du Maurier, Daphne: The Glass-Blowers
(researched by Kristin Gelder)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
First American Edition: du Maurier, Daphne. The Glass-Blowers. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1963. Copyright: Daphne du Maurier. First published in 1963 by Victor Gollancz, London. Parallel first editions: In England: The Glass-Blowers. London: Victor Gollancz, 1963, 320 p. The Glass-Blowers. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963, 312 p. The Glass-Blowers. Leicester: Charnwood, 1963, 503 p. The Glass-Blowers. Reprint Society, 1963, 320 p. In America: The Glass-Blowers. Louisville, Kentucky: American Printing House for the Blind, 1963, 4 v. of braille. The Glass-Blowers. G.K. Hall, 1963, 521 p. In Switzerland: Die Glasblaser. Zurich: Fretz & Wasmuth, 1963, 392 p. Consulted source: WorldCat Various online sources in VIRGO
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
The first American edition is published in trade cloth binding. It appears as if the original cover has been either replaced for preservation purposes or is different from Victor Gollancz's (London) first edition, as in my research I found an advertisement with the original cover. The following JPEG image features the current cover, and Part Two (2) of Assignment Two (2) features the original cover, which appears to be in paper. Consulted sources: Gaskell: A New Introduction to Bibliography. Winchester, U.K.: St. Paul's Bibliographies, 1995. E.J. Labarre's Dictionary and Encyclopedia of Paper and Paper-Making. 2nd Edition. Amsterdam: Swets & Zeitlinger, 1959. Supplement 1969.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
178 leaves, pp. [4] [1-11] 12-21 [22-25] 26-35 [36] 37-51 [52] 53-65 [66] 67-81 [82] 83-93 [94] 95-106 [107-109] 110-125 [126] 127-138 [139] 140-150 [151] 152-166 [167] 168-180 [181-183] 184-203 [204] 205-222 [223] 224-237 [238] 239-252 [253] 254-272 [273] 274-290 [291-293] 294-307 [308] 309-319 [320] 321-330 [331] 332-345 [346] 347-348 [4]
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
The novel was neither edited nor introducted, but the novel has a prologue and an epilogue by Daphne du Maurier. Includes listing for other novels by Daphne du Maurier. The book is dedicated, "To my forebears, the master glass-blowers of la Brulonnerie, Cherigny, la Pierre and le Chesne-Bidault." There is also a sample of du Maurier's works, a table of contents, and a long listing of "Acknowledgments" by du Maurier. Consulted source: du Maurier. The Glass-Blowers. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1963.
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
The first American editon is very plain. There are no illustrations.
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
The novel is extremely readable and clearly printed. There are four parts of the novel, with a total of twenty one chapters, and a Prologue and an Epilogue. Supplementary image three (3) includes a JPEG of a book page featuring Part One. First three or four words in every chapter upper case letters. The novel has held up well over time. The margins are small, but the text is readable and clear. Type size: 91.44R Text measurements: 17.2 cm by 10 cm Page measurements: 20.3 cm by 13 cm
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
The novel is on wove paper with an even, granulated texture. The paper is thick and sturdy, with no tears, and all edges are smooth cut. The novel consists of the same paper stock throughout. The paper has preserved very well over time, however, the pages are slightly yellowed with a few water spots. Consulted source: E.J. Lebarre's Dictionary and Encyclopedia of Paper and Paper-Making. 2nd Edition. Amsterdam: Swets & Zeitlinger, 1959. Supplement 1969.
11 Description of binding(s)
The binding is not the original, although this book is the first edition. Medium reddish cloth with criss-cross grain. No dust jacket. The spine is stamped in non-gilt black with the title and author's last name. No transcription on front or back cover. Transcription of the spine: THE/GLASS-/BLOWERS/MAURIER Supplementary image one (1) includes a JPEG of the binding. Consulted source: Gaskell: A New Introduction to Bibliography. Winchester, U.K.: St. Paul's Bibliographies, 1995. E.J. Lebarre's Dictionary and Encyclopedia of Paper and Paper-Making. 2nd Edition. Amsterdam: Swets & Zeitlinger, 1959. Supplement 1969.
12 Transcription of title page
Recto: DAPHNE DU MAURIER/The Glass-Blowers/Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York/1963 Verso: Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 63-8769/Copyright 1963 by Daphne du Maurier/All Rights Reserved. Printed in the United States of America
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
Daphne du Maurier's papers and manuscripts are all in the private holdings of her children in a London bank. Consulted sources: Kelly, Richard. Daphne du Maurier. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1987.
