November 17, 2008

Fun Facts About an Author

I have a habit of browsing through book blogs to see what’s new and happening. I’m not as much of a bibliophile as some, but I’d like to think of myself as an avid reader. (Except for those days when I don’t even have the energy to unwrap myself a granola bar for dinner, let alone crack a book, which unfortunately, happens more often than it should. Anyway.) But, I do like looking through what everyone else finds time to read, and then I start an internal war of—to read or not to read—and I usually end up making my ever-increasing list even longer.

I’ve come across Weekly Geeks before, but this time, I thought maybe I’d give it a try. Mind you, I can’t even bring myself to write a blog entry weekly, so I don’t think I’ll end up actually doing it every week. But, maybe I could become a Monthly Geek. Hopefully, The Leaf won’t mind that.

So here it is, for better or worse: Weekly Geek #24

In this Weekly Geek, you are supposed to research an author that you like and share some fun facts about him or her with the whole of the blogosphere. So, here you go, sphere, I hope you like it.

I chose to write about Daphne du Maurier. Going in, I really didn’t know one thing about her, except that she was the author of one of my favorite books, Rebecca. Truly a great book, if you haven’t read it yet, don’t delay! It’s a thriller/mystery, which, honestly, is not really my genre, but I loved every minute of it. It’s not stupid or cheesey like a lot mystery books. It’s a mystery book with class. (If you liked The Thirteenth Tale, you’ll love Rebecca.) The movie adaptation won an Oscar in 1941, and I also recommend it. (But only after you’ve read the book, of course.) And, if you’ve ever seen Hitchcock’s The Birds—yep, that’s her. The movie was based off of a short story du Maurier wrote.

  • Daphne was born in London, and her parents were both successful actors.
  • Because of her parents’ careers, she was constantly surrounded by creative theatre types.
  • She had somewhat of a charmed youth and had little financial or parental restraint.
  • Her first novel was published in her early twenties, and she was an instant hit. Her fame attracted the attention of the man who would become her husband.
  • Daphne also wrote three plays, in addition to her novels and short stories.
  • Alfred Hitchcock also made another of her novels, Jamaica Inn, into a film, but it was not as successful as Rebecca or The Birds.
  • Daphne was obsessed with history and spent a lot of time researching.
  • She was also very interested in her own family history and wrote biographies and documented stories about her ancestors.
  • Her novel Mary Anne is a fictionalized account of the real-life story of her great-great-grandmother, Mary Anne Clarke, who was a mistress of Frederick Augustus, the Duke of York and Albany. He was the "Grand Old Duke of York" of the nursery rhyme, a son of King George III.
  • It’s been rumored that Daphne was actually a lesbian, although this could never be confirmed. She wrote in a letter that she had a decidedly male energy, and that she felt this was a demon that fueled her creative process.
And there you have it: lots of gee whiz facts about Daphne du Maurier. If you’d like to participate in Weekly Geeks, click here. Happy Monday!


brittani c. said...

This is completely off the subject, but I just love how you have designed your blog. If only there were a way to plug InDesign into Blogger...I would be a happy girl.

I'm almost halfway through The Alchemist...I can't seem to have any good reading time these days.

Michael said...

It was fun to read about Daphne--nice that she's into geneology. =) I didn't realize she was behind the Birds! Anyway, you've encouraged me numerous times to read Rebecca, and one day soon I will follow your advice.

Gini said...

I've heard rave reviews of Rebecca many times and still haven't read it! Thanks for reminding me to add it to my list!