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Daphne Du Maurier Paperback – 5 May 1994


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Daphne Du Maurier + Jamaica Inn (VMC) + The House On The Strand (VMC)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (5 May 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099333317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099333319
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Altogether a model biography - human sympathy tempered with honesty and spiced with real intelligence" (Lorna Sage Observer)

"A startlingly good biography" (The Times)

"Convincing throughout ... Margaret Forster's interpretation of her subject is so complete and so persuasive that it leaves nothing for the reader to do except admire and enjoy" (Independent on Sunday)

"Forster's acute and sensitive book succeeds on many levels ... Its most important achievement is to disprove the highbrow assumption that bestsellers are shallow ... and do not ... engage the depths of the psyche" (John Carey Sunday Times)

"Margaret Forster can do no wrong ... The story is as gripping as Rebecca, as full of surprises as My Cousin Rachel ... affectionate, honest, unsentimental and perceptive" (Daily Mail)

Book Description

A meticulously researched bestseller; a masterpiece of biography and storytelling about one of Britain’s best female authors. du Maurier’s books were adapted into some of Hitchcock’s most successful films, yet little is known about her private life. In this definitive book about the author of The Birds and Rebecca, readers are granted an insight into the life of a great, psychologically complex woman.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By hiljean VINE VOICE on 24 April 2010
Format: Paperback
Daphne du Maurier is known primarily now for her most famous novels, Rebecca, Jamaica Inn and Frenchman's Creek. But she actually wrote in a variety of genres and it is a mistake to dismiss her as a "romantic novelist". Less well-known is the fact that she wrote a number of collections of macabre short stories including "The Birds" on which the Hitchcock film was based, and "Don't Look Now", which resulted in that extremely creepy film by Nic Roeg starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland. All of this goes to demonstrate what a complex and torn person she was and Margaret Forster analyses this brilliantly in her biography (it is not "part novel" as one reviewer here suggests).

Du Maurier was a prolific correspondent and using her letters and notes Forster illustrates what a fascinating woman it was who wrote these well known works and what inspired her to write them. Much has been made of the revelation in this book that Forster seems to have had a physical relationship with the famous actress Gertrude Lawrence and the evidence presented in letters written by Forster does seem to confirm that view. All of which only goes to make her a more interesting character. Her husband, Tommy, rose to the top in the army and joined the royal household, adding another interesting strand to their lives together (Prince Philip called at their home in Fowey on several occasions). Du Maurier's obsession with Cornwall and Menabilly, her home for many years, is also examined.

This biography grips right to the end and whether or not you are familiar with du Maurier's work, you will enjoy reading about this extraordinary woman. With luck it may make you seek out some of her less well-known, but equally impressive works, such as The Scapegoat, which is one of my personal favourites.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lily Lit on 3 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
I have read a great deal of literary biographies particularly of authors such as The Brontes and Austen. The writing style of these biographies tend to be dry, formulaic and slow, filled with dates and timelines, complete sentences and jumping back and forth with terms such as 'could be' or 'allegedly' but no real engagement with the writer they are writing about. Reading Forster's Daphne Du Maurier marked a change for me in how a biography should be in the extent to how well written this book is. It is as engaging as Du Maurier's own writing style in places and reads so very easily. Du Maurier is brought to life in a way that you know in reading her, she would have very much approved of. Du Maurier was a wonderful character in real life as much as her fictional characters were and no-one else could have done such justice to the life of this amazing writer.
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful By S. BARRATT on 13 Dec. 2003
Format: Paperback
I ordered this biography after reading Rebecca and Jamaica Inn, they were so good I had to know more about the author Du Maurier. This biography got me hooked from the beginning, its written part novel, part fact based. It doesnt bore you with lots of dates and names but includes all the important stuff with Forsters own interpretation of Du Mauriers life. Well written, lovely photos throughout. A highly recommended book to anyone wanting to know more about Daphne Du Maurier and her extremely fascinating life that reflects itself in her novels. One of the best biographies I have read in a long while...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Wilson on 7 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved Daphme Du maurier books ever since I was kid and my sister and I and our mother watched 70's adaptation of rebbeca. I was drawn to this book after reading Justine Picardie' Daphne. After reading this book I can truely say I feel as if I know Du Maurier, foster paints such a vivid picture of the woman and her complexed charector. This is very good read for anyone seeking the truth behind the woman of all those wonderful novels.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By M. Stanley on 1 May 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a truly beautifully written biography. It is insightful and intelligent, and is one of the best biographies I have read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By HA on 16 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is how biography should be written: thoroughly researched, even handed but with a detached sympathy for the subject. I only knew of Daphne du Maurier through the 3 films Rebecca, the Birds and Dont Look Now. I had the mistaken impression she was a romantic novelist a la Georgette Heyer. This biography is not merely a full depiction of her life and loves but a superb critical analysis of her writings rightly placing her much higher in the literary canon than as a popular but lightweight novelist. Margatet Forster also makes the link between the darker side of Daphne du Maurier's personality and the spark to her imaginative writing very clear.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Briona. on 2 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
A very readable biography with much attention to detail. Very well researched. A well-rounded depiction of an unusual and difficult character, it holds one's attention from the start. But would this quite reclusive woman have wanted her entire life made public? Nevertheless, it is beautifully and sympathetically done.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'd read several of Daphne du Maurier's books, but never knew much about the person behind them, though I guesse she must have been someone far out of the ordinary. This well written and riveting biography filled in a great deal about her life and, more importantly, revealed how she was in some ways two different people, almost at war with each other periodically, and it explained much about her writings that previously puzzled me. Not that I'm in any way an expert, but it will mean I'll now reread her books with fresh eyes. One point - mine is the ebook version, and although it includes a section of photos, these are too dark to be much use. Maybe the photos are better in the paper version.
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