(((EBOOK))) ↜ The Glass-Blowers ✐ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free
In The Glass Blowers, Daphne du Maurier explores her French family background through historical fiction, much as she did for another branch of her family in Mary Anne In this novel, the stormy backdrop is the French Revolution Du Maurier s forbears, the Bussons du Maurier was later added as an affectation by one of the brothers , were a family of master craftsmen in the art of glassblowing Source Wikimedia Commons Glassblowing, of course, is an apt metaphor for the Revolution itself Control is of supreme importance One false movement and the expanding glass will be shattered There comes this supreme moment to the glass blower, when he can either breathe life and form into the growing bubble slowly taking shape before his eyes, or shatter it into a thousand fragments Du Maurier chooses to examine the French Revolution from a slightly unusual perspective The story of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette is peripheral Nor is this Dickens depiction of oppressed Parisian peasants exacting revenge with the guillotine In The Glass Blowers, the story takes place primarily outside Paris, in smaller towns and in the countryside The narrator, Sophie, describes her family s position in the glass making business, as well as the revolutionary activities of two of her brothers and a sister Another brother, Robert Daphne s future great great grandfather , eventually flees to England to escape his creditors, earning the shameful label ofmigr , an epithet which carries overtones of treason to the Republic The other two brothers become local leaders, enjoying their elevated status in the new Republic They decide when to loot a chateau or execute or imprison those who seem suspicious to the new regime They experience their own misfortunes, however, in the general chaos The depiction of the family s encounter with the Vend ans is particularly chilling This violent side note in a country simultaneously torn by revolution and involved in a foreign war doesn t get as much attention in the era s history as other events The Vend ans were an enormous mob of Royalist soldiers, peasants including women and children , dispossessed aristocracy, and clergy that advanced from the Vend e region against the French Republic Du Maurier describes how they occupied and looted houses during a stop in Le Mans, by that time desperate and starving, and were then repulsed by the Republican forces, in many cases annihilated down to the last man, woman, and child.Du Maurier s viewpoint on all of these events is a personal one, giving an idea of the day to day existence of people trying to live what would otherwise be ordinary lives in the midst of tumultuous upheaval In such a turbulent time, even the lives of ordinary people make compelling novels.
(((EBOOK))) ⇹ The Glass-Blowers ☘ Perhaps We Shall Not See Each Other Again I Will Write To You, Though, And Tell You, As Best I Can, The Story Of Your Family A Glass Blower, Remember, Breathes Life Into A Vessel, Giving It Shape And Form And Sometimes Beauty But He Can With That Same Breath, Shatter And Destroy It Faithful To Her Word, Sophie Duval Reveals To Her Long Lost Nephew The Tragic Story Of A Family Of Master Craftsmen In Eighteenth Century France The World Of The Glass Blowers Has Its Own Traditions, It S Own Language And Its Own Rules If You Marry Into Glass Pierre Labbe Warns His Daughter, You Will Say Goodbye To Everything Familiar, And Enter A Closed World But Crashing Into This World Comes The Violence And Terror Of The French Revolution Against Which, The Family Struggles To Survive The Glass Blowers Is A Remarkable Achievement An Imaginative And Exciting Reworking Of Du Maurier S Own Family History This is not a gloomy Daphne But I must say it was just as awesome It is loosely based on the ancestors of the family du Maurier from France as far back as the 18th century I would say this is a great historical novel back when Queen Marie Antoinette was loathed by the French citizens when grain prices increased It is a story about a family of glass blowers and all the politics that affected them like the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror to Napoleon Bonaparte s advancement While there is a lot of history in this it is also about the family and what they went through together The story is the retelling in a letter by Sophie to her older brothers long lost son that has visited from England Whether he believes her story and what he thinks about his fathers deceit is never unfolded but her journey in telling the story will leave you wowed I liked it most bc who would think to write about glass blowers This is a profession It is seeing the world unfold turn into chaos and fear around them The story told from the eyes of peasants instead of the usual aristocracy in every other book VERY ORIGINALIt is amazing that Maurier could trace her family heritage so far back Wouldn t we all like to know where we came from and give those ancestors voices I think that is why places like Mexico s Day of the Dead is important to respect the past and remember those who have made us and their struggles If you like European historical fiction, this being French, I highly recommend