Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Classics Challenge: Daphne du Maurier

"I have no talent for making new friends, but oh such genius for fidelity to old ones." ~ Daphne du Maurier

Our classical author for the month of October is Daphne du Maurier, a famous English author. Daphne was the daughter of a well-known actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and actress Muriel Beaumont. Her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published at the age of twenty-four.

The novel Daphne is most remembered for is Rebecca, published in 1938. It sold three million copies between 1938 and 1965 and has never gone out of print. Rebecca, as well as other of Daphne's novels, have been adapted into film including this month's read, Jamaica Inn.

People coined Daphne a "romantic novelist"--a title that she despised. Which is understandable, since none of her stories had traditional happy endings.

Daphne died at the age of eight-one in 1989. She was succeeded by three children, as well has her literary works: short stories, novels, plays, and film.

Writerly Things to Learn from Daphne du Maurier:

1. Use your connections. Coming from a celebrity family, Daphne ran in elite circles. Using her mother's magazine, Bystander, she published her very first short stories. Her literary career boomed from that point onward.

2. Be careful of plagiarism. Daphne was accused of plagiarism in two of her works: Rebecca and The Birds. While it didn't hurt Rebecca's sales, it didn't help Daphne's reputation. If you're dubious about whether you're copying someone else's idea. Stick to the safe side of the street and write something else.

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