A powerful, exuberant romance this is Daphne du Maurier's first novel which shows her beginnings as a great writer
Cornwall, 1900s. Plyn Boat Yard is a hive of activity, and Janet Coombe longs to share in the excitement of seafaring: to travel, to have adventures, to know freedom. But constrained by the times, instead she marries her cousin Thomas, a boat builder, and settles down to raise a family.
Janet's loving spirit - the passionate yearning for adventure and for love - is passed down to her son, and through him to his children's children. As generations of the family struggle against hardship and loss, their intricately plotted history is set against the greater backdrop of war and social change in Britain. Her debut novel, THE LOVING SPIRIT established du Maurier's reputation and style with an inimitable blend of romance, history and adventure.
Daphne du Maurier's lushly written novel . . . is a rapturous celebration of the beauties of the Cornish landscape - Michele Roberts
Du Maurier creates on the grand scale ... a rich vein of humour and satire, observation, sympathy, courage, a sense of the romantic are here - Observer
She wrote exciting plots, she was highly skilled at arousing suspense, and she was, too, a writer of fearless originality - Guardian
No other popular writer has so triumphantly defied classification . . . She satisfied all the questionable criteria of popular fiction, and yet satisfied the exacting requirements of "real literature", something very few novelists ever do
Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was born in London, educated at home and in Paris, and lived for much of her life in her beloved Cornwall, the setting for many of her novels. Most of her novels have been bestsellers and many have been made into films. She is considered one of the most accomplished novelists of the twentieth century.