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Castle Dor

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  457 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
Both a spellbinding love story and a superb evocation of Cornwall's mythic past, Castle Dor is a book with unique and fascinating origins. It began life as the unfinished last novel of Sir Arthur Quiller- Couch, the celebrated 'Q', and was passed by his daughter to Daphne du Maurier whose storytelling skills were perfectly suited to the task of completing the old master's ...more
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published 1962 by Doubleday & Company, Inc. (first published 1961)
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Sarah (Presto agitato)
The legend of Tristan, the Cornish knight, and his doomed love for Iseult, the wife of King Mark, is an ancient one, appearing in many variations for hundreds of years. Castle Dor is a retelling of that story set in Cornwall in the 1840s. It was begun by Arthur Quiller-Couch, a British novelist who wrote under the pen name “Q,” but left unfinished mid-chapter. Many years after his death, his daughter asked Daphne du Maurier to complete it.

Daphne du Maurier, queen of the Gothic novel, would seem
...more
Nikki
A rather less read du Maurier book -- fascinating, seeing her continuing someone else's work. And I agree with the introduction that it's hard to tell where she picked up the story: there's a shift somewhere, I think, in the tone of the beginning and the tone of the end, but it all flows smoothly enough.

I can't really give it four stars in terms of enjoyment, because I thought some of the parallels with the Tristan and Iseult story were overlaboured, and all the details of geography meant little
...more
Hannah
Oct 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
Set in 1860's Cronwall, Castle Dor weaves the boring tale of Amyot (a young Breton sailor) and Linnet (the young and beautiful wife of an extremely old man). How the pair meet, love and ultimately live out the tragic end of their fabled counterparts (Tristan & Iseult) makes for a snooze fest of epic proportions.

Hard to imagine Daphne duMaurier co-authored this book. IMO, Arthur Quiller-Couch wrote the majority of it, since it was extremely dry and esoteric, and I know for a fact that duMau
...more
Tinka
“She’s dearer than life itself, that’s all I know”

WTF did I just read?

Like seriously, I have no idea. I started this book and the prologue was weird, but I thought ‘hey, it’s just the prologue…’ haha silly me thinking it would get better. Nope, it only got worse.

I picked this book believing it was only written by Daphne Du Maurier. I’m not that into the Tristan and Isolde myth, but I thought if Daphne Du Maurier with her haunting storytelling takes on that legend, it can only be good and atmos
...more
Stephanie Davies
I'm not going to do a proper review, I just want to share the first description of the titular castle that you see in the book:

“This most ancient cirque of Castle Dor, deserted, bramble-grown, was the very nipple of a huge breast in pain, aching for discharge.”

That's all.
Misfit
Mar 09, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Not in your world.....but in some borderland of buried kings and lovers"

Linnette Lewarne, married to a much older man, meets Breton Amyot by pure chance and their fates are forever sealed as they begin to relive a past that has happened time and time again through the centuries - that of Tristan and Iseult. Doctor Carfax watches from the sidelines as he puts the pieces of the puzzle together with that of the legends and ends with a race against time to stop the legend from repeating itself into
...more
Misfit
May 04, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Not in your world.....but in some borderland of buried kings and lovers"

Linnette Lewarne, married to a much older man, meets Breton Amyot by pure chance and their fates are forever sealed as they begin to relive a past that has happened time and time again through the centuries - that of Tristan and Iseult. Doctor Carfax watches from the sidelines as he puts the pieces of the puzzle together with that of the legends and ends with a race against time to stop the legend from repeating itself into
...more
Rachel
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Having read a lot of Daphne du Maurier in the past, I was intrigued to find a novel I had not read before. A story of love and loss, with links to story parallels from the past. I found the read interesting, but felt it was over complicated at times. So making me feel unconnected to the main characters and not as interested in the plot. However, interesting to fans of Daphne du Maurier.
Judy


I don't recall how I first heard about Castle Dor. I think it was reviewed by one of my Goodreads friends. Since I am doing a completist reading of du Maurier's novels, I added it to my list.

