As Halloween approaches and we near the end of the spooky season, it’s time to delve back into the world of the dark and sinister. And who better to take us there than the queen of mystery, suspense and menace, author Daphne du Maurier.
Du Maurier spent her formative years exploring the windswept coast of Cornwall where her imagination was fired by shipwrecks and derelict mansions, with the ever present backdrop of the ocean churning nearby. Du Maurier would go on to spend most of her life along the rugged Cornish coastline, and it was also here that she set her most enduring work, Rebecca. Published over eighty years ago, Rebecca has never been out of print, and its thrilling and gothic tone still haunts readers today. But Rebecca was only one of a string of successful works for du Maurier, whose short stories and novels have been endlessly dramatised for the big and small screens, continuing to inspire adaptations to this day. But du Maurier herself was also a woman of secrets, and her personal life bled into her fiction, informing the dark and brooding worlds she so often created. So keep a lamp burning in the dark night as we open the pages on the life and work of Daphne du Maurier.
De Rosney, Tatiana. Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne Du Maurier. St Martin’s Publishing Group, 2017.
Forster, Margaret. Daphne Du Maurier. Random House, 2012.
Horner, Avril & Zlosnik, Sue. Daphne du Maurier: Writing, Identity and the Gothic Imagination. Palgrave Macmillan, 1998.
Pryor, Cathy. ‘Venetian tendencies; Daphne du Maurier, born 100 years ago today, kept a dark secret behind the facade of the respectable English wife’. The Independent of Sunday, 13 May 2007.
White, Sophie. ‘The menacing Daphne du Maurier’. The Independent, 2 October 2017.