The Loving Spirit

The Loving Spirit

by Daphne du Maurier
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The Loving Spirit 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thinking i had read everything by Daphne du Maurier, I was surprised tp come upon this unknown title. The story is slow going at first but stick with it. It becomes a lovely tale of kindred spirits reborn through the generations of a family, seeking fulfillment in life and love. It is Bronte-esque in the writing but not quite as gothic. So glad I came upon it.
Ausonius More than 1 year ago
An eerie, gothic tale of intermarriage, near incestuous  love, communication among living and dead, foretelling futures, of water, the open sea, sailing vessels  and much more, Daphne du Maurier's THE LOVING SPIRIT may be the most unforgettable first novel that you will ever read. * * *   Daphne du Maurier (1907 - 1989) was only 22 in January 1930 when she penned the final words  of THE LOVING SPIRIT. One day she would also write  REBECCA, "The Birds," FRENCHMAN'S CREEK, THE SCAPEGOAT and other works of history, geography, fiction, biography, short stories and verse.  * * *   Daphne in personal life and spirit both loving and unloving will appear in work after written work. She is fascinated by incest, comparing her loving relationship to her actor father Gerald and an older married cousin to that of three Borgias: Pope Alexander VI and his illegitimate children Cesare and Lucrezia. Du Maurier believes that families embody ancestors for generations. She finds in herself traces of her novelist grandfather George du Maurier. For Daphne ancestral love will not be denied by death or time if that ancestor looks after family that comes after him or her. She resents having been born a girl and hopes until puberty that she will turn into a boy. For boys have all the adventures and can do mighty deeds. At the same time Daphne du Maurier accepts that incest is not a realistic option and that the pragmatic ideal is chaste s marriage between one man and one woman.  ***   All these themes and love of particular locales and family houses are powerfully present in THE LOVING SPIRIT.   * * *   In 1830 Janet Coombe marries her second cousin Thomas Coombe. In 1930, at novel's end, third cousins  Jennifer Coombe and John Stevens, each a great grandchild of Janet and Thomas, have married and produced a son. And over that couple and the two intervening generations between their great grandparents Janet Coombe has been a loving, protecting at times bossy guiding family spirit. Janet greatly loved her second cousin husband but always knew that an even greater love would be hers. And that proved to be between her and her sea captain son Joseph, described as as sensuous and fleshy as possible this side of incest. Joseph's unhappy son Christopher becomes the father of Jennifer Coombe, Janet's fiery great granddaughter married to a third cousin, Janet's great grandson John Stevens.  * * *   The family villain is Philip (born 1839, died 1928). Philip is youngest of four sons of Janet and Thomas Coombe. Janet  finds Philip cold, detached, alien to her blood. Consulting neither parent, Philip becomes "an office boy in the shipbroking firm of Hogg and Williams" in the family's Cornwall coastal village of Plyn" (Book One, Ch. XII). Never marrying, miserly Philip amasses  wealth and power. He makes life as miserable as he can for other members of the Coombe family who thwart him.  * * *    Read of The Janet Coombe, a fleet two-masted sailing vessel built to honor the novel's guiding female spirit. On her relatively early death, Janet's spirit transfers to the carved wooden figurehead before the bow of her ship. Decades later great grandchildren Jennifer and John will meet below decks on the beached wreck of The Janet Coombe and make love. Throughout, the spirit of their ancestress lives on. Indeed young Jennifer is the living image of Janet as Janet looked a full century earlier.  What a grand first novel!  -OOO-
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and found the spirit of Emily Bronte on every page.
LadyJanis More than 1 year ago
I read du Maurier's, "Rebecca" and loved it...did not like this book at all...has incestuous tones about a mother and son...slow reading.