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My Antonia

My Antonia

During that burning day when we were crossing Iowa, our talk kept returning to a central figure, a Bohemian girl whom we had both known long ago. More than any other person we remembered, this girl seemed to mean to us the country, the conditions, the whole adventure of our childhood . . . His mind was full of her that day. He made me see her again, feel her presence, revived all my old affection for her.’

MY ANTONIA is the unforgettable story of an immigrant woman’s life on the Nebraska plains, seen through the eyes of her childhood friend, Jim Burden. The beautiful, free-spirited, wild-eyed girl captured Jim’s imagination long ago and haunts him still, embodying for him the elemental spirit of the American frontier.
The Loving Spirit

The Loving Spirit

Daphne du Maurier’s lushly written novel . . . is a rapturous celebration of the beauties of the Cornish landscape – Michele Roberts

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Cornwall, 1900s. Plyn Boat Yard is a hive of activity, and Janet Coombe longs to share in the excitement of seafaring: to travel, to have adventures, to know freedom.

But constrained by the times, instead she marries her cousin Thomas, a boat builder, and settles down to raise a family.

Janet’s loving spirit – the passionate yearning for adventure and for love – is passed down to her son, and through him to his children’s children. As generations of the family struggle against hardship and loss, their intricately plotted history is set against the greater backdrop of war and social change in Britain.

Her debut novel, The Loving Spirit established du Maurier’s reputation and style with an inimitable blend of romance, history and adventure.

I'll Never Be Young Again

I'll Never Be Young Again

‘The iron of the bridge felt hot under my hand. The sun had been upon it all day. Gripping hard with my hands I lifted myself on to the bar and gazed down steadily on the water passing under . . . I thought of places I would never see, and women I should never love’

As far as Richard’s father, a famous poet, is concerned, his son has no talent as a writer and will never amount to anything. In a moment of crisis, Richard decides to end his life, but is saved by Jake, a passing stranger. The two men, both at turning points in their lives, set out for adventure, jumping aboard a ship to Norway.

Their travels take them through Europe and they form a passionate friendship. But in bohemian Paris Richard meets Hesta, a music student who inspires him to follow his artistic dreams.

No other popular writer has so triumphantly defied classification . . . She satisfied all the questionable criteria of popular fiction, and yet satisfied the exacting requirements of “real literature”, something very few novelists ever do – Margaret Forster
Julius

Julius

‘His first instinct was to stretch out his hands to the sky. The white clouds seemed so near to him, surely they were easy to hold and to caress, strange-moving things belonging to the wide blue space of heaven . . . ‘

Julius Levy grows up in a peasant family in a village on the banks of the Seine. A quick-witted urchin caught up in the Franco-Prussian War, he is soon forced by tragedy to escape to Algeria. Once there, he learns the ease of swindling, the rewards of love affairs and the value of secrecy.

Before he’s twenty, Julius is in London, where his empire-building begins in earnest, and he becomes a rich and very ruthless man. Throughout his life, Julius is driven by a hunger for power, his one weakness his daughter, Gabriel . . .

A chilling story of ambition, Daphne du Maurier’s third novel has lost none of its ability to unsettle and disturb.
Castle Dor

Castle Dor

She wrote exciting plots, she was highly skilled at arousing suspense, and she was, too, a writer of fearless originality – Guardian

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Both a spellbinding love story and a superb evocation of Cornwall’s mythic past, Castle Dor is a book with unique and fascinating origins.


It began life as the unfinished last novel of Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, the celebrated ‘Q’, and was passed by his daughter to Daphne du Maurier whose storytelling skills were perfectly suited to the task of completing the old master’s tale.

The result is this magical, compelling recreation of the legend of Tristan and Iseult, transplanted in time to nineteenth-century Cornwall.

A chance encounter between a Breton onion-seller, Amyot Trestane, and the newly-wed Linnet Lewarne launches their tragic story, taking them in the fateful footsteps of the doomed lovers of Cornish legend . . .
Gerald: A Portrait

Gerald: A Portrait

Sir Gerald du Maurier was the most celebrated actor-manager of his day, knighted for his services to the theatre in 1922.

Published within six months of her father’s death, this frank biography was considered shocking by many of his admirers – but it was a huge success, winning Daphne du Maurier critical acclaim and launching her career.

In Gerald: A Portrait, Daphne du Maurier captures the spirit and charm of the charismatic actor who played the original Captain Hook, amusingly recalling his eccentricities and his sense of humour, and sensitively portraying the darker side of his nature and his bouts of depression.


