Daphne du Maurier
Dame Daphne du Maurier, Lady Browning, DBE, was an English author and playwright. Her novels Rebecca, Frenchman’s Creek, My Cousin Rachel, and Jamaica Inn have all been adapted for the screen. Her grandfather was author and Punch cartoonist George du Maurer, who created the character of Svengali in the 1894 novel Trilby.
About Daphne du Maurier in brief
Dame Daphne du Maurier, Lady Browning, DBE, was an English author and playwright. Her novels Rebecca, Frenchman’s Creek, My Cousin Rachel, and Jamaica Inn have all been adapted for the screen. Her grandfather was author and Punch cartoonist George du Maurer, who created the character of Svengali in the 1894 novel Trilby. Du Maurier spent much of her life in Cornwall, where most of her works are set. She was a cousin of the Llewelyn Davies boys, who served as J. M. Barrie’s inspiration for the characters in the play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. She later regretted her choice of Alec Guinness as the lead in the film of The Scapegoat, which she partly financed. She wanted the novels to continue to haunt us beyond their endings, and her great-great-grandmother Mary Clarke née Thompson was the rhyme of the nursery rhyme Old York and Albany. She was also the mistress of Frederick Augustus Augustus, Duke of Albany, from 1803 to 1808, who was the great-grandfather of the rhyming rhyme The Old rhyme, Old New rhyme and Old Albany. She died in London in 1973, aged 89, and was buried at St Paul’s Cathedral, London. She is survived by her daughter, Angela, and two sons, Robert and David. She also had a daughter, Jeanne, who became a painter, and a son-in-law, David, who is also a writer.
She had three children with the actress Muriel Beaumont. Her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published in 1931. Her most successful work was Rebecca, which has never gone out of print. Other significant works include The Sc scapegoat, The House on the Strand, and The King’s General, written in the middle of the first and second English Civil Wars, written from the Royalist perspective of du Mauriers’ adopted Cornwall. Her short stories The Birds and Don’t Look NowNot After Midnight have also been adapted into films, including the Hitchcock film The Birds, as is the film Don’ Look Now. She also wrote a number of short stories for children, including The Birds of the World, The Birds Of The World, and Don’t Look Now Not After Midnight. Her last novel was The King’s General, published in 1963, which is one of the few novels to feature a female narrator. She never married and died in 1974, when she was in her 80s. Her books have been translated into several languages, including French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Spanish. She wrote a biography of her great great-uncle, the Duke of York, and of her mother, William Comyns Beaumon, who died in 1998.