The Glass-Blowers (Virago Modern Classics)

by Daphne du Maurier | Literature & Fiction | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 184408065X Global Overview for this book
Registered by nordie of Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on 9/8/2011
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by nordie from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Saturday, October 12, 2013
Using her own family history as inspiration, Du Maurier gives us the ageing Sophie Duval, who has promised her nephew that she will tell the story of their family, starting with her mother marrying into the local community of glass blowers.

The story starts with Sophie's mother getting married in the 1770s in rural France, where the glass blowers are situated beside the forests that provide the fuel for the furnaces.

Sophie herself gets married in 1788 in a joint wedding with her younger sister. It's not long before the issues building up in Paris spills out into the countryside. The storming of the Bastille and other important events is told via gossip and second hand scaremongering as panic spreads across the land, and thieves and brigands are seen in every shadow, ready to burn crops and steal wood.

Over the next few years, we see how the revolution happening in the bigger towns and cities filters down into the countryside, where neighbour can turn against neighbour and family fortunes can be made and lost by a word in the wrong place.

Sophie's family is directly affected where one brother, who gambles with his money and reputation, emigrates to England having been declared bankrupt too many times, and stakes his living (badly) with the other French emigres.

Pierre becomes a notary, Edme works first with Pierre and then Michel as local leaders in the revolution. Both men die in their old age, tired and worn out, and Edme is left to continue her fight for a revolution that has long lost it's spark. Sophie lives into her old age where her nephew (Michel's son) has become the mayor of the local town and we're back to where the story started.

The book is sub-400 pages long in this edition, so this is not an in depth detailed look at the French Revolution. du Maurier has chosen some set pieces to highlight on and there is much that is told briefly (or not at all). Therefore this is not a book for someone looking for a non-fictionalised account of the Revolution, should be seen more as a lead-in story.

This is another example of du Maurier's skill is telling historical fiction, and should be much better known than it is.

Journal Entry 2 by Katweeble at Wolverhampton, West Midlands United Kingdom on Saturday, October 26, 2013
Picked up at the Birmingham Bookcrossing meeting, it may be some time time before it rises to the top on mount TBR

Journal Entry 3 by Katweeble at BCUK UnConvention 2017 in Loughborough, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Friday, September 22, 2017

Released 1 yr ago (9/23/2017 UTC) at BCUK UnConvention 2017 in Loughborough, Leicestershire United Kingdom

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Looking forward to catching up with friends at the 2017 uncon.

Journal Entry 4 by kangaroo at Barnet, Greater London United Kingdom on Sunday, September 24, 2017
Picked up at the Uncon - along with just a few more!

Released 3 mos ago (2/28/2019 UTC) at Enfield Chase Station, My Coffee Stop in Enfield, Greater London United Kingdom

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On the bookswap shelf just inside the station

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