A remarkable book . . . brilliant comic writing – The Times
The Du Mauriers

The Du Mauriers

When Daphne du Maurier wrote this book she was only thirty years old and had already established herself both as a biographer, with the acclaimed Gerald: A Portrait, and as a novelist.

The Du Mauriers was written during a vintage period of her career, between two of her best-loved novels: Jamaica Inn and Rebecca.

Her aim was to write her family biography ‘so that it reads like a novel’ and it was due to du Maurier’s remarkable imaginative gifts that she was able to breathe life into the characters and depict with affection and wit the relatives she never knew, including her grandfather, the famous Victorian artist and Punch cartoonist – and creator of Trilby.

‘Miss du Maurier creates on the grand scale; she runs through the generations, giving her family unity and reality . . . a rich vein of humour and satire . . . observation, sympathy, courage, a sense of the romantic, are here’ Observer
Golden Lads

Golden Lads

Prior to the publication of this biography, the elusive Anthony Bacon was merely glimpsed in the shadow of his famous younger brother, Francis.

A fascinating historical figure, Anthony Bacon was a contemporary of the brilliant band of gallants who clustered round the court of Elizabeth I, and he was closely connected with the Queen’s favourite, the Earl of Essex. He also worked as an agent for Sir Francis Walsingham, the Queen’s spymaster, living in France where he became acquainted with Henri IV and the famous essayist Michel de Montaigne.

It was in France that du Maurier discovered a secret that, if disclosed during Bacon’s lifetime, could have put an end to his political career . . .

Du Maurier did much to shed light on matters that had long puzzled historians, and, as well as a consummate exercise in research, this biography is also a strange and fascinating tale.

A landmark book on a much-neglected figure, containing ground-breaking research . . . Vintage du Maurier – a page-turner, and a thundering good read! – Lisa Jardine
The Winding Stair

The Winding Stair

Many accounts of the life of Francis Bacon have been written for scholars. But du Maurier’s aim in this biography was to illuminate the many facets of Bacon’s remarkable personality for the common reader.

To her book she brought the same gifts of imagination and perception that made her earlier biography, Golden Lads, so immensely readable, siklfully threading into her narrative extracts from contemporary documents and from Bacon’s own writings, and setting her account of his life within a vivid contemporary framework.

This is truly history made alive.


Unlike many authors of popular historical biographies, du Maurier resembled Antonia Fraser in being an indefatigable researcher – Francis King
The Breaking Point

The Breaking Point

The apathy of Sunday lay upon the streets. Houses were closed, withdrawn.
“They don’t know,” he thought, “those people inside, how one gesture of mine, now, at this minute, might alter their world. A knock on the door, and someone answers – a woman yawning, an old man in carpet slippers, a child sent by its parents in irritation; and according to what I will, what I decide, their whole future will be decided . . . Sudden murder. Theft. Fire.” It was as simple as that.’

In this collection of suspenseful tales in which fantasies, murderous dreams and half-forgotten worlds are exposed, Daphne du Maurier explores the boundaries of reality and imagination. Her characters are caught at those moments when the delicate link between reason and emotion has been stretched to the breaking point. Often chilling, sometimes poignant, these stories display the full range of Daphne du Maurier’s considerable talent.
Vanishing Cornwall

Vanishing Cornwall

An eloquent elegy on the past of a county she loved so much – The Times


‘There was a smell in the air of tar and rope and rusted chain, a smell of tidal water. Down harbour, around the point, was the open sea. Here was the freedom I desired, long sought-for, not yet known. Freedom to write, to walk, to wander, freedom to climb hills, to pull a boat, to be alone . . . I for this, and this for me.’

Daphne du Maurier lived in Cornwall for most of her life. Its rugged coastline, wild terrain and tumultuous weather inspired her imagination, and many of her works are set there, including Rebecca, Jamaica Inn and Frenchman’s Creek.


In Vanishing Cornwall she celebrates the land she loved, exploring its legends, its history and its people, eloquently making a powerful plea for Cornwall’s preservation.
117 Days

117 Days

In prison you see only the moves of the enemy. Prison is the hardest place to fight a battle.’

117 Days is Ruth First’s personal account of her detention under the iniquitous ’90-day’ law of 1963. There was no warrant, no charge and no trial – only suspicion.

This sparsely written and unique record tells of her experiences of solitary confinement, constant interrogation and instantaneous re-arrest on release – lightened by humorous portraits of governors, matrons, wardresses and interrogators, seen as the tools of the police state.
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