No this is not about the Charles Dicken’s classic novel. It’a about how I always have such “Great Expectations” before I set off on a new adventure (vacation)!
My new adventure is Cornwall in the United Kingdom and I am really looking forward to it. So I have been doing some research (as always) and this time was led to books by Daphne du Maurier, an English novelist who wrote between 1931 and 1989. She was born in Cornwall in 1907 and died in Cornwall in 1989. So I think she would know about Cornwall! Three of her books were written specifically about life in Cornwall; Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, and Frenchman’s Creek. So I ordered a book from the UK that contained all three books. It was published in 1939 and the book itself was a treasure. The binding was like new, so someone cherished this book. There was that musty smell that old books have, with the pages yellowed on the edges. I felt the book had just left the library of Miss Jane Marple’s cottage in St Mary Mead! I have a good imagination, don’t I? Agatha Christie is another author I enjoy! Imagine my surprise to find out that the sweet looking, Daphne du Maurier, who wrote these fantastic romantic novels, also wrote The Birds, which was made into an equally famous movie by Alfred Hitchcock!
I read all three novels (they were romance) and I did get a good perspective of the sea, coves, bogs, moors, smugglers and inns in Cornwall. I got a good idea of the Cornish people as well; very sturdy those folks! So now in my mind I have “Great Expectations” for Cornwall. I googled Jamaica Inn with the plan of going there, since it still is a working inn. The reviews, however, were very dismal. The location is off a very busy road (as it was in the old days) but the Inn is more like a rest stop on a toll road. Very touristy. It did not meet my expectations, so rather than ruin my dream I’ll think of Jamaica Inn as written in the book.
Another book I read before my vacation was The Lost Gardens of Heligan by Tim Smit. Wow, this garden has been in Cornwall since the 1600’s and there is quite a story here! Heligan is on my “List of Gardens” to see during my Second UK Garden Tour. I won’t spoil it for you, but I must say, I think it will be the first garden I’ve ever visited that had an exorcism by a priest in the 20th century! Now that should interest you, it did me!
I was also inspired by all the documentaries, mysteries, and great TV programs to be found on the Acorn App (all British TV) that is streamed to my TV! I hardly watch anything else now! No sex, no violence, no filthy language here! How refreshing! I especially like all the Agatha Christie, Miss Marple series, with my favorite Miss Marple being Geraldine McEwan, who was the sleuth from 2004 to 2009. What a darling old lady she was! I am glad I got to peek into her cottage at St Mary Mead (on TV) because I know I will see small villages that are very similar on my Garden Tour and I just know my book came from one of those cottages! Hopefully, I’ve offered some inspiration for your pre-travels, it’s good to know something about the place you’re visiting, so you get a feel of it before you arrive! Great Expectations To You!
15 Responses to “Great Expectations”
Wow, you know more about these people and places than I do. I hope you are enjoying your UK trip. I hope you don’t get stuck behind a caravan on one of Cornwall’s narrow lanes!
Oooooh!! Cornwall would be the first place I’d pick if somebody asked me Where to? Looking forward to your photos! Be sure to go see the Minack Theatre, but you know that. 🙂
Sounds like you are ready!
Hope you see Moushole. I drove through it years ago. The streets are so narrow. It was quite an adventure. A lorry had to back up to let me by because I couldn’t back up. Tintegal wasn’t as nice as I thought it would be. We stayed at Hostels. One of them was on a cliff by the sea and had a view of a castle on an Island from the window. I also took a day trip to the Isles of Scilly. It was a fabulous trip.
That castle was St Micheals Mount! Yep that’s on the itinerary!
Wonderful! I am getting excited for you, and can’t wait to read all about your trip and enjoy all your fabulous photos. My paternal grandfather was born in Pendeen (St. Just), and most of his family and relatives were from that area. His father (and grandfather) owned and ran the Boscaswell grocery store in Pendeen, but most of his family were tin miners nearby (some working under the sea). My paternal grandmother’s parents and family were from Saint Columb, Newlyn, St. Agnes, etc. We visited Cornwall around 1999 and loved our trip. We spent some time on genealogy, and really did not have enough time. The 3-week trip included time in London and a 1-week tour throughout England, as well as 1 week driving throughout Scotland, where my wife’s father’s family came from (including Isle of Eigg, Skye, etc.) before emigrating to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Driving in Cornwall was challenging on some of those roads, especially not being used to driving on the left side (and the roundabouts were tricky too). We visited my cousin in Mousehole and Penzance. I also have a cousin in St. Ives (and London) who I have recently have some email dialogs and learned some more.
Doug St Just is on my list as well as Penzance. The church in St just is very old with a lot of Celtic crosses etc and history
I hit the reply before I was done replying Doug! Yes it will be a challenge driving, although if there is traffic it might be easier for us since we will have more time to look for the correct road! Ha ha! I have 32 gardens in on itinerary this time!!!!!
My great grandparents were married at the St John the Baptist church in Pendeen, and the cemetery has are lots of Warrens, as well as Noakes (my great grandmother & family). My great grandfather was born in Trewellard, St. Just, slightly down the road.
I just read a book set in Cornwall and really want to go there now!
What was the name of the book and author?
The Lake House by Kate Morton. I really enjoy her books. The ending on this one is a bit tidy but I still really liked it.
I love Daphne Du Maurier books and read many of them a while ago now. We recently went to the theatre in Aberdeen to see Rebecca. What a disappointment it was. They had turned it into a farce. We left at the interval!!
I loved Rebecca too! Going to a play would be similar to seeing the movie of a book I have already read. I already have in my mind the way everybody should look and act and I want the movie to be just like the book. Ha Ha! I will be doing a post soon on a movie I saw and then decided to read the book, it was over 1000 pages, but it was so interesting! They were both good! But that is not usually the case!