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Daphne du Maurier

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About This Author
Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was born in London, the daughter of the actor Sir Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of the author and artist George du Maurier. Her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published in 1931, but it would be her fifth novel, Rebecca, that made her one of the most popular authors of her day. Besides novels, du Maurier wrote plays, biographies, and several collections of short fiction. Many of her works were made into films, including Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, My Cousin Rachel, "Don't Look Now," and "The Birds." She lived most of her life in Cornwall, and was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1969.
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Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was born in London, the daughter of the actor Sir Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of the author and artist George du Maurier. Her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published in 1931, but it would be her fifth novel, Rebecca, that made her one of the most popular authors of her day. Besides novels, du Maurier wrote plays, biographies, and several collections of short fiction. Many of her works were made into films, including Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, My Cousin Rachel, "Don't Look Now," and "The Birds." She lived most of her life in Cornwall, and was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1969.
Books by thisAuthor
  • Mary Anne

    Mary Anne
    "This novel catches fire." --New York Times She set men's hearts on fire and scandalized a country.

    The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë

    The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë
    "Miss du Maurier has brought to the art of the biography the narrative urgency which gives such animation to her storytelling." -New York Times Book Review Pursued by the twin demons of drink and madness, Branwell Bronte created a private world that was indeed infernal. As a bold and gifted child, his promise seemed boundless to the three adoring sisters over whom his rule was complete. But as an adult, the precocious flame of genius distorted and burned low. With neither the strength nor the resources to counter rejection, unable to sell his paintings or publish his books, Branwell became a spectre in the Bronte story, in pathetic contrast with the astonishing achievements of Charlotte, Emily and Anne. This is the biography of the shadowy figure of the "unknown" Bronte.

    I'll Never Be Young Again

    I'll Never Be Young Again
    "A magician, a virtuoso. She can conjure up tragedy, horror, tension, suspense, the ridiculous, the vain, the romantic." --Good Housekeeping As far as his father, a famous writer, is concerned, Richard will never amount to anything, and so he decides to take his fate into his own hands. But at the last moment he is saved by Jake, who appeals to Richard not to waste his life. Together they set out for adventure, working their way through Europe, eventually arriving in bohemian Paris, where Richard meets Hesta, an entrancing music student. Daphne du Maurier's second novel is a masterpiece of narration, showcasing for the first time in her career the male voice she would use to stunning effect in four subsequent novels, including My Cousin Rachel.

    Rule Britannia

    Rule Britannia
    "A diverse and engrossing cast of characters...provocative, diverting." --Chicago Tribune Emma wakes up one morning to an apocalyptic world. The cozy existence she shares with her grandmother, an eccentric retired actress known to all as Madam, has been shattered: there's no post, no telephone, no radio - and an American warship sits in the harbor. As the two women piece together clues about the 'friendly' military occupation on their doorstep, family, friends and neighbours gather round to protect their heritage. In this chilling novel of the future, Daphne du Maurier explores the implications of a political, economic and military alliance between Britain and the United States.

  • The Winding Stair

    The Winding Stair
    Francis Bacon, His Rise and Fall
    "Unlike many authors of popular historical biographies, du Maurier resembled Antonia Fraser in being an indefatigable researcher." --Francis King Many accounts of the life of Francis Bacon have been written for scholars. But du Maurier's aim in this biography was to illuminate the many facets of Bacon's remarkable personality for the common reader. To her book she brought the same gifts of imagination and perception that made her earlier biography, Golden Lads, so immensely readable, skillfully threading into her narrative extracts from contemporary documents and from Bacon's own writings, and setting her account of his life within a vivid contemporary framework.

    Myself When Young

    Myself When Young
    "An intimate view of a creative personality...as richly evocative as any of her novels." --Los Angeles Times Both in her novels and her memoirs, Daphne du Maurier revealed an ardent desire to explore her family's history. In Myself When Young, based on diaries she kept between 1920 and 1932, du Maurier probes her own past, beginning with her earliest memories and encompassing the publication of her first book and her marriage. Often painfully honest, she recounts her difficult relationship with her father, her education in Paris, her early love affairs, her antipathy towards London life, and her desperate ambition to succeed as a writer. The resulting self-portrait is of a complex, utterly captivating young woman.

