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Daphne du Maurier

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Du Maurier Forum Archive - 2008

My sincere seasonal greetings to all Festival friends,Members Forum contributors and readers. 2009 may have its uncertainties but our Festival,Fowey and enthusiasm for Daphne's work provide an oasis of sanity and calm. Long may they last.
Collin Langley
- Tuesday, December 23, 2008 at 07:03:16 (GMT)
Thanks to Ann for deeming my little review of 'Rule Britannia' worthy of publication on the Book Reviews page. Love the site's new makeover! Best, Jeremy
- Tuesday, December 09, 2008 at 01:39:13 (GMT)
Hello, I hope you like the new layout. We have added several new features, particularly the facility to enable you to retrieve your password if you have forgotten it. There is quite a lot of material available on YouTube, that we have provided a new Video and Films section. Collin Langley has kindly provided us with the new section 'The Music of Daphne's Prose'. We will shortly provide the means to make your own suggestions, via the Members page. If you have any ideas or comments, please use the Contact Us section.
- Monday, December 08, 2008 at 11:48:20 (GMT)
Hello Jane, I am certainly no academic, and would undoubtedly be an unacceptable source of a scholarly citation, but I have reviewed 'Rule Britannia' for, both U.S. and U.K. under my name, Jeremy Gilien, if you are at all interested. Best, Jeremy
Jeremy Gilien <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Sunday, November 30, 2008 at 04:39:55 (GMT)
Hello Jane. As part of the 2007 Festival a reading group of du Maurier enthusiasts from Fairfax, Virginia organised a discussion entitled “Rule Britannia: the view from the USA” at the Town Hall, Fowey on Friday 18th May. Unfortunately I was not able to attend but there may be someone who reads this guestbook who was at the event. I have emailed the two ladies I met and will let you know when I hear from them.
- Saturday, November 29, 2008 at 09:44:15 (GMT)
To Linda cooke. Hello Linda, Colin Langly has pointed me in your direction.Did the Daphne Club of Virginia discuss Rule Britannia at the 2007 festival? If so would it be possible for you to give me an insight into the opinions that were expressed. I am formulating a research progect on the novel.Thanks. Jane.
Jane Harvey
- Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at 07:11:53 (GMT)
Colin, thankyou very much for your replies, I am going to follow the leads that you have given me.At this stage I just have to present a research proposal and request for funding as part of my degree course but for my third year (09) I will undertake the actual research for my dissertation. Jane.
Jane Harvey
- Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 14:17:43 (GMT)
Jane, For completeness apropos Rule Britannia,I should add the Virago Press edition of the book (2004) and Dr Ella Westland's 7 page Introduction. Ella also refers briefly in her Reading Daphne (2007)published by Truran,Cornwall.I assume you've read the brief mentions by Daphne's biographers Margaret Forster(1993)Arrow and Judith Cook (1991)Bantam Press.
- Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 18:29:08 (GMT)
Jane, There is a lengthy review of Rule Britannia in Professor Richard Kelly's 1987 biography of Daphne du Maurier published by Twayne a division of G.K.Hall & Co, Boston. I got my copy from Amazon but Ann Willmore of Bookends of Fowey may also be able to help The Daphne Club of Virginia held a discussion on Rule Britannia at the 2007 du Maurier Festival. I don't have their contact details but Linda Cooke one of the Members Forum correspondents mat be able to help.
Collin Langley
- Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 16:07:50 (GMT)
I am conducting a research project on the last novel'Rule Britannia'. I am having difficulty finding any reviews or critiques. can anyone help? thanks, Jane.
Jane Harvey
- Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 07:19:05 (GMT)
So far I've read five critiques of Piers Dudgeon's: Captivated: J M Barrie, the du Mauriers and the Dark Side of Neverland. These are all available online i.e. Lancashire Evening Post (19/7)by Pam Norfolk, The Scotsman(July),Mail Online (8/7)by Tony Rennell, Mail Online (July) by Craig Brown and my favourite Frances Wilson's article in The Sunday Times(6/7). Frances describes it as '...a wonderfully batty book...more pantomime than scholarship... but defies you not to be captivated' My view is that all du Maurier fans should read this book. You may not agree will all, indeed any of the points made concerning the du Mauriers especially Daphne's reason for writing Rebecca.However, you cannot fail to be impressed by the very thorough research and it forces some interesting re-thinking of du Maurier influences.
Collin Langley
- Monday, November 10, 2008 at 11:45:19 (GMT)
"Rebecca" was my introduction to the world of Daphne du Maurier. "The Loving Spirit" was my second glimpse, and the very reel that hooked me in completely. There was no turning back. Her worlds spoke to my soul; and they propelled me while I myself set ink to paper, and still do today. When I finally did see Cornwall, I was drawn again into her world in a much more tangible--and yet surreal--kind of way. It was the thrill of a lifetime to walk amongst the places that had inspired her and were part of her life and writing. I am honoured to be among her many readers to whom she left a legacy of unforgettable literature.
Jennifer A. Hudson
- Friday, October 10, 2008 at 23:06:20 (GMT)
I received an e-mail from Stephen Kurtz in Canada yesterday, in which he commented on the review of Rebecca that I had written for this website some time ago. I pointed out to him that when I wrote my reviews I was aiming them at the many students who were putting messages onto the Guest page at that time, asking for help with reviews of Daphne du Maurier’s novels. My intention was simply to give a basic introduction to the books in context with the time in Daphne's life that she was writing each novel. I thought Stephen’s comments were interesting and he had agreed that I can share his views with everyone by posting his e-mail on to the Guest page. If anyone has anything to add please feel free to put a message on the Guest page too. Can I also take this opportunity to remind everyone that if they would like to review any of Daphne du Maurier’s books they can e-mail their review to me and I will add it to the book review section of the website. This is what Stephen’s e-mail said . . . This is an interesting little review of the book. I think it leaves out one of the book's most important features, namely the structure. The suspense in Rebecca builds in such a wonderful way. It is after two thirds of the way in that we find out about the murder of Rebecca. Most of the suspense that had been generated before dealt with the situation between Mrs. Danvers and the narrator and we had no idea where the story would turn. When the story does turn we have that wonderful dinner scene where for literally pages nothing is advanced and our curiosity continues to be whetted. Lastly, in suspense, how did the fire start? There are also wonderful sidebars dealing with sexuality. Were Mrs. Danvers and Rebecca lovers? What was the narrator's reaction to sex? Maxim himself is very sexless; why was he content to be a metaphorical eunuch? Stephen Kurtz.
