Dracula (clip)

Just trying to promote the podcast a bit more. I made this clip for Youtube and Tiktok. What do you think? https://youtu.be/WUW5AgZLzpc

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The Pond by Nigel Kneale

The Doll by Daphne du Maurier

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The Doll by Daphne du Maurier

Dame Daphne du Maurier, Lady Browning was born in 1907 in London in 1931 and died in 1989 in Cornwall. She is a famous novelist with such best-sellers as Rebecca, Frenchman’s Creek, The Birds and the novella Don’t Look Now. This story is taken from a collection of short stories written before her famous novels. She was clearly fond of the name Rebecca for the dark-spirited anima-like femme fatale.

I did a recording of Don’t Look Now, which has proved to be my most popular recording on Youtube.

Her father was an actor and theatre manager who was knighted for her services to the arts.  Her mother Muriel Beaumont was also an actress.   Daphne’s sister Angela was also an author and an actress and her other sister Jeanne who was part of the painter colony in St Ives Cornwall.  Daphne and her sister Jeanne look very like their mother in the photographs on the internet.  Their cousins were the inspiration for the children in J M Barrie’s Peter Pan.  Her great-great-grandmother was mistress of Frederick Augustus, Duke of York and Albany. 

She was born when the family were living in a rather grand house on Cumberland Terrace on the eastern side of Regent’s Park in a house that is now a grade I listed building designed by the famous architect John Nash. Her father’s success made this possible. 

Daphne du Maurier became more reclusive as she got more famous and spent her time n her beloved Cornwall. As she grew, the family had two houses — one in Hampstead, north London ( a grade II listed building from 1720) and a house in Fowey, Cornwall, where they lived exclusively during the Second World War.  She got married to a prominent soldier and had three children, of whom both girls married prominent soldiers. 

The Wiki notes that her marriage was somewhat chilly and she herself could be distant from her children. Her husband died in 1965, when she was 34.  She moved permanently to Kilmarth, Cornwall. She was made a dame (equivalent of a knight) in 1969 but was very reticent about mentioning it and never made much of it. After she died in 1989, biographers discussed whether she was a lesbian. Her sister Jeanne had a close relationship with another woman. She notes that her father always wanted a son and so she was a tomboy. Her children denied that she was a lesbian. When she died of heart failure aged 81, her body was privately cremated. 

In her obituary for du Maurier, Kate Kellaway said: “Du Maurier was mistress of calculated irresolution. She did not want to put her readers’ minds at rest. She wanted her riddles to persist. She wanted the novels to continue to haunt us beyond their endings.”

The Doll

This story was published in 1937, that is two years after the death of her husband, and one year before the publication of Rebecca.   Apparently she was only 21 when she wrote The Doll

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Music By The Heartwood Institute

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A Pair of Muddy Shoes by Lennox Robinson

  
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-31:20

A Pair of Muddy Shoes by Lennox Robinson

Lennox Robinson was an Irish author, poet, dramatist and theatre produce who was born in Westgrove, County Cork, Ireland in 1886 the son of a Protestant clergyman, who had previously been a stockbroker. Lennox (fully Esme Stuart Lennox Robinson) was often ill as a child and educated by private tutor and at a Church of Ireland (that is the Protestant Anglican Church) School.  He became interested in drama when he saw a production by W B Yeats and Lady Gregory at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin when he was 21. 

His play Cross Roads was produced at the Abbey in 1909 and he became manager there the same year. He resigned in 1914 after a poorly reviewed tour of the USA, but came back in 1919 and was appointed to the theatre’s boar din 1923 and served there until his death in 1958. It is said that he was an alcoholic and often depressed.   

He was Anglo-Irish but was committed to the Irish nationalist cause (like Yeats and Lady Gregory). 

His wife’s mother was a spiritualist. 

A Pair of Muddy Shoes is written in a very naturalistic, conversational style which was fun to read and very different from some of the other things we’ve been reading out recently (Poe, I’m looking at you).  It’s all fun, and I like both styles.

The story is written from an Irish woman’s voice and I read it as an English man. You will know I debate with myself whether I should do accents (which I enjoy) or read a woman ’s voice. The second I have few problems with to be honest, the first is more of a problem because though I enjoy doing the accent there is always someone who’s ear is so finely tuned that it jars and spoils the story.  So, I decided to do this in my native voice. 

The story is about a possession but it’s unusual and fresh in its setting in rural Ireland (I thought of Craggy Island and the big priests’ house looming up from the middle of a bare field, no garden, no path, no nothing leading to it). The spirit of the murderer remains very wicked and his pleasure in the crime infects the shy young woman who is speaking.

There is something about weird juxtapositions like the white cat with the narrator’s face and then when she goes into the house, the victim says that she has the face of a girl, but the hands of a rough man. 

If You Appreciate The Work I’ve Put In Here

You could buy me a coffee

https://ko-fi.com/tonywalker

Become a Patron

https://www.patreon.com/barcud

And you can join my mailing list and get a free audiobook:

https://bit.ly/dalstonvampire

Music By The Heartwood Institute

https://bit.ly/somecomeback***

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