Best of Daphne du Maurier (33 books)Although she is classed as a romantic novelist, her stories have been described as "moody and resonant" with overtones of the paranormal. Her bestselling works were not at first taken seriously by critics, but have since earned an enduring reputation for narrative craft. Du Maurier spent much of her life in Cornwall , where most of her works are set. As her fame increased, she became more reclusive. 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.
Daphne du Maurier
Daphne du Maurier may be most familiar to American readers as the author of Rebecca , the mysterious novel first published in and widely read to this day. Working in a space between earthly drama and otherworldly suspense, du Maurier successfully heightened the effects and appeal of each genre. Both novels feature narrators who believe they are the victims of a supernatural haunting. Yet the truth is far darker. Can the second Mrs.
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Born into a prosperous, creative family, the young Daphne was initially educated at home and later at school in Paris. Du Maurier's literary ambitions were encouraged from an early age by her father, the actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier. Her first story was published when she was still a teenager, and she never pursued any other career than that of a writer. Manderley, the famous Gothic mansion in which Rebecca is set, was inspired by Menabilly, the house on the Cornish coast where Du Maurier lived for 26 years. In , when she was evicted from the house by its hereditary owners, the Rashleigh family, she moved into its dower house, Kilmarth. Despite - or perhaps due to - her immense popularity, Du Maurier was long regarded as a resolutely middlebrow author.
Rebecca tells the story of an unnamed protagonist and her encounter and troubled marriage with Maxim de Winter. The novel contains a range of literary elements from romance to horror, which offers something for every taste. The novel represents a unique blend of a Cinderella story combined with psychological realism and is considered a major landmark in Gothic romance in the 20th century. The narrative is centered on the disabled farmer Nat Hocken and his attempts at defending his family from the hordes of aggressive birds that seek to invade his cottage. Few authors have managed to create such an increasingly menacing atmosphere which ultimately results in an unimaginable catastrophe. My Cousin Rachel bears similarities to Rebecca in its themes and can equally best be described as a mystery-romance novel. The novel focuses on Philip, who falls in love with his cousin Rachel and his increasing realisation that her affection is merely based on pretence in order to further her own interests.