Monday, July 8, 2013

A Daphne du Maurier Room


"Although she had closed the long window, 
the billowing casement curtains masking the view, 
the room was full of sun.
I had an impression of blue-grey walls and cushions,
but the effect, instead of being cold, was light as air.


The dahlias that I had seen her carrying from the 
market place were red and gold, 
and now they spilt in profusion from a vase in the corner,
the sun upon them still.


There was a bowl of fruit upon a table...


A Marie Laurencin drawing hanging 
above the fireplace.


Deep chairs stood about the room,


and a Persian cat cleaned its paws in one of them.


Close to the window was a low flat table
with artist's materials upon it,
thin, small brushes and a special sort of paper.


There was a smell of apricots."

The Scapegoat was only the third Daphne du Maurier book I'd ever read. Rebecca I could not put down when I was a young teenager. Her Frenchmen's Creek, which I read when I was 18, was just as riveting. It awakened a sense of adventure in me that I didn't know existed as I was the least adventurous girl I knew.


In du Maurier's book quoted from above, The Scapegoat, published in 1956, I was not enamored of her  English protagonist who meets his Doppelgänger and seems forced into taking his place, even fooling the French family of the Comte Jean de Gue. He does not, however, fool the beautiful Bela whose room is described above. But he was drawn to it. I also was drawn to it and tried to picture it as best I could. 

Two movies have been made of The Scapegoat, and while I enjoyed them, they did not do justice to du Maurier's book. And they did not do justice to Bela's beautiful room. I haven't either but I think the pictures above come closer to it than either movie did.

Have any of you read this book? What did you think of it? It is hard to beat Rebecca and Frenchmen's Creek, isn't it?



Photo credits:
The two room views are from remodelista.com.
The dahlia are from crescentmoon06.tumbir.com.
Bowl of Fruit is by Pierre Bonnard, 1933.
Marie Laurencin drawing is Les deux soeurs au violoncelle.
The Persian cat from Pinterest.
The artist table is actually the studio of Conor Harrington, photo by Neil Gavin.
Nosferatu's Apricots is by Alessio Fangano on flickr.com.

23 comments:

  1. Love this post. You are so good at evoking a mood from a book or the past. I have read Rebecca but not Scapegoat. Right now I am reading the biography of Clementine Churchill which will take a long time to complete I fear. best, olive

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    1. Oh, I know that the Clementine Churchill is one I'd love. Must put it on my list. Thank you, Olive.

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  2. I'm ashamed to admit I have not read any of the Du Mauriers! I'll do so now, though, starting with Rebecca!

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  3. Rebecca is one of the few books I've read more than once. I have My Cousin Rachel, sitting on my bookshelf unread!

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    1. I've never read My Cousin Rachel that I can recall. I have to try it now!

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  4. Thank you Dewena always looking for good Literature to read....on my list to read!

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    1. Thank you, Marisa. Rebecca is a gripping read, even if you've already seen the movie.

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  5. I have read Daphne du Maurier but not the Scapegoat. Perhaps I will.

    Love this post, Dewena!

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    1. And I'm going to try My Cousin Rachel that Karen, above, mentioned!

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  6. I haven't read The Scapegoat, but I have read Rebecca and Frenchman's Creek. This is such a cool post. I hope you'll share it Friday @ my Literary Friday linky!

    xo,
    RJ

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    1. Thank you, Ricki Jill, I'll try it--if I can figure out how!

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  7. No, I haven't read it, but you make me wish I had! Beautiful! Hugs. Dixie

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    1. It's funny how the large chateau the family lived in made little lasting impression on me but this small one room did.

      Thank you, Dixie. Are you still thinking of that wonderful Alaskan trip? I would be.
      Dewena

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  8. Oh- This is just a beautiful post, Dewena. I just love it- xo Diana

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    1. Thank you, Diana! These things are so much fun to work on.

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  9. rebecca... yes! and Frenchmen's creek... but never scapegoat. must remedy that.
    this post is simply enchanting dewena. the way you age the photos... how magical and deep. like the room itself dear heart!
    i have always loved written descriptions of rooms. and this is a treasure.
    i will read scapegoat this summer.
    i am now re reading mr darcy and elizabeth of course. when the world is too much with me ... i "have tea" with jane austen. LOL... xo

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    1. I know what you mean about Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth but I've not read it in years. After all the movie versions I've seen I need to get back to the real thing. And if you get a chance to read The Scapegoat also try to see the old 1960s film starring Alec Guinness. There is also a 2012 remake that has a happier ending than the book but is a pleasant movie.

      Thank you, Tammy for your sweet comment! I've got to let my sisters know that I've adopted a new sister to our family!
      Dewena

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  10. She was a favorite when I was a teenager; perhaps I should re-read her, she's a wonder!

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    1. Yes, and I can't wait to read her My Cousin Rachel that Karen mentioned above!

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  11. Wonderful post! I've added five books to my summer reading list from just this post!

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  12. Dewena, it sounds like you and I were very much alike as young girls. I could escape into a book and not come out even after I finished reading it. My eyes give me trouble, and I don't read as much as I used to, but it is still such a fabulous escape for me. I haven't read this book, but your depiction of the room, along with the quotes from the book made me want to read it. Beautiful post. laurie

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  13. I remember Rebecca and I am sure that I read a few more but not sure about this one...it's been ages. I came over to see what you were up to and hoped for one of these sorts of posts :) Went and visited Frippery first then got worried seeing the guys on that scaffolding ...I've been entertained quite nicely here :)

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