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Jamaica Inn. by  Daphne Du Maurier - First Edition - 1936 - from Raptis Rare Books (SKU: 132594)

Jamaica Inn.

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Jamaica Inn.

by Du Maurier, Daphne

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About This Item

London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1936. A period piece set in Cornwall in 1820, Daphne du Maurier's Jamaica Inn follows a woman who moves to stay at Jamaica Inn with her Aunt Patience and Uncle Joss after the death of her mother. She quickly finds out that the inn is an unsavory place, mistrusted by the locals, and that her uncle is closely linked with a group of suspicious men who appear to be smugglers. A film adaptation of the novel was produced in 1939, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and starring Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara.


On Oct 8 2013, Feeney said:
I saw JAMAICA INN the 1939 movie before I read the 1936 novel. The movie, with young Maureen O'Hara and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, is very, very loosely, too loosely, based on the novel and in my opinion badly told to boot. Novel's author Daphne du Maurier wrote to her publisher: "Don't go and see it, it is a wretched affair." ***Hitchcock's JAMAICA INN frankly depressed me. It was that bad and demotivated me for reading the novel. But, in the end, dutifully, I opened du Maurier's tale of Cornish smugglers and killers in the early 19th Century and was drawn in at once to an astonishingly good yarn. 23-year old recently orphaned Mary Yellan travels by coach to the barren, forbidding interior uplands of Cornwall. There, as she promised her dying mother, she moves in with her mother's older sister Patience and the latter's abusive husband of ten years Joss Merlyn. By trickery Joss had bought from an upright local squire real and still existing Jamaica Inn, perched on a desolate stretch of highway between two towns on the dangerous moors. Joss is nearly seven feet tall, a hopeless alcoholic and apparent leader and brains behind a 100 man strong gang of smugglers. The smugglers are also "breakers," men who lure ships to destruction on rocks of the wild Cornish coast, murder survivors and steal their valuables. *** Mary Yellan is that indispensable figure of every true "thriller," the isolated hero, utterly friendless, up against powerful persons but supported by no allies, at least initially. Like a good modern historian, Daphne du Maurier is careful to make Mary Yellan know no more about what is going on about her than she can learn for herself. The third person narrator's point of view is not godlike. It is realistic. Mary falls in love with her uncle's much younger and far less reprehensible -- but no saint -- brother Jem. Jem despises churches, vicars, religion nore is very fond of women and makes his money stealing, disguising and selling horses from his neighbors across the moors. ***A mouthpiece for du Maurier's own experiences with men, animal-wise country woman Mary Yellan is at a loss to understand why otherwise sensible women fall for objectionable men. Some of her musings: --(1) "Animals did not reason... There was precious little romance in nature, and she would not look for it in her own life"; --(2) Telling Jem why she thinks she loves him and will relunctantly go with him on Jem's terms: "Because I want to; because I must; because now and forever more this is where I belong to be." *** Keep your eye on seldom seen Anglican priest Francis Davey, albino vicar of Altarnun on the moors. He becomes Mary's only friend, hears with apparent empathy her tales of evil that she has seen through living at Jamaica Inn. He is the first person with any real power to show Mary kindness. Yet more than once the novel shows a suspicious Mary Yellan worrying about who and what sort of "freak" albino Davey really might be. Incredibly, his part was written out for the 1939 movie version. -OOO-

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book dealer
Raptis Rare Books US (US)
Bookseller’s Inventory #
Jamaica Inn.
Du Maurier, Daphne
Book condition
second hand
Victor Gollancz Ltd
Place of Publication
Date Published
Daphne Du Maurier First Edition, Jamaica Inn First Edition

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Raptis Rare Books

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This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since 2012
Palm Beach, Florida
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About Raptis Rare Books

Founded by Matthew and Adrienne Raptis, Raptis Rare Books is an antiquarian book firm that specializes in literature, children's books, economics, photo books, signed and inscribed books, and landmark books in all fields. Our business model is simple: we strive to handle books that are in exceptional condition and to provide exceptional customer service. We are proud members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and exhibit at major book fairs in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston, as well as other regional fairs.


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