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Frenchman's Creek

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  8,935 Ratings  ·  748 Reviews

Seeking peace of mind, Lady Donna de Colomb flees the stews of London and the Restoration court for remote Navaron. There she finds the boundless passion her spirit craves - daring to love the pirate hunted by all Cornwall.

Audio Cassette, BBC Radio Collection, 0 pages
Published February 5th 1990 by BBC Audiobooks (first published September 1941)
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Community Reviews

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"Do you remember my father’s aviary in Hampshire, and how the birds there were well fed, and could fly about their cage? And one day I set a linnet free, and it flew straight out of my hands towards the sun?... Because I feel like that. Like the linnet before it flew."

If you’ve ever felt confined, if you’ve ever felt like just throwing all caution to the wind and escaping, then you can empathize with Dona St. Columb, the heroine of this delightful adventure! Now, I know what you are thinking, be
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.

Jul 23, 2011 Arah-Lynda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Lovers of Adventure
Shelves: top, i-said
Suddenly the sails caught the breeze and filled, they bellied out in the wind, lovely and white and free, the gulls rose in a mass, screaming above the masts, the setting sun caught the   painted ship in a gleam of gold, and silently, stealthily, leaving a long dark ripple behind her, the ship stole in towards the land.  And a feeling came upon Dona, as though a hand touched her heart, and a voice whispered in her brain, “I shall remember this.”  A premonition of wonder, of fear, of sudden stran ...more
4+ Stars. Daphne du Maurier brings her true love of boating and the sea to life in this most enjoyable 17th century atmospheric tale of swashbuckling fun.

The excitement begins soon after Lady Dona leaves London society.....and her (foolish) baronet husband.....for their country home and a much needed respite away from everyday boredom and a loveless marriage.

With two children and nanny in tow, Dona is finally free to avail herself of sun and solace with long walks in the woods and thoughts of a

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
Feb 21, 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
Mar 09, 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
Sep 23, 2012 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)
Aug 15, 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
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.
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
Nov 12, 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
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
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.
Alex is The Romance Fox
This is one of my favorite Daphne du Maurier's books.....pirates, secret affairs, meetings at night, smugglers told against the background of Cornwall.
I have read this book a few times and still I am captivated by the story of a love that cannot be, the two main characters who embark on an incredible adventure.
Wildly romantic and unforgettable.
Jun 10, 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
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
Mar 23, 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
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
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
Jun 24, 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
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.
Leni Iversen
May 04, 2017 Leni Iversen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I was a bit hesitant before starting this book, as it didn't seem my usual fare. Historical romance about a bored rich Lady and a French pirate? Well, I do like pirates, but... I wouldn't have read it had it not been written by Daphne du Maurier. But of course it is written by Daphne du Maurier, and it was silly of my to think it would be a straight forward pirate romance.

This is a book about the restrictions life puts on us, on how our choices are limited and most especially limited for women
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
Mar 27, 2011 Stacey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Daphne du Maurier's writing is exquisite.... give me all the du Maurier! This is the type of author that makes me exciting about reading and has the ability to pull me out of a reading slump! While best known for her masterpiece, Rebecca, du Maurier's other works are also well worth the read. Her writing will continue to stand the test of time as she has an understanding of human nature that she is able to infuse in her stories which equates to real, flawed, yet likable characters. This novel ca ...more
Sep 19, 2013 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 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
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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.” 43 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.” 30 likes
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