are also tasked with being 'new' as has been pointed out. But hopefully there is room for being new which doesn't have to be upsetting.
- Friday, February 16, 2007 at 17:34:50 (GMT)
Thank you Ann for your comments about the forthcoming TV programmes about Daphne and her life. I too have reservations about the dramatisation of the Margaret Forster biography and its possible slant on Daphne's sexuality. It will be a very great pity if the general viewer is given a rather sensationalised portrayal of Daphne's life, but all of us who know and love her work will I'm sure work hard to protect her reputation through this site, and generally.
- Wednesday, February 14, 2007 at 19:54:20 (GMT)
Thank you, Ann, for your sentiments about the upcoming program on Daphne du Maurier's life. They are mine, also. I believe that a true friend or fan of Daphne's would not besmirch her name and memory.
- Wednesday, February 14, 2007 at 19:53:27 (GMT)
I have been looking at the information that the media have been putting out over the last few days, relating to the unveiling of the two BBC television programmes which are planned to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Daphne du Maurier. The first is entitled ‘The Road to Manderley’, in which Rick Stein explores the area in which Daphne du Maurier lived, and looks at how Cornwall’s landscape and folklore shaped her writing. I knew about this programme, having done some filming for it in Bookends of Fowey, and we are looking forward to seeing the completed programme very much. I had also been told that there was to be a television drama about Daphne surrounding the time of the ‘Rebecca’ plagiarism case. However, the media are describing the forth coming drama as focusing on her relationship with Ellen Doubleday and her love affair with Gertrude Lawrence, based on Margaret Forster's biography. The media may be exaggerating the content of the drama, but it concerned me greatly that, at a time when those who care about Daphne du Maurier and her writing wish to celebrate and remember her, the abiding memory for many will be the focus of this television drama. I think of Daphne as being reserved and self-contained if surrounded by people she did not know and I believe that she would be horrified at this exposure of herself. It seems to me unjust that Daphne’s story cannot be told from the point of view of her writing, childhood and family life, love of Cornwall, etc. rather than focusing on her sexuality. I appreciate that the academics would say that her writing revolves around her sexuality, but that is a one sided point of view not necessarily shared by everyone. I have always felt that, although Margaret Forster’s biography is a very good and well constructed book, it lends too much importance to Daphne’s sexuality, this being the particular “spin” that the author used to make her book say something new and to increase its selling potential. David and I, and Sue and Joy who work with us in Bookends, are very protective of Daphne du Maurier and her children, who still live in or visit the area, and I know that while Daphne’s family are being pragmatic about it, they are rather disappointed that the television drama should be doing this. This centenary year should be all about remembering Daphne du Maurier as a fantastic and imaginative storyteller.
- Wednesday, February 14, 2007 at 18:38:26 (GMT)
Sorry everyone, if it is my fault. I have no idea how two identical old posting from me, regarding our visit to the Bronte Museum last summer got posted again, and I hope it does not happen when I post this apology. My intended posting is the one on filming The Loving Spirit. Chris Clayton
- Sunday, February 04, 2007 at 16:30:19 (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, February 02, 2007 at 18:08:14 (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, February 02, 2007 at 18:07:40 (GMT)
Hello Carole. Regarding your comments on the filming of The Loving Spirit my understanding is that the 'experts' do not have a very high regard for it except as a first novel. I am one 'non-expert' who disagrees as I found it very absorbing, I think it was the second novel I read after The Scapegoat and was largely responsible for starting my interest in everything DuMaurier. Of course, filming requires someone to be inspired by the idea, who posseses the technical writing skill and be able to sell it to the decision-makers. There are lots of Daphne's books one would like to see filmed, perhaps rather than another repeat of Rebecca (or another Bronte or Austin, excellent though they are).
