Daphne du Maurier

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Daphne du Maurier (around 1930)

Daphne du Maurier , DBE (born May 13, 1907 in London , † April 19, 1989 in Par, Cornwall ) was a British writer . She became known through her novel Rebecca and its film adaptation by Alfred Hitchcock , who also filmed her novel Gasthaus Jamaica (as a reef pirate ) and her short story The Birds . Part of her life was filmed in 2007 under the title Daphne with Geraldine Somerville in the lead role.


As the daughter of the actor Gerald du Maurier and his wife Muriel Beaumont and the granddaughter of the writer George du Maurier , she grew up sheltered with her two sisters in London and Paris, where she received private lessons. Financially independent, she devoted herself to sailing and traveling - and wrote her first short stories on the side. At the age of 19, after a holiday in Cornwall, she decided to settle there. From then on, their stories took place mainly on the English coast.

In 1928 du Maurier began writing short stories and published her first novel The Spirit of Plyn in 1931 , which not only brought her initial success with audiences and critics, but also the attention of her future husband, General Frederick Browning (married in 1932) whom she had three children - two daughters and a son. She became famous through the successful novels Gasthaus Jamaica and Rebecca , which were filmed by the director Alfred Hitchcock . From 1943 to 1969 she lived in 'Menabilly' for rent (her model for 'Manderley' - in which the novel is set). Rebecca , starring Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier , won an Oscar for Best Picture of the Year in 1940 . In 1963 the film adaptation of du Maurier's short story The Birds followed , which was also brought to the screen by Alfred Hitchcock. The film adaptation of her story Do not turn around , staged as When the Gondolas Carry Mourning (1973) by director Nicolas Roeg with Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie , was similarly successful . Her novels and stories are characterized by tension and psychological depth, even if they mostly have adventure and romances on the subject and were considered melodramatic in their time. But du Maurier also wrote historical novels, plays and biographies. In 1969 she was Queen Elizabeth II. To Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) appointed. In the end she lived quite withdrawn and from 1977 onwards she no longer wrote. In 1989 Daphne du Maurier died in Cornwall.

Throughout her life she fought against her lesbian feelings. From her famous expression comes "the boy in the box" ( the boy in the box ), a metaphor for oppressed and repressed lesbian feelings. She is said to have a relationship with Gertrude Lawrence .

Despite her great success with the public and the highest recognition as a lady, du Maurier's works were not rated as high quality by English literary critics during their lifetime. It is also not mentioned in data from English and American literature from 1890 to the present by Wolfgang Karrer and Eberhard Kreutzer (dtv, Munich 1973).

Famous works

Reconstruction of Daphne du Maurier's office in the Smuggler's Museum, Jamaica Inn .

The year of the English publication is usually given.

  • 1931: The Loving Spirit (novel); dt .: The spirit of Plyn or the women of Plyn
  • 1933: The Progress of Julius (novel); German: career
  • 1934: Gerald: A Portrait (biographical novel); German: Gerald
  • 1936: Jamaica Inn (Roman), after the inn of the same name ; German: Jamaica Inn , translated by Brigitte Heinrich and Christel Dormagen, Insel Verlag , Berlin 2020, ISBN 978-3-458-36458-0
  • 1937: The du Mauriers (biographical novel); dt .: return those I love
  • 1938: Rebecca (novel); German: Rebecca , translated by Brigitte Heinrich and Christel Dormagen, Insel Verlag , Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-458-36134-3
  • 1941: Frenchman's Creek (novel); German: The Bay of the French , translated by Siegfried Lang, Pavillon, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-453-86273-2
  • 1943: Happy Christmas (short story); German: Merry Christmas
  • 1943: Hungry Hill (novel); dt .: The heirs of Clonmere
  • 1946: The King's General (novel); German: The King's General
  • 1949: The Parasites (novel); German: the parasites
  • 1951: My Cousin Rachel (novel); German: My cousin Rachel , translated by Brigitte Heinrich and Christel Dormagen, Insel Verlag , Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-458-36197-8
  • 1952: The Birds (short story); German: The birds ; Reclam, Stuttgart 2013, ISBN 978-3-15-009287-3 (English)
  • 1952: Kiss Me Again, Stranger (short story); German: Kiss me again, stranger
  • 1952: the apple tree (story)
  • 1954: Mary Anne (novel)
  • 1957: The Scapegoat (novel); dt .: The man with my face or the scapegoat
  • 1963: The Glass-Blowers (biographical novel); German: The glassblowers
  • 1965: The Flight of the Falcon (novel); dt .: The secret of the falcon
  • 1967: Vanishing Cornwall - The spirit and history of Cornwall , 1967; German Cornwall saga - novel of a landscape . Swiss publishing house, Zurich 1984, ISBN 3-596-28182-2
  • 1969: The House on the Strand (novel); German: a drop of time . German new edition with illustrations by Kristina Andres, Edition Büchergilde 2015, ISBN 978-3-86406-044-1
  • 1971: Don't look now (short story); dt .: Don't turn around, or even when the gondolas are in mourning
  • 1972: Rule Britannia (novel)
  • 1980: The Rendezvous and Other Stories (collection of short stories); German: This time next year
  • 1983: The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories
  • 1989: Enchanted Cornwall ; German Magical Cornwall , translated by Brigitte Heinrich, Insel Verlag , Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-458-35999-9

Film adaptations

Stage works

Rebecca (musical) - based on the novel of the same name, composer Sylvester Levay , text Michael Kunze

  • 2006–2008: World premiere (in Austria) - on September 28, 2006 by Vereinigte Bühnen Wien
  • 2011: First performance in Switzerland - on October 22, 2011 in the St. Gallen Theater
  • 2011: First performance in Germany - on December 8, 2011 in the Palladium Theater Stuttgart
  • 2012: World premiere in English (in USA) - scheduled for November 18, 2012 on Broadway (Broadhurst Theater)


Web links

Commons : Daphne du Maurier  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Reviewed by Amanda Vaill, a biographer and journalist: THE BOY IN THE BOX. Retrieved July 1, 2020 (American English).
  2. Nina Auerbach: Daphne Du Maurier, Haunted Heiress . University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002, ISBN 978-0-8122-1836-7 ( google.de [accessed July 1, 2020]).