Discovering Daphne…

Finally after a good few weeks of plotting and organising things behind the scenes I can announce with joy, on what would have been her 104th Birthday, that myself and the lovely Polly of Novel Insights will be hosting the ‘Discovering Daphne’ season throughout the whole of October this year. Polly and I are both huge fans of Daphne and we are hoping that be you a Du Maurier novice or a full on fan you will be join us to discover/further discover a marvellous author who deserves much more attention and acclaim.

Why did we decide on October? Well it’s the perfect Daphne reading time of year. As you may spot from my review of ‘The Doll’ (a newly published collection of some of her earlier work which had be thought lost) there is something about Daphne Du Maurier’s writing that makes you want to curl up in a big comfy chair by the fire and be ever so slightly chilled and thrilled all at once, and October is a month that has that feeling doesn’t it? We also wanted to give you plenty of notice so you could join in (big thanks to Thomas of My Porch for creating some wonderful buttons for us by the way) with it all…


So what’s the plan? Well when we say the whole of October we actually mean the first week from the 1st – 9th of October 2011 and will kick of with the first of five optional (though we hope you join in with them all) Daphne read-a-longs, and where better to start than the very beginning of her career with her first novel ‘The Loving Spirit’ and on the 9th a fictionalised biography of her great-great grandmother ‘Mary Anne’ a tale so wonderful its hard to believe its actually true. Around these titles will be  a full week of various posts on other Du Maurier novels, reviews of books that have been inspired by her, and constant updates of what other people (aka YOU) have been reading and thinking, plus giveaways and competitions before the final three read-a-longs…

  • Sunday 16th October: ‘The House on the Strand’ – speculative time-travelling Daphne showing how versatile she is.
  • Sunday 23rd October: Don’t Look Now & Other Stories’ – a collection of Daphne’s short stories which are always wonderful and rather dark.
  • Sunday 30th October: ‘Rebecca’ – if you have read it before or if you haven’t already, we will be discussing possibly the most famous of Daphne’s novels which should prove a perfect way to end the season.

Blimey, that should make for plenty of fun and fabulous reading and discussions for one month don’t you think? I have created a Discovering Daphne’ page on the site for you to return to should you wish.

We really hope you are going to be joining in all over the world… So much so that to start off the whole event (and make Friday the 13th lucky for two of you) with the help of Daphne’s publishers Virago in the UK, we have a set of all the read-a-long novels to giveaway each. So if you want to be off to a wonderful head start with ‘The Loving Spirit’, ‘Mary Anne’, ‘The House on the Strand’ and ‘Rebecca’ then all you need to do is tell us which Daphne Du Maurier you haven’t read yet you would most like to and why? Hopefully you will be reading an extra Daphne book during the season too. You have until the 20th, and if you want to double your chances of winning pop to Novel Insights and do the same there. These parcels can go global so do enter wherever in the world you are. Good luck, ooh I am excited, and let us know what you think of the Discovering Daphne season and do feel free to spread the word.



Filed under Book Thoughts, Daphne Du Maurier, Give Away

36 responses to “Discovering Daphne…

  1. dom agius

    i’m in!

  2. How exciting! I’ve read all of her books, but rereading is always good, and as they’re Virago Modern Classics, I’ll do a tie-in on my Virago Venture blog too 🙂

  3. The House on the Strand is new to me. Please count me in.

  4. This sounds brilliant, count me in!
    I have always wanted to read My Cousin Rachel after hearing a wonderful radio play adaptation some years ago…cheers

  5. Dot

    I shall be there! Very exciting!

  6. Susan E

    Looking forward to it. I’d like to read her book about Branwell Bronte, but after reading your last two posts, the Doll and Mary Anne are also possibilities.

  7. Oh I am so excited for this – you and Polly have picked a fantastic author to showcase!

    I don’t have any of those books so please enter me for the giveaway! I would most like to read Jamaica Inn – it’s my mother’s favourite book and I’ve never read it, so I’d love to see what she found so thrilling in it as a teenager!

  8. I’m excited to join you for what I’m sure will be a thrilling October. I read The Doll and Other Stories too and it has given me a real taste for more Daphne. Please enter me into the give-away! The book of hers that I am itching to read at present is The Birds and Other Stories, which I imagine will be as deliciously dark as the newly-discovered short stories.

  9. I should be ashamed of myself because I haven’t read any of her books, so this might be the right time to actually do that and I would go with “Rebecca” because I remember I read an interesting extract in a textbook years ago. Thanks in advance 🙂

  10. I’d love to participate in this – Daphne du Maurier is one of my favourite authors! You don’t need to enter me in the giveaway though, as I already have most of those books.