the story and author. Daphne du Maurier ventured into family history with Mary Anne and she did it again in this work Whereas Mary Anne is a fictionalised account of the life of her English great great grandmother Mary Anne Clarke, the mistress of the Duke of York, this novel touches on the story of du Maurier s French ancestor Robert Busson, a master glass maker who emigrated to England around the time of the French Revolution in order to avoid imprisonment for debt In England he styled himself du Maurier after his birthplace to foster his social pretensions within the migr community The narrative is in the style of a memoir, written by Robert s sister Sophie Duval for the benefit of her long lost nephew Robert s son in order for him to understand the true story of his father s family It focuses in particular on the family s experiences during the French Revolution I may well have enjoyed reading this novel much if I had not so recently read Hilary Mantel s A Place of Greater Safety and Marge Piercy s City of Darkness, City of Light, two outstanding novels dealing with the French Revolution Du Maurier s novel suffers when compared to these works Part of this is due to the form of the narrative Sophie Duval recounts the family s involvement with the Revolution as something which occurred many years previously Her account is therefore a distant memory, rather than a currently lived experience, as is the case for Mantel s and Piercy s characters This has the effect of distancing the reader from the characters and the events they experience Another problem is that the characters are flat and it was hard for me to feel much interest in or concern for their fate In addition, the narrative lacks the wonderfully descriptive language found in novels such as Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel, which du Maurier uses to such great effect to evoke a sense of place I read about the places the characters lived in and visited without ever feeling like I was right there with them An exception to this is du Maurier s description of the Vend e uprising in 1793, the horror of which is vividly evoked It s not as if there is nothing to admire in the novel It s interesting to see the French Revolution from the perspective of people living outside Paris, whose involvement in events is somewhat marginal than that of the characters dealt with in Mantel s and Piercy s novels And Mantel s prose even without descriptive language is elegant and clear I don t regret reading the novel, but if anyone else had written it, it probably would have been down in 2 star territory As always, the reading experience was enhanced by sharing it with my friend Jemidar. Somehow, we no longer seemed to preach the brotherhood of man In this book du Maurier recounts the tale of her forebears, the Busson family of master glass blowers leading up to and through the French Revolution Told through the POV of Sophie as she looks back on her life, daughter of master glass blower Mathurin Busson and his formidable in a good way wife Magdaleine and her siblings Robert, Pierre, Michel and Edm For Robert, the eldest working his craft in the countryside is not enough and he dreams of greatness in Paris but unable to manage his spending he always ends up in financial disaster and bankruptcy and he depends on his family to bail him out time and again The countryside where the Busson family lives is not greatly affected by the first stirrings of the revolution in the cities, but that soon changes when Michel and Sophie s husband Francois become National Guardsman and find themselves slowly being caught up in the nationalist fervor sweeping the country At first Sophie is horrified at the behavior of her brother and husband as they join others in sacking the manor houses and churches The people were mad They had to have a victim No single one of them was to blame, it was like a fever sweeping them Eventually she too finds herself buying into the revolutionary ideals as the madness continues to grow and suspicion and rumor grip the countryside In the end a new and stable government takes control but it is never enough Eventually Sophie and her family are swept up in the War in the Vend e, a little known but horrific footnote in history do go to Wik and read up on it Once The Terror is over the Busson siblings rebuild their lives and eventually things come full circle with the return of Robert who fled to England as an migr to avoid the debts of his last business debacle While this novel is a bit slower paced at times although the scenes from the Vend e were downright unputdownable and might not appeal to all readers, I enjoyed it a great deal A refreshing change seeing the Revolution from the countryside major events such as the taking of the Bastille, the Women s March on Versailles and the executions of Louis and Marie were events that happened far away As maddening as he was in his doomed financial efforts, Robert was great fun and I loved the way the author worked in the birth of the family name in England du Maurier Definitely recommended for du Maurier fans or those interested in the history of the Revolution. Daphne Du Maurier has two distinct voices as a novelist One is the gothic, psychological voice of Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel, and others The second is the one she uses for her historical fiction, as in The King s General or Mary Anne The Glass Blowers, 8 on the 1963 bestseller list, is in the historical fiction mode The author was descended from a family of glass blowers and honors them with her novel.Some readers are pleased with the gothic novels but I like both of her genres, especially because in the historical ones I always learn pieces of history I didn t know This one takes place in several renowned glass blowing establishments, operated by the Duval family and situated south of Paris It covers the period of time leading up to the French Revolution through to Napoleon becoming emperor The political upheaval of those times causes great disturbances for the family including loss of business and division between family members who sided with the Republic and those who were Loyalists to the King.Though it was sometimes tricky to keep all the family members, locations, and political factions straight, I was never less than captivated by the story It is full of intrigue, heartbreak, and hardship As in any family saga, there are heroes and heroines alongside less admirable characters I loved the ways the family dealt with all the problems and divided views Several awesome female characters are central to the tale.Best of all, the novel gave me another side of the Revolution than the one taught in school It showed the daily and yearly challenges that such political turmoil brought to the livelihoods and history of families, especially families who were intrinsic to the character of the society and nation that was France in the late 18th century.I finished the book with the realization that my knowledge of the French Revolution and its outcomes is rather thin I have decided to read A Tale of Two Cities how have I gone through the majority of my life without reading that and Abundance by Sena Jeter Naslund, which has lingered on my shelves for years. In The Glass Blowers, du Maurier reaches into her own historical background, as she did with Mary Anne, to tell a story of a family of glass workers during the French Revolution Unfortunately, also as with Mary Anne, although she tells an interesting story, she fails to make it emotionally engaging The characters are often flat, even the narrator, and even the atmosphere and the sense of place, usually a strong point for du Maurier, aren t compelling The story was just interesting enough for me to finish the book, but I was disappointed overall It occurs to me to wonder whether, when writing historical fiction based closely upon research and facts, du Maurier felt so tied to the historical facts that she couldn t fictionalize it enough to make it interesting Frenchman s Creek is historical fiction, yet not based on historical characters, and it s much better than either The Glass Blowers or Mary Anne. I found this historical fiction based on du Mauriers French ancestors at the time of the French Revolution a flat, bland, albeit well written, recitation of what happened with very little of the personal about it, or any sense of people or place It was less than engaging, hard to care about the characters and easy to put down Not one of Du Mauriers better efforts but having said that, even a mediocre du Maurier is better than some other author s best efforts.Buddy read with Kim. I adore novels of the French Revolution and this one takes an relatively unusual perspective, that of the countryside Although the revolution centred around Paris, where the great political personalities clashed, the monarchy were deposed, and the people rioted, its impact outside the capital is also very interesting Du Maurier s novel is really a family saga set during the revolution Although its upheavals impinge significantly upon the family s fortunes, they themselves are in no sense central to it The differing political viewpoints of the siblings are well presented, though, as are the roles they take on National Guard, migr , etc.It took me about a hundred pages to really get into The Glass Blowers , but once I did I read it compulsively The section about the Grand Peur , a period in which rural France was swept with rumours of brigands and disaster, was especially vivid It highlighted how poor communications were at that time, with unreliable word of mouth all that those outside Paris had to go regarding the status of their government The all pervasive fear of chaos seems ironically powerful as a rumour than when it later becomes a fact, during the revolt of the Vend e and subsequent civil war The latter is also evoked very powerfully It is also notable that the Terror is of relative unimportance by comparison, which is another reminder of differing rural and urban experiences After all, it was the French Revolution, not the Parisian Revolution.I found the depiction of women in this novel especially striking, and very moving The deaths in childbirth and the terrible levels of infant mortality are too often swept aside in historical novels The Glass Blowers is narrated by a woman, whose mother is depicted as its most steadfast, strong, and wise character There is little explicit discussion of women s rights, but their importance is made very clear I came to care about