Daphne Du Maurier, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


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.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 480 pages, 1 Illustrations, unspecified
  • Publisher: Cornerstone
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Biography: general
  • ISBN: 9780099333319

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Really well written and readable biography that treats Du Maurier with honesty and sympathy. Sheds a lot of light on her reading. Highly recommended!

Review by

Although this biography took a while to get through, I am very glad that I persevered. Margaret Forster's honest appraisal of the author's life and works not only sheds more light on some of my favourite novels, like <i>Rebecca</i> and <i>The Glass Blowers</i>, but has inspired me to read futher titles from Du Maurier's oeuvre. Forster's unflinching analysis of Daphne's eccentric character and autobiographical writing might offend some tried and true fans, but I think learning about Du Maurier's 'dual personalities' (not in the clinical sense) and intriguing relationships has helped me to understand and appreciate her stories better. In fact, I can sort of identify with her, which is inspiring, if not also slightly worrying! Daphne Du Maurier was 'a listener and an observer rather than a talker', who had always been 'a lonely soul' who 'resented the interruption of her solitary life'. She wrote from 'some sort of emotional inner life', investing characters like the second Mrs De Winter and Philip Ashley with her own interior passions and fears. Sadly, Daphne's fierce independence and solitary routines slipped into an unbalanced middle-age and lonely later years, but her imagination lives on.I will definitely go on to read some of her best work, like <i>The Loving Spirit</i>, <i>The Scapegoat</i> and <i>The House on the Strand</i>, though I will do so with a better awareness of the fact behind the fiction.

Review by

A beautifully written biography of one of the world's literary greats. Margaret Forster's compassion for her subject comes through, but never to the extent that she avoids being critical when necessary. This really is the seminal work on du Maurrier.<br/><br/>I loved this book.<br/><br/>© Koplowitz 2012

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