RepositorySpecial Collections Archives (GB 0029)
Ref NoEUL MS 207
Extent18 boxes, 14 loose items
TitleDu Maurier family papers
DescriptionThis collection consists of papers relating to various members of the du Maurier family, catalogued and arranged by series (EUL MS 207/1-7), given below:

207/1 Papers relating to Louise Wallace
207/2 Papers relating to George du Maurier
207/3 Papers relating to Sylvia Llewelyn-Davies
207/4 Papers relating to Gerald du Maurier
207/5 Papers relating to Angela du Maurier
207/6 Papers relating to Daphne du Maurier
207/7 Papers relating to Guy du Maurier
Admin HistoryThe du Maurier family have a fascinating history, with many of its members leading distinguished and well-documented careers. The family members represented in this collection include Louise Wallace (paternal aunt of George du Maurier), George du Maurier (illustrator, cartoonist and novelist), his son Gerald du Maurier (actor and manager) and his grand-daughter Daphne du Maurier (writer). Also included are papers relating to Sylvia du Maurier (sister to Gerald), Guy du Maurier (brother to Gerald) and Angela du Maurier (sister to Daphne), as well as to many other lesser-known family members.

George Louis Palmella Busson du Maurier (1834-1896) was a well-known illustrator and novelist. Born in Paris, he moved to London with the rest of his family in 1851, where he originally studied chemistry, followed by opera-singing and then art in Paris. He eventually returned from his studies abroad in 1860, becoming quickly established as a magazine illustrator, working for both 'Once a Week' and 'Punch' as a cartoonist. He married Emma Wightwick in 1863, and rapidly formed part of the Bohemian Hampstead circle. Friends of the family included Kate Greenaway, Sir Walter Besant, John Millais and George Eliot. Joining the Rabelais Club, he met other established literary figures, and illustrated the novels of Thomas Hardy, Elizabeth Gaskell and Wilkie Collins. He also had illustrations published in other London literary magazines throughout his life, such as 'The Illustrated London News', 'Good Words', the 'Illustrated Times', 'London Society', the 'Sunday Magazine', 'The Leisure Hour', 'Harper's Magazine' and the 'English Illustrated Magazine'. He was also a successful novelist, publishing 'Peter Ibbetson' (1889), 'Trilby' (1894) and 'The Martian' (1897).

Louise Wallace Busson du Maurier (c 1795-1854) was the sister of George du Maurier and the aunt of Gerald du Maurier. She was born in London and later lived in Paris. She was married to Godfrey Wallace.

Guy du Maurier (1865-1915) was a soldier and playwright, and was the eldest son of George and Emma du Maurier. His military career began at the Royal Military College in Sandhurst, from which he was commissioned into the Royal Fusiliers. His overseas postings took him to India, and later to South Africa, where he fought in the Second Boer War. Guy du Maurier perfomed in many amateur theatricals, which he often also stage-managed and produced. He is best-known for the play 'An Englishman’s Home'. He died in combat in France during the First World War.

Sylvia Llewelyn-Davies (nee du Maurier) (1867-1910) was another of the five children of George and Emma du Maurier, and elder sister to Gerald. She was known as a beauty and socialite of her day, and married the lawyer Arthur Llewelyn-Davies. She later became famous for her friendship with J M Barrie, with her five sons forming an inspiration for the Lost Boys in 'Peter Pan'. Following the death of her husband and herself from cancer within a few years of each other, Barrie later unofficially adopted the boys. Her son Peter was the publisher of Daphne du Maurier's work on George du Maurier 'The Young George du Maurier, letters 1860-1867' (1951).

Marie 'May' Louise Coles (nee du Maurier) (1869-1934) was one of the five children of George and Emma du Maurier. May was sketched many times by her father and was the original of 'Marty' in his novel 'The Martian'.

