A short account of Daphne du Maurier’s life and works 1907-1989
An introduction to Daphne du Maurier, prepared for the Cultural Centre, Platres, Cyprus, written by Ann Willmore, and now shared with all of you on the Daphne du Maurier website.
Early in the Spring of 2019, I received an e-mail from a woman called Corrine Twining, a Cornishwoman living in Cyprus, who was involved with a project to revive the mountain villages of the Troodos. A great deal of money has been spent on setting up a Cultural Centre in Platres, the most famous village and one which has a fascinating link with Daphne du Maurier. She was contacting me on behalf of Panayiotis Papadopoulos, Mayor of Platres, where the new Cultural Centre would open in the Summer.
Corrine asked me to provide information about Daphne du Maurier for use at the new Cultural Centre because it was in Platres that Daphne stayed with her husband Tommy, small daughter Tessa and their Nanny Margaret Eglesfield, during the time that they were based in Egypt when Tommy was Commanding Officer of the second battalion of the Grenadier Guards at the army headquarters in Alexandria. Little is written about this break in Platres, although both Margaret Forster, in her biography about Daphne du Maurier, and Richard Mead, in his biography about General Browning, do refer to it.
The Browning family stayed at the Forest Park Hotel in September 1936 for over four weeks. We know this because of a charming entry in the book of signatures of the Forest Park Hotel which states, in Daphne’s handwriting:
We have spent four and a half happy peaceful weeks at the Forest Park Hotel, and wish the management every success in the future.
Both Daphne and Tommy signed the message. Unfortunately, someone has subsequently typed their details at the lower edge of the page and incorrectly put Tommy’s name as Col. M. A. Browning, when it should have said Col. F. A. Browning. However, the sentiment is delightful and the information regarding their stay confirmed.
To comply with Corrine’s request, I sent a pack of information which included:
1). Daphne du Maurier’s UK Bibliography, taken from her bibliography here on the Daphne du Maurier website.
2). Some interesting facts about Daphne du Maurier and her family and ancestors, some of which are already included on the website and others which will appear during the coming weeks and months.
3). A short account of Daphne du Maurier’s life and works 1907 – 1989.
I hope this information will be of interest and value to people using the Cultural Centre in Platres and encourage further interest in Daphne du Maurier and her work.
Corinne and I agree that this information should also be shared with a wider audience through the Daphne du Maurier website, so what follows is the biographical account of Daphne du Maurier that I wrote for the Cultural Centre in Platres and which is now available for you to enjoy.