Correspondence between Daphne du Maurier and Patrick Montague-Smith

Scope and Content

Correspondence concerning papers relating to a Cornish gentry family and an error in the Blount genealogy recorded in du Maurier's book 'Golden Lads'.

Administrative / Biographical History

Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989), novelist, was the daughter of the actor Sir Gerald du Maurier (1873-1934), and his wife Muriel, and the granddaughter of the artist and novelist George Louis Palmella Busson du Maurier (1834-1896), artist and novelist. Daphne du Maurier grew up in Cumberland Terrace, London, and Cannon Hall, Hampstead, but her family developed strong links with Cornwall after buying a riverside house near Fowey, and it was in Cornwall that Daphne settled. She began publishing stories and articles in 1928; her first novel, 'The Loving Spirit', was published in 1931 by Heineman. There followed 'The Progress of Julius' (Heineman, 1933) and 'Gerald, a portrait' (Gollancz, 1934) before her first enduring success, 'Jamaica Inn', which was published by Gollancz in 1936. Two years later she published her most significant and best-loved novel, 'Rebecca'. Besides these she published a number of other novels, short-stories and biographical portraits, blending history and literary art in some, while developing her own unique vision of the macabre in others. She published one volume of autobiography, 'Growing Pains' about her early life in 1977. In 1932 she married Frederick A. M. Browning, later Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick (d 1965); they had one son and two daughters.

Patrick Montague-Smith was born in 1920, the only child of Major Vernon Montague-Smith and his wife Sybil, daughter of William Bourne. He was educated at Mercers' School, and served in the RASC from 1940 to 1946, after which he joined Debrett. He published many articles and books including 'The Royal Line of Succession' (1953), 'Debrett's Correct form' (1970), 'the Country Life Book of the Royal Silver Jubilee' (1977), and 'Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother' (1985). He died in 1986.


Arranged by date.

Conditions Governing Access

Usual EUL arrangements apply.

Other Finding Aids

None, 5 items only.

Archivist's Note

Description created by Christine Faunch, Archivist 8 Oct 2008.

Conditions Governing Use

Restrictions apply. Please contact the Archivist.

Custodial History

Letters found folded up at back of volume entitled 'Kind Heart and Coronet: A selection of genealogical work by Patrick Montague-Smith', published by Debrett's Peerage in 1989. Purchased at Lichfield on 17 May 2008.

Related Material

The library holds the following papers relating to Daphne du Maurier and her family: EUL MS 144, 206, 207, 276, 301, 307, 341, 342, 346, 351, 354, 359, 363, 400. Other papers of Daphne du Maurier are held at the following repositories: West Yorkshire Archive Service; Cambridge University Library; University of Manchester (John Rylands Library) and the University of Warwick (Modern Records Centre)


It is not known whether these letters have formed the basis of publication.