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As invited I've read your blogspot. Always interesting to compare the evolution of life and its expectations. Recent observations of Daphne's parents to me do not fully recognise the norms of the artistic environment in which they lived. Radio 4's recent interview of Jane Dunn author of: 'Daphne Du Maurier and Her Sisters The Hidden Lives of Piffy, Bird and Bing' was controversial or perhaps the inevitable editing just 'clumsy'?
Flavia Leng's fascinating 'Daughter's Memoir' was published in 1994 and an account of her time in Paris 'Jam Today' by Oriel Malet published in 1957 is also worth reading. Indeed, there have been other'offerings' to tempt the duMaurierphile's palate: Michael Williams' The Three du Maurier Sisters: Daphne, Angela & Jeanne (2012) and Hilary Macaskill's 'Daphne du Maurier At Home' (2013). I look forward to next month's Fowey Festival of Words & Music which I'm certain will not disappoint those who attended the predecessor Daphne du Maurier Festivals. What after all is in a name amongst those united by a common interest?
- Monday, April 22, 2013 at 14:04:18 (BST)
I have such admiration for Daphne, and read up so much about her. I recently posted this review of Flavia's memoir on my blog site, and wonder if other forum members might be interested?
- Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 16:24:02 (BST)
What do the Members think about the name change from 'Du Maurier Festival of Art and Literature' to the new title for 2013 of 'Fowey Festival of Words and Music'?
Personally, it seems to me to be a pointless and misguided attempt to give the festival a 'more widespread appeal'.
The original remit of the festival was to 'celebrate the life and works of the internationally renowned author and the association of her work with the County of Cornwall and Fowey in particular'. This just feels like a slap in the face!
What do the members think?
- Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 15:38:40 (GMT)
Sorry David but I don't recognise the short story you describe. At first I thought it could have been Daphne's East Wind as that concerns the islanders of St Hilda's, 900 miles west of the Scillies and some dancing is involved. But there the resemblance with your story ends. If you wish to read East Wind it's part of the latest Virago anthology of short stories titled: The Doll Short Stories (2011). It can also be found on Ella Westland's: Reading Daphne (2007), a guide to the writing of Daphne du Maurier for readers and book groups. May I suggest other short story writers:Edgar Allan Poe,Katherine Mansfield or Guy de Maupassant. Daphne enjoyed these writers in particular.
- Wednesday, November 07, 2012 at 13:35:54 (GMT)
I wonder if someone could help me. There's a wondeful short story I read once. A little isle off a coastal town has a dance hall built on it and gets connected to the mainland by some sort of jetty I think. There's adance going on and a storm brews up and the seafolk claim back their isle disconnecting from thye mainland. It is all very dramatic. Is this one of Du Maurier's? or if not do you know whose it is. Best David
David Dale <firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sunday, November 04, 2012 at 20:40:22 (GMT)
Since nobody has so far responded to Linda's invitation (7/9) to comment on the recent film of Daphne's novel: 'The Scapegoat', I thought I'd add my own brief thoughts. Thoroughly entertaining despite some departure from the original storyline. I even forgive the screenwriter's adoption of a Mrs Danvers character as she simply enhances the humour of Daphne's doppelganger. An utterly implausible situation with the hapless John thrust into an unsuspecting 'adopted'family, lovers,glass-blowing business and an irascible dog! A Whitehall farce emerges reminiscent of the hilarious visit by the Delaney family to Coldhammer in Daphne's 'The Parasites'. Deception of biblical proportion with the constant expectation of John's exposure maintaining good pace throughout .The sheer terror on the face of Jean's mistress Bela, uncertain of her visitor's true identity, she confronts him with a gun. Will she be loved or beaten? The tension is almost tangible.The diametrically opposing characters of the 'two'main protagonists are well portrayed.Unsurprisingly,only the dog knows his true master immediately. To others, especially the mistress and housekeeper, awareness becomes apparent. This is a film based on a piece of Daphne's fiction and as with Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde and other fictional situations, surely we are expected to suspend our disbelief? Enjoy the moment rather than make futile comparisons with the original text. If surprised by my reference to Daphne's sense of humour, perhaps next time you browse the du Maurier family archives at Exeter University, spare a moment to study this aspect of Daphne's personality and it's evidence in her prose, poetry and plays: 'But the laughter lingers...Daphne du Maurier: A Sense of Humour Celebrated' (April 2012). You may be surprised?
- Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 15:30:17 (GMT)
Ann Willmore and I have e-mailed Tony Moral separately. Ann recommended he read Paul Newman's book: 'The Man who unleashed the Birds: Frank Butler and his Circle' which was published a year or two ago. I recommended Daphne's first biographer:'Daphne du Maurier'(1987), Prof.Richard Kelly. His Chapter 6,'The world of the Macabre:The Short Stories' devotes no less than 4 pages to The Birds and Richard has also kindly agreed to communicate with Tony.
- Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 14:05:15 (GMT)
I have just finished "Split Second" from "The Apple Tree" and, frankly, I am baffled! Without spoilers, I'd love to know what you make of the story.
Michael in Maine
- Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 18:34:56 (GMT)
I'm writing a book on the making of The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock to be published next spring 2013.
