Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Daphne du Maurier

User avatar
Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Posts: 1346
Joined: September 2008
Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Thu January 21st, 2010, 6:48 pm

My image of "Boy" Browning has forever been skewed by Hollywood. I now can't picture him any other way than as Dirk Bogarde who played him in A Bridge Too Far. At the beginning of the film, there is a scene with a military briefing, and out the window in the distance you see a woman (Daphne, one presumes) swinging her golf club.

Sharz
Reader
Posts: 249
Joined: October 2009
Location: Chicago

Post by Sharz » Thu January 21st, 2010, 7:20 pm

I haven't read anything by R du M yet, but clearly I need to.

Question, though. I intend to read Rebecca as well as watch the Hitchcock movie. Which order would you all recommend?

BTW, I am NEVER one to worry about spoilers, so the "spoiler" affect of one over the other is a non-factor. I love spoilers--in fact, it's almost inevitable that I will read the last chapter of a book before I get even half way through. Often, before I even purchase it; usually, before I've really settled into the book. I've always done so, since I was a child.

User avatar
Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Posts: 1346
Joined: September 2008
Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Thu January 21st, 2010, 9:14 pm

Sharz, I love both the book and the film. I think most people will tell you to read the book first, then watch the film. I did it backwards... saw the film, and years later came across the book at the library and finally read it, so it wasn't a back-to-back experience where I was able to immediately notice the differences between book and film (and there are some differences). The film is one of my favorite Hitchcock movies, BTW. Whichever way you choose, I highly recommend both.

User avatar
Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 2440
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favourite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Post by Margaret » Fri January 22nd, 2010, 2:43 am

I'd go with the book first, because that's the way Du Maurier wrote it, and it's fabulous. There's so much in the way of inner experience that can't come across in a film, but can in a book. Of course, the film has visual atmosphere to compensate. But I think it's easier to watch and enjoy a film you already know the ending to, because film has a mesmerizing effect. It's a more passive experience than reading, because when you're reading, your imagination has to supply a lot. Whereas with a film, you just sit back and watch.

I've been thinking about the difference between books and films, because I just finished reading Barbara Chase-Riboud's novel Sally Hemings (which I've reviewed here). Some of the scenes and incidents were familiar from the film Jefferson in Paris, which I think must have been partly based on the novel. But the film, while enjoyable, seemed a bit emotionally pallid, whereas the novel was very interesting and absorbing because Sally Hemings's thoughts and feelings come across so well. She's a quiet person, rather like the heroine of Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring, and I think for her character to come across well in a film, the film would have to be centered on her the way the film of GWPE was.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

User avatar
Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Posts: 1346
Joined: September 2008
Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Fri January 22nd, 2010, 11:43 am

All good and valid points, Margaret, and most of the time with book vs film, I would agree reading the book first can enrich the film experience. Like Sharz, I'm not particularly sensitive to spoilers in books, but films are a little different for me. Hitchcock's niche was suspense, and knowing less is sometimes better than knowing more about plot and character going into a film like that. One of the reasons I put off reading Rebecca the first time was because a friend of mine had read it after seeing the film and didn't recommend it. She hated how passive the nameless narrator was in the book. I really regretted that for several years, I followed that advice. I've read Rebecca several times now, and have watched the film several times, too, but there are important differences in their treatment. With hindsight, I don't think I could choose which is better to experience first. I really don't think you can go wrong either way in this particular case.

User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4248
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Post by Vanessa » Fri January 22nd, 2010, 4:40 pm

I would read the book first, too. It's a great story. The old black and white film with Sir Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine is very atmosphere but there is a slight difference to do with what they were and were not allowed to get away with portraying in those days.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

annis
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Post by annis » Fri January 22nd, 2010, 5:49 pm

I'd also put in a vote for reading the book first, and would suggest that as well with "My Cousin Rachel". There are subtle nuances in the books which help to enhance your understanding when watching the film versions.

Dirk Bogarde! He was good. His autobiographies (beginning with A Postillion Struck by Lightning) are excellent too, and well worth a read.
Last edited by annis on Fri January 22nd, 2010, 5:53 pm, edited 5 times in total.

User avatar
Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 2440
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favourite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Post by Margaret » Fri January 22nd, 2010, 7:20 pm

One of the reasons I put off reading Rebecca the first time was because a friend of mine had read it after seeing the film and didn't recommend it. She hated how passive the nameless narrator was in the book.
Interesting. She was quite passive, of course. The style in historical novels right now is for very spunky, courageous, active heroines who challenge conventional manners and mores, but Du Maurier's heroine is probably more typical of women of the past, who were trained from childhood to be compliant. Even today, you can read a lot of letters to advice columnists from women who won't challenge their boyfriends or husbands about obvious power imbalances in the relationship.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

annis
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Post by annis » Fri January 22nd, 2010, 10:36 pm

And it shouldn't be forgotten that Maxim de Winter deliberately chose a mouse as his second wife - someone who would be the complete opposite to the dashing Rebecca, and wouldn't create trouble.
Last edited by annis on Sat January 23rd, 2010, 4:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 2440
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favourite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Post by Margaret » Sat January 23rd, 2010, 2:58 am

Yes, and one important point of the story is that she gains confidence as the story progresses.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

Post Reply

Return to “By Author”