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Frenchman's Creek by Daphne Du Maurier

Frenchman's Creek (1941)

by Daphne du Maurier

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,289396,081 (3.82)119
  1. 10
    Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini (avalon_today)
    avalon_today: pirates and romance. captain blood was more pirates than romance :-)
  2. 10
    The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley (avalon_today)
    avalon_today: Largely centered around the sea. Both have that bittersweet quality running threw the book
  3. 00
    Martha Peake: A Novel of the Revolution by Patrick McGrath (Bookmarque)
    Bookmarque: definitely not a romance, but a gothic tale of revenge. Partially set in Cornwall.
  4. 00
    Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende (Booksloth)

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» See also 119 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
Beautifully written as are all of Daphne du Maurier's books. Lyrical, poetic writing that's difficult to find in modern plot-based novels. It's a good book to help one to see behind the eyes and hearts of women of those times who must have felt so constricted and longed for freedom. I can understand. ( )
  Debjani_Ray | Apr 30, 2014 |
I'm a big Daphne du Maurier fan. She creates atmosphere like no one else, and wraps it around a good yarn.

Frenchman's Creek is one of her most famous books, but it's not among my favorites. The atmosphere is there, but the yarn it's wrapped around doesn't hold up as it may have years ago. Although the protagonist, Dona, is believable, the male characters (even the Frenchman) are thinly drawn and it's hard to believe the romance. Even harder to believe: that the men, however thinly portrayed, would buy a beautiful woman dressed in pants as a cabin boy. The last time that worked was the 16th century.

For a more absorbing duMaurier, try "The House on the Strand."

Petrea Burchard
Camelot & Vine ( )
  PetreaBurchard | Feb 9, 2014 |
My girlfriend insisted that I read a Daphen Du Maurier novel. She suggested [Rebecca], however I came upon [Frenchman's Creek] at the library book sale for 10 cents; can't pass up a bargain like that. Firstly, I was in love with the words. They were beautiful and they flowed ever so elegantly. The plot was simple and somewhat predictable; however, interesting enough to keep my reading. This was a good book and I will probably read another of her novels in the future. ( )
  tess_i_am48 | Apr 4, 2013 |

After reading and falling in love with [b:Rebecca|12873|Rebecca|Daphne du Maurier|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1298414903s/12873.jpg|46663] when I was a teenager, I started but failed to finish [b:My Cousin Rachel|50239|My Cousin Rachel|Daphne du Maurier|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1170367871s/50239.jpg|623258] and [b:Jamaica Inn|50244|Jamaica Inn|Daphne du Maurier|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1170367873s/50244.jpg|430524]. I gave up on them because they weren't like Rebecca. I then gave up on du Maurier, having decided that she had only written one good novel. That was a long time ago. I recently listened to an audiobook of Rebecca as a buddy read with my friend Jemidar. We both liked the book just as much as we had when we first read it. That experience prompted a buddy read of this novel.

Frenchman's Creek has a simple plot and a lineal structure. The heroine, Dona St Columb, a wealthy young married woman in Restoration England, is bored and dissatisfied with her marriage and with London life. She seeks refuge on the family's Cornwall estate and becomes involved with a dashing French pirate who has been stealing from the local gentry. They fall in love and share adventures. So on its surface, the book is a straightforward swashbuckling historical romance.

However, the novel can also be read in another way; that is, as a tale about the desire to escape which strikes almost every woman who has ever felt stifled by family ties and societal expetations. In this way, the novel works as an extended daydream, in which the reader can explore, through the heroine, what a completely different life might look like. The novel deals with the choices to be made between freedom and duty and between self and others.

The dreamlike quality of the book is emphasised by the use of language. Du Maurier's evocation of Cornwall and her description of the natural environment - the bird life, the sea, the sky, the weather - are breathtaking. While the novel is set during the Restoration, du Maurier makes no attempt to use period language or other devices to recreate the time period. The lack of such detail is not a problem. If anything, it makes the action simultaneously more vivid and more like a fantasy. I wondered whether du Maurier chose to set the novel during the Restoration for no other reason than that it gave her the possibility of introducing pirates into the story.

Frenchman's Creek has its flaws. Even given that it is not supposed to be realistic, there are some plot points - for example, the ease with which Dona persuades her husband to leave with the children which stretch credulity. Moreover, the resolution - even though it felt right within the context of the novel - could have been somewhat better explained.

Overall, I enjoyed reading the novel much more than I thought I would. It will not appeal to everyone, but I am very glad to have spent a few days in its world. What a pleasure it has been to realise that du Maurier did in fact write other books worth reading!

( )
  KimMR | Apr 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
du Maurier, Daphneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
McCaddon, WandaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Myerson, JulieIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Paddy and Christopher
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When the east wind blows up Helford River the shining waters become troubled and disturbed and the little waves beat angrily upon the sandy shores.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Lady Dona St Columb is beautiful, headstrong - and bored. Desperate to escape the pomp and ritual of the Restoration Court, she retreats to the hidden creeks and secret woods of the family estate at Navron, in Cornwall. Though renowned for her passionate engagement with life, privately she yearns for freedom, integrity and love - whatever the cost.

The peace Lady Dona craves, however, eludes her from the moment she stumbles across the mooring place of a white-sailed ship that plunders the Cornish coast. And as she becomes embroiled in a plot to steal another ship from under the nose of the English authorities, she realises that her heart is under seige from the French philosopher-pirate Jean Aubrey...
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0848824490, Hardcover)

First Edition stated. DOUBLEDAY, DORAN & CO., NY 1942. The wild Cornish coast is the backdrop of this love story between a famous pirate and an aristocratic lady. Made into a movie.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:55:14 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Seeking peace of mind, Lady Donna de Colomb flees the stews of London and the Restoration court for remote Navaron. There she finds the boundless passion her spirit craves - daring to love the pirate hunted by all Cornwall.

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