Rebecca | Study Guide

Daphne du Maurier

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Daphne du Maurier | Biography


Daphne du Maurier was born on May 13, 1907, in London, England, into a creative family of actors and writers. The second of three sisters, Daphne began writing as a young girl and published her first novel, The Loving Spirit, in 1931, while still in her early 20s. She went on to publish plays and many books, including historical fiction, short fiction, an autobiography, and even a travel guide. Her novels include Jamaica Inn (1936), Hungry Hills (1943), My Cousin Rachel (1951), The Scapegoat (1957), and The Glass Blowers (1963).

Du Maurier's fifth novel, Rebecca, is her most popular and enduring work and was made into an Academy Award-winning film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1940. Though the film depicts the ending differently, making Rebecca's death an accident instead of a crime, Hitchcock, the signature moviemaker of suspense, captures the book's eerie mood. Du Maurier's last novel, Rule Britannica, was published in 1972. She published two autobiographies: Growing Pains: The Shaping of a Writer in 1977, and The Rebecca Notebooks and Other Memories in 1981.

Du Maurier married Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Browning in 1932 and had three children. Awarded the honorary title Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1969, du Maurier died 20 years later, on April 19, 1989, in Cornwall, England.

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