Tea or Books? #15: plays vs poetry, and Rebecca vs My Cousin Rachel

Tea or Books logoPlays or poetry? We go broad with the first half of our 15th episode, and (inevitably) barely scratch the surface. You wouldn’t have it any other way, right? In the second half, we pit two much-loved novels by Daphne du Maurier against one another: Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel. Guys, it’s a long one. We had a lot that we wanted to say. Do let us know what you’d have chosen!

For those who harken to the plea of Rachel for emails – you can find her at booksnob@hotmail.co.uk. We love hearing from you; it’s been so nice to get emails from people who are enjoying the podcast, not to mention the suggestions we get. Those are always so welcome :)

Next time we’ll be discussing Winnie the Pooh vs The Wind in the Willows. Looking forward to it! You can download our current episode from iTunes or from your podcast app of choice, or listen above.

Here are the many and various books and authors we mention in episode 15…

The Phoney War in Britain by… someone. Not sure who!
The Blessing by Nancy Mitford
Cat’s Company by Michael Joseph
The Charleston Bulletin Supplements
The Secret Orchard of Roger Ackerley by Diana Petre
My Father and Myself by J.R. Ackerley
Enemies of Promise by Cyril Connolly
The Children Who Lived in a Barn by Eleanor Graham
A View From the Bridge by Arthur Miller
William Shakespeare
Tennesse Williams
A.A. Milne
An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley
Tom Stoppard
Noel Coward
Harold Pinter
Samuel Beckett
Coriolanus by William Shakespeare
‘The Fire of Drift-Wood’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (magic!)
‘The Listeners’ by Walter de la Mare
Virginia Woolf
Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding
‘The Lady of Shalott’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
‘Dover Beach’ by Matthew Arnold
‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Wilfred Owen
Siegfried Sassoon
Ezra Pound
Carol Ann Duffy
Jenny Jones
Psalm 51
‘Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening’ by Robert Frost
People on a Bridge by Wisława Szymborska
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier
The Flight of the Falcon by Daphne du Maurier
The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Rebecca’s Tale by Sally Beauman
Mrs de Winter by Susan Hill
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

9 thoughts on “Tea or Books? #15: plays vs poetry, and Rebecca vs My Cousin Rachel

  • April 6, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Glad you’re reading Enemies of Promise, Simon – I had pondered my copy for the 1938 Club, but I think I’ve run out of time for that one…

    • April 7, 2016 at 11:18 pm

      It isn’t the fastest going, so I’m really hoping I finish in time!

  • April 6, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Don’t Look Now is a really good short story collection. I remember enjoying The Loving Spirit, and The House on the Strand is weird in a good way.

    • April 7, 2016 at 11:19 pm

      I think I have all of those…. I have SO many du Mauriers unread on my shelves. But weird in a good way is my home from home!

  • April 6, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    I prefer Rebecca, I think, because of the atmosphere, but also because I think Philip is an idiot. In her own way, the unnamed narrator in Rebecca is also an idiot, but somehow I can relate to her more. The movie of My Cousin Rachel is worth watching. I just saw it again recently. Philip is played by Richard Burton at a young age.

    Simon, I agree with you on Frenchman’s Creek. I think the main character is horribly selfish, too.

    At some time or other, I think I have read all of Du Maurier, but the one that stuck with me besides these two is The House on the Strand, so I recommend that.

    • April 7, 2016 at 11:30 pm

      Lovely to hear your thoughts on these books, Kay, thanks – and for the recommendation for My Cousin Rachel film. And for The House on the Strand – you have given me extra encouragement to dig it out!

      Mostly, though, thanks for being ‘on my side’ when it comes to Frenchman’s Creek – I often feel outnumbered on that one ;)

  • April 7, 2016 at 4:50 am

    I would recommend The Scapegoat. That was the first book by Daphne Du Maurier I ever read and I enjoyed it so much I started reading more of her books. They also made a movie of it but they completely changed the ending which I found really frustrating. I also enjoyed The House on the Strand and would recommend it. Oddly enough, I haven’t read Rebecca yet. I so often find that I’m not all that thrilled with an authors most famous work and prefer some of their lesser known novels so I’ve been hesitant to read Rebecca. You’ve definitely peaked my interest though. It just moved up much higher on my TBR list.

    • April 7, 2016 at 11:31 pm

      I’m often with you – reading the lesser known work and leaving the famous books for later. In this case, though, I think the reputation is justified: Rebecca is so wonderful.

  • April 8, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Great episode! First time I’ve listened to one of your podcasts, and I’ll be checking out more. Du Maurier’s short stories are absolutely brilliant. I definitely recommend checking those out if you enjoy reading short stories. I had a rough time with The House on the Strand but I do recommend reading it. Even though I didn’t enjoy all of it (the part set in the past was just not my cup of tea), it was very memorable. The part set in “present day”, to me, was a much better story, but it will suck you in because you’ll have to know how it ends. I also have many unread Du Maurier’s on my shelves. I need to get on that!


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