Du Maurier Papers

Scope and Content

The collection includes several early manuscript notebooks, the earliest being dated 1923. Amongst these are several attempts at early works including notebooks relating to The Progress of Julius, Rebecca (including the Rebecca notebook) and My Cousin Rachel. Most of her later works are represented in either original typescript (du Maurier wrote her drafts on a typewriter from c1934) or proof, and there are original and corrected typescripts for Gerald, Jamaica Inn, Rebecca, and The King's General among many others. There is further a treatment of The King's General for film, including script, partly in red ribbon typewriter ink, and her early autobiography and the photographs used in it. For some works, e.g. The Glassblowers and Mary Ann, there are in addition series of notes and research papers used for the background. Finally there is the manuscript of The Martian by her grandfather, George du Maurier, and a notebook of his which was reused by Daphne for notes for Mary Ann.

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 (d1965); they had one son and two daughters.


The manuscript items are sorted first; thereafter the items are organised in order of title and by date of first publication.

Access Information

Usual EUL conditions apply.


Description compiled by Ian Mortimer, Archivist. Hub description entered by Charlotte Berry, Archivist, 9 September 2003.

Other Finding Aids

There is a handlist to the collection available.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying is not permitted without permission.

Custodial History

The papers were deposited for a time with the family's London solicitors before being delivered to the University. They were roughly listed, and sorted and re-listed on arrival at Exeter.

Related Material

There are several biographies of Du Maurier, including Margaret Forster, Daphne du Maurier (1993), Judith Cook, A Portrait of Daphne du Maurier (1991), Flavia Leng, Daphne du Maurier: a daughter's memoir (1995), Nina Auerbach, Daphne du Maurier: haunted heiress (2000).


Some of the typescripts represent the corrected form in which a work was published and are thus published texts.

Geographical Names