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Frenchman's Creek
 
by
Daphne du Maurier
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Frenchman's Creek

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  5,756 ratings  ·  476 reviews
Passionate, daring Lady Dona would have no more of her husband's pompous indifference. And suddenly, she left London and fled to Navron, her mysterious Cornwall estate...not knowing that Jean Benoit Aubéry, the notorious gentleman pirate, was using the lands as his own secret headquarters.

Then, without warning, they were together - sharing forbidden adventures, falling dan...more
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published 1942 by The Literary Guild of America , Inc (first published 1941)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Katie
Loved this book.

It had pirates.

It had Frenchmen.

It had a love story.

It had intrigue.

It had scandal.

It had clean language.

It had beautiful writing.

It's a great read.

Allie Whiteley
Lady Dona St Columb, is bored stiff with London society and her stifling marriage to her stupid, drunkard husband Sir Harry. Desperate for escape she takes her children and their nursemaid Prue to the family house in Navron, Cornwall perchance to be rid of Harry and, in some way, to start again. Soon after arriving she learns that the coast is cursed by piracy, in particular the doings of the French pirate Jean Aubrey. This appeals to her sense of adventure and fun, so once their paths cross it...more
Jon
Well, it's not often I pick up a novel and barely move from my chair until I've finished it. I'm not that kind of reader. But this one really held me. It's Du Maurier at her usual high standard, this one about, of all things, a swashbuckling pirate raiding the south coast of England in the late 17th century and the young woman who is swept off her feet by his brashness and romantic mystery. What could be more trite? Errol Flynn made a living doing versions of this. But Du Maurier does it so much...more
Maureen
cross-posted at booklikes and the mo-centric universe.

a few months of staring blankly into space means that finishing this book was a major accomplishment for me. normally, it would have been a quick read but for this cursed lack of focus.. anyway, it is a simple little romance, and i do like enigmatic, artistic pirates very much, so i found some fun in frenchman's creek. i wasn't crazy about it, though, beyond the eponymous pirate.

the heroine, lady dona st. columb starts off very precious, dr...more
Misfit
Set during the reign of Charles II, Lady Dona St. Columb finally tires of her husband and his hard playing friends and abandons London for their estate in Cornwall. Dona and her children thrive in the country life, but not all is as it seems - there's a bit of a mystery surrounding the servant in charge of the house, let alone wondering who has been sleeping in her room and left behind a pouch of tobacco and a book of poetry.

The locals are restless with the recent attacks from French pirates an...more
Linda
At first, I couldn't decide whether to give it three or four stars. With such high expectations the story came off a little flat, I guess. The characters have to be very interesting and truthful to captivate me. I would have liked to get to know the Frenchman better. Either he was one dimensional or I didn't get a chance to figure him out, which is sad because he was a charming fellow. However, something seems to be missing. The author has a wonderful way of writing when it comes to everything e...more
Heather
At first this seemed like just the exploits of a headstrong, lonely, bored aristocrat in a fairly standard romantic, escapist fantasy. The more I thought about this book though, the more it seemed like Du Maurier was writing about her own feelings of being a wife and mother and the sacrifice and limits that she felt came with those identities.

Daphne Du Maurier’s husband played a vital role in the 2nd World War and was away from home for much of the time. During his absence, Daphne, her children...more
Jeannette
This may be my favorite from du Maurier! The writing is lovely in its description of place. There is love, adventure, humor, and horror. The characters are fully human, having both good and bad sides to their personalities. And, I was able to picture the adventure as being played out on the big screen with Errol Flynn in the lead. William and the crew were an added bonus!

Buddy read with Joanne and Diane Lynn.
Kim

After reading and falling in love with Rebecca when I was a teenager, I started but failed to finish My Cousin Rachel and Jamaica Inn. 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 th...more
Kelli
I loved this. It's really true, the story has all good elements. Pirates, the English coast, amazing descriptive writing, the best dialog. I don't love that Dona is already married, but I do see what emotional restraints Du Maurier wanted to create. The Frenchman is so intriguing. His actions and the things he says, I loved. Who wouldn't want to spend time with someone like him. The side characters are all different and fun to read. William's dialog with Dona and the ridiculousness of Lord Godol...more
Cherie
I am sitting here at my desk looking at my library book. It has pink and blue and yellow post it notes sticking out of the top and side of the book on so many of the pages! I used them to mark the pages where I thought there were a few wonderful lines or a memorable scene or dialogue as I read. On some, I wrote a comment or a note to remind me what happened in the chapter. I like to go back to them when I am done reading. I always think I will want to add some of the lines or notes when I write...more
Nicole~
3.5 stars
Lady Dona St. Columb, an 18th-century aristocrat married to a baronet, flees from an over-indulgent life in London, away from the tedium of King Charles II's court, to the family's house in Cornwall.