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
Daphne du Maurier. The Glass-Blowers. London: Victor Gollancz, 1981, 1963. 320 p. ; 23 cm. No other edition produced by Doubleday & Company, Incorporated, the American first edition. Source: WorldCat Whitaker's Books in Print
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
First edition printing (ORIGINAL): The Glass-Blowers. London: Victor Gollancz, 1963, 320 p. First printing of 40,000 for $4.95 per book. Another 20,000 were printed which were not bound. Parallel first edition printings (SUBSEQUENT IN 1963): The Glass-Blowers. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1963. The Glass-Blowers. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963, 312 p. The Glass-Blowers. Leicester: Charnwood, 1963, 503 p. The Glass-Blowers. Reprint Society, 1963, 320 p. The Glass-Blowers. New York: Pocket Books, 1964, 312 p. ; 18 cm. The Glass-Blowers. Louisville, Kentucky: American Printing House for the Blind, 1963, 4 v. of braille. The Glass-Blowers. G.K. Hall, 1963, 521 p. Die Glasblaser. Zurich: Fretz & Wasmuth, 1963, 392 p. The original printing of The Glass-Blowers was published by Victor Gollancz in March 1963. Other subsequent first editions were printed in 1963, although their printing statistics were not available. It can be inferred from Doubleday's "Total Copies Sold" that Doubleday printed more than Victor Gollancz in London (40,000). Still, after extensive research, it is difficult to surmise the reason for the novel's popularity in accordance to the little statistical evidence available. Consulted source: WorldCat
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
Bucaneer Books, Inc: The Glass-Blowers. 1994. Phaebus: Les Souffleurs de Verre Roman. Paris, 1998. 375 p. ; 21 cm. A. Michel: Les Souffleurs de Verre. Paris, 1964. 463 p. : ill. ; 21 cm. Les Souffleurs de Verre. Paris, 1964. 350 p. Penguin: Harmondsworth, 1981, 1963. 312 p. ; 18 cm. Charnwood: Leicester, 1984, 1963. 503 p. ; 23 cm. Large print edition. Reprint Society: London, 1963, 320 p. ; 21 cm. Otokar Keresovani: Puhaeci Stakla. Rijeka (Yugoslavia), 1970, 371 p. ; 21 cm. (Translation) G.K. Hall: Boston, 1983. Large print edition. Avon: New York, 1971, 383 p. ; 18 cm. Caralt: A Traves de la Tormenta. Barcelona, 1969, 319 p. ; 18 cm. Orto: Klaasipuhujad. Toronto, 1965. 330 p.: map; 22 cm. Sociaetae Nouvelle des aEditions G.P.: Paris, 1966, 1964. 463 p.: ill. (some col.) ; 21 cm. Source: WorldCat
6 Last date in print?
The last known date in print is 1998 in Paris by Phaebus, Les Souffleurs de Verre Roman, according to WorldCat. According to Whitaker's Books in Print, the last printing was in 1994 by Bucaneer Books. Consulted sources: WorldCat Whitaker's Books in Print
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
This information could not be located. See "Sales figures by year" for a monthly breakdown in the year of first publication. This is the novel's best indication of success that could be identified. Complete sales information could not be located after extensive research.
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
"A new immediate bestseller, published March 22." "Publisher considers the rise to the best seller status extremely rapid. Made fifth place on list in both Washington D.C. newspapers three days after publication." As of April 12, 1963, Doubleday had sold 47,314 copies (out less than a month). As of April 26, 1963, Doubleday had sold 49,494 copies. It is running neck-and-neck with the Salinger book, very close in PW's tally. As of May 6, The Glass-Blowers head the best seller list of NY Tribune. As of May 17, 1963, Doubleday had sold 52,364 copies. As of June 14, 1963, Doubleday had sold 55, 721 copies. As of September 13, 1963, Doubleday had sold 64,639 copies. No figures were recorded beyond the July-September 1963 Publishers' Weekly. The sales figures of The Glass-Blowers disappear after the first year in publication. After extensive research, the subsequent sales by year could not be located. Sources: Publishers' Weekly, Volume 183, April-June Publishers' Weekly, Volume 184, July-September
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
$20,000 initial advertising budget. What follows is an ad placed in Publishers' Weekly, January 7, 1963, Volume 183 No. 1. For a scanned image of the cover of Publishers' Weekly, which features The Glass-Blowers and its original cover, see item number two (2) from the "Supplementary Materials Section." It is two full-page ads which read: "DOUBLEDAY STARTS YOU MOVING TOWARD BIG SPRING SALES...with a story in the great traditon of Rebecca and The King's General--by one of the world's most enduringly popular novelists DAPHNE DU MAURIER. Daphne du Maurier's books have sold over a million copies in hardcover, bookstore editions alone--and with every novel her audience grows larger. The Glass-Blowers is one of the best--a long, full story about the tight, royal-family world of a dynasty of French glass-blowers, from Ancien Regime to the rise of Napoleon. THE GLASS-BLOWERS chronicles the faith and fortunes of the Busson family--how they were united by their craft and divided by jealousies; how they carried their inherited skills to eighteenth-century England; and how, amid the senseless chaos of the French Revolution and Civil War, they shaped an ageless, crystal world that endured beyond suffering and violence. $20,000 Initial Advertising Budget First Printing of 40,000 National Promotion March 22 $4.95" The second full-page features an ornate, French-style border around "The Glass-Blowers," decorated with a sword, cannon, drapery, and a French crown. The bottom of the border features an oval with the intials "L.W.," and at the bottom of the ad another ornate carving with a highly decorated crown and an elegant monogram. Consulted sources: Publisher's Weekly, Volume 183, April-June. Publisher's Weekly, Volume 184, July-September
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
A21019991012154127.jpg
11 Other promotion
On Internet: The Daphne du Maurier WEB Site-The Glass-Blowers www.westwind.co.uk/westwind/cornwall/daphne/glass.html "If you marry into glass you enter a closed world".....So Pierre Labbe warned his daughter in 1747. But tall, blonde Magdaleine was not daunted. To her the tight traditions of the glass-blowers made a world she could rule over--and rule she did. But for her children that world would be different. This is Daphne du Maurier's warm, human saga of a family of craftsmen in eighteenth century France--with the violence and terror of the Revolution as a clamouring background against which their loves and their hopes are played out."
