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Celebrating the day Daphne du Maurier was born – May 13, 1907

 

       


Today the Daphne du Maurier website takes great pleasure in reminding you that this is the day that our much-loved writer Daphne du Maurier was born.  This year we celebrate her birthday with some of the opening words from Tatiana de Rosnay’s biography of Daphne du Maurier, Manderley Forever (published in the UK by Allen & Unwin in 2017).

When Tatiana began to write her biography, she went to Regent’s Park in search of Daphne’s first home.  Here is what she said:

To the east of the park are the Terraces, quiet residential streets where rows of identical terraced houses stretch towards the horizon, perfectly symmetrical.  Chester Terrace is the longest, Clarence Terrace the shortest; Park Crescent is formed in a graceful semi-circle.  The one I have come to see this morning is the most imposing of all: Cumberland Terrace.  I read that it dates from 1826 and comprises about thirty houses.  It is located between the Outer Circle, the street that borders the park, and Albany Street.

It is not especially easy to find.  Despite my map, I get lost several times before spotting its neoclassical façade from a distance.  I walk through the rain towards it, impressed by its immense size and its famous Wedgwood blue pediment.  I daren’t move any closer.  I feel as if I am being watched.  What would I say to one of the building’s inhabitants if they came out to ask me why I was taking photographs?

I could say, quite simply, that I am here for her, that I am following the footsteps of her life, and this is where the journey begins.  Because it was here at number 24, under these huge ivory columns, behind that white door, that Daphne du Maurier was born on May 13, 1907. (Manderley Forever - part one pages 3-4).

 

       


While you are thinking about Daphne today, why not take Manderley Forever from your bookshelves and read a little, or chose a passage from your favourite du Maurier novel, especially if you are joining in the Daphne du Maurier Reading Week this week. (https://www.dumaurier.org/news_details.php?id=779&nc=2).

Happy Birthday, Daphne.


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