Ann Willmore.
- Monday, October 06, 2008 at 20:36:54 (GMT)
Slight correction to WMN website which
- Thursday, October 02, 2008 at 15:31:49 (GMT)
A friend in Cornwall has just sent me an excellent article from this week's Western Morning News (30/9/08).( This highlights the significant value of literary giants to the South West. Daphne,Agatha Christie and others are mentioned. Apparently the possibility of filming more of Daphne's novels: e.g. The House on The Strand is being explored. The article refers to the du Maurier archives at Exeter University and more recently those of Margaret Forster, Daphne's main biographer. Credit too for the tireless work of Professor Helen Taylor a good friend of our Festival, in generally raising the awareness of South West writers. Restormel Borough Council has long supported the du Maurier Festival. Let's hope that next year when Restormel is absorbed into a new unitary Cornwall County Council, this support continues.
Collin Langley
- Thursday, October 02, 2008 at 10:52:58 (GMT)
One of my favorite all time authors!
Joyce in NH
- Saturday, September 13, 2008 at 23:33:05 (GMT)
Have just a few pages left to go of J. Picardie's "Daphne." I have to say that I quite admire her lucid writing style and the meticulous research that must have gone into the preparation of this book. However, I feel that one would probably need to be a committed DdM fan and somewhat familliar wih her background and history to receive maximum pleasure from this book. Recommended to everyone here, of course!
- Saturday, September 13, 2008 at 23:04:38 (GMT)
Have just a few pages left to go of J. Picardie's
Los Angeles, USA - Saturday, September 13, 2008 at 23:04:03 (GMT)
Can you upload some short stories/novels in this site in pdf format? narayanan
ovnarayanan <>
- Saturday, September 13, 2008 at 12:30:31 (GMT)
This web site is marvelous.I expect more from you. Thanks & Regards Narayanan
ovnarayanan <>
- Saturday, September 13, 2008 at 12:25:39 (GMT)
Hi everyone, ...... HotS is my favourite of all Daphne's books (apart from the 'Notebooks' of course, which are the lady's 'voice'...... House on the Strand is just so eerily surreal that it presses my buttons every time...... I haven't read any Daphne books lately, I'm heavily into Diana Gabaldon, another writer of amazing imagination...... Best Wishes 'friends'.
- Saturday, September 13, 2008 at 07:39:15 (GMT)
Loved HotS! It does work its(chemically induced?)magic. About time for a third reading I would say! Jeremy
- Friday, September 12, 2008 at 16:47:26 (GMT)
Am re-reading The House on the Strand for probably the fourth time since I discovered it back in the early '70s . . . might there be a review of it some time on these pages? Do others feel as drawn to this novel as I do? It's fascinating! (I don't tend to re-read books.) Thank you and happy reading.
- Friday, September 12, 2008 at 16:14:14 (GMT)
I am just finishing up Jamaica Inn! wow! Another good one by Daphne! I have logged onto amazon and purchased Frenchmans Creek, and The House on the Strand!
- Tuesday, September 09, 2008 at 14:31:08 (GMT)
I have just finished reading Piers Dudgeon's "Captivated (J.M.Barrie, The Du Mauriers & The Dark Side of Neverland)" It is fascinating ---- and will I am sure generate a lot of comment in due course! The last few chapters concentrate on the effect on Daphne's psychology, mental state, personal life and writing of her early life experience of Barrie ---- casting new light on Rebecca and much else. Chris Chris
- Saturday, August 23, 2008 at 16:45:59 (GMT)
'Don't Look Now' is also being staged in Chelmsford 26/1-31/1/09 and Early Bird bookings have been accepted since June.Like 2003's My Cousin Rachel and 2007's September Tide,this is another production by Ian Dickens so the touring venues should be nationwide. Staging that eerie nightime pursuit of the red-coated dwarf in Venice with its menacing climax will be a real challenge. However,the excellent September Tide set(Ferryside), albeit on two levels,and sheer energy displayed by Kate O'Mara who played Stella, makes the prospect well worth savouring.
Collin Langley
- Saturday, August 16, 2008 at 16:31:39 (GMT)
"Don't Look Now" is on a national tour starring Rula Lenska, James Gaddas and Nicola Bryant. 1st to 6th September it will be at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester. Try this link, which is actually for Nicola Bryant, for more information and dates.
- Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 06:08:22 (GMT)
Apropos Ann's request for interesting facts about Rebecca. Look no further than the Members Forum, as always an interesting source to ponder. For example Anna Nicolaou from Cyprus wrote 20/10/99 about her mountain village of Platres near Limassol which she claims Daphne once visited and included a description of its landscape in Rebecca. Margaret Forster's biography p.127(paperback ed),confirms the trip to Cyprus with Tommy,Tessa and her nanny Margaret. Another entry: Paul Welch 26/6/02 recalls his father watching Daphne penning early drafts of Rebecca over breakfast in Alexandria. Apparently Daphne's husband Colonel Browning, in charge of the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards, was his father's C.O.
Collin Langley
- Friday, August 08, 2008 at 11:09:43 (GMT)
Well Ann I hadn't realised Rebecca had been made into an opera. However, I'd suggest that another surprise for all Rebecca fans might be the reference in Piers Dudgeon's latest book: Captivated (J.M.Barrie, The Du Mauriers & The Dark Side of Neverland), of what 'inspired' Daphne to write the book.
