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Castle Dor

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  511 ratings  ·  70 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 t
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 3rd 2004 by Virago (first published 1961)
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3.23  · 
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 ·  511 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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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
Sep 28, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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
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.
“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
Mar 09, 2009 rated it liked it
"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
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
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
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
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.

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
Jul 31, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Carrie Ridgeway
Sep 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
A trajic love story centuries old repeated itself on the very lands where it previously occurred. Despite the efforts of Dr. Carfax to stop its progress - then came - just as with Tristan and Isuelt but for Amyst and Linnet.
May 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
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!
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
I finally got around to reading Castle Dor this month, after it sat on my bookshelf for about two years, as part of the UnreadShelfProject2019 on Instagram (February's book being a book that was received as a gift).

It was okay; in fact, very much a middle-ground read for me. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it, either.

The thing about Castle Dor is that it was originally drafted by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, and du Maurier simply finished it after his death. It therefore doesn't read exactly as
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is not a good book. It is quite impenetrable at the start with one-dimensional, uninspiring characters and unnecessary, dull detail.

There is absolutely no explanation or background to how or why Linnet and Amyot fall in love - or indeed any real background to their characters at all. Perhaps this was a deliberate choice to render the novel similar to the original legend - but the consequence was that its hard to give a monkeys about what happens to them in the end.

I was hoping that there
Melanie Moore
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Castle Dor was originally the unfinished work of British novelist Sir Arthur Auiller-Crouch, better known as "Q". His daughter sought out Daphne du Maurier to finish the tale. True to du Maurier's form, this novel was captivating. It's hard to tell where Q ended and du Maurier began. It is a modern retelling of the tragic love story of Tristan and Iseult. This novel is often overlooked, but if you a Daphne du Maurier fan, I highly recommend it!
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.
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
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.
May 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have never been drawn to the story of Tristan and Iseult and this offshoot does not change that. I have enjoyed books by du Maurier but this one is low in the list. At the request of his daughter, she finishes the story started by the ‘famous novelist’ Q. Her part of the book is much more readable. The story is okay.
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.
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
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It wasn't quite as readable as the author's other works but still intriguing.
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.
Fang McGee
More miss than hit; the characterization was disappointingly wanting.
Jared Geraghty
Apr 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Ugh I’m so conflicted on this one, because on the one hand it was really well written, but on the other I couldn’t help but think it was so dull! Not much happened and the romance sprung from nowhere, and the plot felt rather rushed at the end though too drawn out at the beginning, and it was just weird to read. I loved the description, and the world building was beautiful, but the characters and plot were frankly a mess. But I did enjoy reading it somehow, which is why it gets a good rating. I ...more
Mar 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, gothic
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
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
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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'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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