The first chapter is devoted to Daphne du Maurier and the writing of The Birds short story.
Does anyone have any annecdotes or information to share about The Birds? If so can they please contact me for a chat?
Tony Lee Moral
- Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 14:29:24 (GMT)
Enjoyed the exhibition at the British Library yesterday- from Wastelands to Wonderland. Daphne's Rebecca Notebook was on display along with manuscripts from authors, playwrights, poets etc. Fascinating to see how tiny Jane Austen's writing was and the 10th century Exeter Book from the cathedral was truly beautiful. In the afternoon I saw the musical Top Hat - Tom Chambers was terrific in this tap dancing, happy show.
USA - Friday, September 21, 2012 at 18:08:20 (GMT)
The British Library in London currently has an exhibition Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands, on until 25 September. Included is an early plan for Rebecca and a Woman's Hour interview with Daphne.
- Friday, September 07, 2012 at 16:34:53 (GMT)
Some of you who were at this year's Festival may have seen the preview showing of a new ITV production of The Scapegoat starring Matthew Rhys, Sheridan Smith, Antonio Lesser and Eileen Atkins. This is scheduled to be broadcast on Sunday 9 September at 9.00 pm. Unfortunately the Radio Times reviewer describes this as a "melodrama" and includes: "At this point your scepticism will be tapping you on the shoulder, but you'll probably stick with The Scapegoat if only to see this ridiculous premise through to the bitter end". The reviewer concludes with "Bonkers. Utterly Bonkers". Any comments?
- Friday, September 07, 2012 at 16:24:47 (GMT)
In my letter below I forgot to acknowledge Margaret Forster's biography of Daphne for providing some invaluable historical data.
- Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 15:18:01 (GMT)
Reading Linda's letter on the late Edwina MacDonald, her son and their plagiarism suit comparing Blind Windows and Daphne's Rebecca with its alleged 46 'parallelisms' I'm reminded that nothing changes.
Rebecca was published 1938 and the ensuing Hitchcock film became a huge box-office success. The lawsuit was brought in 1941. In 1942, The American Consul in London apparently declared a personal opinion that the case was ridiculous, a view doubtless shared by Daphne and her advisors. But that didn't stop the author having to answer Consul's questions, presumably under oath, including, believe it or not, how many novels have you read and on which dates? Of course, it was not until 5 years later that the case was actually held in New York.
During the intervening time, encouraged by the above reactions, Daphne supposedly blanked-out the unappealing prospects of appearing in a US Court to defend her position and potential bankruptcy if she lost. Of course, she had little else to occupy her mind; a husband estranged by WW2 and under constant pressure which was reflected in his health, a near fatal crash in his glider, three young children, the writing of novels Hungry Hill, The King's General, her play The Years Between and the extensive renovation and subsequent family move to what she called her 'rat-ridden ruin' Menabilly.
As the aptly named Mr Bumble observed in Oliver Twist: 'the law is a ass-a idiot'.
- Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 15:11:23 (GMT)
Information about Edwina Levin MacDonald who took out a plagiarism suit against Daphne du Maurier filed on 15 September 1941. A summary judgement took place on 3 September 1946 and the complaint was dismissed on 14 January 1948 in the District Court, New York. These transcripts can be found on www.leagle.com. Newspaper reports included: The Berkshire Evening Eagle, (Pittsburgh, Massachusetts) Tuesday 28th October 1947. “Rebecca author denies plagiarism. Daphne du Maurier, British Author of the best selling novel Rebecca took the witness stand in Federal Court yesterday to defend herself against charges that she stole the plot for the book from two little known works of the late Edwina Devin (sic) MacDonald. Miss du Maurier, slim and stylish, denied on direct examination by her attorney, Arthur E Farmer, that she had ever heard of Mrs MacDonald or of her writing until after the suit was filed in 1941. Then in 1942 she said she read Mrs MacDonald’s novel Blind Windows and a short confessional type story I Planned to Murder My Husband. It is these works that allegedly were plagiarised.” The Fesmo Bee Republican, California Saturday 17 January 1948. “Dismiss Plagiarism Suit. A plagiarism suit alleging Daphne du Maurier based her novel Rebecca in part on works by the late Edwina L Macdonald has been dismissed in the Federal Court. Mrs MacDonald’s son J Clifford MacDonald of Tampa, Florida, brought the suit naming as defendants Miss du Maurier; publishers Doubleday, Doran & Co Inc., Selznick International Pictures Inc., David O Selznick and Selznick Productions Inc producers of a 1939 film based on the novel and United Artists Corporation, film distributor. Judge John Bright held Miss du Maurier never had access to Mrs MacDonald’s works Blind Windows and I Planned to Murder My Husband.” Other records include a passenger list for the “Leviathan” from New York to Southampton arriving 18 June 1926 lists Edwina MacDonald aged 43 (birth 10 May 1886 Campti Louisiana), novelist. UK residence “c/o American Express London”. She returned from Le Havre on 18 October. Her son Jackson Clifford MacDonald was born October 12 1900 in Louisiana. 13 May 1926 he married Marjorie Allen daughter of Edward Lisle Allen editor of The Morning Post, Jamestown. They divorced in 1930 in Florida. In 1945 J Clifford MacDonald is in the Florida State Census in Tampa aged 43 publisher, with second wife Georgia Grace Cornelius and son George Clifford MacDonald aged 8. On 6 December 1963 J Clifford MacDonald was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his “quiet but noble work of enlarging the lives and opportunities of the physically and mentally handicapped.” He had died 16 August 1963. Edwina MacDonald died 17 April 1946 (in the court papers of 30 Sept 1946). George died 31 October 2011 aged 75 and his online obituary says he was the only son of Georgia and Clifford a businessman and philanthropist. All three are buried in the Myrtle Hill Memorial Park Cemetery, Tampa (findagrave.com). It seems strange that after such a high profile court case there is no obituary to be found of Edwina.
