Jamaica Inn (novel)

Jamaica Inn (novel)

infobox Book |
name = Jamaica Inn
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption =
author = Daphne du Maurier
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country =
language =
series =
genre = Gothic Romance
publisher =
release_date = 1936
english_release_date =
media_type =
pages =
isbn =
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"Jamaica Inn" is a novel by the Cornish writer Daphne du Maurier, first published in 1936. It was later made into a film, also called "Jamaica Inn", by Alfred Hitchcock. It is an eerie period piece set in Cornwall in 1820; the real Jamaica Inn still exists and is a pub on the edge of Bodmin Moor [cite news
last = Paschke
first = Jean
coauthors =
title = The Cornwall of Daphne du Maurier
work = British Heritage
pages =
language =
publisher = Weider History Group
date = March 2007
url = http://www.historynet.com/magazines/british_heritage/7312776.html?showAll=y&c=y
accessdate = 2007-11-11
] . The plot follows a group of murderous wreckers who run ships aground, kill the sailors and steal the loot.

Plot summary

"Jamaica Inn" tells the story of the 23-year-old Mary Yellan, brought up on a farm in Helford in the early 1800s, but who is forced to go and live with her Aunt Patience after Mary's mother dies. Patience is the wife of the keeper of Jamaica Inn, Joss Merlyn. On her arrival at the gloomy and threatening inn, she finds her aunt under the thumb of the vicious Joss, and soon realizes that something unusual is afoot at the inn, which has no guests and is never open to the public. Mary tries to squeeze the truth out of her uncle during one of his benders, but he tells her, "I'm not drunk enough to tell you why I live in this God-forgotten spot, and why I'm the landlord of Jamaica Inn."

Much against her better judgement, Mary becomes attracted to Joss's younger brother, Jem, who, though a horse thief, is not a villain like Joss. After Mary realizes that Joss is the leader of a band of wreckers and even overhears Joss ordering the murder of one of their member, she is unsure whether to trust Jem or not. She turns to Francis Davey, the vicar of the neighbouring town of Altarnun, who happened to find Mary when she got lost one day on the moor.

Mary and Jem spend a day together in the town of Launceston, during which Jem sells a horse he stole from Squire Bassat back to the squire's unwitting wife. When it comes time to return to Jamaica Inn, Jem leaves Mary to go get the jingle, but never returns. Mary hires a coach to take her home, but they are waylaid by her uncle's band of wreckers, and the coach driver is killed. Mary is then forced to watch as the wreckers trick a ship into steering itself on to the rocks and then murder the survivors of the crash as they try to swim to shore.

A few days later, Jem comes to speak with Mary, who is locked in her room at the inn. Mary uses Jem's help to escape and goes to Altarnun to tell the vicar about Joss' misdeeds, but he isn't at home. She then goes to the squire's home and tells his wife her story, but Mrs. Bassat tells Mary that her husband already has the evidence to arrest Joss and has gone to do so. Mrs. Bassat has her driver take Mary to Jamaica Inn, where they arrive before the Squire's party. Mary goes inside to find her uncle stabbed to death; the lawmen arrive soon thereafter and discover Aunt Patience similarly murdered.

The vicar arrives at the inn, having received a note Mary left for him that afternoon, and offers her refuge for the night. The next day, Mary sees a drawing in a drawer of the desk in her room at the vicar's cottage, and is shocked to see that he has drawn himself as a wolf and the members of his congregation with the heads of sheep. The vicar returns, tells Mary that Jem was the one who informed on Joss. Realizing that she has seen the drawing, the vicar then reveals that he was the true head of the wrecker gang, and he tries to escape with Mary as his hostage. As they flee across the moor to try to reach a ship to sail to Spain, Squire Bassat and Jem lead a search party that closes the gap, eventually coming close enough for Jem to shoot the vicar and rescue Mary.

Mary has an offer to work as a servant for the Bassats, but instead plans to return to Helford. One day as she walks on the moor, she comes across Jem, leading a cart with all of his possessions, headed in the other direction from Helford. After some discussion, Mary decides to abandon her plans of going to Helford and to go with Jem.

"Jamaica Inn" in other media

*A film adaptation of the novel was produced in 1939, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and starring Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara. The film differs from the book in some respects, with the novel's main villain, Francis Davey, being replaced by a Squire Pengallon (Laughton). Du Maurier was not enamoured of the production.cite web
last = Duguid
first = Mark
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Jamaica Inn (1939)
work = filmonline
publisher = British Film Institute
date =
url = http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/id/441604/index.html
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-11-11

* There is a 2004 stage adaptation of "Jamaica Inn" by Lisa Evans, which has been performed as recently as 26 May 2007, at Newcastle-Under-Lyme's New Vic theatre, with the critically acclaimed Juliette Goodman starring in the lead role of Mary Yellen. [cite web
last = Orme
first = Steve
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Jamaica Inn
work = The British Theatre Guide
publisher = Peter Lathan
date =
url = http://www.britishtheatreguide.info/reviews/jamaicainnstoke-rev.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-11-11

*The track "Jamaica Inn" on singer Tori Amos's 2005 album "The Beekeeper", a song about "a man and a woman falling out", references the du Maurier novel and the wreckers of north Cornwall. [cite news
last = Orloff
first = Brian
coauthors =
title = Musings of a musical maverick
work = St. Petersburg Times
pages =
language =
publisher = Times Publishing Company
date = 2005-03-31
url = http://www.sptimes.com/2005/03/31/Floridian/Musings_of_a_musical_.shtml
accessdate = 2007-11-11
* In the early 80's there was a UK TV adaptation starring Jane Seymour, Trevor Eve, Billie Whitelaw and Patrick McGoohan. It was closer to the original story than the Hitchcock film.


External links

* [http://www.dumaurier.org/reviews-jamaica.html Review with extensive plot summary]

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