Both thematically and symbolically, her works are much richer than most others of their kind. For example, Rebecca reflects one of the central motifs in literature: Significantly, when in the first chapters of the novel the protagonist mentions her grief, the focus is not on Manderley, the house, but instead on that area of the grounds called the Happy Valley.
Early life[ edit ] Daphne du Maurier was born in London, the middle of three daughters of prominent actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and actress Muriel Beaumont.
Her mother was a maternal niece of journalist, author, and lecturer William Comyns Beaumont. Her elder sister, Angela du Maurieralso became a writer, and her younger sister Jeanne was a painter.
Du Maurier's family connections helped her establish her literary career, and she published some of her early work in Beaumont's Bystander magazine. Her first novel, The Loving Spiritwas published in Du Maurier was also a cousin of the Llewelyn Davies boyswho served as J.
As a young child, Du Maurier met many prominent theatre actors, thanks to the celebrity of her father. On meeting Tallulah BankheadDu Maurier was quoted as saying that Bankhead was the most beautiful creature she had ever seen.
It was an immediate hit, selling nearly 3 million copies between and The novel has never gone out of print, and has been adapted for both stage and screen several times.
The last is set in the middle of the first and second English Civil Wars, written from the Royalist perspective of Du Maurier's adopted Cornwall. The Hitchcock film The Birds is based on a treatment of one of her short stories, as is the film Don't Look Now Hitchcock's treatment of Jamaica Inn was disavowed by both director and author, due to a complete re-write of the ending to accommodate the ego of its star, Charles Laughton.
Du Maurier later regretted her choice of Alec Guinness as the lead in the film of The Scapegoat, which she partly financed.
She restored it from a neglected state, and made it her home until Du Maurier was often categorised as a "romantic novelist", a term that she deplored,  given her novels rarely have a happy ending, and often have sinister overtones and shadows of the paranormal.
In this light, she has more in common with the " sensation novels " of Wilkie Collins and others, which she admired. She did not want to put her readers' minds at rest.
She wanted her riddles to persist. She wanted the novels to continue to haunt us beyond their endings. The central character of her last novel, Rule Britanniais an aging actress, thought to be based on Gladys Cooper to whom it is dedicated.
Du Maurier's short stories are darker: As her biographer Margaret Forster wrote, "She satisfied all the questionable criteria of popular fiction, and yet satisfied too the exacting requirements of 'real literature'.
One of them, The Doll, concerns a young woman's obsession with a mechanical male sex doll; it has been deemed by du Maurier's son Kit Browning to be "quite ahead of its time". The du Mauriers traces the family's move from France to England in the 19th century.
The House on the Strand combines elements of "mental time-travel", a tragic love affair in 14th-century Cornwall, and the dangers of using mind-altering drugs. Her final novel, Rule Britanniasatirises resentment of British people in general and Cornish people in particular at the increasing U.
Plays[ edit ] Du Maurier wrote three plays. After performances, the production transferred to the Strand Theatrewith Jill Furse taking over as the second Mrs De Winter and Mary Merrall as Mrs Danvers, with a further run of performances.
In she wrote the autobiographically inspired drama The Years Between about the unexpected return of a senior officer, thought killed in action, who finds that his wife has taken his seat as Member of Parliament and has started a romantic relationship with a local farmer.
The production, directed by Irene Hentschel, became a long-running hit, completing performances. The central character of Stella was originally based on Ellen Doubledaythe prominent wife of a United States book publisher.
It imagined what Ellen might have been in an English setting and in different circumstances. It closed in August after performances.
Personal names, titles and honours[ edit ] She was known as Daphne du Maurier from towhen she married Frederick Browning. According to her biographer Margaret Forstershe told no one about the honour, so that even her children learned of it only from the newspapers.
So she went through with it, though she slipped out quietly afterwards to avoid the attention of the press.
According to Nabuco and her editor, not only the main plot, but also situations and entire dialogues had been copied. I would be compensated with a quantity described as 'of considerable value.
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Social Structure of the 's Daphne Du Maurier uses her own reflections in Rebecca to criticize the social structure of the 's. The settings throughout the book are taken directly from Daphne's memories as a young child and adult portraying the high social class environment.
Rebecca study guide contains a biography of Daphne Du Maurier, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. + free ebooks online. Did you know that you can help us produce ebooks by proof-reading just one page a day?
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