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, the daughter of the famous actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of George du Maurier, the author and artist. In 1931 her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published. A biography of her father and three other novels followed, but it was the novel Rebecca that launched her into the literary stratosphere and made her one of the most popular authors of her day. In 1932, du Maurier married Major Frederick Browning, with whom she had three children.
Many of du Maurier's bestselling novels and short stories were adapted into award-winning films, including Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now. In 1969 du Maurier was awarded a DBE. She lived most of her life in Cornwall, the setting for many of her books.