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Daphne Du Maurier

Daphne Du Maurier

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Rebecca, published in 1938, brought its author instant international acclaim, capturing the popular imagination with its haunting atmosphere of suspense and mystery. du Maurier was immediately established as the queen of the psychological thriller. But the more fame this and her other books encouraged, the more reclusive Daphne du Maurier became.

Margaret Forster's award-winning biography could hardly be more worthy of its subject. Drawing on private letters and papers, and with the unflinching co-operation of Daphne du Maurier's family, Margaret Forster explores the secret drama of her life - the stifling relationship with her father, actor-manager Gerald du Maurier; her troubled marriage to war hero and royal aide, 'Boy' Browning; her wartime love affair; her passion for Cornwall and her deep friendships with the last of her father's actress loves, Gertrude Lawrence, and with an aristocratic American woman.

Most significant of all, Margaret Forster ingeniously strips away the relaxed and charming facade to lay bare the true workings of a complex and emotional character whose passionate and often violent stories mirrored her own fantasy life more than anyone could ever have imagined.

Review:
'A very complete, no holds barred biography about an author whose novels I have long admired.

Forster had access to hundreds of family and friend letters, as well as being able to interview those close to Du Maurier. Her written portrait of Daphne paints a woman both brilliant and conflicted in her sexuality, her marriage, her role as a mother and her overriding need to express all these inner conflicts through her writing. Forster not only sketches the life history of Du Maurier (which is fascinating in and of itself), but she goes on to show how each of her novels came to be written, and why there's a whole lot more of Daphne in each of them then the casual reader might previously have known.

I came away from reading this feeling that Du Maurier wouldn't have been an easy person for me to be around (or even like). That being said, my appreciation for her creative genius increased after reading Forster's biography. It's an excellent piece of non-fiction on a one-of-a-kind author, and one I recommend to any reader interested in her life and work.
' - Goodreads review

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