Myself When Young: The Shaping of a Writer
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Myself When Young: The Shaping of a Writer

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  128 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Both in her novels and her memoirs, Daphne du Maurier revealed an ardent desire to explore her family's history. In Myself When Young, based on diaries she kept between 1920 and 1932, du Maurier probes her own past, beginning with her earliest memories and encompassing the publication of her first book and her marriage. Often painfully honest, she recounts her difficult re...more
Hardcover, 204 pages
Published December 31st 1977 by Doubleday Books (first published 1977)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
If you have writerly inclinations, it helps to be born rich in a time and place where your first 20-plus years can be almost entirely given over to idleness and leisure pursuits. This is Dame Daphne's account of her life from age four until she married at twenty-five. She wrote it as she was approaching her 70th birthday, drawing from the diaries she kept as a youngster.

If you've enjoyed her novels, you'll appreciate how her early life nurtured that fertile imagination, and you'll also find som...more
Nov 15, 2010 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who are intrigued by how normal people become famous writers.
A fantastic read about the younger years of Daphne du Maurier and how she started writing.

This book taught me that all writers have reservations about how good their works are and the first thing to get published is the hardest "labor" so to speak.

I saw how her love of sailing, her rememberance in great details about the houses she lived in growing up, and her independence of not wanting to be tied down, came to play in the writing of Rebecca.

I absolutely loved the pictures that were included w...more
Sarah Milne
I love Du Maurier's panache. Her clearly very...shall we say "comfortable" lifestyle made me roll my eyes a bit and wonder if I just need to be independently wealthy to be a productive writer. That's probably jealousy speaking. :)
Good memoir of her early years as a writer. Beautiful photgraphs as well. Oh -- to be wealthy and talented!
Not nearly as grim as I expected, given my past experience reading Daphne du Maurier. Very light, breezy read describing her childhood and young adulthood, including her efforts to write (and sail?). Apparently, du Maurier kept diaries throughout her life, in which she writes about books she's read and every day events. For example, Daphne on dating:

'Disappointing,' I noted in the diary. 'Fred wore a dreary suit and talked to us about big game in Africa. How different from Caux, where he looked...more
Daphne du Maurier is one of my favorite female authors, and I've read nearly all of her books. So when I came across a copy of "Myself When Young" at a local library sale, I snatched it up happily. I pulled it out one day recently while bedridden and sick, hoping it would prove a pleasant diversion. I was not disappointed. In fact, I found it as equally charming, captivating, and entertaining as any of her novels. An enjoyable, easy read. Highly recommended, especially if a fan of the author's o...more
Mar 29, 2009 Discoverylover marked it as released-or-to-release-without-read  ·  review of another edition
From Amazon: "Both in her novels and her memoirs, Daphne du Maurier revealed an ardent desire to explore her family's history. In Myself When Young, based on diaries she kept between 1920 and 1932, du Maurier probes her own past, beginning with her earliest memories and encompassing the publication of her first book and her marriage. Often painfully honest, she recounts her difficult relationship with her father, her education in Paris, her early love affairs, her antipathy towards London life,...more
Interesting autobiography by one of my favorite authors.
John Newcomb
I really wished I had read this book earlier in my reading of the complete works as it explains so much. I figured out the Bronte connection of course but should have been aware of the Robert Louis Stevenson connection (especially Frenchman;s Creek and Jamaica Inn) and I had not realised the Katherine Mansfield influence. The privilege, the loner, the famous relatives and friends are all here and the glamour although not deliberate gives it a sense of time and place that provides a much more rea...more

This book is based upon a collection of old diaries of the author. Daphne du Maurier looks back in time to provide readers with a picture of who she was as a child and how she developed into both a young woman and successful author. She is a highly creative and intelligent from her childhood and like most authors, has enjoyed her own imaginary worlds almost up until her marriage.

If you like Daphne du Maurier,like I do, this autobiography is the one to read.

A very snappy and intriguing way of writing a memoir as though it were a novel. Succeeds for the most part; it is though admittedly a little difficult for me to feel fully at home in a world of estates and carriages, or to entirely sympathize with somebody whose cares seem on the whole to be rather ethereal and far removed from the concerns of daily life.
Delightful and inspiring. Oh to live a life like hers... what a dream to imagine her seaside writer's retreat, her sail boat, loved townspeople and pets. The travels to Paris and Switzerland... And I was beside myself to realize that the Manderley of "Rebecca" was based on a real place- where the author ending up living. Such perfection.
Echo Heron
Sep 07, 2013 Echo Heron rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one
I had to force myself to finish this self-aggrandizing portrait of a wealthy, spoiled, arrogant young woman who appears to have
little conscience, if any, and no compassion whatsoever. Not worth the time. Into the paper recycling bin it went.
It was so interesting to read about this romantic young girl who became one of the most famous writers of our time. in all her biographies, Daphne does not shelter herself from her concept of the truth in her autobiography.
It is not so much that this is a brilliant autobiography by Daphne du Maurier but I love this period in Britain. Nice life if you can get it. It was the right book, at the right place in time for me.
I love Daphne du Maurier and this was a fantastically personal account of her formative years. Highly reccomended for any du Maurier fans - the author is as interesting as her novels.
I remember reading this for pleasure on the bridge at my high school, and my English teacher leaning over to see what book it was. I hoped I impressed him.
I am in awe of this woman. It was sobering to discover she was just a girl that grew and struggled in her world as we do in ours.
Crabby McGrouchpants
"The child destined to be a writer is vulnerable to every wind that blows."

[from "Myself When Young"]
I love how Daphne writes so flawlessly that it's such an easy read and a real delight.
Heather Gilbert
One of my favorite author bios, but now out of print. She was a master writer, for sure.
Victoria (vikz writes)
A charming study of a young woman growing to be a wrier
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If Daphne du Maurier had written only Rebecca, she would still be one of the great shapers of popular culture and the modern imagination. Few writers have created more magical and mysterious places than Jamaica Inn and Manderley, buildings invested with a rich character that gives them a memorable life of their own.

In many ways the life of Daphne du Maurier resembles that of a fairy tale. Born int...more
More about Daphne du Maurier...
Rebecca Jamaica Inn My Cousin Rachel Frenchman's Creek The House on the Strand

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