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Daphne du Maurier

The author of The Birds, Rebecca (both adapted into films by Alfred Hitchcock) and Jamaica Inn, Daphne du Maurier was born on 13 May, 1907 into a hugely creative family. Her father was the actor Gerald du Maurier while her grandfather was the artist and writer George du Maurier. Educated at home and then in Paris, she began writing her first short stories and articles in 1928/

Her first novel The Losing Spirit was published in 1931. Probably her best-known work, Rebecca (1938) sold almost 3 million copies between its publication in 1938 and 1965. Known as the 'mistress of suspense', she also wrote three pleys. Daphne mainly lived in Cornwall in her later life and died on 19 April, 1989.



Daphne du Maurier Books

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    An international bestseller that was published in 1938 and is an influence on the likes of Stephen King, Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca is the chilling classic about a girl haunted by her own imagination and the ghost of her husband-to-be's former mistress, Rebecca de Winter. Set in Manderley, a beautiful family estate in Cornwall, Rebecca's disturbing presence lingers throughout the house. Whilst Du Maurier's shy, unnamed heroine is tortured by constant comparisons to the socialite who was her predecessor, she is beset by tragedy and despair when Rebecca herself appears. Not since Jane Eyre has a heroine faced such difficulty with 'the other woman'.

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    I threw the piece of paper on the fire. She saw it burn ...Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent older cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in Philip as his heir, a man who will love his grand home as much as he does himself. But the cosy world the two construct is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries - and there he dies suddenly. In almost no time at all, the new widow - Philip's cousin Rachel - turns up in England. Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, sophisticated, mysterious woman like a moth to the flame. And yet ...might she have had a hand in Ambrose's death?
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    The Restoration Court knows Lady Dona St Columb to be ripe for any folly, any outrage that will alter the tedium of her days. But there is another, secret Dona who longs for freedom, honest love - and sweetness, even if it is spiced with danger. To escape the shallowness of court life, Dona retreats to Navron, her husband's remote Cornish estate. There, she seeks peace in its solitary woods and hidden creeks. But she finds instead a daring pirate, hunted by all Cornwall, a Frenchman who, like Dona, would gamble his life for a moment's joy. Together, they embark upon a quest rife with danger and glory, one which bestows upon Dona the ultimate choice: sacrifice her lover to certain death or risk her own life to save him.
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    On a trip to the South of France, the shy heroine of Rebecca falls in love with Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower. Although his proposal comes as a surprise, she happily agrees to marry him. But as they arrive at her husband's home, Manderley, a change comes over Maxim, and the young bride is filled with dread. Friendless in the isolated mansion, she realises that she barely knows him. In every corner of every room is the phantom of his beautiful first wife, Rebecca, and the new Mrs de Winter walks in her shadow.
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    In the bitter November wind, Mary Yellan crosses Bodmin Moor to Jamaica Inn. Her mother's dying wish was that she take refuge there, with her Aunt Patience. But when Mary arrives, the warning of the coachman echoes in her mind: Jamaica Inn has a desolate power, and behind it's crumbling walls Patience is a changed woman, cowering before her brooding, violent husband. When Mary discovers the inn's dark secrets, the truth is more terrifying than anything she could possibly imagine, and she is forced to collude in her uncle's murderous schemes. Against her will, she finds herself powerfully attracted to her uncle's brother, a man she dares not trust.
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    Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in making Philip his heir, knowing he will treasure his beautiful Cornish estate. But Philip's world is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries - and then dies suddenly in suspicious circumstances. Before long, the new widow - Philip's cousin Rachel - arrives in England. Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, mysterious woman. But could she have caused Ambrose's death?
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    Using the cover artwork of our much-loved Virago Modern Classics hardback range, this elegant porcelain mug celebrates Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
    It is presented in a beautiful gift box with corresponding artwork. and is dishwasher- and microwave-safe.
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    'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again ...' Working as a lady's companion, our heroine's outlook is bleak until, on a trip to the south of France, she meets a handsome widower whose proposal takes her by surprise. She accepts but, whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is for ever kept alive by the forbidding housekeeper Mrs Danvers ...An international bestseller that has never gone out of print, Rebecca is the haunting story of a young woman consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity.
