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Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne du…

Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne du Maurier

by Tatiana de Rosnay

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
After reading Manderley Forever, I put a photo of Daphne du Maurier on my desk. I think Daphne and I would’ve been good friends. At least, I’d like to think so. Or maybe I would have just trailed behind her like a puppy, begging for a modicum of her affection. Tatiana de Rosnay’s biography shows her admiration and her respect for Daphne, too. I think if I had been able to meet Daphne while she was alive, I would have been enamored but also somewhat intimidated.

The biography de Rosnay has created is enthralling. Daphne du Maurier was a complex, non-conformist, reclusive writer who eschewed contact with fans and the media. I enjoyed reading about her life with the backdrop of the development of her novels, how her love for Cornwall, or her travels abroad, affected her writing or inspired various storylines. I played a game while reading trying to guess which novel was coming next. I learned a lot about Daphne – what inspired her, what motivated her, who captured her heart.

De Rosnay handles Daphne's various loves, those fulfilled and those unrequited, with grace and compassion. Manderley Forever gives insight into the life of this beloved novelist who was often written off by critics as only a best-selling romance writer. She was enigmatic, and her novels were darker and more complicated than she was often given credit for. Her alter ego, Eric Avon, was Daphne as her most genuine, and de Rosnay explores that side of Daphne with wonder.

I appreciated the multi-faceted character de Rosnay gives her readers. She shows Daphne's darker side, her temperamental personality, but also her loyalty and devotion to family and life-long friends. Her peccadilloes are all there in the open, which only serves the book's legitimacy. Daphne had an obsessive personality, often inexplicably drawn to places or people that she would cling to tenaciously, but she also suffered from social anxiety, hiding from fans who came to Menabilly seeking autographs. Her life story was well-researched, but more importantly, it was written with care and love, which shows on every page. Manderley Forever has inspired me to read all the du Maurier novels I haven't yet read, now that I know the story and inspiration behind the tales.

Highly recommended for du Maurier fans, and for those just beginning to discover her.

My gratitude to Netgalley, Tatiana de Rosnay, and St. Martin’s Press for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  ErickaS | May 2, 2018 |
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Admittedly I have never read a book written by Daphne du Maurier even though Rebecca has been on my TBR forever. So I was a little nervous going in to this biography of her. The few biographies I have read in the past of other people have been kind of hard for me to get through. This book couldn't have been more different. Almost from the beginning I was hooked onto the way the author decided to write the bio. It felt more like a novel than the standard repetition of names, places, dates, etc. The book is divided into sections based on where Daphne's main place of residence was. Because Daphne put so much stock into the places she stayed and went I thought this was the perfect way to go about it. The author did a marvelous job of transporting me to the time and place she was writing about so I felt very close to Daphne throughout the book. I loved seeing all of the connections that I never knew about. For example, the du Maurier's are cousins of the Llewellyn-Davies brothers that J.M. Barrie based Peter Pan on. I also did not know that Daphne is the original author of The Birds, which Alfred Hitchcock appeared to take several liberties with along with a few other pieces of Daphne's work that he had adapted for the screen. There were so many things about this book that I loved that its hard to write about them all in one review. There were only a few times I found it to be a bit slow but overall I very much enjoyed reading this biography. I have since added many of Daphne's works to my never ending TBR.
Reviewed on The Worn Bookmark ( )
  pennma05 | Jan 29, 2018 |
Comprehensive biography of Daphne du Maurier including speculations on probable lesbian relationship with school headmistress.
  ritaer | Jan 18, 2018 |
I loved this biography of Daphne duMaurier. Tatiana de Rosnay did excellent job researching this interesting author. I found Daphne to be a fascinating and complicated person. I learned a lot of information about her family including her French grandfather and sister who were writers, her father who was an actor, and her other sister who was an artist. Daphne was blond and beautiful and had many suitors, including other females, an uncle and lots of males. She was married to Frederick 'Boy' Browning who was a military leader at Arnhem against the Germans and mentioned in the book and movie, A Bridge Too Far. They had 3 children and many grandchildren. Daphne wrote her most famous books while living at Manabilly Mansion in Cornwell which became her Manderley in her well-known novel, Rebecca. If you love biographies about famous people, you should read this one. I have included some of her history in my review but the book has lots more information that will interest you for sure. I look forward to reading more of her novels in the future. ( )
  EadieB | Jul 25, 2017 |
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Goodreads FirstReads in exchange for an honest review.*

I didn’t know a ton about Daphne du Maurier, but I absolutely love Rebecca and have been planning to read more of her works for a while now. I was thrilled when I won a copy of her biography on Goodreads, because I love learning more about authors’ lives and getting a sense of how their books were created. Manderley Forever does not disappoint. It’s clear that Tatiana de Rosnay loves du Maurier, and she treats this biography with a large amount of respect, very much making this biography a sort of homage to Daphne du Maurier.

Before each section of the biography, Tatiana de Rosnay follows in Daphne’s footsteps and brings us back to the present, describing the places where Daphne used to live as we can now see them today, and then she moves right along to Daphne’s story. This is one of my favorite parts of this biography; I love that de Rosnay took the time to visit France and Cornwall and describes how they look now to us. I felt like I was right there with her, viewing the places where Daphne used to live, nostalgically wondering how she must have seen and viewed them. It’s not a typical thing to include in a biography, but it’s an absolutely wonderful addition.

The biography itself is told from Daphne’s perspective in present tense, which lends a sense of immediacy and intimacy to the narrative. Rather than being told dry facts and dates, de Rosnay tells a story, borrowing heavily from Daphne’s journal to recreate thoughts and conversations, and allows the reader to be right there with Daphne as she hides from the crowd of people at her parents’ parties and travels to France for the first time. It was exciting to learn more about this author, how she thought, and who she considered to be friends. I had no idea she was so well connected in the literary and social world, though I should have suspected, given that women at this time had limited means to become prolific novelists.

Overall, this is an enchanting biography that includes all of the fun, exciting parts about meeting and getting to know a person better. Tatiana de Rosnay’s melding of research and story is masterful; I didn’t feel as though I were reading a biography, but rather as though I were meeting a new friend. I highly recommend this book to all fans of biographies, and most especially for those who want to learn more about the author of Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel.

Also posted on Purple People Readers. ( )
  sedelia | Jul 18, 2017 |
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"As a thirteen-year-old de Rosnay read and reread Rebecca, becoming a lifelong devotee of Du Maurier's fiction. Now de Rosnay pays homage to the writer who influenced her so deeply, following Du Maurier from a shy seven-year-old, a rebellious sixteen-year-old, a twenty-something newlywed, and finally a cantankerous old woman."--… (more)

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