In London on May 13, 1907, Daphne du Maurier was the second of three daughters to be born into the du Maurier household. As the daughter of actor-manager, George du Maurier, and actress, Muriel Beaumont, du Maurier was exposed to both literary and artistic accomplishments at a very young age, making it no surprise that she too, would demonstrate an active imagination and love of reading very early on (Kelly). This exposure, along with her education in London and Paris, provided her with the knowledge and talent to write, which ultimately led to her first publication in Bystander Magazine, as well as a contract with a literary agent, as a teenager.

In years following, du Maurier published her first full-length novel, The Loving Spirit, which brought her immediate success as well as the romantic attention of Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick “Boy” Browning. After reading her novel, he sailed to Fowey to meet her and married her a year after the book’s publication date in 1932 (Daphne du Maurier Biography). The couple was married for thirty-three years, up until Browning’s death in 1965. Although the couple had three children together, Tessa, Flavia, and Christian, the marriage suffered some difficulties, due to du Maurier’s supposed secret bisexuality, although she denied the fact (Daphne du Maurier Biography). It wasn’t revealed until after her death in 1989, however, that du Maurier had participated in an extramarital affair with actress Gertrude Lawrence and had professed an attraction to Ellen Doubleday, the wife of her American publisher.

According to her biographer, Margaret Forster, du Maurier viewed herself as two distinct individuals: first a wife and mother, and second, a lover, comprised of male energy. These two “beings” inspired her creative process (Daphne du Maurier Biography).


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