• Paul Jameson

'Rule Britannia' by Daphne Du Maurier

I really enjoyed this.

Perhaps it was Du Maurier's 1940s voice in a 1970s setting that I loved. The eccentricity of the writing, of Mad and her boys and in Cornwall itself. Then there was the context; it might have been the political landscape of today, and that made me laugh. A lot; and shake my head in despair at times (at the uselessness of politics and politicians). Bearing in mind this was written a good fifty years ago.... There was a referendum, a coalition government, the withdrawal of Britain from Europe; a financial crash, the threat of nuclear weapons; all set against the peaceful takeover by a friendly big brother (the US) to create a puppet state. I might have been reading tomorrow's papers. (Here comes Donald Trump) And so I did find myself chuckling constantly. That said, I can see why a lot of people might not like 'Rule Brittania'. The characters are larger than life caricatures ... eccentric beyond reckoning. A drama queen (literally), her dresser, a straight-laced, pompous son and six adopted boys - a shoutout to JM Barries 'Lost Boys' - all watched and cared for by a demure granddaughter. So it is that the US does 'invade' the UK. Peaceably by force. Meets with stubborn locals of Cornwall and the closeknit community that was (and still is in places) Little England. Farmers and doctors unite, military might is snubbed and a murder is committed; but is it murder in such cicumstance, and what does murder lead to? Escalation. In the end, I found it a great yarn; typical of Du Maurier's dark mind. I certainly didn't see the end coming until the end and so it turned out to be a good yarn. Good fun!

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