Collin Langley
- Monday, August 04, 2008 at 15:58:16 (GMT)
Hi Jian Xin, The "Rebecca" Notebook and Other Memories is worth getting. I bought my copy at the Du Maurier Festival a couple of years ago. I note that the book is available from and Good Luck
Hao Clayton
- Sunday, August 03, 2008 at 21:14:14 (GMT)
‘Rebecca’ was first published on 5th August 1938, so this week celebrates the 70th anniversary of Daphne du Mauriers most famous novel, which has never been out of print in all that time. ‘Rebecca’ has been published in countries right across the world, in many different editions and has been read by millions. It has been adapted for film, television, radio, and opera, and there are plans to produce it as a musical on Broadway. Daphne always felt that the acclaim achieved by ‘Rebecca’ overshadowed her other work and could not understand why it was always ‘Rebecca’ that people wanted to talk about. Often referred to either as romantic or gothic fiction or a women’s novelette it is clearly far more. In September 1938 Neville Chamberlain flew to Germany to meet with Hitler in an attempt to avert the likely onset of war. In his briefcase he took a copy of ‘Rebecca’ to read, should the opportunity for relaxation present itself. I have a copy of ‘Rebecca’, published in a US Armed Services edition and made to fit in a GI’s pocket. ‘Jamaica Inn’ and ‘The King’s General’ were also published in this edition. So ‘Rebecca’ would have been reading matter for American service men in the 1940’s. Does anyone else have any interesting facts about ‘Rebecca’?
- Sunday, August 03, 2008 at 09:12:34 (GMT)
This is a message for Jo Powell who is doing a dissertation on Angela du Maurier. I've just received a newspaper article on Angela in the July 23 last edition of the Cornish Guardian. Their website is Let me know if you'd like me to e-mail to you. Best wishes.
Collin Langley
- Friday, August 01, 2008 at 15:22:42 (GMT)
Hello, I am Linda, a chinese reader.
lindagaoxinxia <>
- Friday, August 01, 2008 at 11:42:37 (GMT)
hi, I am a chinese student with interest in Daphne Du Maurier's works. But it seems difficult to find the book titled "the rebecca notebook and other memories"and it will be my great appreciation if you can help me out.
jianxinlu <lujianxin>
- Friday, August 01, 2008 at 07:57:14 (GMT)
seeking books written by dapnne du maurier
jianxinlu <>
guangzhou, Guangdong China - Friday, August 01, 2008 at 07:51:33 (GMT)
I have mixed feelings about Beaumans Rebecca's tale. It was almost over board yet at times it was still puzzling. It wasn't nearly as good as Mrs. Dewinter or Rebecca itself. Mrs. Dewinter was done very very well and similar to Du Maurier's style. It's hard for me to accept that it's all over... I think with Rebecca's tale no one wanted it to be over therefore continued but in reality it's over.... sniff. Wonderful trilogy though.
Kesha <>
- Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 15:08:36 (GMT)
Concerning the requested review of Rebecca's Tale, Professor Helen Taylor's The Daphne Du Maurier Companion covers Sally Beauman's book as well as most of Daphne's work, an interview with her three children,former editor Sheila Hodges and academic insight on a range of other du Maurier issues. A recommended read.
Collin Langley
- Saturday, July 26, 2008 at 06:08:23 (GMT)
Several correspondents have made kind comments on the booklet which my daughter and I provided free of charge at this year's Festival titled: The Mystery of Daphne's Music. This was intended, indeed is, only a summary of my research over the past 3 years but somehow I managed to fill 29 pages! There are some unique photographs and memories of their mother's musical tastes which Kits Browning and Flavia Leng generously supplied. The BBC Archives Dept was also very helpful.I have illustrated where music has influenced Daphne's writing and show a psychologist's view of how the personality and musical tastes of creative writers appear to match, at least in this case. Although I am examining the possibility of publishing the booklet on the guestbook, I suspect copyright issues will be a stumbling block. I prefer not to include my postal or e-mail address but naturally would respect the confidence of anyone who cares to communicate on these pages or otherwise. Best wishes.
Collin Langley
- Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 06:29:44 (GMT)
I have just finished Sally Beauman's 'Rebecca's Tale' (having recently read 'The Second Mrs DeWinter', 'Rebecca', and watched both the available Rebecca films!). I would be interested in comments on the Beauman book in particular.
- Sunday, July 20, 2008 at 10:33:41 (GMT)
Helen If you have not yet done so I suggest you contact Colin Langley for his delightful photo illustrated publication (not a 'leaflet'!) on Daphne's music. You might ask him if it could be made more widely available via the website, as I am sure it would be appreciated. Chris Clayton
- Sunday, July 20, 2008 at 10:28:49 (GMT)
Kesha, Great that you've really started to appreciate DdM! Like you, most people start with Rebecca, but there is SO much more! I'm a big fan of short stories, and DdM's in particular. Try the collections: Don't Look Now and Other stories; and The Blue Lenses and Other stories. I promise you won't be disappointed! If you like DdM, may I suggest you try the suspense novels and short stories of Ruth Rendell, a.k.a. Barbara Vine, who has carried on the DdM tradition into the 21st century. Happy reading! jeremy
- Thursday, July 03, 2008 at 01:27:07 (GMT)
Daphne du Maurier is my absolute favorite author ever! I was originally assigned in the ninth grade to read Rebecca. I passed the class with a B without ever having read a page. I had other things going on in my life at the time and found it uninteresting and unessisary. 10 years later for whatever reason something was drawing me to the book. I ended up reading it last winter and LOVELOVELOVED it! My boyfriend thinks I'm wierd! After I read Rebecca and watched the movie, I decided to decorate a room in our house (guest bedroom) using ideas and visions that I got from reading the book. I call it the "old womans room". It's very english and dainty, something like where Mrs. VanHopper would reside, yet it's mysterious like Rebecca herself. Right now I'm half way through Jamaica Inn. I would love to have every book by her! I love her style!