Lady Dona is self-willed and obstinate, frustrated and unhappy with her life. Suffocated by her boring marriage and foppish husband, she seeks escape in reckless ways. By the time she meets the French pirate, Jean-Benoit Aubéry, she's ripe for adventure and passion. The tale's romantic buil...more
Lisa
I read and loved Rebecca as a teenager, and am unsure why I never sought out any of the other novels by the author, but after reading this book I will be sure to do so. I am so glad that Sourcebooks is reprinting this, and hope that it can find its way to many other people who have missed it, as I have.


On the rare occasion I have the experience where book and mood meet perfectly. This happened with Frenchman's Creek, a book I am sure that I would have very much enjoyed no matter my mood, but w...more
Christina Toppen
I'd say my ramblings here are my opinion rather than a proper review. You've been warned; continue reading if you will. I loved this book. The characters and plot call to mind a well-written, chick-lit, beach read - but one written in the 1940's. Were chick-lit and beach read genres then? Anyway, the story starts somewhat slowly, but before long I was thoroughly engrossed. The book has been criticized as being frivolous and escapist. But, it has much to say on the limited options of women in the...more
Tadiana
Du Maurier writes well, but this book was just not for me. My problems with it are in the spoilers. Most of my reasons are personal rather than an assessment of the book's objective qualities:

(view spoiler)...more
Laura
My least favorite of the du Maurier novels I’ve read. Grown, married women falling for criminals — even swarthy pirates! — is just pathetic. None of the swashbuckling fun of Treasure Island, and not much of the same suspense as her other novels.
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Beautiful, headstrong Lady Dona St Columb is weary of her life, disillusioned of her social set, her husband Harry and his friend Lord Rockingham, disgusted with herself and the pranks she's done out of boredom and an urge for adventure. On a whim she packs up her two small children and their nurse and takes them with her to their Cornwall estate of Navron, which she hasn't visited since she was a bride.

Dona settles quickly into the leisurely pace and wilderness of Navron, which has been maintai...more
Connie
Lady Dona St Columb was bored with the stuffiness of London high society, and took off with her two children to her husband's estate in Cornwall. When she is out walking, she finds that the creek on their property is being used as a hiding place for a French pirate, his crew, and their ship with easy access to the English Channel. The cultured pirate offers her a chance for the adventure and passion that has been lacking in her life. Even as a young girl, Dona was always jealous of the freedom t...more
Kaethe
I only made it 46 pages in. The book reads a lot like those of Inglis Fletcher that I've been working through lately. But I could see every development coming a mile away and I didn't have the sense of "well, isn't this a pleasant way to fill in a gap in my knowledge of history."

Dona is a loving uppperclass mother by 1940's standards; she cares about her children but doesn't really spend any time with them. Other than that she's pretty and awful, spoiled and shallow and impulsive and temperament...more
Tara Morgan
For many years my sister has begged me to read this book, and for many years I put it off. Again, I believe the book chooses the time and place for its reader. My time was now. No sooner nor later, but simply perfect timing. The need for escape, the need for adventure no matter what the cost; Oh, and, of course, a Pirate - The Frenchman, Master of La Mouette. <3 He is the symbol of escape from the daily routine we find ourselves in, and wish desperately to be elsewhere, if not someone else en...more
Mmars
It is hard to imagine that a book such as this could have been written in England in 1941 when Britain was being bombed and WWII raged in Europe. Were women in London devouring this book and passing it around while waiting for the next siren alerting them to race to the bomb shelter? Apparently du Maurier was of the aristocratic class, and I assume, at arm's length of war's horrors and able to write escapist fiction.

On second thought, perhaps du Maurier offered readers a character and an advent...more
Loederkoningin
Ahh, the longing for a more compelling, grander life, while obligations, society and internal demons make it impossible to give up your current life - or do they? - admittedly strikes a chord with me.

