Monday, December 1, 2014

Du Maurier December

Every year when the days start to close in and the snow starts to fall I have this deep seeded urge to read Daphne Du Maurier. Bleak tales that are the modern equivalent to the Brontes just fit with long nights and ice covering the windowpane. When I was younger the movie Rebecca was one of my favorite films and my mother's copy of the book in her Franklin Mystery Library was one of the first books I pilfered for myself from among that set (which is slowly but surely making it's way to my own shelves). Because obviously once my loopy high schoolish signature was in that book it was mine. I only knew of two other books she had written, My Cousin Rachel and Jamaica Inn, which I eventually tracked down and placed on my shelf. The little purple paperback of Jamaica Inn looking more then a little woeful next to the gorgeous edition of Rebecca. I never thought there was more to her then these few volumes. I didn't even know that the movie The Birds was based on her short story till years later!

The reason for this ignorance is that Daphne Du Maurier has never really had her books released in the United States. So, like me, most Americans figured she was a one hit wonder. Little did I know that she wrote almost forty books! Many of them classics in England. I still remember that day I was at the west side Half Price Books and there on the shelf where all these books I had never heard of by her. Quite literally a whole shelf of Du Maurier (properly shelved under "D"). I was flabbergasted by the appearance of all these lovely paperbacks published by Virago. I bought the lot and have slowly been trying to complete the collection. Only ten more to go! But despite having all these books to hand I rarely have the time to just pick a book up for fun, my reading being decided by my blog and my book club (four months of putting Rebecca in the hat to no avail!) Therefore, theme month time! Because my love of Du Maurier was ignited by my love of Hitchcock's movie I thought it would be fun to review both one of her books and then one of that book's adaptations each week. What would usually be a bleak month glutted in holiday cheer is now truly  a time to rejoice... even if it is rejoicing in bleak, mysterious, Cornish ways.


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