Daphne du Maurier Daphne du Maurier

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Edwardian Children to Modern Women: The Friendship of Foy Quiller-Couch, Daphne du Maurier, Clara Vyvyan and Oenone Rashleigh by Jane Prince


From left to right - Oenone Rashleigh, Foy Quiller-Couch, Morwenna Rashleigh, Betty Symondson, Anna Hanson, Jenny Porter, Jennifer Rashleigh. 

It is likely that this image was taken by Daphne du Maurier.

(We apologise for the poor quality of this lovely old photograph).


The website www.arthurquillercouch.com is a superb resource for information about the great Cornishman Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch and his extended family.  It is also a good source of information for anyone interested in other people within the Quiller-Couch circle.

We are delighted to have been asked if we would like to include a link to a new paper from that website with you, and, having read it, I cannot wait to share it with you.

The paper, Edwardian Children to Modern Women: The Friendship of Foy Quiller-Couch, Daphne du Maurier, Clara Vyvyan and Oenone Rashleigh, is an exceptional piece of writing which brings together four extraordinary women whose friendships lasted from their initial introductions to the end of their lives. 

Much has been written about Daphne du Maurier and considerably less about the other three women.  However, this paper brings us a new perspective, provides us with some fascinating insights into all four women and shares a side to Daphne that is often overlooked.

Here is Jane’s introduction to her paper:

The friendship between Foy Quiller-Couch, Daphne du Maurier, Clara, Lady Vyvyan and Oenone Rashleigh at first seems surprising given the difference in their ages (Clara Vyvyan was born in 1885 and Oenone Rashleigh not until 1915; Foy Quiller-Couch was born in 1899 and Daphne du Maurier in 1907) and their varying backgrounds:  Foy Quiller-Couch was the daughter of Cambridge professor and writer Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch and lived the quiet life of a Victorian unmarried daughter at home, in Fowey, Cornwall; Daphne du Maurier, the daughter of actor/manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and actress Muriel Beaumont, came from a sophisticated, theatrical, largely urban and cosmopolitan background; Clara Coltman Rogers, Lady Vyvyan, was born in Queensland, Australia, qualified as a social worker in London, and became a travel writer, undertaking intrepid journeys across the globe; Oenone Rashleigh came from a traditional, long-established, land-owning Cornish county family.  This study examines the friendship between the four women, why it endured into their old age and what they had in common, and how their lives reflected a struggle for freedom from parental control and the shackles of convention of their childhood, towards being independent women in a modern world.   

To continue reading, please visit the Arthur Quiller-Couch website where the article will be found in the section’ studies’.



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