You may have noticed a few days ago on Karen's blog that we have a little project planned together: Reading Daphne Backwards. Twyla Tharp, apparently, recommends reading an author's work from their final offering, backwards to their first. I commented on Karen's blog to say how interesting that sounded, and that I hadn't read much Daphne du Maurier (just the exemplary Rebecca under my belt). Karen was also thinking du Maurier territory, and thus a project was born. I hesitate to say Challenge, because those always make me want to hide under the covers and read something else... so Reading Daphne Backwards is a lengthy project, which we aim to have finished by the end of 2008.
The idea is to see how a novelist progressed, but in reverse. What themes become stronger; which weaker? What were their basics of writing, to which the reverse read will draw? It may reveal nothing at all, but it should be fun nonetheless...
First thing to do, buy the books. Bless the The Book People - they had a boxset of ten Daphne novels for £9.99. Fancy a link to it? Here you are then. I don't know how they do it, but I'm glad they do - and the boxset arrived this morning. It doesn't include all the novels and stories, but I think I'm going to stick to the ones they do have there, for now. The Scapegoat is at home in Somerset somewhere... but I don't think I'll run out of Daphnes for a while.
The running order, then, is:
The Flight of the Falcon
My Cousin Rachel
I'll Never Be Young Again
and The Rendevous and Other Stories will have to slot in somewhere...
Do feel free to join in, or just watch as Karen and I compare notes on our blogs.