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Daphne du Maurier

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A look at the Daphne du Maurier related blogs written by Jo Wing

Jo Wing writes a blog called Return of a Native, a superb literary name which describes her perfectly.  Jo was born in London, raised in Sydney, Australia and then returned to the UK as an adult, settling in Cornwall, but travelling widely.  On her blog, she explores the lives of creative people and their relationship to place.  Jo includes magnificent photographs and references to music, which add atmosphere and resonance to her writing.  Luckily for us, one of the people she admires and writes about is Daphne du Maurier, and she has agreed to the Daphne du Maurier website bringing her writing to your attention, by linking you to her blog. 


No Place for a Girl, Daphne du Maurier, Bodmin Moor

The isolation of Bodmin Moor

Today we are delighted to bring you a new piece of writing from Jo Wing - No Place for a Girl, Daphne du Maurier, Bodmin Moor.

Jamaica Inn was Daphne du Maurier's fourth novel.  Victor Gollancz had published Daphne's candid biography about her father, Gerald, but Jamaica Inn was the first of her novels that he published, and it was Daphne's first best seller.


Jamaica Inn and its famous sign

Jo begins this piece of writing by looking at Daphne du Maurer and where she was in her personal and writing life at the time she wrote Jamaica Inn.  She describes Daphne's relationship with her husband, Tommy, almost four years into their marriage and the role that Daphne found, being his wife, expected of her.  Writing was Daphne's everything, but it had to take its place within her new life. 

Jo describes Daphne's longing for Cornwall and thoughts about her visits to Jamaica Inn before her marriage.    

The church at Altarnun

She then talks about the story of Jamaica Inn, its setting, and the locations that contribute so much to the story's themes.  She touches on the question of wrecking, the disastrous Hitchcock film starring Charles Laughton, and why the film changed the story so much. 

A view of Bodmin Moor

There is so much to think about in this beautiful piece of writing.  Please click here to read it.


Going to the Chapel, Daphne du Maurier, Fowey, Cornwall

Today the Daphne du Maurier website brings you another contribution from Jo Wing’s brilliant literary blog Return of a Native.   In this piece entitled Going to the Chapel, Daphne du Maurier, Fowey, Cornwall, Jo talks about Daphne du Maurier’s wedding to Frederick Browning, which took place at Lanteglos Church early in the morning on 19th July 1932. 



Daphne and Tommy

To Lanteglos Church

Jo tells us about how Daphne and Tommy, as the family knew him, met, the wedding day and the start of their married life on board Tommy’s boat Ygdrasil down on the Helford River.  As always, Jo illustrated her blog with beautiful photographs that she took when she was in Fowey.  Her pictures really set the scene and make you feel as if you are part of the events that you are reading about. 


The path to Lanteglos Church

Lanteglos Church interior

To read this blog, please click here:  While you are there, please take a look at some of her other writing.  Jo writes extensively about many different authors, artists, and musicians and their works.  


Growing Pains, Daphne du Maurier

Daphne du Maurier's autobiography originally called Growing Pains: The Making of a Writer, later renamed Myself When Young: The Making of a Writer

Daphne du Maurier is the subject of a third article on Jo Wing's brilliant literary blog, and one I particularly want to share with you.  The first two pieces in this series were about her early adult years in Cornwall and the influence Cornwall had on her writing of novels such as The Loving Spirit and Jamaica Inn.  This article is called Growing Pains, Daphne du Maurier.  It opens with a passage taken from Daphne's first novel -

The child destined to be a writer is vulnerable to every wind that blows. Now warm, now chill, next joyous, then despairing, the essence of his nature is to escape the atmosphere about him, no matter how stable, even loving. No ties, no binding chains, save those he forges for himself.
- The Loving Spirit

- which, as Jo points out, echoes the views of Daphne du Maurier's fourteen-year-old self, who was convinced that the seeds of all great writing emanate from a sense of dissatisfaction and a desire to escape.

Cannon Hall, Hampstead

In this superb piece of writing, Jo takes us through Daphne's earliest years, her childhood, teenage years, and young adulthood, as she experiences life and begins to learn her craft as a writer. 

To read it, please click here:


A Dark, Diabolic Beauty, Daphne du Maurier, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall

Jamaica Inn

The second article, from Jo Wing's beautiful blog that I want to share with you today, is called A Dark, Diabolic Beauty, Daphne du Maurier, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall.  In this article, Jo takes us up onto Bodmin Moor with her and shares with us some exceptional photographs of the moor as it is at its most sinister.  She recalls the day when Daphne du Maurier and her friend Foy Quiller-Couch, staying at Jamaica Inn, set out on horseback to visit a friend and became lost and disorientated as the rain and fog came down and cut them off from everything familiar.  Jo then links Daphne and Foy's terrifying adventure with the way this formed into the novel Jamaica Inn.  The Daphne du Maurier website is delighted to be able to share this insightful piece of writing with you.  Thank you, Jo. 

Read this fascination article here;



Bodmin Moor, beautiful, but sinister and a dangerous place to be!


Here Was the Freedom I Desired, Daphne du Maurier – Bodinnick, Cornwall

The first article that we bring you is called Here Was the Freedom I Desired, Daphne du Maurier – Bodinnick, Cornwall.  This is Jo’s account of Daphne and her sister's Angela and Jeanne’s arrival in the Fowey area, with their mother, as they searched for a holiday home in Cornwall. 

Please read and enjoy this beautiful piece of writing.



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