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Enchanted Cornwall
Hi, does anyone know why this ‘Pictorial Memoir’ in which she wrote in detail is not mentioned in her bibliography here or in Margaret Forster’s biography? Forster says she stopped writing at the end so when was this book written?
Wed 24/04/24 08:40 AM
Hi Eleanor, Thank you for your question. Daphne du Maurier: Enchanted Cornwall - Her Pictorial Memoir was published in 1989. Daphne died in April 1989, and for some time before that, she was very frail and poorly and certainly no longer able to write. So, this book, which says Piers Dudgeon edited it, was a collaboration between Kits Browning, Daphne’s son, and Piers but used a lot of text that Daphne had written over the years. Because of the way it is presented to us, we still feel as if we are reading something that Daphne has written, but in actual fact, she would not really have been involved in the production and publishing of what could be regarded as her last book. This is why it is not included in her bibliography. Piers and Kits also produced an abridged version of this book. They called it Daphne du Maurier’s Cornwall: Her Pictorial Memoir (so the same title without the words - Enchanted Cornwall), published in 1995. Piers went on to write two more books relating to the du Maurier family, firstly Captivated: J.M. Barrie, the du Mauriers & the Dark Side of Neverland in 2008 and The Real Peter Pan: The Tragic Life of Michael Llewelyn Davies, in 2015 (Michael Davies was one of Daphne’s cousins). I hope this resolves your question. Ann Willmore (on behalf of the Daphne du Maurier website)Posted on Wed 24/04/24 08:43 AM
I’ve read the same somewhere. In Margaret Forster’s biography it says she denied having written some of her own books and reasons that perhaps it was an act of self-denial, because she was mourning the loss of her writing career - this isn’t a direct answer to your question but maybe shows her attitude to what she did/didn’t write was influenced by more than memory loss. Posted on Wed 24/04/24 08:45 AM
Thank you so much Ann, this is incredibly helpful. I was actually planning on quoting the book in my dissertation - so just to check, the things written in it were things Daphne herself had already written over the years?Posted on Wed 24/04/24 09:28 AM
Hi Eleanor, As you will realise, quite a big part of the text of Enchanted Cornwall is made up of sections of text from Daphne’s Cornish fiction. Additionally, her words have been used, taken from other pieces of her writing, for example, some of her factual pieces. In many ways, the most important paragraph in the book to consider is the last paragraph of Daphne’s foreword to the book, when she describes Piers Dudgeon as ‘more than an editor’. He really worked very hard to produce a book that, to all who read it, provided them one last chance to read something more that Daphne had written. He must have read a huge amount of Daphne’s canon of work and built up a comprehensive account in order to produce the book using what Daphne had written earlier on. I think the more you read Daphne’s writing, the more you will recognise her words in Enchanted Cornwall. As I already mentioned, in reality, she was very fragile by the late 1980s, and Piers did all the work on the book in collaboration with Daphne’s son, Kits. I think if you bear that in mind, it would be interesting, and a little different, to quote Enchanted Cornwall in your dissertation. Ann Willmore.Posted on Thu 25/04/24 09:43 PM

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