  11. Louisa

    Hello! I’m new to reading both of your blogs but think a readalong is a great idea! I’ve only read Rebecca but I really enjoyed that. I think though the next book of Du Maurier’s I’d like to read is Jamaica Inn – I’ve heard a lot about it but have never got around to reading it. Thanks for entering me!


  12. I ll join in ,got rebecca and try and pick others up if chance ,all the best stu

  13. Jo

    Pop me in the hat please. Having seen these posts today I have taken Jamaica Inn off the shelf to read as I have only read Rebecca and want to read more – perfect incentive.

    I also have my mum on to this and the new book out, so she is seeking out all her Du Mauriers from the shelf to go through. I think some are very old editions. Will definitely be doing some photos of these for October and if I can read any of them by then that will be even better!

  14. Sarah

    I am really looking forward to taking part, having enjoyed Rebecca very much and hoping to explore more of Daphne Du Maurier’s writing. The book I would most like to read is Don’t Look Now and Other Stories, because I have seen the very spooky film of Don’t Look Now and am intrigued to read the story it was based on.

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  16. Jill

    I loved Rebecca and would love to read her others. Count me in!

  17. After reading ‘Don’t Look Now & Other Stories’ last year, I have been meaing to read Rebecca, and all of Daphne’s others. I loved every minute of her! Please count me in, I am looking forward to October!

  18. OOOO I’m really looking forward to this I’ve only read Rebecca and Jamaica Inn and have been meaning to reread Rebecca for years. I really want to try some of her short stories so probably The Dolls or The Birds would be what I would want to read of hers next.

  19. So looking forward to this already, Simon. I first read Rebecca when I was in seventh grade (that would be many decades ago!), and I’ve never forgotten it. I’m always up for a re-read of that fabulous novel, plus I’m looking forward to reading a few of Daphne’s that I haven’t yet. I’m so glad that you and Novel Insights thought of this brilliant plan; already anticipating October and Summer’s not even here yet. 🙂

  20. I’m definitely in Simon! I have only read Rebecca but have wanted to read more of her books for a long time now so this will be the perfect reason!

  21. Mae

    I’ve only just read Rebecca earlier this year after putting it off for a long time ever since a lit teacher berated it for being a copy of Jane Eyre. But I did quite like Rebecca. I think my next du Maurier would be Jamaican Inn or My Cousin Rachel.

  22. I’ve read them all, but as my favourite author, this is a very exciting idea!

  23. I’d love to join in! I have only read one Daphne, and that is The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë, just finished in fact. I’d love to join in with you as I have Rebecca on hand. Of the rest of the titles above that I would most like to read, it’s The House on the Strand. Thanks Simon!! 🙂

  24. Excellent readalong! I’m planning to join you guys as I’ve read quite a few of her more famous novels and autobiography but didn’t realise quite how many books she’s written. I’d like to read her short story collections such as The Birds or Don’t Look Now as I’ve not seen the films either. Out of your five titles, I’ve only read Rebecca (which I love) so lots to look forward to:)

  25. Lyn

    What a great idea. I have the new short stories so I’d like to read that next but I also have Hungry Hill on the tbr shelves so maybe it should be that… Can’t decide but please enter me for the draw.

  26. Oh, I’d love to join in! I’ve read Rebecca and Don’t Look Now and loved both of them. I’d love any of the other three, please enter me in the drawing as well.

    I have My Cousin Rachel and The Scapegoat on the TBR shelves so I’ll have to read those this summer before the read-a-long. How fun, thanks for organizing this.

  27. Marion Webb

    I’ve always wanted to read “The House on the Strand.” Maybe this will be my chance! Thank you.

  28. Viv Board

    Brilliant idea the read-a-long, count me in. Please add me to your list of hopefuls. Hate to admit I have only read ‘Rebecca’ once many years ago, and again a few months ago, so enjoyed it that I have resolved to read her others. Not sure which one to read next, but there are plenty to choose from.

  29. This sounds brilliant. I already have three of those books so I shall save them for October. Can’t wait!

  30. A little late to the party, but thankfully before October, but I’d love to join in.

  31. Oh's BOP!


    Egad, such temptation to join in, scoot along, participate and generally adopt the idea.

    But my reading is somewhat sporadic, slow and fluctuating; on which basis I fear some waywardness on my part.

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  33. Apologies, myself and Polly will draw the winners this week coming – oops, my fault, my healths been ropey again.

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