- Friday, June 22, 2012 at 14:31:39 (GMT)
watched a play 2/3 christmas, ago, i,mm sure that within the credits it stated that the drama was based or written by Daphne Du Maurier. i have been unable to find the story in any of her works i have researched. The story centred on 2 women around circa 1870/1910, one was a supposed spiritulist, who was in jail for murder , the other a campaigner for rights either womens , prisoners etc, they developed a lesbian relationship, with the later eventually committing suicide. would appreciate any help out there on the title , works , thanking you , sincerely liam casey
liam casey <email@example.com
- Monday, March 05, 2012 at 18:44:10 (GMT)
2012 du Maurier Festival, Fowey
With a line-up including Nik Kershaw. Blake, Sir Terry Wogan, June Tabor & Oysterband Julian Clary and many other national and internationally known writers, performers and celebrities tickets for the 2012 du Maurier Festival, Fowey, are sure to be much in demand. The only way to guarantee you have the best seats in the house for this year’s Festival is to become a Patron and enjoy priority booking.
Full details on this year’s programme have just been announced, together with news on how to become a Festival Patron, on the Festival’s website: www.dumaurierfestival.co.uk .
The 2012 Festival takes place between Wednesday 9th and Sunday 20th May. It begins with a schools concert, featuring children from Fowey Community College, Fowey, Primary School and Lostwithiel School and ends with a special day of events at the University of Exeter’s Tremough Campus, Penryn.
The majority of the remaining events take place in and around Fowey. Also confirmed to appear this year are: Sir Trevor McDonald, Richard Madeley & Judy Finnigan, E V Thompson, Mike Shepherd, from Kneehigh, former poet laureate Andrew Motion, Fern Britton, Georgie Fame, comedian Jimeoin.
Jonathan Aberdeen, Festival Director, says: “A major event of the 2012 Festival is a special advance screening of a new film version of Daphne du Maurier’s story The Scapegoat, commissioned by ITV and starring Matthew Rhys (from the hit US series Brothers & Sisters). Prior to the showing of the film, a panel of actors and members of the production team will discuss the making of this imaginative re-working of du Maurier’s classic tale. Joining them on the panel will be Christian Browning, son of Daphne du Maurier.”
Last autumn, the Daphne du Maurier Festival Society was formed to take over the management and running of the annual community arts & literature Festival held each May in Fowey. The Festival was set-up by Restormel Borough Council in 1997 and in recent years has formed part of Cornwall Council’s Cultural services Department.
The du Maurier Festival Society is a company limited by guarantee and is registered as a charity. Cornwall Council gives the Festival a grant towards the staging of this prestigious annual event, acknowledging its importance to Cornwall, not just as an artistic event, but as major tourism event and a provider of a much-needed boost to the County’s economy, prior to the start of the main summer season.
Ends: Jonathan Aberdeen, Festival Director – Tel: 01726 223439
Tickets go on sale to Festival Patrons on 12th March and on general sale on 26th March
200 + events over 12 days
Approximately half of the Festival’s content is events organised by community groups, involving several hundred participants.
Find the Festival online at: www.dumaurierfestival.co.uk; on
Facebook: The Daphne du Maurier Festival and on Twitter: @DdMFestival
David Willmore <firstname.lastname@example.org
- Friday, March 02, 2012 at 20:29:58 (GMT)
In the course of research, I have been trying to track down American authoress Edwina Levin MacDonald. Little seems to be known about her, except that in late 1943/1944 she started a court case against Daphne Du Maurier, accusing her of plagiarism with the novel 'Rebecca'. Reports on the case are sketchy, but several say that MacDonald died during the case. But I think she actually died in the 1980s. Does any one know anything about the court case - did MacDonald die, or what caused the reports if she did not.
- Monday, February 20, 2012 at 16:29:42 (GMT)
Please disregard the posting below about Ivy Snowball. More info has come to light. Apologies! Linda
- Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 08:30:50 (GMT)
The last time I looked out of the window I was in Norfolk, England - not the USA!
- Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 12:14:32 (GMT)
This may be a bit late but I looked Ivy Snowball up on a genealogy site I use. She was born on 14 July 1919 in Newcastle and died there in Jan 2000. In the 1911 census there are 73 Snowballs in Newcastle and many more in Northumberland!
USA - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 12:11:07 (GMT)