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Daphne du Maurier: A Daughter's Memoir
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Daphne du Maurier: A Daughter's Memoir

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  46 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
In this memoir, Flavia Leng paints a powerful portrait of her mother, Daphne du Maurier. She presents an account of an unusual childhood, and reveals du Maurier's deep attachment to Cornwall and her withdrawal from family and friends.
Paperback, 206 pages
Published March 1st 1999 by Mainstream Publishing (first published 1997)
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Nov 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, wild-women
This charming memoir is mistitled and really should be called something like: Growing Up with Bing (Daphne Du Maurier). The focus is not so much on her mother but on the world she created: Menabilly, the neglected manor house Du Maurier was so smitten with and was able to rent and rehabilitate for a number of decades. Menabilly served as inspiration for so many of her novels, including most famously, Rebecca, even before she ever took it over as her own. The childhood Flavia evokes is unconventi ...more
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have wanted to read Flavia Leng’s memoir of her mother for such a long time, and thought that my du Maurier December project afforded a very good reason indeed to do so. Leng’s ‘moving and revealing’ memoir was first published in 1994, and presents many of her childhood memories alongside the facts of du Maurier’s life.

The introduction of Daphne du Maurier: A Daughter’s Memoir is vivid from its very first sentence: ‘I dream often that my mother is still alive… In my dreams I see her as she was
May 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I absolutely loved this book, it was different to anything I've read about D du M ever before and I adored how it had such little flashes in it that were so interesting and amazing like Flavia and Tessa having Ellen Doubleday's cast off dresses and Flavia going to boarding school with her name stitched into Gertrude Lawrence's old silk pyjamas and Daphne hiding from journalists on the roof (#typicaldaph) and Ellen coming to stay and Daphne going totally over the top and refurbishing an entire ro ...more
Mar 30, 2013 rated it liked it
As it is written by one of Daphne du Maurier's daughters, Flavia Leng, I feel that this is an important read for any scholar or person interested in du Maurier's life; having a first-hand account of events by someone who was actually there is priceless. The perspective (Flavia Leng's) makes a striking contrast to the other two existing biographies of Daphne du Maurier, as they are very adult. However, that is in no way a bad thing, simply different.

At the same time, as a book, it lacks substanc
Jan 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Daphne du Maurier is one of my favorite authors, so I was eager to read about her from the insider position of one of her daughters. It's an interesting peek into Daphne's life, and that of her family. I was aghast sometimes at what a negligent mother she was, especially where her daughters were concerned! I know the wealthier English viewed hands-on parenting very differently than the middle class American parents I've known, but I found it shocking how often she was (voluntarily) away from the ...more
Valerie Thompson
Apr 19, 2012 rated it liked it
I think the author is still hurting, and so unable to see her mother as an individual. Imho, Daphne Du Maurier was what would today be described as HSP, i.e. a highly sensitive person. I did not feel much emotion pouring from the book, whereas I did when I read DDM's memoir of her younger years.
Kate Bendelow
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
I hope writing this memoir gave the author the closure she so obviously needed.

Not what I was expecting but still an enjoyable read.
David Freeman
A sad ending. And very abrupt.

Mary BG
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Very interesting and well written.
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May 09, 2012 added it
Great book about one of my favourite authors.
Amy Porter
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