Castle Dor was an incomplete novel by the very literary and august (according to my research) Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. He died before finishing it. The du Mauriers were friends of Quiller-Couch so his daughter asked Daphne du Maurier to take over and write the rest of the book.

The story is based on the Celt
...more
Janet
May 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting re-telling of the story of Tristan and Iseult. The countryside of Cornwall is beautifully rendered and there are many allusions to the original story, so I found it to be fascinating. Cornwall is now on my bucket list for travel.
Sophie
I love du Maurier, but I'm really not feeling this. The novel was originally started by Arthur Quiller-Couch and I can tell it's not DDM.

Moving on!
classic reverie
I am a romantic but a truly hopeless one when it comes to fated loves from times past and especially of knights and their lady loves, which was Castle Dor but with an 1840 twist but finished 1961 The story is neither hard or easy read but it does need an attentive mind. I was amazed after reading the foreword, that Daphne was asked by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch's daughter to finish his book. The story flowed like one author had written this, Daphne knew Sir Arthur from childhood and this might hav ...more
Karen Martin
I loved the detective work here, trying to decide where the original author stopped and Du Maurier took over. I realised I had reached this point when the reading became less of a slog and more of a page turner!
Some knowledge of Tristan and Iseult would be useful for the story, but not essential, as the old legend is woven in.
Interesting. Worth reading.
Review to follow soon on karenmartinreads.blogspot.co.uk
Aimee Lauren
Whilst I think the beginning of the book was quite a different style to du Maurier (and I admit - it was rather difficult to get into!) I think du Maurier did an excellent job of picking up the plot and I thought the storyline, and the writing, improved about s third of the way in.

The ending even had a rather climatic du Maurier feel to it, so I think whilst it's not one of my favourites, I'm glad I've read it.
Sarah Thompson
I stuck with this book as I have a lot of love for Daphne du Maurier's work. I have not read any of Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch's writing previously but Castle Dor seemed not to be written in Daphne's voice but in Sir Arthur's and I found it quite a dry and tedious read. Living in Cornwall I really enjoyed the geographical references and overall the story got better and became more readable towards the end but I'm glad it's over.
Linda Orvis
Another of my pet authors. Castle Dor is a remake of the tale of Tristan and Isolde. It was published in 1961, and takes place in Cornwall, England (of course, as most of Daphne's books are). This is not my favorite du Maurier book, but it was worth reading, especially if you enjoy taking a trip to Cornwall along with her.
Rosemary Orme
A retelling of Tristan and Isolda, which I studied for my Cornish Bard language exams. I really couldn't enter into the spirit of this, and fore knowledge of the tragic ending gave little incentive to struggle through it. Unusually for Daphne du Maurier, I did not enjoy this.
Fang McGee
More miss than hit; the characterization was disappointingly wanting.
Hannah Stewart
I understand that Daphne Du Maurier was only a co-writer on this book but it definitely didn't have her 'feel' to it.
Lauren Hayward
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up
Got majorly fed up with this, you can tell du maurier had little to do with it as it doesn't reflect her style at all, got 1/4 of the way through but kept falling asleep
Hillary Rossi
New echelons of dull.
Bev
Mar 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: gothic, fiction
Synopsis: "The castle and the hills around it had seen a doomed love affair before, but the impulsive young woman and the impressionable young lad from Brittany with whom she discovered a love heretofore denied her knew nothing of the past. They knew only the present--a present suddenly alive with enchantment, love and danger.

Linnet Lewarne at nineteen was married to a crotchety, wealthy man forty years her senior. One day there came to the seaport town where they lived a Breton, named Amyot Tre
...more
Ape
It's been years since I last read a Du Maurier novel. I do love her writing so perhaps it's an odd choice to go for Castle Dor as it's not really her novel. It's also my least favourite of all her work I've read to date. Really this is Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch's unfinished novel. He died before he could complete it and his daughter gave it to Du Maurier to complete. I think she's kept the voice consistent throughout, so she's done a good job. But it's not the Du Maurier that I love, and I did fi ...more
Sandra
This book sets itself out as a Tristan & Isolde retelling. But it's kind of meta, for it doesn't just retell the story in a more modern setting (1840s Cornwall), it also discusses the original texts from the Middle Ages we still possess nowadays. So, this book is very T & I overkill. If you're familiar with the medieval texts, it's fun spotting the references. I think I got most of them, but then I am currently studying those exact texts at the moment. If you're not familiar with them.. ...more
Carrie Robinson
Good but not great.

