Category Archives: Discovering Daphne

Discovering Daphne… A Reminder

Back in the month of June, which seems oddly much longer ago than it really was, the lovely Polly of Novel Insights and myself announced that we were going to be hosting ‘Discovering Daphne’ a whole month of Daphne Du Maurier delight, we won’t only be reading Daphne books all month though. Well it all starts in just two days, so I thought that I had best remind you all. I bang on and on about how brilliant Daphne is and so hoping lots of you will be joining in to celebrate her or try her out for the first time. Here will be treats and giveaways and post prizes along the way, all that to be announced on Saturday when we kick off.

So here is the schedule…

  • Saturday 1st of October to Saturday 8th of October 2010 – A special ‘Discovering Daphne’ week, with lots of guest posts, Daphne inspired reads, some interviews and some treats to giveaway. Sunday the 2nd of October will see the first of the Daphne-read-along’s that we would like you to join in with her first novel ‘The Loving Spirit’. Then…
  • 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.

Polly and I are very excited, and we do hope you will be joining in? You can find out more here by the way. Do let us know if you are and do spread teh word as Daphne deserves to be discovered by everyone. Right I am back off to curl up with the joy that is Daphne…

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A Daphne Du Maurier Discovery

Though this might not be as earth shatteringly amazing as the woman who found some of Daphne Du Maurier’s lost short stories which became ‘The Doll’, I did have my own amazing Daphne Du Maurier moment the other day, well I think it’s amazing. It was all again when I was raking through the over flow of books which had been sent for an art installation. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted some taller books one of which was ‘Vanishing Cornwall’ by Daphne Du Maurier, which would have been a fabulous find in itself, this book itself was hiding some secrets…

I would have picked up ‘Vanishing Cornwell’ regardless because its Daphne nothing else needs to be said than that really. You all know I love her work. The fact this book is no longer in print and not so easy to get hold of was an added bonus. If you are like me you will love finding things in books, things previous owners used as book marks. Be they old postcards (possibly my favourite find, especially if they have a note), cinema tickets, shopping lists, etc I find it all fascinating. Well, whoever had this book before I ended up in a warehouse and then with me must have loved Daphne as much as I do as the book was filled with press cuttings about her…

Most of them are obituaries from all the broadsheet press dated April 20th 1989, the day after she died. There are also articles such as ‘Secret jealousy of the real Rebecca’ from the Observer on Sunday the 23rd of April 1989, ‘Estuary is a model for saving species’ from The Guardian June 8th 1996 which is all about ‘Frenchman’s Creek’, ‘Cornwall: A Tip of a Landscape’ which is a colour supplement from 1985 celebrating ‘Vanishing Cornwall’ as a book itself two decades on. My very favourite find though was ‘A Storyteller in a Vanishing Land’ from Living which is a huge piece on Du Maurier’s home Menabilly from 24th of May 1981… the article itself is older than me. Don’t you find that fascinating?  What more of a sign could I have that doing ‘Discovering Daphne’ was meant to be?

I do want to say here that all these books would have been pulped if they hadn’t be bought and used in the installation. So if you aren’t a fan of it let’s simply say worse things could have happened. Also bear in mind I do kind of know my books, though less my classics I admit, and I did take the very best stuff. Sorry, I just felt the need to mention that, back to things you find in books…

Sometimes I really do think you are meant to be in a certain place at a certain time and in this case I was meant to find this book and all it had in it. We can gloss over the other articles the reader had kept about the sale of a Victorian taxidermy museum can’t we? So I wondered have you ever found a book that you have been searching for ages, or didn’t even know you were searching for, and its suddenly there in front of you when you least expect it? What joyful things have you found in a book? What do you think of my find, is it fate?

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