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
Books on Tape: Daphne du Maurier. The Glass-Blowers. Newport Beach, California: Books on Tape, 1984, 9 sound cassettes. Consulted source: The Daphne du Maurier WEB Site-The Glass-Blowers. No other plays or productions found.
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
French: Les Souffleurs de Verre Roman. Paris: Phaebus, 1998. 375 p. , 21 cm. Les Souffleurs de Verre Roman. Paris: A. Michel, 1964, 463 p. : ill. ; 21 cm. Les Souffleurs de Verre Roman. Paris: A. Michel, 1964, 350 p. Les Souffleurs de Verre Roman. Paris: Sociaetae Nouvelle des aEditions G.P., 1966, 1964, 463 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 21 cm. German: Die Glasblaser. Zurich: Fretz & Wasmuth, 1963, 391 p. , 21 cm. Die Glasblaser. Zurich: Bertelsmann Lesering, ? 1900, 1984, 382 p. ; 19 cm. Spanish: A Traves de La Tormenta. Barcelona: Caralt, 1969, 319 p. , 18 cm. (Yugoslavia?): Puhaeci Stakla. Rijeka: Otokar Keresovani, 1970, 371 p. ; 21 cm. Braille: The Glass-Blowers. Louisville, Kentucky: American Printing House for the Blind, 1963, 4 v. of braille. (Language?): Klaasipuhujad. Toronto: Orto, 1965, 330 p. : map; 22 cm. Consulted sources: WorldCat Whitaker's Books in Print
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
Condensation of novel in Good Housekeeping, Issue number 156, pages 63-72. F; 73-5 Mr; 86-7 Ap '63. One critic observes, "As this book is the April Literary Guild Selection and has magazine serialization, public library purchase could be lessened." --E.W. Cummings, Library J 88:1684 Ap 15 '63 Library J 88:2156 My 15 '63 Sources Consulted: Book Review Digest 1963. Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, March 1963-February 1965
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
N/A
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
English novelist and playwright, second daughter of actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of caricaturist George du Maurier, who produced Peter Ibbetson (1891) and Trilby (1894), du Maurier is best known for her novel REBECCA (1938), filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1940. Du Maurier was born in London on May 13, 1907. She grew up in a lively London household where friends like J.M. Barrie and Edgar Wallace visited frequently. Her uncle, a magazine editor, published one of her stories when she was a teenager and got her a literary agent, Michael Josephs of Curtis Brown Ltd. Du Maurier attended schools in London, Meudon, and Paris. Her first novel, THE LOVING SPIRIT, appeared in 1931, when she was twenty-four years old. In 1934, she changed her publisher to Victor Gollancz, who also became her agent. Her first novel was followed by JAMAICA INN (1936), a historical novel, which was bought for the movies, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock--later Hitchcock also used her short story "The Birds," a tense tale of nature turning on humanity. MY COUSIN RACHEL (1951) was also made into a film in 1952. In 1932 du Maurier married Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Arthur Montague Browning II, who was knighted for his distinguished service during World War II. They shared a love of the sea, boats, and sailing, and they explored the countryside and got to know its history. They had three children--Tessa (1933), Flavia (1937), and Kits (1940). Around the time that THE GLASS-BLOWERS was conceived, du Maurier was surrounded by her grandchildren. Her ideas on how children should behave were very firm. A child, in her opinion, should be imaginative and love games of make-believe; a child should enjoy being read to; a child should respect elders and be as quiet as possible inside the house; a child should be visibly happy and never want to grow up. When her grandchildren did not conform to this pattern she was dismayed, especially by the lack of imagination. The noise children made inside the house was always a great strain. These events alienated her, and this may have prompted her to turn to the living fantasy that existed in her writing. This period paled in comparison to du Maurier's former success, and her publisher Victor Gollancz saw that this was affecting her emotionally. If THE GLASS-BLOWERS 'sank' she saw the future as looking grim. Victor knew, of course, how depressed Daphne was feeling about her own abilities and about her general status. In spite of her tremendous success, she believed herself to be pigeon-holed as second rate and, for all her modesty, was hurt by this. He knew the last thing she wanted was recogniton in the sense of public attention--what he saw she needed was more respect. Although THE GLASS-BLOWERS made the best-sellers list, it did not achieve the success of her early novels, JAMAICA INN, REBECCA, FRENCHMAN'S CREEK, THE KING'S GENERAL, MY COUSIN RACHEL, and RULE BRITANNIA. Daphne published a total of fifteen novels, six collections of short stories, three plays, twelve non-fiction books, and four essays. Obsessed with the past, du Maurier wrote about her family's history in the du Mauriers (1937), Gerald: A Portrait (1934), and a novel based on her ancestors, The Glass-Blowers (1963). as many of her later novels, THE GLASS-BLOWERS was underrated by critics as a mere historical tale. Following the publication of THE GLASS-BLOWERS, tragically, her husband Browning died in 1965. The devastating event led her to write some months later a piece entitled "Death and Widowhood." Her daughter said of her writing, "There were times when my mother was busy with her writing that I felt we were intruding on her life, the days when she would sit tap-tapping on the typewriter in her hut at the end of the lawn. She would be in a world of her own where we were not welcome. Her need for space, for freedom, was greater than her need for us. We would lose sight of her, she would become that far-off figure in a 'never never land,' out of reach. She lived in distant times and places, peopled characters in her books, and they were beyond our comprehension. My father would shrug his shoulders and sigh, and he would remark to us, 'Your mother lives in a dream.'" Du Maurier was made dame in 1969 for her literary distinction. In her late years, du Maurier suffered from increasing memory loss and a deep depression. Du Maurier suffered a mild stroke in the early 1980s, and this, coupled with writer's block, sealed the fate of her declining years. REBECCA's opening line, "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again," is among the most memorable in twentieth-century literature. The story centers on a young and timid heroine, whose life is made miserable by her strangely behaving husband, a wealthy widower, and inscrutable servants, especially her housekeeper. Du Maurier focused the fears and fantasies of the new wife, who eventually learns that her husband did not love his former wife Rebecca, a cruel, egotistical woman. Because of the familiar plot, suits of plagiarism were brought against du Maurier, but they were dropped when the widespread use of the theme, beginning from Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre (1847), was established. Daphne du Maurier's Cornwall is now known throughout the world. Her novels and short stories were best-sellers and the motion pictures based upon her tales have combined to give her an international reputation as the foremost creator of gothic tales of romance and horror. Her contemporaries were dealing in their fiction with themes related to the war, alienation, religion, Marxism, psychology, poverty, and art, but du Maurier, on the other hand, continued to write "old-fashioned" novels with straighforward narratives that appealed to a conventional audience's love of fantasy, adventure, sexuality, and mystery. Like REBECCA, many of her short stories were set in Cornwall, the location of her seventeenth-century mansion, overlooking the sea, for a quarter of a century. Daphne du Maurier has seen to it that her life remain much of a mystery. All of her papers and manuscripts remain in the private holdings of her children , locked away in a London back "for obvious purposes." Consulted sources: Cook, Judith. Daphne: A Portrait of Daphne du Maurier. London: Bantam Press, 1991. Forster, Margaret. Daphne du Maurier. London: Chatto & Windus, 1993. Kelly, Richard. Daphne du Maurier. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1987. Leng, Flavia. Daphne du Maurier: A Daughter's Memoir. Great Britain: Mainstream Publishing, 1994.
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
The public's reception of The Glass Blowers paled in comparison to many of her earlier novels--Jamaica Inn, Rebecca, Frenchman's Creek, My Cousin Rachel, The Scapegoat, and The Flight of the Falcon. Central to the du Maurier tradition are sound, exciting, workable plots; The Glass-Blowers strayed from this as a historical novel based in the French Revolution and on the lives of her glass-blowing du Maurier ancestors. Known as a romantic suspense storyteller, du Maurier was known for her engaging stories which consumed the readers. But as she aged, the popularity of her novels declined, and du Maurier saw The Glass-Blowers as somewhat of a test case; if The Glass-Blowers achieved little success, the future was looking grim. Du Maurier was dismayed when her published Victor Gollancz printed only 40,000 copies (and 20,000 which were not bound) even though that 40,000 for a first-print run was six times more than any other author on his list enjoyed. Although The Glass-Blowers reached the best-sellers list in 1963, it did not achieve the overwhelming response of her earlier works. The Glass-Blower holds a relatively insignificant place in du Maurier's literary career. Its marginal success may have been a product of du Maurier's loyal followers. In the Christian Science Monitor, N.E. Taylor's response is representative of The Glass-Blowers reviews: "Miss du Maurier's book is as readable and crisp in style as any of her earlier works, but its main value lies in cutting through the glamorous surface of a period, thought of too frequently only in 'Scarlet Pimpernel' terms, and opening to light its drab and dingy realism. To do this so engagingly is Miss du Maurier's achievement" (288). Another critic comments on his disappointment of the novel's "surprisingly dull monotone" (Levin 288), a comment that echos the sentiments of many of the novel's reviewers. One of du Maurier's followers remarks that the "magic of Daphne du Maurier elicits favorable comment at any times and at any place in the English-speaking world. The publication of her books....causes brisk sales in bookstores across the nation. She writes "best sellers"; she is a popular novelist..." This same critic points out her opinion of certain faults of du Maurier's 1963 novel: "The Glass-Blowers is structured to show the effect of a signicicant historical event on the life and personality of a generation that endured the hardships, glories, bad times and good times of that period. The period here is admittedly ripe for such ups and downs, the French Revolution. Human nature makes history; human nature is illumined, generally, in the novel. Here the illumination is too heavily thrown on passing events rather than on the people involved in them. Miss du Maurier confessedly writes here of some of her own ancestors. Perhaps her re-creation of them had been affected by an over-powering obligation to objectivity that has made the novelist succumb to the demands of the historical research worker. At any rate the period's complexity never allows the characters to develop as people. They are subordinated to the historical events which sweep them along. Unless people remain people, history is of no interest, not even to their descendants....The story of The Glass-Blowers is in fact the memoirs of one of the author's French ancestors. As a literary device this is most effective, for then the whole story is told in the engaging manner of the first person. Male readers will surely find this annoying..." Specifically, she complains that "nowhere does the reader become engaged and involved in the action." She concludes, "The end papers are attractive maps done in a fine Italic hand by Palacios. It is unfortunate that the prose does not equal the maps in clarity and grace of style" (Lucey, 146). Du Maurier, however, has been lauded by her followers for her insight and unravelling of life during the French Revolution. This novel appealed more to du Maurier's loyal followers as fans than the followers of best-sellers. Du Maurier's lucid prose and historical narrative, while interesting, lacked the momentum and dynamic force of her earlier works that readers and critics came to expect. Consulted sources: Cook, Judith. Daphne: A Portrait of Daphne du Maurier. London: Bantam Press, 1991. Forster, Margaret. Daphne du Maurier. London: Chatto & Windus Ltd., 1993. Levin, Martin. Book Review Digest 1963. Dorothy P. Davison, Editor. New York: The H.W. Wilson Comapny, 1964. Lucey, Beatus T. Contemporary Literary Criticism: Excerpts from Criticism of the Works of Today's Novelists, Poets, and Playwrights, and other Creative Writers. Dedria Bryfonski, Editor. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1979. Volume 11. Taylor, N.E. Book Review Digest 1963. Dorothy P. Davison, Editor. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1964.
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
The public's reception of The Glass Blowers paled in comparison to many of her earlier novels--Jamaica Inn, Rebecca, Frenchman's Creek, My Cousin Rachel, The Scapegoat, and The Flight of the Falcon. Central to the du Maurier tradition are sound, exciting, workable plots; The Glass-Blowers strayed from this as a historical novel based in the French Revolution and on the lives of her glass-blowing du Maurier ancestors. Known as a romantic suspense storyteller, du Maurier was known for her engaging stories which consumed the readers. But as she aged, the popularity of her novels declined, and du Maurier saw The Glass-Blowers as somewhat of a test case; if The Glass-Blowers achieved little success, the future was looking grim. Du Maurier was dismayed when her published Victor Gollancz printed only 40,000 copies (and 20,000 which were not bound) even though that 40,000 for a first-print run was six times more than any other author on his list enjoyed. Although The Glass-Blowers reached the best-sellers list in 1963, it did not achieve the overwhelming response of her earlier works. The Glass-Blower holds a relatively insignificant place in du Maurier's literary career. Its marginal success may have been a product of du Maurier's loyal followers. In the Christian Science Monitor, N.E. Taylor's response is representative of The Glass-Blowers reviews: "Miss du Maurier's book is as readable and crisp in style as any of her earlier works, but its main value lies in cutting through the glamorous surface of a period, thought of too frequently only in 'Scarlet Pimpernel' terms, and opening to light its drab and dingy realism. To do this so engagingly is Miss du Maurier's achievement" (288). Another critic comments on his disappointment of the novel's "surprisingly dull monotone" (Levin 288), a comment that echos the sentiments of many of the novel's reviewers. One of du Maurier's followers remarks that the "magic of Daphne du Maurier elicits favorable comment at any times and at any place in the English-speaking world. The publication of her books....causes brisk sales in bookstores across the nation. She writes "best sellers"; she is a popular novelist..." This same critic points out her opinion of certain faults of du Maurier's 1963 novel: "The Glass-Blowers is structured to show the effect of a signicicant historical event on the life and personality of a generation that endured the hardships, glories, bad times and good times of that period. The period here is admittedly ripe for such ups and downs, the French Revolution. Human nature makes history; human nature is illumined, generally, in the novel. Here the illumination is too heavily thrown on passing events rather than on the people involved in them. Miss du Maurier confessedly writes here of some of her own ancestors. Perhaps her re-creation of them had been affected by an over-powering obligation to objectivity that has made the novelist succumb to the demands of the historical research worker. At any rate the period's complexity never allows the characters to develop as people. They are subordinated to the historical events which sweep them along. Unless people remain people, history is of no interest, not even to their descendants....The story of The Glass-Blowers is in fact the memoirs of one of the author's French ancestors. As a literary device this is most effective, for then the whole story is told in the engaging manner of the first person. Male readers will surely find this annoying..." Specifically, she complains that "nowhere does the reader become engaged and involved in the action." She concludes, "The end papers are attractive maps done in a fine Italic hand by Palacios. It is unfortunate that the prose does not equal the maps in clarity and grace of style" (Lucey, 146). Du Maurier, however, has been lauded by her followers for her insight and unravelling of life during the French Revolution. This novel appealed more to du Maurier's loyal followers as fans than the followers of best-sellers. Du Maurier's lucid prose and historical narrative, while interesting, lacked the momentum and dynamic force of her earlier works that readers and critics came to expect. Consulted sources: Cook, Judith. Daphne: A Portrait of Daphne du Maurier. London: Bantam Press, 1991. Forster, Margaret. Daphne du Maurier. London: Chatto & Windus Ltd., 1993. Levin, Martin. Book Review Digest 1963. Dorothy P. Davison, Editor. New York: The H.W. Wilson Comapny, 1964. Lucey, Beatus T. Contemporary Literary Criticism: Excerpts from Criticism of the Works of Today's Novelists, Poets, and Playwrights, and other Creative Writers. Dedria Bryfonski, Editor. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1979. Volume 11. Taylor, N.E. Book Review Digest 1963. Dorothy P. Davison, Editor. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1964.
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
Daphne du Maurier led a personal life shrouded with mystery. She came from a fascinating background, descending from the mistress of a royal duke and a family of French master craftsmen glass-blowers, through the artist and cartoonist George du Maurier to her father, the actor Gerald. Du Maurier was obsessed with the past, and THE GLASS-BLOWERS, a novel based on the lives of her du Maurier ancestors, was published late in her career, in 1963. Although it was a bestseller, the success of THE GLASS-BLOWERS paled in comparison to the success of her earlier works. During her long, distinguished career, Daphne du Maurier tried her hand successfully at both fiction and nonfiction?biography, autobiography, historical romance, and short stories?but her auctorial reputation rests most firmly upon six romantic suspense novels whose plots stem from crime. THE GLASS-BLOWERS never achieved the earlier success of these "formula fiction" novels; perhaps this was because she deviated from this formula and explores her later passion: her family history. THE GLASS-BLOWERS, published in 1963 by Victor Gollancz, reached the bestsellers' list almost immediately, and its rise to the bestseller list status was considered extremely rapid. It reached fifth place on the list in both Washington D.C. newspapers three days after publication. Many different factors contributed to the novel's success?its advertising in both "Publishers' Weekly" and "Good Housekeeping," its appeal to du Maurier's loyal following, and most influential, Daphne du Maurier's established literary talent. Book clubs played a large role in its success by introducing the novel to the public. THE GLASS-BLOWERS was the April Literary Guild Selection in 1963, which gave many readers easy access to the novel. Doubleday, du Maurier's publisher, also helped with the success of the novel by creating many advertisement campaigns in order to spark the public's interest, namely in "Publishers' Weekly." Doubleday allowed the public a sneak preview of the novel in the hopes that it would grab their attention and persuade them to buy a copy of the book. Daphne du Maurier's public persona did not add to the success of her book, mainly because she did her best not to create a public persona for herself. Du Maurier disliked being in the public eye; she avoided interviews and public appearances. "She confided to (one interviewer) that she disliked entertaining or being entertained or any public appearance?" (Cook 141). In her rare interviews, she was reluctant to give any personal information about herself; she was an extremely private person. As a favor to her English publisher Victor Gollancz, du Maurier attended a Foyle's Literary Lunch, along with two other female writers. Afterwards, she swore to never attend such an event again, for she felt that "authors never should be seen or heard" (Forster 139). Despite her private persona, her writing style was overwhelmingly popular. Central to the du Maurier tradition are sound, exciting, workable plots; her basic plots are thrilling, and all allow for abundant complication and all offer good possibilities for quick pace and great suspense. Along with her clear, lucid prose, du Maurier's literary tempo, romance, and suspense comprise her auctorial hallmark. For critics, that commonality has sometimes been dismissed as "formula fiction," and this term (often perceived as demeaning) has contributed to some misapprehension of the skill with which the author combines formulaic elements with experiments in established literary forms, especially variations of the Bildungsroman, to create the freshness and innovation which account for so much of her appeal. Many modern gothics that echo her most renowned novel, REBECCA, are good evidence that du Maurier tends to set trends rather than to follow them. Certainly, it is no disgrace either to establish or to follow a popular, even beloved, literary formula. Du Maurier has done both; she tends to capitalize on some very old, established patterns and bend them to her will. Having written the biography of her father, du Maurier now traces her roots back to an eighteenth-century French family of glass-blowers named Busson. The patriarch, old Mathurin Busson, is a master glass-blower whose finest hour came when Louis XV took time out from one of his hunting excursions to visit him and inspect his workrooms. For the occasion Mathurin creates a crystal goblet in honor of the king and later remarks to his family: "I suggest we preserve this goblet as a family symbol, and if does not bring us fame and fortune it shall serve a reminder of high craftsmanship through succeeding generations" (50). There are five children in the Busson family. Robert, the eldest, is hopelessly irresponsible and leads the family business to the brink of bankruptcy. Overly ambitious, he yearns to leave his provincial life and go to Paris where he can become well-connected politically and socially. He feeds on the brink of this society, compromising what is dear to him for ambition. Pierre, the next oldest, is an idealist, dedicated to the principles of Rousseau. Michel, handicapped by a stammer that prevents him from communicating his emotions, becomes a fanatic who expresses his opinions through violence. Edme, the youngest member of the family, devotes her energy to seeking happiness and equality for all people by philosophically attacking established institutions. Finally, there is Sophie, the narrator of the story, who adopts a comfortable middle ground as she records the life of her family. Set during the French Revolution and the Civil War that followed, this fictional history of the Busson family appears to have two objectives, one public and one personal. For her millions of faithful readers du Maurier combines a smattering of history, biography, and political philosophy in order to come up with an entertaining and informative historical romance. Her real interest seems to lie, not in the revolution or its philosophical underpinnings, but in the life of the Busson family. Against a backdrop of melodramatic action and ideological speeches about the values of common people, du Maurier formulates the story of her family history. Believing that her ancestors contributed to the shaping of her personality, du Maurier's "historical romance" is this inner story, rather than a surface one, that absorbs her interest, for in it she can discover herself and recognize the truth of her favorite quotation: "In my beginning is my end." The central theme to her novel is that the traditions of the past must be maintained at all costs. Although du Maurier is sympathetic towards the characters of Pierre, Michel, and Edme, idealists who rebel against the oppressive rule of the aristocracy and the clergy, she makes it quite clear that their envisioned world of equality and freedom for all cannot be purchased at the price of destroying the institutions and traditions in France. As Sophie points out by 1894 "the poor were still poor, and those who had enriched themselves by the purchase of church lands were looked upon as profiteers, despite the initial act of patriotism" (276). The workers at the glass foundry complain that they had "enough of the revolution, enough of fighting and restrictions, enough of change. It was better, so the older ones say, when (Sophie's) mother was in charge here and everyone felt settled. Now, nobody knows that tomorrow will bring" (278). After her mother dies, Sophie discovers a closet full of old linen that her mother had embroidered with great artistry many years ago, causing her to reflect: "These things, so unexpected and incongruous in our troublous times, were an indictment of our age that reverenced nothing past and hated all things old" (285). In the end, Louis Mathurin's glass goblet, the symbol of the Busson family and the symbol of tradition winds up in the possession of Sophie who, like her creator, handles it with great care. THE GLASS-BLOWERS held a dichotomy of importance in du Maurier's career. First, since she was a private person, a story about her family that shaped her life meant that this particular work was meaningful to her, making her especially vulnerable. Second, it was published at a critical point in her career. Du Maurier was feeling depressed about her abilities and her general status as an author. In spite of her tremendous success, she believed herself to be pigeonholed as second-rate and, for all her modesty, was hurt by this. In 1963, with the publication of THE GLASS-BLOWERS, she was watching sales anxiously and seeing it as something of a test case. If THE GLASS-BLOWERS sank, the future was looking grim. The news that her publisher had printed only 40,000 copies (and another 20,000 which were not bound) dismayed her even though he patiently explained to her the new facts of publishing in the sixties and pointed out that 40,000 copies for a first print-run was six times more than any THE GLASS-BLOWERS, in the spring of 1963, were not bad nor were they either extensive or good, and her publisher had no need yet to bind up the extra 20,000 copies. In the Christian Science Monitor, N.E. Taylor's response holds the novel's most common praise "Miss du Maurier's book is as readable and crisp in style as any of her earlier works, but its main value lies in cutting through the glamorous surface of a period, thought of too frequently only in ?Scarlet Pimpernel' terms, and opening to light its drab and dingy realism." To do this to engagingly is Miss du Maurier's achievement" (288). Critics complimented her ability to incorporate a strong sense of French history in the novel without ever faltering from her goal to explore her ancestor's personal relationships. One critic remarks, "The history remains where it should?in the background" (McNamara 842). Most critics, however, have bittersweet sentiments about du Maurier's novel. Says one critic, "The book is rich in the color of the time but moves at a pace unusually slow for a du Maurier work" (Hill 682). Similarly, a critic from "The New Yorker" complains that the "style is nostalgic and tedious." The dullness and slow pace of du Maurier's novel is the most common criticism: "Narrated in the first person by Sophie, an eight-year-old child far-sighted enough to employ words like ?finalize' and ?ploy,' the Busson family annals never rise above a surprisingly dull monotone" (47). A paradox lies in the sales figures of THE GLASS-BLOWERS. An immediate bestseller, it soared in its first year of sales, but the sale figures overall were not particularly impressive. How did a novel with mediocre reviews reach the bestsellers list so successfully? One theory is that du Maurier's loyal followers accounted for a large percentage of the novel's sales; this is indicative of the reader's admiration for du Maurier, not necessarily the particular novel. One critic suggests that public purchase could have been lessened since the novel was a Literary Guild Selection and had magazine serialization, making the novel more accessible and, therefore, causing the sales figures to be less impressive" (Cummings 1684). Despite her diminishing marginal success over time, Daphne du Maurier had made an indelible mark in literary history. Her contemporaries were dealing in their fiction with themes related to the war, alienation, religion, Marxism, psychology, poverty, and art. Many were experimenting with new techniques, such as stream-of-consciousness and the use of multiple personae. Du Maurier, on the other hand, continued to write "old-fashioned" novels with straightforward narratives that appealed to a conventional audience's love of fantasy, adventure, sexuality, and mystery. At an early age she recognized that her principal readership was comprised of women, and she cultivated their loyal readership through several decades by embodying their desires and dreams in her novels and short stories. The literary establishment clearly wants nothing to do with Daphne du Maurier. There are no critical essays and few books about her. Her only critics to date have been the many book reviewers who, for the most part, heralded each novel as a gift of genius though most agree that she never surpassed the level of excellence in REBECCA. The fact that millions of people read her novels certainly works against her approval by literary critics, who are not inclined to prize what the audience does. By the standards of contemporary literary criticism, most of du Maurier's works do not hold up well. Her prose, while straightforward and clear, is not especially interesting. There is little imagery, symbolism, or ambiguity in her writing. Her characters are often undeveloped, and her plots become all-important. Her style is conventional, her sentences unmemorable, and her story lines contrived. Compared with highbrow novels of the time, her writing seems shallow and commercial. Why, then, have her novels been so successful? Why is it that she has so many closet readers, sophisticated people who enjoy her works but who are reluctant to claim their enjoyment? "Despite her failure as a thinker and a stylist, du Maurier is a master storyteller who knows how to manipulate female fantasies. She creates a world that is simple, romantic, usually ambiguous, adventuresome, mysterious, dangerous, erotic, picturesque, and satisfying. It is a world that contrasts sharply with the mundane realities of ordinary existence, and it is a world that does not require the reader to suffer the pains of introspection and analysis. It is, in short, a world that brings considerable pleasure to millions of readers, especially women" (Kelly 142). "Perhaps du Maurier wrote too much, catered too cynically to the popular taste of her audience, but she created the "classic" gothic novel of the twentieth century, setting the stage for hundreds of imitators grinding out formulaic tales in the Harlequin Romance series and others, but she has the talent to rise to the surface of literary respectability that many of her followers lack. If Daphne du Maurier had written only REBECCA, she would still be one of the great shapers of popular culture and modern imagination" (Kelly 144). Perhaps THE GLASS-BLOWERS achieved success based on her past ability, simply, to entertain. Yet it deviated from her "formula fiction" of suspenseful romance; she, instead, focuses on her family's French history to satisfy her own curiosity. One of du Maurier's followers remarks that the "magic of Daphne du Maurier elicits favorable comment at any times and at any place in the English-speaking world. The publication of her books?.causes brisk sales in bookstores across the nation. She writes ?best sellers?" (Lucey 146). Late in du Maurier's career, her style was dismissed by critics as inferior writing, and her literary deviation in THE GLASS-BLOWERS could have been enough to lessen the novel's sales figures amongst her frequent publications. Still, THE GLASS-BLOWERS was very successful. But as she was accustomed to her earlier monumental praise and sales figures, it did come as a disappointment to du Maurier late in her career. A private accomplishment, its success may not have been reflected in its sales figures and remembered as a bestseller; yet to Daphne du Maurier, the story of her ancestors, THE GLASS-BLOWERS, will remain one of her most important works. Consulted Sources: Cook, Judith. Daphne: A Portrait of Daphne du Maurier. New York: Bantam Press, 1991. Cummings, E.W. Library Journal. Volume 88. April 15. 1963. Forster, Margaret. Daphne du Maurier. London: Chatto & Windus, 1993. Hill, W.B. America. A Catholic Review of the Week. Volume 109. 1963. Kelly, Richard. Daphne du Maurier. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1987. Levin, Martin. Book Review Digest 1963. Dorothy P. Davison, Editor. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1964. Lucey, Beatus T. Contemporary Literary Criticism. Dedria Bryfonski, Editor. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1979. Volume 11. McNamara, Eugene. America. A Catholic Review of the Week. Volume 108. 1963. Ricks, Christopher. The New Statesman. Volume 65. 1963. Taylor, N.E. Christian Science Monitor. The New York Times Book Review. Jan.-June. 1963. The New Yorker. Volume 39. Feb. 23-Apr. 20. 1963.
Supplemental Material
Image of Book Page (Part 1)
Image of advertisement with Original Cover Pictured
Image of Binding (Not original cover; rebound)
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