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Daphne du Maurier

The official Daphne du Maurier website, approved by her Estate

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Fowey Christmas Market Friday 8th to Sunday 10th 2023

Fowey Christmas Market Logo

Don’t miss Fowey Christmas Market this weekend, Friday 8th to Sunday 10th December.   Make a point of visiting the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature stall on the stage in the Town Hall.  This year, the Festival is holding a raffle.  For a donation of as little as £2.00, you can enter the raffle to win ten tickets to events of your choice at Fowey Festival 2024.  This is a great prize, and I heartily recommend that you invest in a raffle ticket for this draw. 

A Date for Your Diaries

The Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature 2024 will take place from 10th – 18th May 2024, when we will again all meet up in Fowey for another interesting, entertaining, and fun-packed Festival in beautiful Cornwall.  The sun shone down on us for the whole of this year’s Festival, so let’s look forward to another sunny week in Fowey in 2024.


Results of the Auction of Daphne du Maurier Letters

At the end of last week, two letters written by Daphne du Maurier were included in the auction of Rare Books & Works on Paper at David Lay’s auction house in Lanner, Cornwall.  The letters had been most generously donated by a supporter of the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature and were auctioned to raise funds for the festival.

The letters were sold as two separate lots, and we are pleased to be able to tell you that each letter sold for £250.00.  Because the letters were being sold on behalf of Fowey Festival, which is a charity,  David Lay Auctioneers did not charge any sellers commission, which was extremely kind of them.  This means that the sale of the letters has raided £500.00 for the festival and will be put to good use as the programme comes together ready for May 2024.


Just to remind you that two Daphne du Maurier letters are to be auctioned in Cornwall on Thursday 30th November

David Lay auction logo

The David Lay auction of Rare Books & Works on Paper takes place on Thursday 30th November, at 10am.  Two wonderful letters written by Daphne du Maurier in the 1970s go under the hammer at this auction, and the sales will raise money for the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature.

If you would like to be the proud owner of a letter written by Daphne du Maurier, and who wouldn’t, make sure you have registered with David Lay so that you can bid.  The letters are being auctioned as two separate lots and are numbers 241 and 242.

You can attend the auction in person or online, and you can bid in the room, by telephone or by sending in bids before the day.  

To view the auction online and to register so that you can bid, please click here:

For more details, you can click on our original article about the auction here


November 2023 - Two Daphne du Maurier letters to be auctioned in Cornwall this month

Daphne leaning on a gate image

Daphne du Maurier on a walk across the land around Kilmarth

We have some very exciting news for you.  On 30th November, David Lay Auctions in Cornwall will be auctioning two wonderful letters written by Daphne du Maurier from her home, Kilmarth, and dated 1971 and 1977.  They are being sold as two separate lots.  To find out everything you need to know, and to get bidding, please click here


The Fowey Festival Quiz Night was a Great Success – Thank you

Quiz logo

The fundraising quiz at the Safe Harbour yesterday evening was great fun and went really well.  The evening made nearly £200.00 for Fowey Festival.  Between the two fundraising quizzes for Fowey Festival that have taken place at the Safe Harbour this year, in July and September, the total raised was nearly £500.00.  This is splendid because Fowey Festival is a charity, which means that all the money needed to hold the yearly festival is made through fundraising.  

A huge thank you to Graham, Gill and everyone at the Safe Harbour for supporting Fowey Festival.


Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature - Quiz Night 12th September 2023

Quiz logo

Come and join us at the Safe Harbour Inn, Fowey on Tuesday 12th September, at 8pm, for a quiz night to raise funds for Fowey Festival.   There is a quiz at the Safe Harbour every Tuesday evening, and every so often, the pub holds a charity quiz night for a cause or organisation dear to the hearts of the people of Fowey. 

Picture of the raffle prizes

A selection of the raffle prizes that you can win at the Safe Harbour quiz night, raising funds for Fowey Festival

To find out more, please click here.  We look forward to seeing you there.


Fowey Festival Quiz Night at the Safe Harbour, Fowey

On Tuesday evening, the Safe Harbour in Fowey held a Charity Quiz Night to raise money for the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature.  The event was really well attended and a whole lot of fun.  Many teams took part, and there was a raffle with lots of fabulous prizes.  The evening raised £286.00 for the Festival, which was a fantastic result. 

Thank you to everyone who came and joined in and to the organisers who made the evening such a success.  An extra special thank you goes to Graham and Gill for holding the event in their wonderful pub and for providing the winners prizes.

There will be another Quiz Night fundraiser for Fowey Festival on Tuesday 12th September, so make a note of the date, and we look forward to seeing you then.


Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature - Quiz Night 25th July 2023

Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature are holding a quiz night at the Safe Harbour Inn on Tuesday 25th July, at 8pm. 

This is to raise money for the Festival, which is a charity, so all money to hold the yearly festival is made through fundraising. 

If you live locally or are in the area on holiday, come along and join in.  You are certain to have a fun evening.

Entry to the quiz is £2 per person.  I have seen the raffle prizes, and they are fabulous, so bring along a few extra coins so that you can buy some raffle tickets and be in with a chance of winning some of these amazing prizes.

There is a quiz at the Safe Harbour every Tuesday at 8pm, and every so often, the pub holds a charity quiz night for a cause or organisation dear to the hearts of the people of Fowey. 

The Safe Harbour is at 58 Lostwithiel Street, Fowey, telephone 01726 833379. 

We look forward to seeing you there.


A Round-Up of Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature 12th – 20th May 2023

The 25th Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature has come to an end, and we thank everyone responsible for making the event such a great success.  The sun shone on Fowey for the entire Festival and a good time was had by all.  To read an article giving you highlights of the Festival, please click here. 


Fowey Festival Awards for Young Writers and Artists Presentation Day

Winners of the Fowey Festival Young Writers and Artists Awards Competition attended a workshop following their Awards Ceremony on Saturday 29th April.  At the workshop, led by Cornwall-based artist Sean Hewitt, the children created a beautiful collaborative piece of art which they called Lemon Sails.  To read more about the Awards Ceremony and workshop, please click here.

Lemon Sails

Lemon Sails will be displayed in Fowey River Gallery shortly and will be auctioned during Festival Week to raise funds for the Festival.



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 is gently growing 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 10th - 18th May 2024.  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.