Rebecca, published in 1938, brought its author instant international acclaim, capturing the popular imagination with its haunting atmosphere of suspense and mystery. du Maurier was immediately established as the queen of the psychological thriller. But the more fame this and her other books encouraged, the more reclusive Daphne du Maurier became.
Margaret Forster's award-winning biography could hardly be more worthy of its subject. Drawing on private letters and papers, and with the unflinching co-operation of Daphne du Maurier's family, Margaret Forster explores the secret drama of her life - the stifling relationship with her father, actor-manager Gerald du Maurier; her troubled marriage to war hero and royal aide, 'Boy' Browning; her wartime love affair; her passion for Cornwall and her deep friendships with the last of her father's actress loves, Gertrude Lawrence, and with an aristocratic American woman.
Most significant of all, Margaret Forster ingeniously strips away the relaxed and charming facade to lay bare the true workings of a complex and emotional character whose passionate and often violent stories mirrored her own fantasy life more than anyone could ever have imagined.
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Altogether a model biography - human sympathy tempered with honesty and spiced with real intelligence - Observer
A startlingly good biography - The Times
Convincing throughout ... Margaret Forster's interpretation of her subject is so complete and so persuasive that it leaves nothing for the reader to do except admire and enjoy - Independent on Sunday
Forster's acute and sensitive book succeeds on many levels ... Its most important achievement is to disprove the highbrow assumption that bestsellers are shallow ... and do not ... engage the depths of the psyche - Sunday Times
Margaret Forster can do no wrong ... The story is as gripping as Rebecca, as full of surprises as My Cousin Rachel ... affectionate, honest, unsentimental and perceptive - Daily Mail
It is an enthralling story, expertly and sympathetically told - Good Book Guide
Born in Carlisle, Margaret Forster is the author of many successful novels - including Lady's Maid, Have the Men Had Enough?, The Memory Box, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, Keeping the World Away and most recently Over - as well as bestselling memoirs, and biographies of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Daphne du Maurier. She is married to writer and journalist Hunter Davies and lives in London and the Lake District.