Thursday, April 5, 2012

Reading A to Z: D is for Daphne du Maurier

In the 8th grade, I was one of the lucky ones who got to choose my reading book from a special list. One of the books that I read and that became one of my all-time favorites was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. The other one was Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

I fell madly in love with that book. I have read it numerous times, since. I have watched the Alfred Hitchcock movie dozens of times. It became a family favorite. We had almost a family phone tree, so that when it was on, my father, my uncle, my grandmother and I were all notified.

I am also a huge Hitchcock fan. So, when I found out that his movie The Birds was actually based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier, I started to seek out more of her books. I found Jamaica Inn at an antique store. That one was also turned into an Alfred Hitchcock movie. In fact, it was Maureen O'Hara's first starring role. (I wrote an article about the Hitchcock-du Maurier connection. You can read it here.)

As the years have gone on, I have always kept an eye out for more Daphne du Maurier books. She had a great sense of suspense and macabre. I am sure I am not the first who thinks of her as an earlier female version of Stephen King. I see elements of her in his writing, now that I have read more of her works. In fact, I believe I once read that he considered her one of his inspirations or influences or something like that. Her short story collection Don't Look Now is the one that first made me realize this about her.

But I refuse to purchase a brand new copy of her books. She is a classic author from many decades ago. There is something magical about holding an older copy. My most cherished ones are two that belonged to my great-grandmother. One of them later went to my great uncle. Another one went to my grandmother and then my father. I received both of them after my father passed away. In fact, I was starting Rule Britannia the night that my father passed away. I haven't touched it since, but I would like to read it very soon.

Which Daphne du Maurier books have you read or do you recommend? Does she remind you of any other writers? As always, you can click on any of the book covers for more information.


  1. I must add Daphne du Maurier to my list as my husband and I enjoy late dreamy nights with Hitchcock films(certainly have not seen enough).

    I love Bronte and Austen and feel very fortunate to have explored such literature as a young woman.

    I love the theme you have here.

    Nice to meet you!


Due to tremendous amounts of spam, all comments are moderated and will be approved and published throughout the day.