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    'I want to know if men realise when they are insane. Sometimes I think that my brain cannot hold together, it is filled with too much horror - too much despair ...I cannot sleep, I cannot close my eyes without seeing his damned face. If only it had been a dream.' In 'The Doll', a waterlogged notebook is washed ashore. Its pages tell a dark story of obsession and jealousy. But the fate of its narrator is a mystery. Many of the stories in this haunting collection have only recently been discovered. Most were written early in Daphne du Maurier's career, yet they display her mastery of atmosphere, tension and intrigue and reveal a cynicism far beyond her years.
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    John and Laura have come to Venice to try and escape the pain of their young daughter's death. But when they encounter two old women who claim to have second sight, they find that, instead of laying their ghosts to rest, they become caught up in a train of increasingly strange and violent events. The four other haunting, evocative stories in this volume also explore deep fears and longings, secrets and desires: a lonely teacher who investigates a mysterious American couple; a young woman confronting her father's past; a party of pilgrims who meet disaster in Jerusalem; and a scientist who harnesses the power of the mind to chilling effect.
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    By chance, two men - one English, the other French - meet in a provincial railway station. Their physical resemblance is uncanny, and they spend the next few hours talking and drinking - until at last John, the Englishman, falls into a drunken stupour. It's to be his last carefree moment, for when he wakes, his French companion has stolen his identity and disappeared. So John steps into the Frenchman's shoes, and faces a variety of perplexing roles - as owner of a chateau, director of a failing business, head of a fractious family, and master of nothing. Gripping and complex, The Scapegoat is a masterful exploration of doubling and identity, and of the dark side of the self.
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    Dick Young is lent a house in Cornwall by his friend Professor Magnus Lane. During his stay he agrees to serve as a guinea pig for a new drug that Magnus has discovered in his biochemical researches. The effect of this drug is to transport Dick from the house at Kilmarth to the Cornwall of the 14th century. There, in the manor of Tywardreath, the domain of Sir Henry Champernoune, he witnesses intrigue, adultery and murder. As his time travelling increases, Dick resents more and more the days he must spend in the modern world, longing ever more fervently to get back into his world of centuries before ...
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    'How long he fought with them in the darkness he could not tell, but at last the beating of the wings about him lessened and then withdrew ...' A classic of alienation and horror, 'The Birds' was immortalised by Hitchcock in his celebrated film. The five other chilling stories in this collection echo a sense of dislocation and mock man's sense of dominance over the natural world. The mountain paradise of 'Monte Verita' promises immortality, but at a terrible price; a neglected wife haunts her husband in the form of an apple tree; a professional photographer steps out from behind the camera and into his subject's life; a date with a cinema usherette leads to a walk in the cemetery; and a jealous father finds a remedy when three's a crowd ...
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    Cornwall, 1900s. Plyn Boat Yard is a hive of activity, and Janet Coombe longs to share in the excitement of seafaring: to travel, to have adventures, to know freedom. But constrained by the times, instead she marries her cousin Thomas, a boat builder, and settles down to raise a family. Janet's loving spirit - the passionate yearning for adventure and for love - is passed down to her son, and through him to his children's children. As generations of the family struggle against hardship and loss, their intricately plotted history is set against the greater backdrop of war and social change in Britain. Her debut novel, The Loving Spirit established du Maurier's reputation and style with an inimitable blend of romance, history and adventure.
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    The Restoration Court knows Lady Dona St Columb to be ripe for any folly, any outrage that will relieve the tedium of her days. But there is another, secret Dona who longs for a life of honest love - and sweetness, even if it is spiced with danger. Dona flees London for remote Navron, looking for peace of mind in its solitary woods and hidden creeks. She finds there the passion her spirit craves - in the love of a daring pirate hunted across Cornwall, a Frenchman who, like Dona, would gamble his life for a moment's joy.
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    Both a spellbinding love story and a superb evocation of Cornwall's mythic past, Castle Dor is a book with unique and fascinating origins. It began life as the unfinished last novel of Sir Arthur Quiller- Couch, the celebrated 'Q', and was passed by his daughter to Daphne du Maurier whose storytelling skills were perfectly suited to the task of completing the old master's tale. The result is this magical, compelling recreation of the legend of Tristan and Iseult, transplanted in time to the Cornwall of the last century. A chance encounter between the Breton onion-seller, Amyot Trestane, and the newly-wed Linnet Lewarne launches their tragic story, taking them in the fateful footsteps of the doomed lovers of Cornish legend ...
