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In this memoir the author paints a portrait of her mother, Daphne du Maurier. She presents an account of an unusual and often lonely childhood spent in London and in Cornwall at her mother's beloved house, Menabilly. Family friends included Gertrude Lawrence and Noel Coward, and Nelson and Ellen Doubleday. However at the centre of this story is Daphne du Maurier herself. This book reveals a writer who had a deep attachment to Cornwall, where she put down her roots and found inspiration for her novels, and who spent much of her life as a recluse, withdrawn not only from the outside world but also from members of her own family. A picture emerges of a woman who lived in a world of her own creation that was beyond the comprehension of those around her.
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Since the revelations of Margaret Forster's biography of Daphne du Maurier, it has been difficult to look at du Maurier in the light in which she wished to be seen. We now know of her depressions and self-contempt, of the extent to which her career and her obsession with being a perfect wife and mother were a way of proving to her dead father that she was worthy of him. To her children, of course, she hardly seemed driven at all, and this is an attractive memoir because it makes clear to us that what was won at so terrible a cost was at least some sort of victory. The sheer ordinariness of Flavia Lang's sense of her mother is a tribute of a kind --a happiness so successfully mimicked has its own reality. Of course there are ironies here--Mrs. Lang manages to maintain a blissful naivete about her mother's relationship with Gertrude Lawrence, whose sudden death broke her heart. And the same innocence or reticence applies to the Battle of Arnhem, and the way it destroyed her father's career; things were kept from the children, and the children have grown up, fairly charmingly, to keep them from themselves.--Roz Kaveney
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Book Description Mainstream Publishing Company, Limited, 1994. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1851586202