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Mary Anne

3.4  ·  Rating details ·  1,398 Ratings  ·  150 Reviews
"This novel catches fire." --New York Times

She set men's hearts on fire and scandalized a country.

Published December 17th 2013 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 1954)
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Leanna Henderson I can't find that exact passage, but I think you're missing about 100 pages. My copy ends on page 455, and my part 3, chapter 6, ends on page 351, so…moreI can't find that exact passage, but I think you're missing about 100 pages. My copy ends on page 455, and my part 3, chapter 6, ends on page 351, so it seems comparable. To me you're smack dab in the part that it was difficult for me to get through...but it does get interesting again towards the end, referring to what ultimately happens to Mary Anne. Let's just say she didn't know when to stop. I think if you liked it at all, or are a fan of Daphne du Maurier, it is worth trying to find another copy that contains the last part of the book. (less)

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This is the story of Daphne du Maurier’s great-great-grandmother, Mary Anne Clarke, born into a poor family in the East End of London, married at fifteen and the mother of four children by the time she was twenty-three. Mary Anne became a notorious courtesan and mistress of the Duke of York and was later the central figure in a political corruption scandal, the repercussions of which ultimately led to her downfall.

According to Lisa Hilton, who wrote the introduction to the 2003 Virago edition, d
I'm a bit conflicted about this book, I liked it and I'm glad I read it, but at the same time it really bothered me, it was depressing and I found myself alternating between being really proud of Mary Anne for being so strong and smart and being angry with her for being so foolish.

Mary Anne Clarke was Daphne Du Maurier's great-great grandmother. She was clever, witty and beautiful. She was a mistress to Frederick Augustus Brunswick the Duke of York and Albany, son of King George III. She was als

Although I would have previously sworn that it was impossible for du Maurier to write a bad book, this one comes periously close and although it had all the right elements; good story, fascinating real life people, great period setting, royalty, scandal etc it just never really came together for me. It felt disjointed, uneven, lacking in emotion and with a lacklustre, prosaic feel that du Mauriers other books just don't have. I missed her lyrical descriptions. I also struggled to sympathise with
I've given this an A for narration and a B for content at AudioGals, so that's a solid 4.5 stars

Written in 1951, Mary Anne is the fictionalised account of the life of Mrs Mary Anne Clarke, who was the author’s great-grandmother, and who is famous principally for being the mistress of Frederick, Duke of York (second son of King George III).

Mary Anne Thompson was born in 1776 in the East End of London, and by her twenties, had become one of the most famous courtesans in London. Before I wrote this
Mar 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned....

A bit different from your usual Du Maurier novel, in this one she tells the story of her great-great-grandmother Mary Anne Clarke. Borne into a poor London family, Mary Anne marries Joseph Clarke who ends up drinking and gambling away any money he gets from his family. Disgusted with the marriage and desperate to support her children, Mary Anne finds herself tempted by a *cough* broker for the wealthy nobility and becomes mistress to Frederick Duke of Yo
Nathaniel Irvin
In a word, dull.

It started out so well. The first chapter is well written, taut, and promises the intriguing tale of a social climber and her downfall. Then, in an excellent reversal of expectations, the first 100 or so pages tell instead the story of an extremely relatable, even heroic girl who is fighting against all odds to make some kind of decent life for herself, who falls in love, and gets wrapped up in the things beyond her control. I especially liked that she was depicted as a good and
I'm not sure how to feel about this book. On one hand, I really admired certain traits of the title character, Mary Anne. She was ambitious, tenacious, and always thinking of her children. She would do almost anything to keep a roof over her head, no matter how her name got dragged through the mud.

On the other hand, she, and almost every other character, was an idiot about money. They all saw no problem living endlessly on credit in order to maintain luxurious lifestyles. Hardly anyone ever made
I have long been looking forward to reading this book. I love reading about the regency period, love Daphne du Maurier and add in the interesting notion that du Maurier is writing about her own great-great-grandmother and this seemed to have the potential to be a very good read indeed. However it is also one of her novels that is most capable of polarizing her readers. Du Maurier herself did not consider it one of her best novels and in the somewhat lukewarm introduction in the edition I was rea ...more
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meus, livros-2011
Este é o quinto livro que leio de Daphne du Maurier, sendo que achei-os todos diferentes uns dos outros, no entanto, “Mary Anne” é o mais diferente. Ao contrário dos outros livros, este não tem elementos mais obscuros que criam o clima habitual de tensão.