Christopher Clayton
- Friday, February 02, 2007 at 18:06:33 (GMT)
Why with all the famous novels of Daphne du Maurier that were filmed or televised was "The Loving Spirit" not portrayed. This could clearly have been filmed and televised as an even better epic than "Poldark". Especially with the history of the Slade family and perhaps the Ellery family ... Helen Doe could fill in on a lot of this side and I feel it could be made into an epic .. with the right actors, actresses, someone like a good director Sandra (did North and South). It does not take a lot of costume, design, actors and actresses to put this book into what it should be the classic of Daphne. I could name the characters who could portray the book easy and I do not think it would break the bank of the BBC!
carole thomas <carole.thomas7@btineternet>
- Tuesday, January 30, 2007 at 21:44:13 (GMT)
When I was going through the various news etc I noticed that they were requiring someone to edit the newsletter. Unfortunately I did not take the details but I did notice that it did not require web designing. I am going on for 63 years of age I have a good typing skill, understand the internet after 4 days and really would be interested in what is involved in the editing of the newsletter. Perhaps someone could let me know. I have in the past written to Christian Browning (Kits) and have always received a reply. June 2006 was a bonus when he sent me a postcard and news about the 100th birthdsy of his Mother. If I can help anyway in the newsletter even though I live all these miles away I would be interested. My knowledge is good, my spelling is good and my typing is good (the old world of Pitmans typing/sorthand course of 1959!)Thank you and hope someone can get back to me on a subject that is very close to my heart. Carole of Spalidng.
Carole Thomas <>
- Tuesday, January 30, 2007 at 19:48:36 (GMT)
I was thrilled to just recently be set up on the internet by my son - a whole new world has opened for me to discover more about Daphne du Maurier, Fowey and Polruan. I have a bedroom that has pictures of Ferryside, Fowey, Polrun and even the figurehead of Jane Slade outside Daphne's bedroom where she wrote "The Loving Spirit". I will be pleased to receive further details from the mailing list as I understand there is to be a televised programme with Christian Browning and Rick Stein this year to commemorate her 100th birthday.
Carole Thomas <>
- Monday, January 29, 2007 at 17:03:17 (GMT)
"The Rendezvous and other stories"; and "The Rebecca notebook: and other memories".
- Wednesday, January 24, 2007 at 03:41:16 (GMT)
Nice to see Virago has issued two new titles in their Daphne series:
USA - Wednesday, January 24, 2007 at 03:39:45 (GMT)
Hi Chris, I have read the Auerbach book you mention. It is a shame that you are struggling through it as I really enjoyed the book. I think Auerbach writes in a really fluid and imaginative way - her use of language fascinates me. She also seems to make lots of interesting links between seemingly unrelated elements in du Maurier's life and the works she creates. I particularly like all the references to Peter Pan. I have found the work really influential for my own writing on du Maurier.
- Friday, January 19, 2007 at 15:28:20 (GMT)
We are looking forward to the Festival again and to publication of the detailed dates so we can plan our annual trip. I have been (still am) struggling through 'Daphne du Maurier Haunted Heiress' by Nina Auerbach. Has ayone read it / have any comments? I was struck by how often in my edition (2002) she refers to how this or that book 'has been forgotten / is out of print' -- in American anyway. What a differnce the new Virago editions have made!
Chris Clayton
- Tuesday, January 16, 2007 at 13:55:56 (GMT)
A Happy New Year from me also. Every now and then, I receive a request to add a link to the 'Cornwall Links' page of this site, which I am usually happy to do, provided that it is relevant. Chris Sinclair is the skipper of 'Leopard', a 42 foot classic long-keel yacht in oak/teak, originally built in 1959 as a sail training vessel for the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. Chris normally runs RYA courses and sailing tuition on the yacht, but this June, he is organising a 'Daphne du Maurier Classic Yacht Cruise', sailing between and visiting Daphne du Maurier sites in South Cornwall. The five day cruise will take in Fowey/Menabilly, Pendennis and Frenchman's Creek on the Helford. 3rd - 8th June 2007. Click on the 'Cornwall Links' page link for further details. It promises to be a one-off experience.
John B
- Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 23:29:41 (GMT)
Happy New Year Everyone, I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the Festival this year. I wonder how many of the Members Forum readers will also be attending the academic conference at the Festival ? I will certainly be there as I am reading a paper on Greek archetypes in The Flight of the Falcon. I am quite nervous about it so I hope we Members Forum readers can give each other moral support! See you all soon-ish.
- Monday, January 08, 2007 at 16:48:48 (GMT)