Daphne du Maurier
- born: 13/May/1907 (London, England, UK)
- died: 19/Apr/1989 (Par, Cornwall, England, UK)
Dame Daphne du Maurier DBE is a famous British novelist best known for her short stories like "The Birds" and her classic novel "Rebecca" which was the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock's Oscar-winning film.
She was born in London, the daughter of the actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier, and granddaughter of the author and cartoonist, George du Maurier. These connections gave a head start to her literary career, and her first novel, "The Loving Spirit", was published in 1931.
Du Maurier married Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick "Boy" Browning and had one son and two daughters.
Her writing went from strength to strength. She is most noted for the novel "Rebecca" which has been filmed on several occasions. One of her strongest influences here was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Her fascination for the Brontë family is also apparent in "The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë".
Besides "Rebecca", several of her other novels were made into films, including "Jamaica Inn" (1936), Frenchman's Creek (1942), Hungry Hill (1943) and My Cousin Rachel (1951). The Hitchcock film "The Birds" (1963) is based on a treatment of one of her short stories, as is the film "Don't Look Now" (1973). She also wrote non-fiction. One of her most imaginative works, "The Glass-Blowers", traces her French ancestry.
She was named a Dame of the British Empire, and died at the age of 81 in 1989, at her home in Cornwall -- a region which had been the setting for many of her books.
In accordance with her wishes, Dame Daphne's body was cremated and her ashes were scattered on the cliffs near her home.
- Jamaica Inn (1939) - original novel ("Jamaica Inn")
- Rebecca (1940) - original novel ("Rebecca")
- The Birds (1963) - original short story ("The Birds")
She has appeared in the following Hitchcockian documentaries...
- Rick Stein in "Du Maurier Country" - herself (archive footage)
Hitchcock Fiction Anthologies
- "The Birds" in Alfred Hitchcock Presents: My Favorites in Suspense (1959)
- "The Birds" in Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbinders in Suspense (1967)