This Jamaica Inn Daphne du Maurier Playlist consists of 2 film adaptations, 1 radio drama, and 2 Audiobooks
This period novel was first published in 1936. It was set in Cornwall in 1820, inspired by du Maurier’s stay at the real Jamaica Inn in 1930. It still exists in Cornwall.
Jamaica Inn tells the story of young Mary Yellan who was living with her mother in a farm in Helford. After her mother’s death, she went to live with her aunt in Cornwall. Her living condition changed drastically and she had to navigate through the danger and darkness to find happiness and freedom again.
Read An introduction to Jamaica Inn written by Bidisha hosted at the British Library for an exploration of some of the main themes in the novel, namely violence, love and desire.
I find Jamaica Inn a lot more appealing than Rebecca or Wuthering Heights.
The novel was adapted for film 3 times. A movie in 1939 and television drama in 1983 and 2014.
1. Movie Adaptation (1939)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Maureen O’Hara played Mary Yellan, the female protagonist.
The character of Vicar Francis Davey was replaced by Sir Humphrey Pengallan played by Charles Laughton. The replacement didn’t work for me. Maybe it worked for the 1930s audience. I also do not think the film captured the spirit and feel of the book. It probably wasn’t Hitchcock’s intention to be faithful to the story and characters. No wonder Dame du Maurier wasn’t happy with it.
2. Television Adaptation (1983)
An ITV television series aired in 1983. Mary Yellan was played by a young beautiful Jane Seymour. This adaptation was nearer the original story compared to the Hitchcock film.
3. Television Adaptation (2014)
Jamaica Inn was dramatized again for television in 2014 by BBC One. A 5-episode mini-series. It starred Jessica Brown Findlay, Matthew McNulty and Sean Harris. It is available on Amazon Prime Video (affiliate link).
4. Radio Drama
5. Audiobook Abridged Version Read by Trevor Eve (1983)
6. Read the Book – Jamaica Inn Daphne Du Maurier
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Featured image source: Kenneth Allen / Jamaica Inn / CC BY-SA 2.0