    Vanishing Cornwall

    Vanishing Cornwall
    History, travel, and legend combine in this elegant elegy to beautiful, mysterious Cornwall by its most famous resident There was a smell in the air of tar and rope and rusted chain, a smell of tidal water. Down harbour, around the point, was the open sea. Here was the freedom I desired, long sought-for, not yet known. Freedom to write, to walk, to wander, freedom to climb hills, to pull a boat, to be alone . . . I for this, and this for me. Daphne du Maurier lived in her beloved Cornwall for most of her life. Its rugged coastline, wild terrain, and tumultuous weather inspired her imagination, and many of her works are set there, including Frenchman's Creek, Jamaica Inn, and Rebecca. Here she celebrates the land she loved, exploring its legends, its history, and its people, and eloquently makes a powerful plea for Cornwall's preservation.

    Golden Lads

    Golden Lads
    A Study of Anthony Bacon, Francis and Their...
    Prior to the publication of thisbiography, the elusive Anthony Bacon was merely glimpsedin the shadow of his famous younger brother, Francis. Afascinating historical figure, Anthony Bacon was acontemporary of the brilliant band of gallants whoclustered round the court of Elizabeth I, and he wasclosely connected with the Queenrs"s favourite,the Earl of Essex. He also worked as an agent for SirFrancis Walsingham, the Queenrs"s spymaster,living in France where he became acquainted with Henri IVand the famous essayist Michel de Montaigne. It was inFrance that du Maurier discovered a secret that, ifdisclosed during Baconrs"s lifetime, could haveput an end to his political career . . .Du Maurier did much to shed light on matters that hadlong puzzled historians, and, as well as a consummateexercise in research, this biography is also a strangeand fascinating tale.

  • Julius

    Julius
    "A literary artist in her own right." -New York Times A chilling story of ambition, Daphne du Maurier's third novel has lost none of its ability to unsettle and disturb. Julius Lévy has grown up in a peasant family in a village on the banks of the Seine. A quick-witted urchin caught up in the Franco-Prussian War, he is soon forced by tragedy to escape France for Algeria. Once there, he learns the ease of swindling, the rewards of love affairs, and the value of secrecy. Cruel and insensitive, Julius claws his way to the top, caring nothing for others--until his daughter, Gabriel, is born. Julius' attachment to her will become his strongest bond--and his greatest weakness.

    The du Mauriers

    The du Mauriers
    "Daphne du Maurier creates on the grand scale; she runs through the generations, giving her family unity and reality . . . a rich vein of humor and satire . . . observation, sympathy, courage, a sense of the romantic, are here." --The Observer When Daphne du Maurier wrote The du Mauriers she was only thirty years old and had already established herself as both a biographer and a novelist. She wrote this epic biography during a vintage period in her career, between two of her best-loved novels: Jamaica Inn and Rebecca. Her aim was to write the story of her family 'so that it reads like a novel.' Spanning nearly three quarters of a century, The du Mauriers is a saga of artists and speculators, courtesans and military men. From England to Paris and back again, their fortunes varied as wildly as their ambitions. An extraordinary family of writers, artists and actors they are...The du Mauriers.

    Jamaica Inn

    Jamaica Inn
    "A fine romantic tale...rich in suspense and surprise." --New York Times Book Review On a bitter November evening, young Mary Yellan journeys across the rainswept moors to Jamaica Inn in honor of her mother's dying request. When she arrives, the warning of the coachman begins to echo in her memory, for her aunt Patience cowers before hulking Uncle Joss Merlyn. Terrified of the inn's brooding power, Mary gradually finds herself ensnared in the dark schemes being enacted behind its crumbling walls -- and tempted to love a man she dares not trust.

    My Cousin Rachel

    My Cousin Rachel
    Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent older cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in Philip as his heir, a man who will love his grand home as much as he does himself. But the cosy world the two construct is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries - and there he dies suddenly. Jealous of his marriage, racked by suspicion at the hints in Ambrose's letters, and grief-stricken by his death, Philip prepares to meet his cousin's widow with hatred in his heart. Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, sophisticated, mysterious Rachel like a moth to the flame. And yet . . . might she have had a hand in Ambrose's death?

  • The Glass-Blowers

    The Glass-Blowers
    "The Glass-Blowers consistently entertains." --New York Times 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. Years later, Sophie Duval reveals to her long-lost nephew the tragic story of a family of master craftsmen in eighteenth-century France. Drawing on her own family's tale of tradition and sorrow, Daphne du Maurier weaves an unforgettable saga of beauty, war, and family.

