"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?
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.