The Du Maurier Sisters by Jane Dunn
A Biography of the Du Maurier Sisters

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Her decision to deal with all three women at once, and chronologically, rather than in separate sections, has dealt her narrative a fatal blow...She could have been more creative, more radical, and much less reverential.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Celebrated novelist Daphne Du Maurier and her sisters, eclipsed by her fame, are revealed in all their surprising complexity in this riveting new biography.

The middle sister in a famous artistic dynasty, Daphne du Maurier is one of the master storytellers of our time, author of ‘Rebecca’, ‘Jamaica Inn’ and ‘My Cousin Rachel’, and short stories, ‘Don’t Look Now’ and the terrifying ‘The Birds’ among many. Her stories were made memorable by the iconic films they inspired, three of them classic Hitchcock chillers. But it was her sisters, writer Angela and artist Jeanne,who found the courage to defy the conventions that hampered Daphne’s emotional life.

In this group biography they are considered side by side, as they were in life, three sisters who grew up during the 20th century in the glamorous hothouse of a theatrical family dominated by a charismatic and powerful father. This family dynamic reveals the hidden lives of Piffy, Bird & Bing, full of social non-conformity, love, rivalry and compulsive make-believe, their lives as psychologically complex as a Daphne du Maurier novel.

 

About Jane Dunn

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Described by the Sunday Times as ‘one of our best biographers’, Jane Dunn writes about women and their relationships, and sisters in particular. Her books include a biography of the sisters Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell and the bestseller ‘Elizabeth & Mary’, which looks at the lives of the cousin queens Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and lives in Bath with her husband the writer and linguist, Nicholas Ostler.
 
Published February 21, 2013 by HarperPress. 448 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Du Maurier Sisters
All: 4 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Above average
on May 29 2014

In this sensitive group portrait, Dunn (Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens, 2004, etc.) depicts three women struggling to escape Neverland, define for themselves both success and happiness, and hone their own identities.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Simon Callow on Apr 19 2013

The problems of contrapuntal writing particular to group biography are not really solved; a paragraph about one sister just follows one about another. And the book is woefully underedited...

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Rachel Cooke on Mar 03 2013

Her decision to deal with all three women at once, and chronologically, rather than in separate sections, has dealt her narrative a fatal blow...She could have been more creative, more radical, and much less reverential.

Read Full Review of The Du Maurier Sisters: A Bio... | See more reviews from Guardian

Washington Times

Above average
Reviewed by Martin Rubin on Oct 01 2014

It’s no accident that the three Bronte sisters crop up early in Miss Dunn’s interesting if flawed study of Angela, Jeanne and Daphne du Maurier... In fact, despite Miss Dunn’s attention to the neglected sisters, her book reinforces Daphne’s superiority both as a writer and in her capacity to fascinate as a person.

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