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Frenchman's Creek

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  11,433 ratings  ·  1,027 reviews
The Restoration Court knows Lady Dona St Columb to be ripe for any folly, any outrage that will relieve the tedium of her days. But there is another, secret Dona who longs for a life of honest love - and sweetness, even if it is spiced with danger. Dona flees London for remote Navron, looking for peace of mind in its solitary woods and hidden creeks. She finds there the pa ...more
Paperback, 253 pages
Published July 16th 2015 by Virago Modern Classics (first published September 1941)
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,433 ratings  ·  1,027 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 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.

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier is a 2003 publication. (This novel was originally published in 1941)

Adventurous and unique side of Daphne du Maurier-

Bored in her marriage, Dona heads to her husband Harry’s estate in Cornwall for some time to herself. Right away, she becomes embroiled in the adventure of the pirate 'Jean-Benoit Aubéry.' She dares to let her true nature emerge, wearing men’s clothes, and joining in the intrigue and a little romance.

However, her fun is often foiled by Rock
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Lovers of Adventure
Shelves: i-said, top, killer-prose
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
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
A romantic, swashbuckling type of tale from the talented Daphne du Maurier that, unfortunately, fell flat for me. Lady Dona St. Columb is a noblewoman in 17th century England, discontented with her husband, family, the British court, and pretty much everything in her life. She takes out her frustrations on everyone around her and then flounces off to her husband's estate in Cornwall to rusticate and make the people around her miserable there instead.

There are stories of a pirate who's been raid
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.
The Frenchman's Creek is the third book I read of Daphne du Maurier following My Cousin Rachel and Rebecca . And naturally I expected a mystery. But I was really surprised to find that The Frenchman's Creek is an adventure story.

Du Maurier presents us with a female protagonist as unlike any other so far I have come across her books. Dona St. Columb is a wild and reckless woman whose spirit seeks action and adventure. Her mundane aristocratic life which is wasted in idle occupation does not s
Loved, loved, loved this novel.
The writing, the atmosphere, the spirited English woman and the French pirate - Arggggh and oui, oui, Oui! Have I mentioned the writing?

This novel was sensual, intense and dreamy, at the same time. There's barely any sensual touching, still, to me, this was hotter than any other modern romance novel that spares no details describing intimate acts.

The audiobook was brilliantly narrated by John Castle.

I guess it's official, I'm a bona fide du Maurier fan.

Natalie Richards
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-book
I know that if I ever need a book which is guaranteed to transport me to another time and place, and which I know that I am going to thoroughly enjoy,then I need look no further than du Maurier.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
The opening paragraphs of this novel about the sea and nature, birds and places are so beautifully written that I was hooked.
It is a story of romance not usually my genre of choice but it is so much more. There is swashbuckling adventure, danger a plenty, escape in many forms, and a fabulous, heroine who is headstrong and brave.
Finally for my metaphorical book memory box and to share with the readers of my review, short passage to whet your appetite;
'Because I would be alone, because my humou
Jan 24, 2009 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
Kelly ...
Daphne du Maurier enthralls and enchants me again. This book is less foreboding than others but is still wonderful. What is not to love about French pirates wooing an English woman and then allowing her to live a moment as a pirate herself? What is not to love about beautifully written prose and a very feminist slant? There is very little about which to complain in any of du Maurier's books. I have now read 8 of them and am on the hunt to find her others.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Natalie Vellacott
Described as a modern classic. I recognised the author's name having watched the film, Rebecca a number of times.

Lady Dona St Columb is trapped in a loveless marriage and in societal routines that she detests. She has a streak of recklessness and always a strong desire to escape her circumstances should the opportunity arise. On a whim, she retires alone to their second residence for a break from life. There she chances upon Frenchman's Creek, a favourite spot for pirates, and meets the French
Allie Riley
Feb 21, 2013 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
Bree Hill
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My heart is so full right now after finishing this book. Daphne Du Maurier wrote the hell out of this book. It's only about 270 pages and I loved every word, every sentence that made this story. This will go on my list of stories that I won't go a day without thinking of. Seriously wish I could go back and experience it for the first time all over again.
Raquel Baggins
4.5 ★★★★: a tale of freedom, piracy and romance set in 17th Cornwall
«This other self knew that life need not be bitter, nor worthless, nor bounded by a narrow casement, but could be limitless, infinite—that it meant suffering, and love, and danger, and sweetness, and more than this even, much more.»

Review in English | Reseña en español (abajo)
After reading this book it has become clear to me that Daphne du Maurier is now one of my favourite authors and that, whatever story she tells, I would l
Sep 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, novels
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

"[W]e are all cogs in a wheel, and mothers especially. It is only pirates who are free."

A timeless classic that begs to be read for the shear joy of thrilling adventure, daring romance, decorous prose, and literary awesomeness.

"He has it that those who live a normal life in this world of ours, are forced into habits, into customs, into a rule of life that eventually kills all initiative, all spontaneity. A man becomes a cog in the wheel, part of a system. But because a pirate is a rebel and a
Aug 15, 2013 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
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a swashbuckling, fast-paced, entertaining read. Not as sinister as ‘Rebecca’ or as atmospheric as ‘Jamaica Inn,’ but still a romping piece of escapist literature from a legendary writer and storyteller. Lady Dona St. Columb is a London socialite on personal holiday with her two young children at her husband’s estate on the coast of Cornwall. Dona is way ahead of her time, brazen and sarcastic and headstrong. Jean-Benoit Aubery is the charming, sophisticated Frenchman - the Robin Hood of ...more
Mar 09, 2009 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
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.
Britta Böhler
The love story at the centre of the book is almost regency-romancy but of course with your typical DDM-twists.
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
Kate Forsyth
Feb 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
I loved Frenchman’s Creek as a teenager and read it again this month for the first time since. It’s a swashbuckling tale of love and betrayal, featuring a bored noblewoman and a bold pirate in the time of Charles II. Put like that, it sounds like a real bodice-ripper but Daphne du Maurier is far too clever and subtle than that. As always, her Cornish setting is wonderfully depicted and all her characters swiftly and deftly drawn. Lady Dona St Columb is beautiful, restless, and filled with longin ...more
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a rollicking and fun adventure story that can be enjoyed by anyone. And yes there is a bit of romance thrown in as well.

While reading this, I pictured the main characters played by Errol Flynn and Greta Garbo. I don’t know if this book was ever made into a film, but it would make a great one.

I just loved the way how Du Maurier wrote this story. If was fun for fun’s sake. This story would also stand up well as a companion volume with “Treasure Island”.

So give this book a go and just roll
“She knew that this was happiness, this was living as she had always wished to live.”

None of my words can ever give justice to one of Daphne du Maurier's novels. All I can say is that I fell in love with one of them, once again. Starting one of her works always feel different, because from the very first words, it feels like home and I cannot stop reading. I want to enjoy her words for as long as possible, but I can't stop. After reading the introduction to Frenchman's Creek (I adore the Virag
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
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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
“She knew that this was happiness, this was living as she had always wished to live.” 49 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.” 41 likes
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