Kesha <>
- Tuesday, July 01, 2008 at 21:35:20 (GMT)
I was so sorry to have missed the Festival this year. Reading Sam's great account of his time there, brought last year's Festival to mind again. It was so interesting, and I managed to have a few words with all three of Daphne's "children", which was wonderful. I wish I could have attended the recent event about Daphne's music too. Would it be possible to buy one of the leaflets which Collin Langley distributed at the event? Would anyone be able to let me know? Helen
Helen <>
- Saturday, June 28, 2008 at 20:59:20 (GMT)
The answers to the musical quiz set as part of our Festival presentation The Mystery of Daphne's Music are: 1 Jamaica Farewell-Harry Belafonte 2 Stardust-Nat King Cole 3 I Can't Help falling in Love with You-Andy Williams 4 How Loved You Are-Peter Skellern 5 Memories of The Alhambra-John Williams 6 Tales of The Unexpected-TV Theme 7 Clair de Lune-Debussy 8 Adagio of Spartacus-Khachaturian 9 Nocturne No 1-Chopin Many thanks to those who came and I do hope you find time to read the booklet we provided. Best wishes.
Collin Langley
- Monday, June 16, 2008 at 14:52:57 (GMT)
I've written a few thoughts down about the 2008 Festival, and offer them, with apologies for their extent. " Festival 2008 I seem to live my life from Festival to Festival, and it's frightening how quickly they seem to come around. This opinion arises in June, just after the most recent. Had I been asked in November, I know my response would have been very different. Then, the days seem dark and endless! The river, the town, narrow echoing streets, drinks on the patio outside the Galleon, the sound of seagulls and the lapping of water on the river steps, all seem a distant memory; more, really, like a dream of quiet joy...... This year 2008, has been a good vintage, with talks and music to satisfy the most curious and demanding. I know 'big names' attract visitors, and there's nothing wrong with that, but I've tended to eschew the more high profile names, in favour of more esoteric fare. Anyway, I attended talks by George Alagiah and Martin Bell at the Falmouth Festival a few years ago, and thought it unlikely that new material would appear! ......So here goes!...... Arriving on Wednesday afternoon I booked into my usual accommodation at the Safe Harbour Hotel, where I have a room with a view! I was delighted to meet my friend Barbara again, and find that 'Lady B' is still the same good pal! And then down to 'Bookends of Fowey ' to renew 'auld acquaintance' with Ann and David there. Really it's like coming home...... As the festival opened on Thursday I had no event until the evening so took the opportunity to do the 'Hall Walk', the five mile round walk across the river to Polruan, up to the top of the tree line, and round to Bodinnick by Fowey, ending at the Old Ferry Pub for food and a good 'pint'. The view from the patio. Looking passed Ferryside to the open sea, in the sunshine, is wonderful and unbeatable. The walk had been particularly enjoyable because it was a vintage year for wild flowers cradled in innumerable shades of green: bluebells, violets, primroses, red campion and wild garlic; somebody told me to take a flower head and crunch it between my teeth! The rush of hot, fierce garlic was indescribably good! .......Barbara decided at the last minute to buy a ticket and join me for the St Petersburg Blagovest Ensemble in an 'a capella' performance of Russian church music and folk songs. The wonderful quality has not diminished since their visit twelve months ago. Performing in St Fimbarrus Parish Church they were a delight, and the standing ovation they received at the conclusion was very well deserved!...... Friday was a busier day, I had the 'Sunshine, One Man's search for Happiness' talk first. Robert Mighall loves sunshine and warm air, as I do, but I hope I'm less obsessive, His talk, while interesting, dragged on, and as he was seriously over running, I had to leave before the end to prepare for 'The Life of Mary Wesley', a fascinating conversation about a remarkable lady, (think Chamomile Lawn) between biographer Patrick Marnham and Toby Eady, Mary's son...... Saturday I missed the talk which Helen Taylor gave on 'The Legacy of Gone With the Wind' ; thinking of it now I can't believe I missed a 'cinema' event!......Later the same day I attended what for me was a not to be missed event, a talk between Justine Picardie, the author of a new book, 'Daphne' (guess who!), and Rupert Tower, Daphne's grandson, and Henrietta Llewelyn-Davies, great grand-daughter of Sylvia (nee du Maurier), Daphne's aunt. Kate Winslet played her in 'Finding Neverland the recent film about JM Barrie, and the 'Lost Boys' of Peter Pan fame. A lovely film though more of a fairy tale than I thought (more of that later!) I must say that as I read the book before the festival, with it's re telling of the sensational or depressing things already known or believed of Daphne, and with the awkward invention of a major fictional character among the historical figures, I was not impressed or 'gripped'. I just thought repeatedly “Oh Lo*d, not THAT again”. Perhaps others will regard the book more kindly, I'm not sure all the 'family' did, especially from the evidence of that conversation. As a Daphne devotee, I love the lady and hate her memory being denigrated for gain, she isn't here to defend herself and I dislike such effusions very much...... On Sunday there was another of my much anticipated events, a talk hosted by Dr Helen Taylor (University of Exeter), and between Helen Doe and Ann Willmore (yes, THAT Anne), and called 'Du Maurier's Cornwall'. Helen, a marine historian is a descendent of the Slade Family of Polruan who were immortalised in Daphne's first, breakthrough book, 'The Loving Spirit'. Ann of course is the co proprietor with David her husband, of “Bookends of Fowey” and “Bookends Too”, down in the town, and who knows more about Daphne than most! We were to have had clips from 'Vanishing Cornwall', directed by Daphne's son Kits, but in the event Dr Taylor decided to show clips from 'Lets Pretend', the interview which Cliff Michelmore undertook with Daphne, and which included his conversation with her. That was a terrific 'reunion', it was so lovely to have a tangible reminder of the lady, and the talk was, I thought,deeply insightful......Sunday was a particularly good day, for at 4PM there was a talk by Lady Tessa Montgomery, daughter in law of Montgomery of Alamein, and daughter of Daphne and her husband Sir Frederick Browning. Lady Tessa entertained us splendidly with anecdotes about her life with