I'm a big fan of Daphne du Maurier which is why I read this book and while I thought she finished it fairly well, as would be expected from her, I felt it lost some of the atmosphere created by Quiller-Couch. Quiller-Couch's style, at least in this book, I haven't read anything else by him, reminds me a little of Thomas Hardy, in his descriptions of the English countryside. I think Q-C's descriptions of the country, landmarks and history were a crucial part of this story and n
...more
Peter
Jul 31, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a child I remember my maternal grandfather had a reasonably well stocked library and in it included most of the works of Arthur Quiller-Couch (Q). So it was with some interest that I discovered that this book had been started by Q and finished by du Maurier at the behest of Q's daughter so was intrigued as to how this collaboration would work.

Firstly let me say that it appears seamless and it is hard to see which author wrote what (good or bad depending on your taste) although there did seem
...more
Spiderorchid
I really liked the idea of the love story of Tristan and Iseult repeating itself in 19th century Cornwall, but "Castle D'Or" has two major problems:
1) we all already know the story and how it will end, therefore the only reason to read this book would be that we really care for this characters who are going to share the famous lovers' fate - only that said characters are so cardboard and uninteresting that they barely hold the reader's attention
2) it's not an original novel by du Maurier, who i
...more
Hayley Lawton
4.5 stars really.
I had just started this book when I had read a trawl of the reviews on here and was surprised at the number of three/two star ratings. This is the first book in a long time that I felt at ease to just sit back and take in, and I loved it. The setting was beautiful, the writing (as always from du Maurier) was poetic and a joy to read, and the use of local legends will always capture my attention. I enjoyed seeing the story from other perspectives as opposed to the main characters
...more
Sally Flint
Just finished Castle For and I’ve got to admit the last hundred pages got a cursory reading. It is a novel started by Q and then Daph finished it. Hard to spot the join and she has done a good job of initiating his style, but I couldn’t really get into it. The story is good in a Romeo and Juliet type way, and there is a strange mystic sense throughout of the main characters being in a different time and place, but it creeped me out a bit, but can’t really say why. The character Dr Carfax who kin ...more
✧ Kimberly ✧
Mar 15, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
With the exception of some hints of Du Maurier's writing here and there, the rest felt absent of her storytelling overall. Maybe that's why I didn't care for this book so much, or she did such a wonderful job changing her usual style to fit that of the first author who began the tale.
I want to believe that I was unbiased about this book despite my desire to read a Du Maurier story at the time. Maybe I'll try to read this again one day with a different frame of mind. For now, I rate it upon my i
...more
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Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch was a Cornish writer, who published under the pen name of Q. He is primarily remembered for the monumental "Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1900" (later extended to 1918), and for his literary criticism. He guided the taste of many who never met him, including American writer Helene Hanff, author of 84 Charing Cross Road, its sequel, Q's Legacy, and the putatively ...more
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“She's dearer than life itself, that's all I know.” 4 likes
“That this exceptionally scholarly man whose judgments, always rich and sensitive, though sometimes austere, should have embarked on an intensely romantic retelling of the old Cornish legend of that famous pair of tragic lovers, Tristan and Queen Iseult, is intriguing in itself. But what makes it even more fascinating is that Daphne du Maurier, asked by “Q” ’s daughter long after her father’s death to finish this novel that he had set aside “near the end of a chapter, halfway through,” did so in such a skillful fashion that it is impossible to guess with any certainty the exact point at which she began to write. She says, in a modest foreword, that she “could not imitate ‘Q’’s style… that would have been robbing the dead,” but she had known him when she was a child, remembered him as a genial host at many a Sunday supper, and “by thinking back to conversations long forgotten” she could recapture something of the man himself and trust herself to “fall into his mood.” 0 likes
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