I am a fan of Alfred Hitchcock and was blown away by the fact that his film The Birds was based on the 1952 short story by Daphne Du Maurier. Why should I have been surprised? She was a writer, playwright and poet who balanced her career with a wonderful family life.
I read about her while at school when doing a paper about Trilby which is a book written by her paternal grandfather. It is interesting that her book Rebecca was not mentioned in the class while her grandfather’s was, but there’s a lot of specialization in the University. If you want to focus on a specific period, you take a specific class. Anyway, I had read then that she wrote gothic romance and thrillers that include paranormal elements.
Du Maurier wrote 17 novels, 3 plays and many collections of short stories according to the website that is dedicated to her life and work www.dumaurier.org.
- 1931- The Loving Spirit
- 1936 – The Jamaica Inn A young woman moves in with her uncle and aunt into an inn that turns out to hold intrigue and adventure.
- 1938 – Rebecca – A young wife has to contend with her new husband’s haunted household.
- 1941- Frenchman’s Creek – A noble woman has a love affair with a French pirate in this historical romance.
- 1951- My Cousin Rachel – A man falls in love with a woman who might have killed someone for his inheritance.
- 1952 – The Apple Tree – Collection of short stories which contains “The Birds.”
- 1957 – The Scapegoat – Two men exchange places because they closely resemble each other causing intrigue.
As a bibliophile who is very interested in exploring all types of fiction written by women, I am very excited about this list. It seems an exciting time to read since there are so many outlets for free or largely discounted eBooks. Also, just looking at it reminds me of some movies that were made based upon her work.
These are some that might interest you:
- The Birds (1963) Hitchcock
- The Scapegoat (1959) w/ Bette Davis
- Jamaica Inn (1939) Hitchcock
- Rebecca (1997) Television mini-series
- My Cousin Rachel (1952) Hitchcock
It seems like she was the mistress to the “master of suspense.” What a great author of genre fiction.
Happy reading! Remember what they say, reading makes for great writing.
Next up: Patricia Bradley, crime fiction author.