Wednesday Wisdom: Daphne du Maurier

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As a teenager, I was always drawn to the darker of the books available: Jane Eyre over Jane Austen, Mary Shelley over Percy Shelley, and Daphne Du Maurier over all (except maybe John Wyndham – coming in next week’s Wednesday Wisdom, and Oscar Wilde, whose aphorisms made me laugh long before I discovered Dorian Gray and the rest of his diverse work.)

Daphne Du Maurier whisked me into glorious landscapes and Gothic buildings. with Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel and gripping, beautifully told short stories about women, class, love, loss and more. I wanted to read all the books my mobile library offered  (and follow in her footsteps as a writer).

Here are some of my favourite Daphne du Maurier quotes:

“If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.”

“Luxury has never appealed to me, I like simple things, books, being alone, or with somebody who understands.”

“Boredom is a pleasing antidote for fear.”

“Women want love to be a novel. Men, a short story.”

“Sooner or later in the life of everyone comes a moment of trial. We all of us have our particular devil who rides us and torments us, and we must give battle in the end.”

“There is no end to the evil in ourselves, just as there is no end to the good. It’s a matter of choice. We struggle to climb, or we struggle to fall. The thing is to discover which way we’re going.”

“I wondered how many people there were in the world who suffered, and continued to suffer, because they could not break out from their own web of shyness and reserve, and in their blindness and folly built up a great distorted wall in front of them that hid the truth.”

“There is no going back in life. There is no return. No second chance.”

“Happiness is not a possession to be prized, it is a quality of thought, a state of mind.”

“We are all ghosts of yesterday, and the phantom of tomorrow awaits us alike in sunshine or in shadow, dimly perceived at times, never entirely lost.”

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