Neste livro, Daphne conta-nos a história da sua trisavó Mary Anne Clarke, numa Londres nos finais do século XVIII, inícios do século XIX, em que mistura um ambiente de sedução com escândalos de corrupção e políticos.
Mary Anne é uma jovem pobre,
Mary Anne is an odd sort of beast, a mix of historical fact and fiction that doesn't quite work. Mary Anne Clarke was the scandalous mistress of George III's son the Duke of York; she was also du Maurier's great-great-grandmother. Clearly, Mary Anne led a very interesting life; unfortunately, though du Maurier succeeds in drawing the strength of her character, her style of telling Mary Anne's story is lackluster. It would have been better as straight historical biography or as historical fiction ...more
Aug 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
it's definitely not your typical du maurier: her imaginative powers are reined in by her account of woman's true story, a woman she was actually related to, and no doubt her acting family relished the connection to the mistress of the duke of york who had pulled herself out of the gutter. it's not what i look for in a du maurier novel but up until the endless courtroom scenes that make up the last three quarters of the book, she kept me interested. i found jamaica inn much less palatable than th ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Mary Anne, Daphne du Maurier
Daphne du Maurier's novel Mary Anne is a fictionalised account of the real-life story of her great-grandmother, Mary Anne Clarke née Thompson. Mary Anne Clarke from 1803 to 1808 was mistress of Frederick Augustus, the Duke of York and Albany.

Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Let me begin by saying I love Daphne Du Maurier. This is the fourth of novel I have read by her and each one has proved to be unique, innovative and often brilliantly atmospheric (the best, of course, being 'Rebecca'). So I was pretty determined that, despite the slightly bad reviews I had seen elsewhere, to like this novel because I AM a du Maurier fan. Moreover, the novel sounded fabulously engaging.

(view spoiler)
Jan 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"Мери Ан" е нещо като биография на прабабата на авторката. Мери Анн Кларк е била колоритна личност - куртизанка, фейлетонистка и опортюнистка, която се е подвизавала из Лондон в началото на 19 век и е била замесена в не един политически скандал. Книгата е доста нееднородна: първата половина се чете като исторически (любовен) роман, но втората половина преминава някак неестествено в сух документален роман с цитирани цели писма, съдебни речи и вестникарски статии.

Вероятно е доста трудно да се пиш
Daphne du Maurier's great-great-grandmother certainly was the talk of the town in her day. This historical fiction work is based upon Mary Anne Clarke, a mistress to the Duke of York in early 1800's.

Mary Anne started life out basically in the slums and living day to day was a struggle for her family. When her father was stuck ill she decided to save the family by tricking his boss. She was a determined young lady, that determination never left her and she fought for what she wanted her entire l
Aug 25, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Although I finished this book, it was a huge temptation to just drop it and move on to the next. I didn't understand it at all. I couldn't follow the story and the characters infuriated me. Maybe, and this is very very likely, I am just not cut out for politics and however much I blame my ignorance in the subject on lack of interest maybe it's just one of those things that I just can't comprehend.
I would never have though I could give any book by Daphne Du Mauriers one star, yet here we are.
Thomas Strömquist
As always well written and a very good narrative. Unfortunately, the fictionalized story of the authors great grandmother Mary Anne Clarke, mistress to the Duke of York (being one in a considerable line of men) in the late 18th century really does not keep the interest up. The final third of the book concerns complicated court proceedings and not much else. Read some of the very productive and fine authors other books instead.
Kelly ...
This is not my favorite du Maurier book because I better love her gothic tales. However I still listened to the entire book in a 24 hour period. I liked Mary Anne because she was so flawed and her descendant wrote about her with wit and honesty. I have a great-great-aunt who is a personal hero to me and I often think about writing her story through a historical fiction novel. Reading this book made me wish I felt better prepared to write a similar tribute.
Jun 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a massive Du Maurier fan, so this is going to be very biased and no surprise that I really enjoyed it.

Mary Anne is a historical novel based on Du Maurier's great-great-grandmother, who was the mistress of Fredrick, Duke of York. Later on when the relationship fizzled out, she testified against him in the House of Commons that she had sold army commissions and that he knew all about it. This is the main focus of the story although it charts both her life before the Duke and touches on her be
This book is about Mary Anne Clarke, the Monica Lewinsky of her day that brought the Duke of Yorkshire (King George III's younger son) to ruin after he ends their affair and casts her aside. He ended up resigning his command of the English Army. This is a true story and Daphne du Maurier's Great Great Grandmother.

I thought the first two thirds were great. Mary Anne's climb from London street rat to the mistress of a Prince through her wits (and wit) alone are very interesting and engaging. She
Dec 07, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Synopsis from book: An ambitious, stunning, and seductive young woman, Mary Anne finds the single most rewarding way to rise above her miserable cockney world: she will become the mistress to a royal duke. In doing so, she provokes a scandal that rocks Regency England. Mary Anne glitters with sex, scandal, corruption, and the privileged world of high society. Based on the true story of one of du Maurier's own distant relatives, Mary Anne's love of money and the men who spend it embroil her in ri ...more
Like Forever Amber or Gone with the Wind but not as rich. Good as far as it went, but it felt like the Cliff's Notes version -- should have been three times as long with lots more detail to really let you get inside the character's head, understand why men were obsessed with her, why she made the choices she did, what she felt about them. Without that it all feels a bit shallow and I ended up feeling more than a little sympathy with Mary Anne's children's opinion of her.
Jul 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a hardback book. Ms. Du Maurier researches her books before writing them so it appears as historical fiction and is this adds to my interest in reading the book.
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
'The more pulpy the fruit, the more smashing the fall'

From Bowling Inn Alley, to the bedroom in Gloucester Place of the then Duke of York and Albany, Prince Frederik Augustus, to jail and then in exile in France, Mary Anne evokes the rise and fall of an ambitious, seductive, intelligent woman.

