Title: Daphne du Maurier by Margaret Forster
Comments: Margaret Forster's well-researched biography comprehensively and sensitively attempts to portray the enigma of author Daphne du Maurier. The daughter of a renowned actor and theatre-manager and grand-daughter of a famous illustrator and novelist, Daphne inherits her forebears artistic talents but not their sociable nature. From an early age she prefers living on her own in a remote corner of Cornwell rather than partying with the debutantes of her day. Her first novel was inspired as much by finances as artistic talent - although her parents would always provide her with an allowance, her own income allowed her to live how and where she wanted. Yet she never defined herself a feminist. A passionate, prickly and troubled soul, Daphne spent her life confused by her bisexual feelings and need for solitude. Nonetheless she married and had a family but sadly continued her forebears tradition of favouring her son over her two daughters. Her talent and generosity, however, were renowned and she contributed almost as much to the preservation of her corner of Cornwell as to English literature.