her mother, bringing Daphne very close, additionally so as her resemblance to her mother, both in voice and manner, is almost unnerving, or would be in one who seemed less kind...... On Monday I met a friend during the day, and we enjoyed the sunshine and lovely Fowey until evening, the we parted and I went to the 'Aspern Papers', in Fowey Town Hall and performed by another splendid amateur group, TheTroy Players. The event was first rate, with a mixture of humour and drama which was enjoyable to watch...... On Tuesday a talk by Roger Tabor called 'Cats v Dogs' proved interesting, especially for someone who 'grew up with dogs and cats', and who loves dogs marginally less than cats. It must be admitted that interesting as the event was, I did learn more intimate details than I really expected!...... On Wednesday teatime I attended a talk by Collin Langley called 'The Mystery of Daphne's Music. When entering the Theatre we were all provided with a most handsome brochure containing photographs and much information. The talk which Mr Langley gave was interesting, and quotations were given by his daughter Kim Travell. I was not convinced that Daphne's musical taste was particularly developed, I always think of her as a practical person, in spite of her writing, more likely to be boating or fishing, than swooning over a piece of music. This is not to denigrate her artistic abilities, simply to question their direction......Up to this middle Wednesday the weather had been lovely, with hot sunshine and that wonderful quality of light, unique to Cornwall, but on this day the weather gods decided upon a change. It rained, thundered and lightened very dramatically, which made the evening performance in the marquee more exciting. A musical event with The Temperence Seven and the Pasadena Roof Orchestra, on stage respectively in the first and second halves. The Pasadena Roof Orchestra were a really good act, but personally I preferred the Temperance Seven, whose music was as good as ever (for those who enjoy such fare, as I do), but their performance was lightened by a wry humour that I found most engaging...... On Thursday Morning Michael Burrows gave us a talk about 'Judy Garland, Gallant Trooper', which I loved; Mr Burrows talked of Judy's troubled life with very obvious affection, not glossing over her imperfections, but placing them in a realistic context. As Mr Burrows had told his audience a couple of years ago (or was it LAST year) that he would be preparing and delivering no more 'film star' talks, I was delighted that he had relented. As a lifelong lover of cinema, and film stars, indeed all the trappings of moviedom, I am always pleased to learn more about the subject. After the talk, and a short break, we returned to the theatre to watch a showing of “For Me and My Gal” with Judy, Gene Kelly and George Murphy, and directed by Busby Berkeley...... On Friday morning Piers Dudgeon gave a talk, “Captivated” , about JM Barrie, who wrote 'Peter Pan'; it was fascinating and interesting, thought provoking and an absolute 'eye opener'. To give very little away about Mr Dudgeon's forthcoming book, JM Barrie altered his own history at the same time as he did the history of Daphne's cousins; amazing!......On Friday night I went with my friends to Boconnoc to see Jamaica Inn, quite a bald statement to encompass a fascinating recreation of Daphne's wrecker story, performed by a wonderful amateur theatrical group (Tywardreath Players), in a marquee set up in the stable yard at Boconnoc. It was 'theatre in the round', the cast were splendid, especially the twisted vicar of Altarnun. Creating an atmosphere of brooding evil, in a tent, cannot have been easy, but it was achieved most spectacularly...... On Saturday morning (Last Day!), I attended an event in the Town Hall, down in the town, “Hawker of Morwenstow, portrait of a Victorian Eccentric”, given by Piers Brendon. I did not appreciate until the talk was proceeding, that I knew something about the subject. Hawker had been the subject of a special 'Songs of Praise' TV religious programme, last Autumn here in the UK. Apparently he was responsible for the reintroduction of the 'Harvest Festival' back into the church's year. Additionally he was a practical joker, generous to a fault, and much loved by his parishioners, as much for his eccentricities as for his Christian charity. Piers Brendon gave his talk mixing facts and amusing anecdotes in splendid measure......As indeed he did at his second talk of the day in the Festival theatre 'up top', on the subject this time “The Decline and Fall of the British Empire 1781-1997” A potentially dry subject, leavened by much humour!......And now I come to my last event of 2008, and incidentally the last event of the Festival, Russell Howard! Who? I hadn't heard of him but heard him described as light and humorous, a stand up comedian with a 'positive' view on life. I had heard that there was a need to attract a younger audience too, and who better than a young comedian who I'm told is 'on the TV'. I thought him quite awful, foul mouthed, unfunny and deeply disrespectful of just about everything! Indeed, his unpleasant tirade against religion and the Church of England reduced the audience to a shocked silence (even the young members), from which situation he attempted to recover by virtually apologising, and then leaving religion severely alone. I do agree that younger festival goers are to be encouraged and welcomed, but what naïve planner assumes that only foul language and a disrespect for accepted values is the only way to achieve it? This last event did leave a sour taste, but could not possibly spoil what had been a splendid, memorable Festival...... So that was MY Festival, I attended only a tithe of the events on offer, I did none of the walks or boat trips, I hardly encountered the 'Fringe Festival', but another contributor might well paint a completely different picture of their Festival, no one of us who attended can claim to have seen the 'best' events on offer, it's all a matter of personal taste at the end of the day. Nor can it be said that I only went to Fowey for the du Maurier bash. I met friends, and enjoyed shared meals, went out visiting, and found the Flower Festival first rate (although I don't remember ever seeing a porcelain bed pan used in such a tasteful way before!). I walked, endured the vagaries of public transport, and had, all in all, a deeply satisfying ten days. Here's to the next time! Sam
- Sunday, June 15, 2008 at 09:08:31 (GMT)
I was unable to make the events on Saturday - did anyone go? If so, what did I miss?
