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Christmas Treats - Special editions of some of Daphne du Maurierís most loved books


Chelsea Book Fair - Nov 2023

The ABA Chelsea Rare Book Fair - November 2023


Wouldnít it be good to receive a book written by Daphne du Maurier for Christmas or to give one to someone who loves her work?  During Daphneís long writing career, she wrote a vast range of fiction and non-fiction.  Searching out copies of Daphne's books is great fun and putting together a collection of her books is a fascinating thing to do. 

While in London to see the musical of Rebecca recently, we also attended the ABA Chelsea Rare Book Fair, an annual event which takes place in the Old Town Hall, Chelsea, on the first weekend of November.  Book dealers, who are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA), come together from across the UK and further afield to exhibit their finest books and ephemera.

As always, there were a number of first editions of Daphne du Maurierís books for sale.  Among others, we saw copies of Rebecca and Jamaica Inn, without dust wrappers and a copy of Mary Anne with its dust wrapper.  However, most exciting was a first edition copy of Frenchmanís Creek in dust wrapper, in good plus condition and selling for a very fair price of £550.00.


Frenchman's Creek - first edition 1941

Frenchman's Creek - First edition, 1941


First editions of Frenchmanís Creek in their original dust wrappers are incredibly difficult to find, and condition is often not good.  This is because the book was originally published in 1941, so during World War II, when wartime shortages meant that good quality paper was in short supply.  Daphne du Maurierís publisher, Victor Gollancz, used less good quality paper and smaller typeface in order to use less paper so that he could continue to publish during the most difficult of times.  This does mean that some of his books have not survived very well, making his wartime Daphne du Maurier titles less easy to find.

The beautiful copy of Frenchmanís Creek at the Chelsea Book Fair was on the stand for John Atkinson Fine and Rare Books of Harrogate.  On returning home, I looked him up on the internet.  To my amazement, he had twenty-four du Maurier titles, one George du Maurier and twenty-three Daphne du Maurier, mainly first editions, including an incredible three copies of Frenchmanís Creek, among other scarce titles.

If any of you are looking for a Christmas present to give to someone who loves the works of Daphne du Maurier, or indeed you would like to treat yourself, John Atkinson would be a great place to start, if you are looking for something really special.  As well as the copies of Frenchmanís Creek, his stock includes a signed copy of September Tide, a first edition of The Loving Spirit without dust wrapper and a first edition copy of Rebecca in dust wrapper with a letter written by Daphne.

Johnís contact details are:

John Atkinson Fine and Rare Books, 5 Royal Parade, Harrogate, HG1 2SZ
Tel: 01423561461

Email: info@johnatkinsonbooks.co.uk

Website: https://johnatkinsonbooks.co.uk

Johnís books are also available for sale at AbeBooks (https://abebooks.co.uk, https://abebooks.com), where you will also find many other book dealers who sell books written by Daphne du Maurier at a wide variety of prices and in varying levels of condition.

Why not have a look and perhaps treat yourself or ask for a Daphne du Maurier book for Christmas this year.

 For more information on buying and collecting second-hand books written by Daphne du Maurier, read our article Collecting Daphne du Maurier, please click here https://www.dumaurier.org/menu_page.php?id=172.



Ann Willmore, November 2023.



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