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Jamaica Inn (Virago Modern Classics) by…

Jamaica Inn (Virago Modern Classics) (original 1936; edition 2003)

by Daphne Du Maurier (Author), Sarah Dunant (Introduction)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,866842,992 (3.77)1 / 348
Title:Jamaica Inn (Virago Modern Classics)
Authors:Daphne Du Maurier (Author)
Other authors:Sarah Dunant (Introduction)
Info:Virago (2003), Edition: New Ed, 320 pages
Collections:2019, Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:historical fiction, Cornwall, classic, adventure, suspense, smuggling, 20th century

Work details

Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier (Author) (1936)

  1. 70
    Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (katie4098)
  2. 10
    The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier (sturlington)
  3. 10
    Falling Creatures by Katherine Stansfield (Becchanalia)
  4. 10
    Diamonds are Forever by Ian Fleming (Sylak)
    Sylak: Another story involving a complex central character worth a good read.
  5. 10
    To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway (Sylak)
    Sylak: Another story involving themes of smuggling and alcoholism.
  6. 00
    Burnt Mountain by Anne Rivers Siddons (silva_44)
    silva_44: Although the plot isn't very similar, Burnt Mountain reminds me of Jamaica Inn because of the peculiar psychotic actions of characters in each.
  7. 23
    North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (AdonisGuilfoyle)
    AdonisGuilfoyle: Mary Yellan reminded me very much of Gaskell's heroine Margaret Hale: both are young, outspoken, and are strong enough to cope with life's hardships and sorrows. And there is a comparison of 'north' and 'south' Cornwall in Du Maurier's novel, too!… (more)

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English (78)  French (3)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (84)
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
Just as amazing as the first time I read it. This remains one of my favorite du Mauriers. ( )
  tntbeckyford | Feb 16, 2019 |
Recently orphaned when her mother dies, Mary Yellan moves in with her Aunt Patience and Uncle Joss Merlyn. The former, one a happy-go-lucky young woman is now a haggard and anxious woman cowered by her abusive, drunkard husband. Her uncle is the landlord of Jamaica Inn, an isolated business on the Cornwall moors. What puzzles Mary is that there are no customers. Her uncle tells her that occasionally a number of men will come by at night and she is expected to assist her aunt in serving them drinks in the pub. Then Mary and the aunt are to retire to their bedrooms, lock their doors, and close their blinds. Mary has made herself a vow to protect her aunt but to do so she must learn about her uncle's secrecy.

As I was reading this novel set in 1820 English Cornwall, I was reminded of novels by Robert Louis Stevenson. Both authors use their respective settings as surrogate characters. Du Maurier's description of the oft fog-shrouded moors and surrounding hills came alive in my mind's eye. An enjoyable alternative suspense from this author of Rebecca. ( )
  John_Warner | Oct 20, 2018 |
I read this great yarn by a master storyteller while traveling in Wales. Some days we could see the Devonshire coast from the southern coast of Wales. One could easily imagine the lonely moors and the rocky coastal waters in which this novel is set. ( )
  renclbb | Jul 26, 2018 |
I love Daphne Du Maurier's work and was using this book as a treat after reading several books of heavy topics. While I really enjoyed the story and was charmed by the character of the heroine, I felt the book lacked the power and atmosphere of some of the author's other famous books. ( )
  rosiezbanks | Jun 3, 2018 |
I always expect classics to be hard work and a bit ponderous to read. But this is a page turning romance / mystery novel rather than a Great Insight into the Human Condition. Mary Yellan wanders around Bodmin Moor as a bit of a wide eyed Mary Sue, making mistakes that contribute to the death of her Uncle (but he was evil, so that's OK) and her Aunt (who was basically broken, and would have stopped her riding off into the sunset, so that's convenient). It has great atmosphere, both the brooding brown moor with the high tors, and the wild seas and grim murderous cruelty of the bad guys. Although I was a little worried at the 'anyone who draws slightly cruel cartoons about people at church is probably an evil pagan murderer'. And the happy ending, as she wanders off into the sunset with her sexy sexy horse thief, is just a bit too similar to how her Aunt got into the whole mess in the first place to be truly happy.

(It's an interesting book for its slant on female sexuality - she is very aware that she fancies him at some hormonal level which not necessarily liking him or thinking it's a great idea, with an air of 'well, you know, that's Nature for you'. And she nearly spends the night with him, and then he vanishes off, possibly arrested, and she's very 'darn, maybe I should have done that while I had the chance.') ( )
  atreic | May 27, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
du Maurier, DaphneAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Britton, TonyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dunant, SarahIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Jamaica Inn stands today, hospitable and kindly, a temperance house on the twenty-mile road between Bodmin and Launceston.

In the following story of adventure I have pictured it as it might have been over a hundred and twenty years ago; and although existing place names figure in the pages, the characters and events described are entirely imaginary.

Daphne du Maurier
October 1935
First words
It was a cold grey day in late November.
Jamaica Inn opens with echoes of Dracula: a carriage rattling through the desolate landscape and wild weather to a place where even the locals don't go, so ferocious is its reputation. (Introduction)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Her mother's dying request takes Mary Yellan on a sad journey across the bleak moorland of Cornwall to reach Jamaica Inn, the home of her Aunt Patience. With the coachman's warning echoing in her memory, Mary arrives at a dismal place to find Patience a changed woman, cowering from her overbearing husband, Joss Merlyn.

Affected by the Inn's brooding power, Mary is thwarted in her attention to reform her aunt, and unwillingly drawn into the dark deeds of Joss and his accomplices. And, as she struggles with events beyond her control, Mary is further thrown by her feelings for a man she dare not trust...
A huge success on first publication, Jamaica Inn is a dark and intriguing gothic tale that will remind readers of two other great classics, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380725398, Mass Market Paperback)

Jamaica Inn is a true classic. After the death of her mother, Mary Yellan travels to Jamaica Inn on the wild British moors to live with her Aunt Patience. The coachman warns her of the strange happenings there, but Mary is committed to remain at Jamaica Inn. Suddenly, her life is in the hands of strangers: her uncle, Joss Merlyn, whose crude ways repel her; Aunt Patience, who seems mentally unstable and perpetually frightened; and the enigmatic Francis Davey. But most importantly, Mary meets Jem Merlyn, Joss's younger brother, whose kisses make her heart race. Caught up in the danger at this inn of evil repute, Mary must survive murder, mystery, storms, and smugglers before she can build a life with Jem.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:13 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The inn is derelict, and no decent folks will come to it, speaking of it in fearful whispers. When Mary Yellan joins her aunt, married to the owner, she soon finds she has but two friends on the wild moors--the mysterious parson and an insolent, likeable horsethief.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 13 descriptions

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