- Tuesday, June 03, 2008 at 16:28:02 (GMT)
If anybody is in the Port Eliot area in Cornwall on Sat 31st May there's an event not to be missed under any circumstances. There is going to be a garden party amongst the rhododendrons, readings and afternoon tea or the evening event, The Haunting of Daphne, champagne cocktails and canapés. Justine Picardie will be there, Dr Jessica Gardner of the du Maurier archive at Exeter University too, along with an exhibition of pieces from the archive. Talks and discussions throughout the day, Ann and David Willmore from Bookends of Fowey will also be on hand selling antiquarian and modern books and doubtless sharing Ann’s vast knowledge of all things Daphne. Tickets are available through telephone, credit cards or at Bookends too and the du Maurier Literary Centre in Fowey, cash & cheques.
- Friday, May 23, 2008 at 22:06:05 (GMT)
Hello everyone, Just got back from Fowey and am exhausted. The festival was again a massive success. I am very excited to have spoken to Tessa and am very very honoured to have been able to get her to sign my ticket for her talk. It is something that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I am really looking forward to next years fesival. Anyone know the exact dates so I can plan my holiday already?? Natalie
Natalie <>
- Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 11:37:07 (GMT)
Hello, everyone. I don't seem to have tuned in to the Guest Book recently. So I thought I would catch up. I had my PhD viva at the end of last year, and I passed, so will be graduating in July. Many years of living and breathing Daphne du Maurier have thus come to fruition! I am sorry that I can't make the Festival this year. I am doing a course on Information and Library Management and assignments just take up all my available time. Also, my mum's hip operation was scheduled for 13th May (as luck would have it!). So I hope Festival attendees had a lovely time - I have thought about you all, and missed my May trip to the seaside. Kind Regards to all.
- Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 12:11:35 (GMT)
Hello! I live and work in Nevada. I'm currently doing research for a book along the lines of "The Birds." I encountered a bat while exploring a cave and we did a little jostling for position! Nevertheless, this experience has inspired me to write the book.
Dean Smith
- Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 21:38:34 (GMT)
Here in the UK it's the May Day Bank Holiday Weekend, a fact that I had almost overlooked as I begin to pack for my annual trip to the Festival of festivals! ...... Needless to say, after about eight such events I do more or less 'know the ropes' and am all the happier for that...... I'm eagerly looking forward to meeting old friends again, at Safe Harbour, at the Festival Village and around the town and hostelries...... I hope the weather is kind, but won't let it's vagaries faze me at all; I shall have sweaters and sandals with me, and all intermediate coverings...... I'm about to give my thumb stick it's annual oiling, and I need batteries for my little radio......My tickets are currently in a friend's safe keeping (I hope!), with the exception of my ticket for Lady Tessa's talk. That came directly to me, as the venue was changed, AND 'Lady B' and I wanted different seats. All very convoluted, but resolved amicably!...... I'm particularly anticipating that event, and too the St Petersburg Blagovest Ensemble, singing Russian church music AND folk-songs, in lovely St Fimbarrus Church. I saw them last year and they were wonderful. Additionally I have great events 'up top' and in the Town Hall, so it's gonna be busy!......All I'm left to do is wish friends visiting Fowey a happy, fulfilling time, and commiserations for friends unable to attend...... Wish my luck (as you wave me goodbye...) Best Wishes all......
- Friday, May 02, 2008 at 18:56:29 (GMT)
I read the book, "Daphne" and found it depressing, boring, and worst of all, extremely contrived! A bundle of laughs it certainly aint! The sort of book you'd finish on a cold dreary November day, then go out and commit Hari-Kari.
Eric Avon
- Monday, April 07, 2008 at 19:10:33 (GMT)
Hello David...... I am so glad that ticket sales are going well, I am eagerly looking forward to meeting all my Festival friends again in May...... It must be a very complex occupation, allocating and distributing the tickets , and I hope you remain 'on top of it'. Knowing how you relish the new technology I hope you are 'having a ball'......I'm currently reading Justine Picardie's new book 'Daphne', and am, to paraphrase Mr Darcy, 'enjoying it against my better judgement'. I'm confused by it purporting to be a fiction when it has so many real names attached to the 'fiction', making it nearer in my eyes to a docudrama. I guess this will not sit easy with some and I greatly regret that. Unfortunately current standards in writing seem to err in favour of an honesty bordering upon the callous. More later......Best Wishes, 'friends'.
- Tuesday, March 25, 2008 at 07:52:02 (GMT)
Hi Jenny, welcome to the site, new views and comments are always welcome. The Festival tickets are selling very well, as Jonathan said in his email it's the best start we have had in many a year.
- Monday, March 24, 2008 at 22:57:32 (GMT)
Hi, I am very new to this site, but I love Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca and I am starting to work my way through a few of her other novels.
Jenny White
- Sunday, March 23, 2008 at 20:33:47 (GMT)
TRUE OR FALSE, FACT OR FICTION? Last night I dreamt I went on holiday again. Sitting in the front seat of the car, with the sun shining I felt uplifted, such a feeling of happiness, at last I was off and away. To make quite sure all was well I pinched myself, hard upon my arm, for if I felt pain this was reality. I awoke; my bedroom was in semi darkness, March winds sweeping across the garden, rattling the branches of the trees. Rain lashed the windowpanes. Later that morning as I was sipping my coffee, the post arrived. A new book about my mother, Daphne du Maurier. I turned the pages quickly with anticipation and read about my parents, my sister, my brother and our children and much more. Goodness I thought, all this about us. Then I saw that the book was a work of fiction. As I finished my now cold coffee, a strange feeling began to creep over me. I heard my mother’s voice reading out loud, as she used to do when we were children, J.M. Barrie’s (Uncle Jim to the family) Peter Pan. The Never Never Land, let’s pretend, act a part. Her voice echoed the words and suddenly I could see her smiling, sitting in Uncle Jim’s favourite arm chair, her blue eyes full of laughter, a little mocking perhaps. “Darling, why don’t you pinch yourself to see whether you are fact or fiction.”
