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Vanishing Cornwall by Daphne du Maurier

Vanishing Cornwall (1967)

by Daphne du Maurier, Christian Browning (Photographer)

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An interesting insight into Daphne Du Maurier's Cornwall. ( )
  cazfrancis | Oct 16, 2015 |
"A parson, when he turns odd, does it thoroughly, especially if he lives in Cornwall; in fact, he may be said to go the whole hog."

King Arthur, King Mark (Marcus), Tristan & Iseault, Avalon, Tintagel, Carlyon, Warleggan, Copper Mining, Helstone, Pirates of Penzance, Manderley. It's all here and more.

If you're like me, everything has been coming up Cornwall lately. Recently discovered the 2004 BBC North & South miniseries which I have watched over and over again 3 times. Then I read the book. Then I listened to it read to me by Juliet Stevenson. I'm besotted with it all. Then Poldark started on Masterpiece, so I drooled over that for the duration of the series. In the meantime I'm listening to the Mists of Avalon most of which takes place in Cornwall. I'm also listening to H is for Hawk which takes a lot from T.H. White who wrote Once and Future King which is all Cornwall. Then I remember that one of my favorite books and movies of all time is Rebecca. That was in Cornwall? I had no idea! And you know Sense & Sensibility, well those Dashwoods are packed off to Cornwall. I hadn't caught that before. And I just watched the 2008 BBC Sense & Sensibility miniseries, which is far and away better than the movie, highly recommended, and the Cornwall-ness of their new abode is all too romantically apparent in the miniseries.

So, back to this book. If your life has been coming up Cornwall, this is a neat travelogue with lots of juicy stories interspersed with the history. And written by Daphne du Maurier, bonus!

If you're not curious about Cornwall, this book will NOT float your boat. ( )
  libbromus | Oct 6, 2015 |
A very atmospheric read - possibly essential if visiting Cornwall. Filled with mystic interest about Arthurian legends, the initial origins of the Cornish, smuggling, pirating, and tin mining lore, the maternal origins of the Bronte family and other Cornish folklore.

I read it while discovering Cornwall on holiday, and it was a delight, adding a third dimension to our sight-seeing. It would have helped to have a map and some visual points of reference to the stories - an online map helped me decipher the locales. I suspect that the aspect of geography would be even more confusing to the arm-chair traveller, which is possibly the reason that this book is not widely distributed.

Go visit Cornwall - it is a truly magical place. ( )
1 vote kiwidoc | May 14, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maurier, Daphne duAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Browning, ChristianPhotographermain authorall editionsconfirmed
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To the memory of my husband,because of memories shared and a mutual love for Cornwall; and to our son Christian, who photographed the present, while I rambled on about the past. Menabilly 1966.
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Prologue: I saw him thrash about in the long grass with a stick, and suddenly he thrust downwards with his hand and drew forth the wiggling form.
Chapter One: Cornwall projects from the body of England much as Italy falls from the land mass of central Europe.
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From the back cover: An ancient land full of legend and history, Cornwall has nurtured a proud and fiercely independent people--fishermen, boat-builders, tin-miners, china-clay workers--and become a refuge to the artists, writers and sculptors who have drawn inspiration from its wild grandeur and clear light.

Daphne du Maurier has lived in Cornwall for most of her life and uses her intimate knowledge of the country in such enormously successful books as Rebecca, Frenchman's Creek, and Jamaica Inn. Here, with her son, the photographer Christian Browning, she has chronicled all aspects of this strange and aloof part of England, fusing history, anecdote and travelogue in an eloquent plea for Cornwall's preservation.

Beautiful, haunting and untamed, Cornwell exerts a potent spell on all who visit it. An ancient land, full of legend and mystery, it has nurtured a proud and fiercely independent people, and has become a refuge to the artists and writers who have drawn inspiration from its natural grandeur. In Vanishing Cornwall, Daphne Du Maurier fuses history, anecdote and travelogue to pay tribute to her adopted home - to the land and the people she loved.
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Novelist's personal tour of Cornwall with descriptions of the history, folklore and legends of its past.

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