"The sense of futility had been growing upon her for many months, nagging at her now and again like dormant toothache, but it had taken Friday night to arouse in her that full sense of self-loathing and exasperation."

Whether out of sheer curiosity or bitter disappointment, I think the heroine of Fr...more
Margaret
I have to be honest, I like my romances mixed with another genre; whether it's comedy or murder mystery. Just *something* that cuts it from being "pure love story". With that said, I humbly admit that from the beginning towards the middle of this book, all I was looking forward to was finishing it. I was irritated by a married woman with two kids carrying on an affair with a pirate that was nothing at all like the real pirates from history. In fact, had I not constantly reminded myself that this...more
Amalie
Ok, so I've read only two more novels by du Maurier. Rebecca was good and so was Jamaica Inn but Frenchman's Creek was great!

Which romantic would not like this story? adventure and romance, this book is way better than those frilly romance books, I really don't get most of them. But "just a romance" will not do the justice for this one. It's more a novel of exploring the emotional and sexual awakening of Dona and her acceptance of womanhood despite the bitterness. Then it's an exploration of pu...more
Tracey
Set in Cornwall during the reign of Charles II, it tells the story of a love affair between an impulsive English lady and a French pirate. What a great love story. Its about Dona, Lady St. Columb who leads a boring life, until she meets a notorious French pirate who has been terrorizing the Cornish coast. Dona finds that the pirate, Jean-Benoit Aubéry is a fascinating and interesting man full of passion not only for life! This is a bitter sweet romance that is sure to bring yearning into your li...more
Diane Lynn
What a romantic tale, I loved it. It started a little slow but quickly picked up steam and I ended up reading it in one day. Daphne du Maurier has such an elegant way of describing Cornwall, the sea, and her characters. Especially the artist-philosopher-pirate and master of La Mouette, Jean Benoit Aubery. Throw in lots of adventure, danger and daring escapes and this story is a real winner.
Lisa
Aug 13, 2009 Lisa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teresa
Recommended to Lisa by: Jade Brelsford
Sigh....what a book! Bewitching and breathtakingly romantic, even if I did nearly put it in the freezer a couple of times due to the conniptions I was having towards the end in fear of tragedy!

Lady Dona St Columb feels trapped and suffocated by her life in London society and so leaves her drunken dolt of a husband behind to escape to the family seat in Cornwall, along with her children and their nurse. Once at Navron House Dona starts to truly live for the first time, helped in no small part by...more
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
I love this little tale of escapism! How often does a woman discover both herself and her true love, ibidem (Latin: in the same place)?
At Middle age, almost 30, Lady Dona St Columb is in crisis and "becomes a boy" off the Cornwall English shore and lives, loves, and pillages (ID, EGO, SUPEREGO) only to discover that life and it's sacrifices can be as or more adventuresome as the Frenchman's. This romantic sojourn is reflective of the author's struggle as she patiently waits for her husband dur...more
Monica
If I could have given this more stars, I would have as I absolutely loved this book. So much so that I'm reading it a second time. LOL

Daphne du Maurier has always been one of my favorite authors as I love both the suspense of her novels and the beautiful elegance of her writing itself. She takes great care in describing, in minute detail, each scene, each character, each feeling with incredible fluidity and ease that it makes reading her work a true pleasure.

After a number of suspense novels, t...more
Jennifer
Just, sigh. What an amazing book. I have decided that if I could write like anyone, it would be a combination of Jane Austen and Daphne Du Maurier. It has been a while since I have last read a Du Maurier book and I have always enjoyed her style and her plots. This book was no different. She was able to describe in a few key words place and scene and I was immediately transported to Cornwall and honestly felt like I was there, watching from the sidelines. Basic plot: an aristocratic woman, aged 2...more
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If Daphne du Maurier had written only Rebecca, she would still be one of the great shapers of popular culture and the modern imagination. Few writers have created more magical and mysterious places than Jamaica Inn and Manderley, buildings invested with a rich character that gives them a memorable life of their own.

In many ways the life of Daphne du Maurier resembles that of a fairy tale. Born int...more
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“She knew that this was happiness, this was living as she had always wished to live.” 29 likes
“And this then, that I am feeling now, is the hell that comes with love, the hell and the damnation and the agony beyond all enduring, because after the beauty and the loveliness comes the sorrow and the pain.” 21 likes
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