Monday, October 19, 2009

Magnificent, Marvellous, Mighty Monday and Daphne du Maurier

Cornwall is one of my favourite places on earth. Not least because it's where Daphne du Maurier lived. I have many happy memories of the Scribe and myself in Cornwall, including a thrilling night driving across a foggy Bodmin Moor right near Jamaica Inn.
I remember my friend who owned a lovely B&B in Boscastle where we stayed being perplexed by my love of all that is Daphne. "Isn't she a bit old hat?" she said.
Never! I think Daphne is forever a legend because of the riveting, haunting nature of her books and writing. She is the consummate storyteller and refused to follow trends of publishing. Her books such as Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel and Jamaica Inn invite numerous re-readings and you can often get a different interpretation of the story when you do so.
I can imagine how horrified Daphne would have been at the modern publishing industry with its Twittering, Facebooks, celebrity publishing and Blogging. She would not have been comfortable with the self-promotion demanded of writers these days. All she wanted to do was live by the sea in her beloved Cornwall and tell her tales. It sounds perfect to me.
Her life is fascinating and she is as complex as her stories. She remains one of my Holy Trinity of women writers, along with Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie.
And so on Magnificent, Marvellous, Mighty Monday let us celebrate the genius of Daphne du Maurier and her haunting, dark, psychological stories and books. May her original, gripping writing inspire us all to disregard modern trends and, if we are writers, to focus on a great story with unforgettable characters that keeps the reader turning the pages.

Writers should be read, but neither seen nor heard.
Daphne du Maurier


  1. Hello Josephine

    I haven't had much time for blogging over the past week, hence my lack of post! Now that I have a spare 5 minutes I have popped over to your blog and see that you feature another of my favourite writers! Funnily enoughy, when I have finished reading my book about Agatha Christie I am going to read about Daphne du Maurier who also intrigues me. I have visited Jamaica Inn and on a cold misty day it is the perfect setting for her book.
    I have loved Cornwall since visiting there as a child.
    One of my favourite Daphne du Maurier books is Frenchman's Creek. After reading it, I went to Frenchman's Creek and walked along pictuing where the ship might have hidden. It's a lovely area.
    Thanks for a wonderful post!
    Take care
    Isabelle x

  2. Oh I love Daphne Du Maurier. Used to read them feverishly as a teenager. Have you read Frenchman's Creek?? One of my favourites!!

  3. wow i love this post!! my mum re-married and had a pagen wedding on Bodmin moor...and i love the jamaica inn -if i remember it had lots of wired and wonderful things inside. i can tell ur true love of daphne's work-some one who has inspired and people will always admire ;0)xxxx

  4. I've heard and read so many good things about Cornwall, I really must make a visit there some day!

    Happy Monday to you:)

  5. I've only ever read Rebecca but I LOVED it. And of course I know of Don't Look Now and The Birds. In my desk draw right now there is a copy of Mary Anne which a work colleague gave me before she left the job. I need to read more of her work - I am just like you, I love the way she weaves a tale and I'm fascinated by her imagination and themes! xxx

  6. I have never been to Cornwall and have never read Daphne- two things that I am now longing to do! Thank you...

  7. Loved this article and the photos. She was a fantastic story teller and writer.

  8. I am fascniated by all the things I learn from coming to your blog. In some's like a history class...but a rocking FUN history class! :)

  9. i am the luckiest girl, you know...i have family that live in aunt and uncle are caretakers of a national trust house (they live on the grounds) near falmouth and i have assorted anunts/uncles, cousins, 2nd cousins all over....
    i just wanted to make you jealous!!!!!
    (oh, and -as usual- lovely post!!!!)

  10. I am yet to read any of her work. What wonderful memories you have.

  11. I love Daphne du Maurier! Jamaica Inn and Rebecca are my favourites. I fancy re-reading them now, as I write ...

  12. Isabelle! It is great to hear from you. Why am I not surprised that you are a Daphne lover as well? :) Kate, I have yet to read Frenchman's Creek but I definitely will! Kazzy, I missed my chance on Bodmin Moor, I should have persuaded the Scribe to have a marriage then and there. That would be a wonderful place for a wedding. And yes, the Inn did have some weird and wonderful things inside it. Willow, you're looking rather dapper in your profile pic! Sher, you must visit Cornwall, you would love it! It's so magical and filled with atmosphere and stories waiting to be told. Curious Cat, My Cousin Rachel is one of my favorites. It is a wonderfully haunting book. Jennifer, grab My Cousin Rachel and Rebecca to start with. And you must go to Cornwall! Lovely to meet you, gypsyscarlett and I have visited your wonderful Blog and left a message. Sophia, glad you said it was rocking fun and not dreary or anything to visit here! Cat, do you love Cornwall as much as I do? Have you been to Boscastle? That is such a beautiful place. I am homesick now for it! I'm not jealous at all... well envious a little bit perhaps! Simone, do your self a favour and start with Rebecca or My Cousin Rachel. They are very gripping and wonderful reads! Liz, is that my Sister in Crime Liz? Yes, the Scribe loved Jamaica Inn as well. I always feel like re-reading her. Have you read Justine Picardie's novel Daphne? It is also wonderful.
    All these people who love Daphne have got me so worked up! I want to go back to Cornwall right now!! xx

  13. I just love that quote....I might have to quote her myself, xv.

  14. Oh Josephine, you have set me off! I'd love nothing more than to read one of Daphne's books. I can't recall that I have, but are there any movies made based on her novels? The name is familiar.

    Oh well, one day...hopefully soon, when I can switch off and concentrate...
    I love the photos you've added here. When I dream of England, the same 'setting' is in my mind's eye - that of an old castle - Elvaston Castle, which is near my childhood home. Mam would take us for picnics in the woods nearby. England will always be in my soul...

  15. What a wonderful post - I must read her work... and is she not beautiful in that photo? Thank you for sharing!!!


  16. Kim, thanks for popping in and following me! You know how much I love popping over to Daisy Cottage and I know how busy you are! xx


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