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    'Perhaps we shall not see each other again. I will write to you, though, and tell you, as best I can, the story of your family. A glass-blower, remember, breathes life into a vessel, giving it shape and form and sometimes beauty; but he can with that same breath, shatter and destroy it' Faithful to her word, Sophie Duval reveals to her long-lost nephew the tragic story of a family of master craftsmen in eighteenth-century France. The world of the glass-blowers has its own traditions, it's own language - and its own rules. 'If you marry into glass' Pierre Labbe warns his daughter, 'you will say goodbye to everything familiar, and enter a closed world'. But crashing into this world comes the violence and terror of the French Revolution against which, the family struggles to survive. The Glass Blowers is a remarkable achievement - an imaginative and exciting reworking of du Maurier's own family history.
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    Her mother's dying request obliges Mary Yellan to make a grim journey across bleak Cornish moorland to Jamaica Inn, the home of her Aunt Patience and her overbearing husband, Joss Merlyn. With the coachman's warning echoing in her mind and affected by the inn's brooding power, Mary is thwarted in her intention to help her aunt. She finds herself drawn unwillingly into the misdeeds of Joss and his accomplices, and even more disturbing are her feelings for a man she dare not trust ...Jamaica Inn is a dark and gripping gothic tale that will remind readers of two other great classics, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.
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    Inspired by a grisly discovery in the nineteenth century, The King's General was the first of du Maurier's novels to be written at Menabilly, the model for Manderley in Rebecca. Set in the seventeenth century, it tells the story of a country and a family riven by war, and features one of fiction's most original heroines. Honor Harris is only eighteen when she first meets Richard Grenvile, proud, reckless - and utterly captivating. But following a riding accident, Honor must reconcile herself to a life alone. As Richard rises through the ranks of the army, marries and makes enemies, Honor remains true to him, and finally discovers the secret of Menabilly.
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    'It is rather awful, Emma thought as she walked across the fields down to the farm, how this business is leading us all into subterfuge and deception, and we can't really tell who is friend and who is enemy ...' Emma wakes up one morning to an apocalyptic world. The cosy existence she shares with her grandmother, a famous retired actress, has been shattered: there's no post, no telephone, no radio - and an American warship sits in the harbour. As the two women piece together clues about the 'friendly' military occupation on their doorstep, family, friends and neighbours gather round to protect their heritage. In this chilling novel of the future, Daphne du Maurier explores the implications of a political, economic and military alliance between Britain and the United States.
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    Dispatch the maimed, the old, the weak, destroy the very world itself, for what is the point of life if the promise of fulfilment lies elsewhere?On the windswept coast of rural Suffolk, a deranged scientist attempts to extract the essence of life itself.Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
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    A beautiful hardback edition to mark the 80th anniversary of one of the best-loved novels ever written. A gothic tale of love, secrets and jealousy.WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY SARAH PERRY'One of the most influential novels of the twentieth century, Rebecca has woven its way into the fabric of our culture with all the troubling power of myth or dream. A stunning book' SARAH WATERS'Her masterpiece . . . Seldom has a dead woman exercised such power beyond the grave. Rebecca will live for ever because du Maurier touches a fearful nerve, buried deep in the unconscious' Kate Saunders, The Times'A mesmerising novel which reveals more on each reading' Helen DunmoreLast night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .Working as a lady's companion, the orphaned heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Life begins to look very bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. Whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to his brooding estate, Manderley, on the Cornish Coast, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding Mrs Danvers . . . Not since Jane Eyre has a heroine faced such difficulty with the Other Woman. An international bestseller that has never been out of print, Rebecca is the haunting story of a young woman consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity.
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    As a bold and gifted child, Branwell Bronte's promise seemed boundless to the three adoring sisters over whom his rule was complete. But as an adult, the precocious flame of genius distorted and burned low. With neither the strength nor the resources to counter rejection, unable to sell his paintings or publish his books, Branwell became a spectre in the Bronte story, in pathetic contrast with the astonishing achievements of his sisters. Daphne du Maurier concentrates all her biographer's skill on the shadowy figure of Branwell Bronte, and no reader could fail to be intensely moved by Branwell's final retreat into laudanum, alcohol - and death