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Both her novels and her non-fiction reveal Daphne du Maurier’s overwhelming desire to explore her family’s history.

In Myself When Young, based on diaries that she kept from 1920-1932, the most famous du Maurier probes her own past, beginning with her earliest memories and encompassing the publication of her first book and her subsequent marriage.

Here, the writer is open and sometimes painfully honest about the difficult relationship with her father; her education in Paris; early love affairs; her antipathy towards London life and the theatre; her intense love for Cornwall and her desperate ambition to succeed as a writer. The resulting portrait is of a captivating and complex character.


A delightful book, full of amusing and charming stories, pinpointing the literary influences and the first stirrings of books to be written in later years, and with a happy and romantic ending – THE TIMES