Monday, 4 August 2008

Ferryside



Here are some pictures of Ferryside, taken when I was in Fowey recently. It's the house that Daphne's father, Gerald du Maurier, bought in the 1920s, for family holidays, and where Daphne wrote her first novel, 'The Loving Spirit'. Daphne's son, Kits Browning, lives there now, and it's a wonderful place, with views over the Fowey estuary. The village you can see in the background is Polruan, and Fowey is on the other side of the river. The only way to cross over to here from Fowey is by a little ferry -- hence the name of the house -- unless you've got your own boat. It's here that Daphne learnt to row and sail; here, too, that she felt a kind of liberating freedom that had evaded her in London. You can see why she started writing in this environment -- it's one of the most beautiful and inspiring views I've ever seen, with a big open sky, and light shining on the water. It's peaceful, yet there's also a sense of the wide world beyond, as ships dock at the harbour opposite, before making their journeys out into the open sea.

4 comments:

oxford-reader said...

Those pictures are great. You know, I found a copy of 'Enchanted Cornwall' in the second hand shop at Dartington, which had a picture of Ferryside. It was so different from the ones you posted, not nearly so bright, and with dead ivy all over the face of it. It's so interesting to see the life of a house charted like that.
Thank you also for your congrats over my graduation - it was great to be back in Norwich after being away for a year!

Justine Picardie said...

Wouldn't it be interesting to find a picture of Ferryside from the 1920s, when Gerald du Maurier first bought it? I wonder if there are any that date back that far?

oxford-reader said...

There is one in Growing Pains, or at least the copy I have, which I assume is from the late 1920s. The brickwork is exposed and there seems to be less of a slipway for family boats ... I'll get Dad to scan it tomorrow and email it.

Justine Picardie said...

Thanks!