Flavia Leng.
- Thursday, March 13, 2008 at 20:36:40 (GMT)
Hello, I found this in the Los Angeles Times(28,February) and thought people here might be interested: The Book:'Daphne' by Justine Picardie The Buyer: Robert Fox By Josh Getlin, Times Staff Writer THE DEAL: Robert Fox options Justine Picardie's "Daphne," a tale of author Daphne du Maurier's midlife crisis and literary obsession with the Brontes, told against the backdrop of her haunting novel "Rebecca." THE PLAYERS: Fox(executive producer of"Atonement" and "Closer,"producer of "The Hours," "Notes on a Scandel" and "Iris")producing. Picardie represented on Literary rights by Grainne Fox at Ed Victor limited in London and on film rights by Geoffrey Sanford at RWSH literary agency in Los Angeles. The book will be published by Bloomsbury USA in August. THE BACK STORY The path from book to screen can be filled with twists and turns, false starts and random luck. But sometimes the path to an option deal -- the beginning of the process -- is no less surprising. Consider Picardie's forthcoming novel, which begins in 1957 as Du Maurier's marriage is falling apart. Plunging into her work, the distraught novelist begins relentless research into the life of Branwell Bronte, a tormented painter and alcoholic who was the only son born into the literary family. "Daphne" is the story of a famed British novelist on the verge of a breakdown, weaving in the strands of her most famous book, a literary whodunit and a troubled, modern character heavily influenced by the writer's work. Is this "The Hours" meets Daphne du Maurier? Picardie, a highly respected author, wrote "a very different book, but there are certain elements that are not dissimilar," said Fox, who produced the 2002 film about Virginia Woolf. What's more remarkable is how he got involved in the project. Picardie spent years researching Menabilly, the famed seaside estate that inspired "Rebecca." Then she learned Fox had met the writer at the estate when he was a boy, and that his 100 year old aunt also knew her. Through friends, she sent him an early draft of the book, and he was instantly smitten. "I know the world this story takes place in incredibly well. I was maybe 5,6 years old when I met du Maurier and it's indelibly imprinted on my mind." Fox said. "It will be a very compelling story." For Picardie, the coincidence of selling a book option to a filmaker who has intimate knowledge of her story is astonishing. "I couldn't have wished for a better fit, as an author."
- Friday, March 07, 2008 at 18:15:22 (GMT)
thanks Colin, Ann from Bookends is sending me a copy. Hope you are recovering.
Jo Powell
- Monday, March 03, 2008 at 11:56:35 (GMT)
Hi Collin - very sorry to hear you have had an accident but glad you will be at the Festival for your talk! Am looking forward to it. With kind regards and very best wishes,
- Monday, March 03, 2008 at 08:22:36 (GMT)
Jo, Since it's required for purely academic purposes, please let me know if you'd like me to send you a copy of the 1973 Cornish Review. I shall also be at the Festival but due to an accident, this year's visit will sadly only last one day Wed. May 14. Best wishes.
Collin Langley
- Friday, February 29, 2008 at 20:48:50 (GMT)
thanks for the information re Angela I am using the exeter archives and slowly getting hold of her books either from Fowey or via various libraries Haven't yet found the edition of the Cornish Review. I will be at the festival , loking forward to it
Jo Powell
- Friday, February 29, 2008 at 20:21:38 (GMT)
Re Angela du Maurier. The two autobiographies It's Only The Sister and Old Maids Remember for a start. Then try the Summer 1973 edition No. 24 of The Cornish Review. This contains an interesting comparison of the three du Maurier sisters. Angela's novels, at least those published by Truran wil be on Amazon might have the others although Old Maids Remember is out of print. Bookends of Fowey is an excellent antiquarian bookshop and the leading authority on du Maurier publications.Also try The Exeter du Maurier archives (Jessica Gardner). Why not just come to the du Maurier Festival in May and talk to people.
Collin Langley
- Thursday, February 28, 2008 at 07:07:15 (GMT)
I am researching Angela du Maurier for a dissertation at Exeter uni and would be really grateful if anyone could offer any help many thanks
Jo Powell
- Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 21:45:44 (GMT)
As most of you know I have a major interest in all things relating to Daphne du Maurier and I love Justine Picardie’s writing so I had been waiting eagerly for Justine’s new novel ‘Daphne’. I was not disappointed, once I started reading I could not put it down. The story has an involved plot, which provides the reader with masses of detail and information, making the book a compelling read. The story is told by three people Daphne du Maurier, Alex Symington and a young woman. Despite the three narratives, each of which interweaves with the other two, it is not an unnecessarily complicated novel. The way the story moves chapter by chapter through the different areas of the novel, helps you to hold on to everything that is happening. I think the story about the young woman is what held me the most, probably because, for me, she was the unknown quantity. She was so isolated from all the affection and comfort that most people take for granted...she was lost and alone and when she eventually found herself and we found out her name I was very moved. I like to think that she was called Jane after Wendy's daughter in Peter Pan. There were many other moments that really touched me - references to Guy du Maurier, Gerald du Maurier and the birds, the fact that inevitably Peter Llewelyn Davies was going to throw himself under that train, the young woman in the grounds of Menabilly. There was so much that had to be told and it was done brilliantly. The elements of the novel that relate to Daphne du Maurier and Alex Symington have been well researched and are very strong factually and the fiction which is the young woman’s story brings the whole narrative together beautifully. I lived and breathed every word and I hope other readers will appreciate the detail and complexity of this book as well as enjoying its content. I am sure this will be a book that provokes much interest and discussion and that it will give the author the recognition that she deserves.