    Frenchman's Creek

    Frenchman's Creek
    "Highly personalized adventure, ultra-romantic mood, and skillful storytelling." --New York Times Bored and restless in London's Restoration Court, Lady Dona escapes into the British countryside with her restlessness and thirst for adventure as her only guides. Eventually Dona lands in remote Navron, looking for peace of mind in its solitary woods and hidden creeks. She finds the passion her spirit craves in the love of a daring French pirate who is being hunted by all of Cornwall. Together, they embark upon a quest rife with danger and glory, one which bestows upon Dona the ultimate choice: sacrifice her lover to certain death or risk her own life to save him.

    The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte

    The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte
    As a bold and gifted child, Branwell Brontë’s promise seemed boundless to the three adoring sisters over whom his rule was complete. But as an adult, the precocious flame of genius flickered and burned low. With neither the strength nor the resources to counter rejection, unable to sell his paintings or publish his books, Branwell became a specter in the Brontë story, in pathetic contrast with the remarkable achievements of Charlotte, Anne, and Emily. Daphne du Maurier concentrates all her biographer’s skill on the shadowy figure of Branwell Brontë, and no reader could fail to be intensely moved by Branwell’s final retreat into laudanum, alcohol, and death. Dame Daphne du Maurier wrote more than 25 acclaimed novels, short stories, and plays, including Rebecca and The House on the Strand. She was also a passionate and skillful biographer.

    Gerald: A Portrait

    Gerald: A Portrait
    Sir Gerald du Maurier was the preeminent actor-manager of his day, knighted in 1922 for his services to the theater. Published within six months of her father's death, Daphne du Maurier's frank portrait was considered shocking by many of his admirers—but it was a huge success, winning her critical acclaim and launching her career. Here, du Maurier captures the spirit and charm of the charismatic actor who played the original Captain Hook, amusingly recounting his eccentricities, his humor, as well as his darker side.

  • The Breaking Point

    The Breaking Point
    Stories
    "The appeal of romance and the clash of highly-charged emotions." --New York Herald-Tribune In this collection of suspenseful tales in which fantasies, murderous dreams and half-forgotten worlds are exposed, Daphne du Maurier explores the boundaries of reality and imagination. Her characters are caught at those moments when the delicate link between reason and emotion has been stretched to the breaking point. Often chilling, sometimes poignant, these stories display the full range of Daphne du Maurier's considerable talent.

    The Parasites

    The Parasites
    "Wickedly readable... Daphne du Maurier has instinct, with the result that every woman instinctively wants to read her." -New York Times Book Review Maria, Niall and Celia have grown up in the shadow of their famous parents - their father, a flamboyant singer and their mother, a talented dancer. Now pursuing their own creative dreams, all three siblings feel an undeniable bond, but it is Maria and Niall who share the secret of their parents' past affairs. Alternately comic and poignant, The Parasites is based on the artistic milieu its author knew best, and draws the reader effortlessly into that magical world.

    The Scapegoat

    The Scapegoat
    "A dazzlingly clever and immensely entertaining novel." --New York Times By chance, John and Jean--one English, the other French--meet in a provincial railway station. Their resemblance to each other is uncanny, and they spend the next few hours talking and drinking - until at last John falls into a drunken stupor. It's to be his last carefree moment, for when he wakes, Jean has stolen his identity and disappeared. So the Englishman steps into the Frenchman's shoes, and faces a variety of perplexing roles - as owner of a chateau, director of a failing business, head of a fractious family, and master of nothing. Gripping and complex, The Scapegoat is a masterful exploration of doubling and identity, and of the dark side of the self.

    The Flight of the Falcon

    The Flight of the Falcon
    "In du Maurier's fiction, she unflinchingly exposed hard truths." --Times (UK) As a young guide for Sunshine Tours, Armino Fabbio leads a pleasant, if humdrum life -- until he becomes circumstantially involved in the murder of an old peasant woman in Rome. The woman, he gradually comes to realise, was his family's beloved servant many years ago, in his native town of Ruffano. He returns to his birthplace, and once there, finds it is haunted by the phantom of his brother, Aldo, shot down in flames in '43. Over five hundred years before, the sinister Duke Claudio, known as The Falcon, lived his twisted, brutal life, preying on the people of Ruffano. But now it is the twentieth century, and the town seems to have forgotten its violent history. But have things really changed? The parallels between the past and present become ever more evident.

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