Oriel Malet - Author of Letters From Menabilly passes away
'Kits' Browning has brought to our attention the sad news that Oriel Malet, author of "Daphne du Maurier - Letters from Menabilly - Portrait of a Friendship", has died at her home in France aged ninety four. Oriel was a dear friend of Daphne's and indeed, a close friend to us all in the family. Her book of Daphne's letters from Menabilly has been much enjoyed by all and is a wonderful way of understanding Daphne's sense of humour.
"I'm delighted that Oriel was able to attend one of the first 'Daphne du Maurier Literary Festivals' held in Fowey and that she was able to visit us here at Ferryside. She was a lovely lady and will be sadly missed." - Kits Browning.
Lady Auriel Rosemary Malet Vaughan was an author of literary fiction and biographies who wrote under the name of Oriel Malet. Her parents were Ernest Edmund Henry Malet Vaughan, 7th Earl of Lisburne and Maria Isabel Regina Aspasia de Bittencourt. Her godmother was the French actress and singer Yvonne Arnaud, whom Malet wrote about in her book "Marraine: A Portrait of My Godmother" (1961).
After spending her childhood in Wales, Malet wrote her first book at the age of 17, "Trust in the Springtime", which was published in 1943. This was followed by "My Bird Sings" (1946) for which she was awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in the same year. Among her other works is a fictionalised biography of Marjory Fleming, the child poet and writer, written when Malet was 20. "Marjory Fleming" was originally published in 1946, and was reprinted by Persephone Books in 2000. Malet has spent much of her life in France, and after initially moving to Paris, she lived in Normandy where she resided, in Eure.
Malet was a close friend of the author Daphne du Maurier. Their friendship is documented in the book "Letters from Menabilly: Portrait of a Friendship" (1994), a collection of du Maurier's letters to Malet over the course of 30 years, as well as Malet's accompanying commentary.