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Daphne du Maurier

The official Daphne du Maurier website, approved by her Estate

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A Date for Your Diaries

The Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature 2025 will take place from 9th – 17th May 2025, when we will again all meet up in Fowey for another interesting, entertaining, and fun-packed Festival in beautiful Cornwall. 


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The Fowey Festival Book Sale in Honour of Collin Langley – the end of the story


Earlier in the year, we told you about the book sale that was taking place at the Fowey Festival between the 10th and 18th of May.  The books were the collection owned by Collin Langley, a du Maurier expert and major supporter of the Fowey Festival.  Sadly, Collin died last year after a long illness.  His family very generously donated his books to the festival to raise funds. 

We had a book table in the Royal Fowey Yacht Club, alongside the Festival Box Office and Information Desk and the Waterstones Festival Book Shop.  The books sold very well, and during the week, we raised about £920.00 and sold a large proportion of the books.  In June, we took the box of books that we had left to auction, where they sold for a further £90.00.  So we are pleased to say that we raised over £1000.00 for the Fowey Festival’s funds.

We know Collin would have been very happy with this result, and we thank Collin’s family for their thoughtfulness and generosity in giving his books to the festival.


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Friends of the Festival


If you would like to become a Friend of Fowey Festival, there are three levels of membership:

Gold Life - £500.00
Annual Silver - £60.00
Annual Bronze - £30.00

For full details, go to the Fowey Festival website https://www.foweyfestival.com/friends

Becoming a friend of the Festival not only provides you with the benefits mentioned above but also helps support the Festival, for which the trustees and all those involved with producing the Festival are extremely grateful.


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  Fowey Festival 1997

A literary festival has taken place in Fowey for many years, the first being The Daphne du Maurier Festival of Arts and Literature in May 1997.  This was a community initiative which had the full support of the du Maurier Browning family and was timed to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Daphne’s birth. 

From then on it became a tradition that 13th May, Daphne’s birthday, would always be included within the dates of the festival.

That first festival provided the pattern for the future, with du Maurier-related walks, exhibitions, talks, plays and music events.  There was a national one-day conference on the subject of Daphne du Maurier and the Romance of Place, with speakers including Avril Horner, Sue Zlosnik and Helen Taylor. 

This was repeated on a much bigger scale in 2007, to celebrate Daphne du Maurier’s centenary, when a three-day international conference was held and concluded with a visit to Ferryside for all the delegates.

Over the years that followed the Daphne du Maurier Festival of Arts and Literature grew, under the direction of a small team of people from Restormel Borough Council led by Jonathan Aberdeen.  The centrepiece of the festival was a beautiful festival village, built on land belonging to Fowey Community College just beyond Fowey Hall Hotel. 

When the festival in Fowey began it was a rare and special event, which thrived through the good years of the 2000s.  But, as the decade drew to a close, a huge range of literary festivals all over the country gave people a greater choice of venue, and politics and the recession began to play their part in what was to become quite a struggle for survival. 

With the inception of a unitary authority in the county, Cornwall Council could no longer justify supporting the du Maurier Festival in isolation; funding was reduced and shortly after ceased. However a local group of enthusiastic people got together, incorporated themselves into a charity and the Fowey Festival of Words and Music was born. 

The festival became an altogether smaller event, located in various venues around the town, and, despite misgivings from many people, both local and visitors, has proved in the last few years to be very successful and financially sound.

The festival continues to grow in strength and content, under the direction of Brenda Daly and its board of trustees, and is enjoyed by all who come.  

 

The formula is still one of walks, exhibitions, talks, workshops, plays and music events but also includes an Art Trail, which gives local artists the opportunity to open their homes and studios to show their work.  Another popular addition in the Secret Gardens Programme, through which local people open their gardens to festival goers.  The festival also always makes a point of focusing on events to include children. 

In 2016 the name of the festival was tweaked slightly, to reflect more accurately what the festival does, and became the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature.  Despite Daphne du Maurier's name no longer being in the festival title she is still a vital part of the proceedings.

We can now confirm that the dates of the next Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature are 9th - 17th May 2025.  We will being you news of what you can look forward to and link you with the festival website, so that you can be completely up to date with all festival news.


www.foweyfestival.com