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.
Rebecca, published in 1938, brought its author instant international acclaim, capturing the popular imagination with its haunting atmosphere of suspense and mystery. du Maurier was immediately established as the queen of the psychological thriller. But the more fame this and her other books encouraged, the more reclusive Daphne du Maurier became.
Margaret Forster's award-winning biography could hardly be more worthy of its subject. Drawing on private letters and papers, and with the unflinching co-operation of Daphne du Maurier's family, Margaret Forster explores the secret drama of her life - the stifling relationship with her father, actor-manager Gerald du Maurier; her troubled marriage to war hero and royal aide, 'Boy' Browning; her wartime love affair; her passion for Cornwall and her deep friendships with the last of her father's actress loves, Gertrude Lawrence, and with an aristocratic American woman.
Most significant of all, Margaret Forster ingeniously strips away the relaxed and charming facade to lay bare the true workings of a complex and emotional character whose passionate and often violent stories mirrored her own fantasy life more than anyone could ever have imagined.
“Altogether a model biography - human sympathy tempered with honesty and spiced with real intelligence”
Lorna Sage, Observer
“A startlingly good biography”
“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”
“It is an enthralling story, expertly and sympathetically told”
Good Book Guide