- Sunday, February 24, 2008 at 20:18:47 (GMT)
Daphne du Maurier Festival of Arts and Literature booking Information May 2008. Bookends too, 25a Fore Street, Fowey is pleased to announce that as from 3rd March we will be taking PERSONAL BOOKINGS for patrons only, and from 10th March for all others, wishing to buy tickets for the du Maurier festival. This service will continue through to the end of the festival, our opening hours are 9.30 am to 5.30 pm, Monday to Saturday and Sundays from 11am to 4pm from Easter onwards. Payment by cash or cheques only. Please make cheques payable to RESTORMEL BOROUGH COUNCIL. For full booking information see the festival programme at
- Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 09:24:40 (GMT)
Just to clarify my previous posting, the Yeats' poem is about Lissadell and called 'In memory of sisters Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewicz.' The first line is: 'The light of evening,Lissadell,...' Lissadell was the family home of the Gore-Booths in Co. Sligo on the West coast of Ireland. It was to Lissadell that Daphne and Kits made their pilgramage in 1962 as fans of W B Yeats. Google Lissadell to view this stunningly preserved 19Ce house.
Collin Langley
- Tuesday, February 19, 2008 at 21:48:48 (GMT)
I'm researching Daphne's interest in poetry. Margaret Forster's bio (p.340) refers to a script Daphne did for a film about W B Yeats. Kits has very kindly confirmed that his mother enjoyed WB's poetry including Lissadell where he lived in Sligo. Kits and Daphne visited Lissadell in 1962 and a film was made by them about WB's life called The Last Romantic. It was broadcast on Irish TV in 1965 and distributed worldwide by CBS. Narration was by Cyril Cusack. The film contained some of Daphne and Kits' favourite WB poetry. Unfortunately Kits no longer has a copy and the Yeats Society in Sligo is trying to track it down. Does anyone have a copy or no anything about Daphne's favourite WB poetry please ?
Collin Langley
- Sunday, February 17, 2008 at 07:41:24 (GMT)
Thanks for that information David, I find it very exciting to think there's to be a film about Daphne. I'm particularly delighted that the 'Fox Family', with their familial links to Daphne and Fowey are to be so closely involved. It's safe to assume maybe that the makers of 'Atonement', the wonderful, Oscar nominated film with Keira Knightley and James MacAvoy, will make a really good job of the new project. It's too early to start speculating upon who might be in the cast lineup, but......
- Friday, February 01, 2008 at 16:08:21 (GMT)
The following piece of information has just been announced on the website and I thought readers of the du Maurier guestbook would be interested: Bloomsbury Publishing is delighted to announce a film deal for Justine Picardie’s forthcoming novel, Daphne, to be published in March 2008. The option has been bought by Robert Fox, producer of the films - Iris, The Hours, Notes on a Scandal and executive producer of Closer and most recently the Golden Globe winning, Oscar nominated Atonement. Daphne will be his next project. Fox's family had ties with the Du Mauriers and as a child Robert himself visited Daphne at Menabilly, Fowey, the house that would go on to inspire so much of her writing. Justine Picardie is thrilled to have a producer so in tune with this book and its history. Daphne is published on March 3rd 2008.
David <>
- Friday, February 01, 2008 at 08:37:41 (GMT)
Hello Ann and David, I an very sorry to hear that Glyn Hodge has left us for the 'Elysian Fields'. I did not know him well of course but he was always friendly and polite to me, a grockle, and was interesting to talk to when he was in the mood for conversation. I thought over the last couple of festivals that his interest was waning. He seemed to be withdrawing into himself, which I thought sad. When he was 'on form' he was very interesting, having had a colouful life I believe...... The story I heard about him, if I understood it correctly, illustrates the esteem in which he was held locally. Apparently a new incumbent at the Galleon objected to Glyn's routine, and eventually excluded Glyn. An unkind thing to do to an old man, but with a happpy outcome, for the bar staff went onto some sort of strike, or at least a concerted protest, to support Glyn. The publican was persuaded to back down and restore Glyn to his usual corner table for his daily meal. I hope I've got the story something like correct, but hope those nearer to him will put me right if I'm wrong...... Glyn was a 'character' in an increasingly grey world, he'll be missed, and I for one will lift a glass to his memory when I'm next in Safe Harbour (in May - God Willing)...... I was reminded too of Roger , another charming old local chap who has left us. He proudly gave me a couple of magnificent onions off of his allotment the last time I saw him well, to bring back home on the train, with my other luggage. Another sad loss! ......Best Wishes all.
- Saturday, January 26, 2008 at 18:42:38 (GMT)
All of you who have stayed at the Safe Harbour over the years, particularly during the du Maurier Festival will be sad to hear that Glyn Hodge died yesterday morning. He was a regular at the Safe, always sitting on the stool in the corner by the door. We used to see him every day as he walked past Bookends on his way to the Galleon for his lunch. He had become increasingly frail and had been in Fowey hospital for some weeks. He was an integral part of the Fowey community and will be missed by lots of people.
David <>
- Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 08:31:55 (GMT)
John, thanks for the website for Boconnac. I,too, find it fascinating.
- Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 12:25:09 (GMT)
It's fascinating to see how Daphne interwove fact and fiction in her novels, particularly The King's General. I was researching the history of the Boconnoc estate - the largest private estate in Cornwall - and you can see similarities in events, people and places. have a look at their website:
John B
- Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 00:42:22 (GMT)
I just wanted to say that Daphne Du Maurier's book "The King's General" has perked up my writing and got me reading again after concentration problems. I love her writing style and look forward to reading everything I can get my hands on by her :)
- Wednesday, January 09, 2008 at 23:45:02 (GMT)