Myself When Young
The Shaping of a Writer
By Daphne Du Maurier
Daphne du Maurier's autobiography pinpoints the literary influences and overwhelming desire to explore the family history of the girl who became the great writer.
Both her novels and her non-fiction reveal Daphne du Maurier's overwhelming desire to explore her family's history. In Myself When Young, based on diaries that she kept from 1920-1932, the most famous du Maurier probes her own past, beginning with her earliest memories and encompassing the publication of her first book and her subsequent marriage. Here, the writer is open and sometimes painfully honest about the difficult relationship with her father; her education in Paris; early love affairs; her antipathy towards London life and the theatre; her intense love for Cornwall and her desperate ambition to succeed as a writer. The resulting portrait is of a captivating and complex character.
Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was born in London, the daughter of the famous actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of George du Maurier, the author and artist. In 1931 her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published. A biography of her father and three other novels followed, but it was the novel Rebecca that launched her into the literary stratosphere and made her one of the most popular authors of her day. In 1932, du Maurier married Major Frederick Browning, with whom she had three children.
Many of du Maurier's bestselling novels and short stories were adapted into award-winning films, including Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now. In 1969 du Maurier was awarded a DBE. She lived most of her life in Cornwall, the setting for many of her books.
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- Publication date:
01 Apr 2004
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The girl we meet, a strong-winged bird homing in to the steep banks of a Cornish river, is herself no mean romantic enigma — SUNDAY TIMES
A delightful book, full of amusing and charming stories, pinpointing the literary influences and the first stirrings of books to be written in later years, and with a happy and romantic ending — THE TIMES