I was lucky enough to be able to take a couple of days off last week and jaunt down to two places that are fast becoming favourites, Devon and Cornwall. Each is associated with a writer I really love. Torquay in Devon is where Agatha Christie grew up, and Greenway was her holiday home near Brixham. Then Cornwall was the inspiration for many of Daphne du Maurier’s novels.
They are very different writers – Agatha Christie is often criticised for her so-called cardboard characters and allegedly over-complicated plots, though that has not stopped anyone from borrowing both for the myriad of films, plays and even new books which are churned out using her legacy. I don’t exempt myself from this, I’ve never been happier than when someone called my single mum amateur sleuth a ‘modern Miss Marple.’ No-one pretends Daphne du Maurier isn’t a great writer, but I don’t think she gets the recognition she deserves any more for her extraordinary books. I hope she isn’t dropping out of fashion. Her characters are unforgettable, particularly her baddies – Mrs Danvers, anyone? Or the enigma that is at the heart of My Cousin Rachel?
Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed being back in both areas and feel I’ve topped myself up again with a bit of inspiration. Giving a very enjoyable talk to a crowd of lovely and very committed book lovers in Truro at Tregolls Lodge was a treat, too, so many thanks to Howard Embery for inviting me and to everyone who came along.
Here are a few pics from our stay: