Rachel is My Cousin Rachel

On June 9th a brand new adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s novel ‘My Cousin Rachel’ hits the cinemas of the UK. Having only been filmed once before in the early 1950s, much to the authors disgust, and as a mini-series on the BBC in the 1980s, it’s probably not as well-known as some of her other novels, such as Frenchmen’s Creek or ‘Rebecca’.

The new film stars Rachel Weize and Sam Claflin in the leading roles, and is a gothic romance set in Cornwall and Italy. Unlike Jamaica Inn and Rebecca, the locations are not recognisable as anywhere specific. The large estate in Cornwall is positioned beside the sea and could be based on several large houses close to du Maurier’s home in Fowey.

It is though that du Maurier got the inspiration for the story from seeing a 17th century painting of Rachel Carew at Antony House near Torpoint in her adopted Cornwall. The house and grounds are still lived in by the Carew family, although now owned by the National Trust. The painting of Rachel is on display in the house alongside portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

Visitors to Cornwall are spoilt for choice when it comes to locations connected with du Maurier. The aforementioned Jamaica Inn, high on Bodmin Moor, still attracts travellers the same as it has for 300 years or so. The town of Fowey, near where du Maurier made her home, has a museum full or the authors bits and pieces, while across the water the village of Polruan was the setting for her first book, ‘The Loving Spirit’. Walk the South West Coast Path from Fowey to discover the landscape immortalised in ‘Rebecca’ or take a drive to nearby Tywardreath, as featured in ‘The House on the Strand’.

Further afield, down on the Lizard, just south of Falmouth, you will find Frenchmen’s Creek. Hidden away in woodland on the Helford River, like much of Cornwall, it is a magical place that still inspires artist and writers to this day.

Why not come down and discover for yourselves?

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