Daphne du Maurier ~ Master of Suspense

Day 347 of Colourisation Project – April 19

Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication. 

As a young woman of 24, negotiating the alleyways of Venice, I recall spooking myself out, constantly looking back over my shoulder lest a pixie-hooded childlike figure, with dagger in hand was following me. Part of my preparation for visiting Venice for the first time was to read Daphne du Maurier’s classic short story thriller set in Venice, Don’t look Now (1971).

Daphne Du Maaurier

Photographer: Bassano Ltd  ~  Daphne du Maurier – Coloured by Loredana Crupi

Not such a good idea as it turned out. On my first day as I was making my way down to Piazza San Marco, I found myself recoiling in fear after turning a corner into a narrow alleyway, scarcely avoiding collision with someone on a mission.  You can imagine my trepidation later on that day, when as I was hopping onto a vaporetto for the return journey to my pensione, I saw a funeral cortege crossing our water pathway.

If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie (which took quite a few liberties with the story line) you won’t know what I’m talking about. Get the book out and read it.

It took a few days before I could calm down enough to take in the wonders of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

The second time I visited Venice, I chose a Donna Leon crime thriller, Murder at La Fenice. A jolly good read and no anxieties with that one!

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One of the most popular English writers of the 20th Century, Daphne du Maurier, passed away on this day, 19 April 1989 five weeks shy of her 82nd birthday, at her home in Cornwall.

Other stories which enthralled and left an indelible imprint on my impressionable young mind were the novels Rebecca (1938) probably her best work, Jamaica Inn (1936) and the short story The Birds (1952). All bestsellers, they were adapted into films directed by  Alfred Hitchcock, making her a household name, and earning her enormous wealth and fame internationally.

Other notable titles also adapted into film were Frenchman’s Creek (1941), My Cousin Rachel (1951) and The Breaking Point, a collection of eight short stories (1959). Throughout her prolific career, she wrote twenty-two novels, six volumes of short stories, five biographies as well as her own autobiography, Growing Pains – the Shaping of a Writer (1977).

In 1969 du Maurier was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, for her services to literature.

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“The experts are right, he thought. Venice is sinking. The whole city is slowly dying. One day the tourists will travel here by boat to peer down into the waters, and they will see pillars and columns and marble far, far beneath them, slime and mud uncovering for brief moments a lost underworld of stone. Their heels made a ringing sound on the pavement and the rain splashed from the gutterings above. A fine ending to an evening that had started with brave hope, with innocence.”    –Don’t Look Now

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2 Responses to Daphne du Maurier ~ Master of Suspense

  1. I loved Jamaica Inn, that’s an intense portrait, and coloured beautifully. I guess you have to guess what colour the clothes are (except for the military uniforms) but it always looks the right colour.

    Like

    • Loredana Isabella Crupi says:

      Indeed, Fraggle…it is always an educated guess based on tonal qualities and shades of grey within the original picture and also some research on most likely colour dyes available in late19th and early 20th century.

      There is no sure-fire way to accurately determine the original colors but you can rule out some colours based on based on the shades of gray, for example: pinks and yellows would never be dark.

      With military uniforms authenticity is paramount. I can get the exact colours worn from a quick google search. There is so much information out there! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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