Daphne Du Maurier (1907 - 1989)

Daphne Du Maurier
1907 - 1989
updated October 14, 2019
Daphne Du Maurier was born on May 13, 1907 in London, United Kingdom. She died on April 19, 1989 in Fowey, England United Kingdom at 81 years of age.

Born: May 13, 1907, London, United Kingdom
Died: April 19, 1989, Fowey, United Kingdom
Dame Daphne du Maurier
BIRTH 13 May 1907
London, City of London, Greater London, England
DEATH 19 Apr 1989 (aged 81)
Par, Cornwall Unitary Authority, Cornwall, England
BURIAL Cremated, Ashes scattered, Specifically: Her ashes were scattered on the cliffs near to her home ŒMenabilly House¹, Fowey, Cornwall, England.
Dame Daphne du Maurier was the daughter of the actor Sir Gerald du Maurier and the granddaughter of the novelist George du Maurier. She was born in London but was educated in Paris. She returned to England and lived most of her life in Cornwall, whose climate and dramatic beauty was the backdrop for so many of her successful novels. Her works include "Jamaica Inn" (1936), "Rebecca" (1938), "Frenchmans Creek" (1942) and "My Cousin Rachel" (1951). Her novel "Rebecca" was made into a film by Sir Alfred Hitchcock, as was "The Birds", which is arguably her greatest literary legacy. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1969.

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Gerald Hubert Edward Busson du Maurier
1873–1934
Spouse
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Frederick Arthur Montague Browning
1896–1965
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Daphne Du Maurier Biography

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Daphne Du Maurier

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Daphne Du Maurier was born on in London, United Kingdom

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Daphne Du Maurier died on in Fowey, Cornwall County, England United Kingdom

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Dame Daphne du Maurier, the author of ''Rebecca'' and other highly popular Gothic and romantic novels that were turned into films, plays and documentaries, died yesterday in her sleep at home in the village of Par in Cornwall, on the rugged southwestern coast of England, a setting she had peopled with characters who were cherished by readers all over the world. She was 81 years old.
''Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . . I came upon it suddenly; the approach masked by the unnatural growth of a vast shrub that spread in all directions . . . There was Manderley, our Manderley, secretive and silent as it had always been, the gray stone shining in the moonlight of my dream, the mullioned windows reflecting the green lawns and terrace. Time could not wreck the perfect symmetry of those walls, nor the site itself, a jewel in the hollow of a hand.'' With 'Rebecca,' a Classic
With those famous opening lines of ''Rebecca,'' written by Miss du Maurier when she was 31, she created one of the classic Gothic romances. It is a story about a young woman who marries a widower and becomes the new mistress of a mansion haunted by the image of his first wife. Trying to solve the mystery, she is drawn into a psychological labyrinth. As the model for Manderley, Miss du Maurier used Menabilly, a 70-room manor on the Cornwall coast. Later, fulfilling a childhood dream, she and her husband moved into the mansion that had served as the setting for her novel.
One British critic called the novel ''a Charlotte Bronte story minus Bronte,'' but found it had its own appeal. Another critic, Basil Davenport, called it a ''melodrama, unashamed, glorying its own quality, such as we have hardly had since that other dependent, Jane Eyre, found that her house too had a first wife.'' In The New York Herald Tribune, Lewis Gannett wrote, ''You know the end before you know the beginning; you never know the beginning until, almost, the end. That is a writer's art. Call it a trick, if you like; a trick performed as well as Miss du Maurier performs this trick is art.'' 'I Lose Myself in the Plot'
Although she had lived in Cornwall quietly, with occasional visits from her son and two daughters, to her neighbors she was known for her interest in protecting the integrity of the land and seascape around her against exploitation. Up to two weeks ago, she took her dog for daily walks along the beach. Several Films From Other Books
Friends said she carried her authorial fame and honors lightly. As the wife of Lieut. Gen. Sir Frederick A. M. Browning, who died in 1965 after serving as treasurer to the Duke of Edinburgh, she was also known as Lady Browning. In 1969, Miss du Maurier was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire.
In addition to ''Rebecca'' (the 1940 film that starred Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine), other movies adapted from her novels included ''Jamaica Inn'' (1939), ''Frenchman's Creek'' (1944), ''The Years Between'' (1946), ''Hungry Hill'' (1947) and ''My Cousin Rachel'' (1953). ''The Birds,'' directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1963, was based on a short story by Miss du Maurier that appeared in a collection, ''Kiss Me Again, Stranger.''
Tinker, Tailor, Writer, Spy
She also wrote a biography of her father, ''Gerald,'' a famous actor and theater manager; ''The du Mauriers,'' a family history; ''The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte, a biography of Patrick Branwell Bronte; and several plays - ''Rebecca,'' based on her novel; ''The Years Between'' and ''September Tide.'' The End as Beginning
Once, talking about the technique of her writing genre, she said, ''What is a suspense novel? The term is a loose one, covering any story from a whodunit to a frivolity turning on which dark stranger gets the blonde. People in doubt, people mystified, people groping their way from one situation to another, from childhood to middle age, from joy to sorrow - these are the figures in a true suspense novel. They are traveling along a road of uncertainty toward an unseen goal. The suspense novel succeeds if the reader says to himself at the final page, 'Yes - it couldn't happen any other way.' In its end, to paraphrase Mary, Queen of Scots, is its beginning.''
Miss du Maurier spoke of her writing without pretension, according to her friends. Asked if one of her novels was about ''boy meets girl,'' the author replied, ''No, it's ghoul meets goon.''
She is survived by a son, Christian Frederick du Maurier-Browning, and two daughters, Lady Tessa Montgomery and Lady Flavia Leng.

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1907 - 1989 World Events

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In 1907, in the year that Daphne Du Maurier was born, the showman Florenz Ziegfeld introduced his Ziegfeld Follies. Ziegfeld was inspired by the Folies Bergère of Paris and the show was a step up from the then current vaudeville shows. The top entertainers of the time played in the Follies but the stars were the Ziegfeld girls - beautiful chorus girls in elaborate costumes. For almost a quarter of a century, the Ziegfeld follies were the toast of Broadway.

In 1910, Daphne was merely 3 years old when Thomas Edison introduced his kinetophone, which he hoped would make "talkies" a reality. But the sound wasn't synchronized to the pictures and only 45 Kinetophones were made.

In 1948, at the age of 41 years old, Daphne was alive when on May 14th, the State of Israel was proclaimed by David Ben-Gurion, who became Israel's first Premier, and the U.S. officially recognized Israel. That evening, Egypt launched an air assault on Israel.

In 1951, at the age of 44 years old, Daphne was alive when on February 27th, the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution (which limited the number of terms a president may serve to two) was ratified by 36 states, making it a part of the U.S. Constitution. The Amendment was both a reaction to the 4 term Roosevelt presidency and also the recognition of a long-standing tradition in American politics.

In 1989, in the year of Daphne Du Maurier's passing, on November 9th, the Berlin Wall fell. The Wall was built by the East Germans to keep East Berliners from escaping into West Berlin, separating families and friends. When the head of the East German Communist Party announced that day that East Berliners could cross whenever they pleased, happy crowds surged across the border. People brought tools and took parts of the hated wall.

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