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The Du Mauriers Just As They Were

The Du Mauriers Just As They Were tells the story of five generations of novelist Daphne Du Maurier’s remarkable family, beginning with Mathurin-Robert Busson, a master glassblower who immigrated to London in 1789, added the suffix “Du Maurier” to his name, and so became a “gentleman glassblower.” His three English-born children relocated to the continent, becoming respectively a doctor of philology in Hamburg; the governess to the daughters of a Portuguese statesman; and an aspiring inventor who married a daughter of the courtesan Mary Anne Clarke.

​That inventor’s son was George Du Maurier. He was born in Paris in 1834, then went to London to study chemistry and finally took up the beaux-arts in Paris, Antwerp, and Düsseldorf. Later, he established himself in London as a beloved cartoonist for Punch. Of his children, the youngest, Gerald Du Maurier, became a prominent actor-manager, and Gerald’s second daughter was the novelist Daphne Du Maurier, author of many celebrated classics including Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel. In the course of her career Daphne published four volumes of family history, culminating in the extensively researched Glass-Blowers, which revealed her French forebear’s aristocratic imposture for the first time, and uncovered the remarkable tale of the surprising origins of an English family that emerges from these pages.

208 pages | 40 halftones | 6 x 9 1/4 | © 2018

Biography and Letters

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"Reading [Hall's] beautifully illustrated and handsomely produced book, the persevering student becomes acquainted with the history of almost every member of the Busson family."

Times Literary Supplement

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