Wednesday, June 27, 2012

If You Want to Know More... (Part 1)

... about Daphne du Maurier you might find the following books interesting:

A haunting novel that illuminates the true story of Daphne du Maurier’s fascination with the Brontës: a tale of madness, theft, romance, and literary archaeology.
Drawing on Justine Picardie’s own extensive research into Daphne du Maurier’s obsession with the Brontës and the scandal that has haunted the Brontë estate, Daphne is a marvelous story of literary fascination and possession; of stolen manuscripts and forged signatures; of love lost and love found; of the way into imaginary worlds, and the way out again. Written in three entwined parts, the novel follows Daphne du Maurier herself, the beautiful, tomboyish, passionate author of the enormously popular Gothic novel Rebecca, at fifty and on the verge of madness; John Alexander Symington, eminent editor and curator of the Brontës’ manuscripts, who by 1957 had been dismissed from the Brontë Parsonage Museum in disgrace, and who became Daphne’s correspondent; and a nameless modern researcher on the trail of Daphne, Rebecca, Alexander Symington, and the Brontës. Haunting and gorgeously written, Daphne is a breathtaking novel that finally tells, in the most imaginative of ways, what Brontë biographer Juliet Barker has called “the last great untold Brontë story—and perhaps the most intriguing.” (Amazon)

"Rebecca", published in 1938, brought its author instant international acclaim, capturing the popular imagination with its haunting atmosphere of suspense and mystery. 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.  (Amazon)

Nina Auerbach examines the writer of depth and recklessness now largely known only as the author of Rebecca, looking at the way her sharp-edged fiction, with its brutal and often perverse family relationships, has been softened in film adaptations of her work. She reads both du Maurier's life in her writings, and the sensibility of a vanished class and time that haunts the fringes of our own age. (Amazon)

Daphne du Maurier is a much-loved author, her writing capturing the imagination in a way that few have been able to equal. Rebecca, her most famous novel, was a huge success on first publication and brought du Maurier international fame. This enduring classic remains hugely popular. In this celebration of Daphne du Maurier’s life and achievements, leading writers, critics, and academics discuss the novels, short stories, and biographies that made her one of the most spellbinding and genre-defying authors of her generation. The film versions of her books are also explored. Contributors include Sarah Dunant, Sally Beauman, Margaret Forster, Antonia Fraser, Michael Holroyd, Lisa Jardine, Julie Myerson, Justine Picardie, and Minette Walters. (Amazon)

In this memoir, Flavia Leng paints a powerful portrait of her mother, Daphne du Maurier. She presents an account of an unusual childhood, and reveals du Maurier's deep attachment to Cornwall and her withdrawal from family and friends. (Amazon)

A biography of Daphne du Maurier

Dame Daphne du Maurier is the creator of some of the most memorable stories of the twentieth century--and a few of the most remarkable tales ever committed to film, among them Hitchcock's Rebecca and The Birds. In her time, she was lauded as "the Gentle Romantic"; yet, as Martyn Shallcross reveals in this unique and involving biography, Daphne du Maurier was much more than a simple writer of stories. The Private World of Daphne du Maurier brings us closer than we have ever been to understanding the woman behind the fiction, a woman whose own story is as rich and colorful as any she invented. Her circle included luminaries from the world of letters, and stars of stage and screen from Sir John Gielgud to Douglas Fairbanks, Jr; her unsatisfying marriage led her to seek solace in a number of deep and lasting friendships with women, including Gertrude Lawrence; and her home, Menabilly--the basis for Rebecca's celebrated Manderley--hosted members of the British royal family. Martyn Shallcross, du Maurier's friend and confidant for over twenty years, was regarded by her as the only person qualified to tell her story. In this fascinating book, Shallcross draws on confidences she shared throughout their friendship, on his knowledge of her literary career, and on interviews with many of the glamorous figures who were a part of her private world. There will be no more intimate, no more telling account of the life of this singular figure of our time. (Fantastic Fiction)

This book is the first full-length evaluation of du Maurier's fiction and the first critical study of du Maurier as a Gothic writer. Using the most recent work in Gothic and gender studies, the authors enter the current debate on the nature of female Gothic and raise questions about du Maurier's relationship to such a tradition. They demonstrate that using recognizable popular forms, she was able to explore through Gothic writing the anxieties of modernity in the kind of fiction many people find accessible. This, they claim, explains the compulsive quality of her best novels and their enduring popularity. (Amazon)

 Come back tomorrow for the second part of this If You Want to Know More... post

1 comment:

  1. I have not taken the time to research all of Daphne du Maurier's work, so it is a pleasure to see a variety of the work here. I have been intending to read Rebecca for quite awhile now. Thank you for your informative post.