Five new stories alter our view of Daphne du Maurier

From The Telegraph:

Du_maurier_main_1878275f Daphne du Maurier valued secrecy. In 1993, Margaret Forster’s haunting biography of the author drew on unprecedented access to personal letters, but was published with a picture of du Maurier on the dust-jacket cropped across the mouth. She would not give up all her secrets, not even to a fellow writer as subtle and talented as Forster. Like the Cornish house, Menabilly, which she loved all her adult life and immortalised as Manderley in Rebecca, du Maurier’s personal and creative life are cunningly hidden from view. Except that, once in a while, as though she were controlling the plot of her posthumous reputation from beyond the grave, another intriguing set of clues turns up and the certainties shift again.

Daphne du Maurier was born in 1907; the daughter of the theatre critic Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of the novelist George du Maurier. She resolved to become a writer in her late teens and in her early twenties left London for the isolation of Fowey, on the south Cornish coast. Of du Maurier’s earliest short stories, Forster wrote: “All have one striking thing in common: the male characters are thoroughly unpleasant. They are bullies, seducers and cheats. The women, in contrast, are pitifully weak creatures who are endlessly dominated and betrayed, never capable of saving themselves and having only the energy just to survive.” In recent years, five new early stories have been discovered by a committed du Maurier fan and collector, Ann Willmore, co-owner of the shop Bookends of Fowey. These stories present some strong female characters more than capable of challenging or oppressing their unpleasant male counterparts.

More here.