Married young to Joseph Clarke, whom Mary Anne believed to be a wealthy and talent man, disillusions comes and never leaves the young woman's life. Following the death of her elder son, she faces the true
Leanna Henderson
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
I've now read all of Daphne du Maurier's novels! Woo hoo! It took me about 20 years. What to do now? Guess I'll start over! She's my favorite author, after all. I remember well most of the story lines, but I just enjoy experiencing her writing so much. She weaves a tale that doesn't exactly horrify the reader, but sends a prickly shiver. She is an absolute genius! I use present tense because although her body is long in the ground, her spirit is still with us...and she still communicates with he ...more
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lv, 2016
Grāmatas anotācija sola, ka romāna galvenā varone savā izdomā un rakstura stiprumā pārspēj pat Skārletu O'Hara. Izlasot darbu, negribētos šīs divas varones pat salīdzināt. Jo Mērijas Ennas stāsts savā būtībā balstās uz prostitūciju un sludina to kā veidu panākt vēlamo statusu dzīvē. Taču šajā mēģinājumā iegūt skaisto dzīvi uzrodas daudz "padomdēvēju", kuri nekaunīgi izmanto varoni savos nolūkos. Un no grāmatas sākumā rādītās varones apķērības nav palicis ne vēsts, viņa ir kā rotaļlieta citu cilv ...more
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
A picture of a woman's life as a courtesan in England in the early 1800s. She was first driven to the lifestyle because her husband was a drunk and she had 4 children of which to take care. But as the years go by she becomes greedy, deceitful and vengeful. Satire is used lightly throughout, but as a whole a depressing read. The book can be used as a "what not to become" study applied to our own actions.

The best scene in the book is between Mary Anne and a person who is making promises to her be
Clare Rhoden
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Du Maurier writes (wrote) beautifully. Mary Anne is fully realised, but in a way it's a pity that she was not only a real person, but a great-great-grandmother of Du Maurier. The story fizzles out a bit after the great court case, which would probably not have happened had Mary Anne been a fictional character.
I read this many years ago, and very much enjoyed re-reading it.
Danica Colnarić
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting plot, but the only thing that bothered me were numerous male characters who were mentioned for the first time, but the tone of the narration was as if it was expected of us to have already known them.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting story about a dog that changed a veteran's life. Plan on reading again.
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  • The Lost Queen
  • The Queen's Husband (Queen Victoria, #3)
  • A Walk in the Night and Other Stories
  • Daphne du Maurier
  • The Passionate Brood
  • Psychosis: Tales of Horror
  • Christopher and Columbus
  • Plays Unpleasant
  • Mrs de Winter
  • The Vines of Yarrabee
  • Daphne
  • Home: The Story of Everyone Who Ever Lived in Our House
  • The Echoing Grove
  • A Lodging for the Night
  • Mirage
  • Goodnight and God Bless: On Life, Literature, and a Few Other Things, with Footnotes, Quotes, and Other Such Literary Diversions
  • The Dark Shore
  • Murder on the Cliffs: A Daphne du Maurier Mystery (Daphne du Maurier Mysteries, #1)
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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“Dozing, she thought in retrospect how her life had been building up towards this moment, year in, year out, almost from alley days. That early training, as a cockney child, sharpened her wit and made her seize her chances: the schooling at Ham put on a pseudo-polish: marriage with Joseph got the worst over young—so much so, that nothing a man could do, now or in the future, would break her heart. As to the rest… all lovers made some mark. She knew how to absorb the benefit and pass it on, be grateful for the teaching. What she had learned from men, not only lovers, was to the purpose in a man-made world. Therefore, become their equal. Play their game, and add to the game the sense of intuition.” 1 likes
“Then men were not dependent upon women after all, as she had thought—women were dependent upon men. Boys were frail, boys cried, boys were tender, boys were helpless. Mary Anne knew this, because she was the eldest girl among her three young brothers, and the baby Isobel did not count at all. Men also were frail, men also cried, men also were tender, men also were helpless. Mary Anne knew this because her stepfather, Bob Farquhar, was all of these things in turn. Yet men went to work. Men made the money—or frittered it away, like her stepfather, so that there was never enough to buy clothes for the children, and her mother scraped and saved and stitched by candlelight, and often looked tired and worn. Somewhere there was injustice. Somewhere the balance had gone. “When I’m grown up I shall marry a rich man,” she said.” 1 likes
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