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PostPosted: 21 Feb 2011, 20:57 
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Grand Poobah
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/fe ... discovered
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A bookseller's dedicated attempts to root out the early work of Daphne du Maurier have resulted in the recovery of five lost tales by the enduringly popular author of Rebecca and Jamaica Inn. Most startling among them is "The Doll", published in 1928 when Du Maurier was barely into her 20s – a macabre short story about a man who discovers that the girl he's smitten with is besotted with a mechanical sex doll.

Jamaica Inn
by Daphne du Maurier

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The stories were unearthed by bookseller and Du Maurier devotee Ann Willmore, co-owner of a bookshop in the author's home town of Fowey in Cornwall. "I try to make all things Du Maurier available," said Willmore, "and I'm also a major collector". Willmore has been scouring other booksellers' catalogues for years to find lost stories, which Du Maurier published regularly in women's magazines in the UK and US throughout her career.

Willmore said that she had been looking for "The Doll", which is mentioned in Du Maurier's autobiography, Myself When Young, for many years. "I'd searched for it a million times before," she said, "but quite by chance it turned up in a 1937 collection of stories rejected by magazines and publishers called The Editor Regrets. I was dumbfounded."

"Even in this day and age, when anything goes, it's still quite shocking. For a young, single woman of her quite posh background ... I can understand why it wasn't published at the time!"

The other stories that Willmore unearthed include two which vanished after appearing in short story collections in the US, "East Wind" and "The Limpit". Another two - "And His Letters Grew Colder" and "The Happy Valley" – appeared in magazines published in 1932. The latter, which Willmore said is her favourite of the rediscovered stories, contains elements of a plot which later grew into Rebecca. "These stories are often overlooked," said Willmore, "but they show how she learned her craft, and tried out different mechanisms for telling the stories".

Du Maurier's novels are notable for their sour view of humanity and the often macabre suspense plots, which led Alfred Hitchcock to film three adaptations of them. "The short stories are even darker," Willmore confirmed. "They're not nice, quite macabre and sinister."

Willmore took the stories to Kits Browning, Du Maurier's son, who himself had never seen the stories. They are now set to be published by Virago, alongside another eight early stories originally published in the 50s. The collection, The Doll, is due to be published on 5 May this year.


I adore du Maurier.

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PostPosted: 24 Feb 2011, 21:40 
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The Good Man of Nanking

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Cool!

Rob

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