the characters very much Although the narrator, Sophie, is in some senses the least vivid of her siblings, that is perhaps due to it being her voice trying to tell the truth of the family story Overall, I really enjoyed this novel, both as a moving family drama and as an account of the late 18th century and early 19th in rural France. First published in 1963, The Glass Blowers is described as a warm, human saga of a family of craftsmen in eighteenth century France with the violence and terror of the Revolution as clamouring background to its tragic climax As with du Maurier s Mary Anne, the novel is semi autobiographical du Maurier s glass blowing ancestors the Bussons, who lived between 1747 and 1845, have been focused upon.Comparisons with Mary Anne are easy to draw from the very beginning of The Glass Blowers the prologue begins, for example, in the following way One day in the June of 1844 Madame Sophie Duval, nee Busson, eighty years of age and mother of the mayor of Vibraye, a small commune in the departement of Sarthe, rose from her chair in the salon of her property at le Gue de Launay, chose her favourite walking stick from a stand in the hall, and calling to her dog made her way, as was her custom at this hour of the afternoon every Tuesday, down the short approach drive to the entrance gate Our protagonist, Sophie, is reliving her life from its earliest beginnings Du Maurier sets the scene of historic France in a sweeping yet full manner one really gets a feel for the social disruption and political climate which surrounded the Bussons What a moment to bring a child into the world, that summer of 93, the first year of the Republic with the Vendee in revolt, the country at war, the traitorous Girondins endeavouring to bring down the Convention, the patriot Marat to be assassinated by an hysterical girl, and the unhappy ex Queen Marie Antoinette confined to the Temple and later guillotined for all the misery she had brought upon France.As ever, I was struck by the ways in which du Maurier describes her protagonists She Sophie walked briskly, with the quick step of one who did not suffer or perhaps refused to suffer, any of the inconveniences of old age and her bright blue eyes the noticeable feature of her otherwise unremarkable face looked keenly to right and left, pin pointing signs of negligence on the part of the gardener Du Maurier goes on to inform us that the highlight of Sophie s existence is receiving her weekly letter from her daughter, Zoe her third child, and the first to survive infancy who lives in Paris It is in one of these letters that Sophie is introduced to the past of her forebears, through a chance encounter with a man which her daughter had at a dinner party I asked if he Robert had relatives He said he believed not They had all been guillotined during the Terror, and the chateau Maurier and the glass foundries destroyed He had made no inquiries It was better not What was past was past Sophie and Zoe consequently meet up with the surprised Robert in Paris, and the history of the Bussons then ensues.What follows this prologue is an historical novel supposed to have been penned by Sophie Duval, who spends four months covering sheet after sheet of writing paper in her formal, upright hand The main body of the novel begins in 1747 Sophie s first person perspective is well realised, and nicely matches the story as The Glass Blowers is essentially another of du Maurier s family sagas, it feels fitting that a member of the Busson clan should act as narrator Du Maurier busies herself with demonstrating how the family s fortune improved due to the glass blowing business, and how it also caused a wealth of problems One of the main themes of the novel is as follows A glass blower, remember, breathes life into a vessel, giving it shape and form and sometimes beauty but he can with that same breath, shatter and destroy it.Whilst The Glass Blowers has been nicely crafted and is relatively interesting, it feels a little lacklustre in comparison to a lot of du Maurier s other novels There is no real spark within it, emotional or otherwise, which made me feel compelled to continue with it Its characters are largely two dimensional, and their conversations are flat It is also not as well plotted as it could have been Things do happen throughout, but they are not built enough to be believable, and are often unnecessarily baldly stated It is rather bogged down in details at times, and the plot becomes a little saturated with the exact amount of livres which almost everything the Bussons come across cost The novel is largely involved with family affairs marriages, births, deaths, and not much else.Whilst it is well researched, and the parts about the Revolution are interesting, there is a real lack of emotion in The Glass Blowers, an element which I personally think is of importance in any novel, historical or otherwise How else are we as readers supposed to either empathise or identify with the protagonists I would go as far to say that the novel was even a little dull in places Whilst The Glass Blowers is a perfectly good three star read, there is nothing about it which is overly memorable, or which sets it apart from a lot of du Maurier s other and, frankly, better historical fiction.