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Daphne du Maurier and Her Sisters

by Jane Dunn

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781349,472 (3.68)15
The Du Mauriers -- three beautiful, successful and rebellious sisters. Much has been written about Daphne but here the hidden lives of the sisters are revealed in a riveting group biography.

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"They grew old in their separate citadels but were united forever by bonds of family and place"
By sally tarbox on 31 January 2018
Format: Paperback
Fascinating biography of the three du Maurier sisters, born into celebrity and privilege at the turn of the century; Daddy was a charming and successful actor - he adored his children but was able to cut them down with a barbed comment, and as they grew up he sought to control their lives entirely, jealous of any suitors. His wife was also a former star of stage who had given it up to devote herself entirely to her husband. Remote, cold, she was perhaps jealous of Gerald's love for his favourite daughter, Daphne.

And into this world came the three girls: eldest Angela was hungry for affection and marriage, but as her father stymied any possible match, she turned to other women for love. Always considered the plainest, her later efforts at writing were as nothing compared to Daphne's (such that when asked if she was the writer, she answered 'no, just the sister'), yet despite her early years cowed by her family and her emotions, she broke away to live a very unconventional life.

Daphne was the beautiful one; her books were made into movies, she earned big money - and she was the only sister to marry and have children. Certainly she comes across at times as quite self-centred and ruthless, barely seeing her children while occupied with her work.. As her marriage to a much-decorated army man grew stale, she grew obsessive over certain women of her acquaintance, and channelled all her feelings into the Cornish hideaway she had created.

Youngest sister Jeanne was her mother's favourite; she became a painter and for much of the time took responsibility for caring for their elderly mother, before breaking away to live a life of art and gardening with her long-term love, a poetess.

The biography follows them from infancy to old age; from the influence of their parents through to the health problems of later life. Their interesting lives form a most readable biography. ( )
  starbox | Jan 31, 2018 |
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In celebration of all sisters, and particularly mine: Kari, Izzy, B, Trish and Sue (and our outnumbered brothers Marko and Andy)
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To be born a du Maurier was to be born with a silver tongue and to become part of a family of storytellers.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Du Mauriers -- three beautiful, successful and rebellious sisters. Much has been written about Daphne but here the hidden lives of the sisters are revealed in a riveting group biography.

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