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Frenchman's Creek
Daphne du Maurier
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Frenchman's Creek

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,001 Ratings  ·  659 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
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published 1942 by The Literary Guild of America , Inc (first published September 1941)
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Oct 26, 2011 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

An enjoyable read but really just a historical romance and lacking the suspense and mystery of Rebecca or Jamaica Inn. Her writing is as usual superb and I loved her descriptions of Cornwall and the Helford Passage which is as beautiful as she makes it sound. Altogether a very readable book especially for anyone who likes a light romance but not one of du Maurier's best works.
Jan 24, 2009 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Allie Riley
Mar 27, 2013 Allie Riley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 03, 2009 Misfit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 25, 2013 Maureen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, 2013
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
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
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)
Sep 20, 2013 Cherie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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.
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
Nov 18, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
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
Connie (Ava Catherine)
I fell in love with Daphne du Maurier's writing in high school and thought I had read all of her works several times over. What a delight it was to find this treasure. I escaped with Dona and the Frenchman one afternoon and loved every minute I spent with them. A lovely adventure with pirates, romance, and plenty of fools to round out the picture. I cannot think of a more delightful way to while away an afternoon.
Jun 15, 2016 F.R. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This restoration set romance about a flighty Lady and the charming pirate she becomes involved with is so far removed from the kind of stuff I normally read that I almost think I enjoyed it out of sheer novelty.

Memo to self: try to surprise yourself more in your reading.

A capricious aristocrat with a risqué reputation and a headstrong nature, leaves her husband behind in London and heads to his familial home in Cornwall. She’s looking for adventure and – as is the nature of these things – gets
Apr 06, 2009 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 15, 2012 Kelli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 13, 2008 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-lit
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.
Oct 06, 2015 Jules rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book so much!

I think a lot of my love of this book is because of where it is set. Rather coincidentally, having just looked through my old photos of Helford river, I've discovered that I first saw Helford river on 8th March 2013, and started reading this book on 8th March 2014. Coincidence or magic? Either way, how wonderful.

Upon my own adventures out the back of Glendurgan gardens, I stumbled across a little cove, and described it at the time, as being a 'treasure'. Having comple
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
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
Andrea Zuvich
I'm sitting at my kitchen table in floods of tears. I just finished reading Frenchman's Creek and my heart's broken. If someone like me - a person who studies 17th-century piracy - can get swept away by Aubery, I don't know who wouldn't. I want to go on La Mouette with him and sail into the sunset. All the characters are delightfully created and although I had a strong dislike of Dona in the beginning, I soon warmed to her (which I think was the intention). It didn't take long to warm to the Fre ...more
Tara Morgan
May 22, 2012 Tara Morgan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 30, 2014 Mmars rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 19, 2016 Yara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Frenchman’s Creek is a historical novel set during the reign of Charles II that tells the story of a wealthy woman named Dona who moves to an isolated house in Cornwall with her children to get away from her schlubby husband and the judgmental looks of London society. Finally away from prying eyes and spousal demands, she feels like a weight has been lifted off her shoulders; she revels in the solitude and the freedom it provides her. Dona spends her days lying in the grass and blissfully explor ...more
J.A. Ironside
Meh. This is definitely not Du Maurier's finest work, despite her lavish, hypnotic and dreamlike prose. Dona St Columb and Jean Aubrey are really the only characters explored in full, the others are very cardboard-y, even the children, despite Dona's repeated protestations of love for them. Actually I think that Jean Aubrey is really less of a character in his own right, than a mirror for Dona - how she would be were the constraints of society and biology not forced upon her. This is an interest ...more
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
Aug 13, 2009 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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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 a fairy tale. Born into a fami
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“She knew that this was happiness, this was living as she had always wished to live.” 41 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.” 28 likes
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