Arthur Quiller-Couch was a keen student of Cornwall and Celtic history and lore. Not surprising, then, that he would write a novel set in almost-modern-day Cornwall and based on the legend of star-crossed lovers Tristan and Isolde. The result is a delightful tale in which the characters are disguised only thinly and the pre-ordained events lead to the inevitable conclusion. Quiller-Couch was a talented and thoughtful writer whose descriptive skills and dialogue bring life to this story, which was already ancient when retold in the early middle ages. Readers conversant with classic mythological themes and devices will enjoy finding them embedded in this narrative.
Daphne DuMaurier, a close friend of Q’s, was also enchanted with Cornwall and mythology, so it was natural that his heirs would ask her to complete his unfinished manuscript. She did so in such a way that it is difficult to discover where he left off and she carried on.
This book is a little known gem that deserves a modern readership.