Sir Gerald du Maurier (1873-1934) was an actor and theatrical manager, and was the son of George and Emma du Maurier. He first appeared on the stage in 1895, playing a small part in a dramatization of 'Trilby' at the Haymarket. His break came in 1902 during Barrie's 'The Admirable Crichton', at the Duke of York Theatre, where he met his later wife Muriel ('Mo') Beaumont (1881-1957) who was also an actor. (She appears to have been based predominantly at three London theatres, the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, the Garrick Theatre and the Duke of York in the period 1898-1906, 1912, acting in a range of productions from Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice' to 'For Love of Prim' and 'A Golden Wedding' by Eden Phillpotts). Gerald du Maurier was the first actor to play the parts of Mr. Darling and Captain Hook in Barrie's 'Peter Pan' (1904).Other successes included E W Hornung's 'Raffles', 'Arsene Lupin at the Comedy Theatre' (1906) and 'Alias Jimmie Valentine' (1910) by Paul Armstrong. He then moved into theatre management with Frank Curzon at Wyndham's Theatre, whilst continuing his acting career. He was knighted in 1922 for his services to theatre. Film roles include 'The Living Dead' (1936), 'I was a Spy' (1934), 'Power' (1934), Catherine the Great' (1934), 'Lord Camber's Ladies' (1932) and 'Escape' (1930).

Angela du Maurier (1904-2002) was the eldest of the three du Maurier sisters, and the elder of Daphne by three years. Originally aspiring to follow the family tradition of acting, she planned to be an actress and spent two seasons on the stage. During the Second World War, she ran a market garden with her sister, Jeanne, in Cornwall. In the 1930s, she began to write her first novel 'The Little Less', which was initially rejected by publishers due to its lesbian storyline. She published eleven books in total, including two volumes of autobiography 'It's Only the Sister' (1951) and 'Old Maids Remember'. Her works of fiction include 'The Little Less', 'The Road to Leenane', 'Pilgrims by the Way', 'The Perplexed Heart', 'Reveille' and 'Treveryan'. She lived at Ferryside, the family house in Cornwall, for most of her life. Angela du Maurier met her 'twin' (they shared the same first name and date of birth) and partner Angela Halliday in 1930.

Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989) 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). She grew up in Cumberland Terrace, London, and Cannon Hall, Hampstead, but the 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. Du Maurier used both male and female narrators in her novels and her works often explored themes around gender and sexuality. Until the age of 15, Daphne du Maurier had a male alter ego, 'Eric Avon' (see 'Growing Pains: The Shaping of a Writer', p. 59) and she often spoke privately about having a masculine side to her personality (see M. Forster, 'Daphne du Maurier, p. 222). During her life, du Maurier experienced attraction to both men and women, but she never spoke or wrote publicly about her own sexual identity. In 1932, she married Frederick A M Browning, later Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick (d 1965); they had one son and two daughters.
LanguageFrench, English
Access StatusOpen
Related MaterialThe 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, 456, 462 463, 464. Other papers of Daphne du Maurier, particularly her letters, are held at many other repositories including the following: Bath Reference Library; Bodleian Library; BBC Written Archives Centre; British Library Department of Manuscripts; Cambridge University Library; Eton College Library; Manchester University (John Rylands Library); National Library of Scotland; Princeton University Library Manuscripts Division, USA; Rhodes House Library; University of Durham Library; University of Bradford Library; University of Bristol Library; University of Warwick (Modern Records Centre); West Yorkshire Archive Service. Sound recordings of interviews with du Maurier are held at the British Library National Sound Archive. Papers relating to George du Maurier are held at the following repositories: Pierpont Morgan Library, USA; Huntington Library, USA; Victoria and Albert Museum (National Art Library); National Library of Scotland; Dorset County Museum. Papers relating to Guy du Maurier (1865-1915) are held at the Houghton Library, Harvard University, USA. A duplicate copy of the Sylvia Llewelyn-Davies memorial photograph album (EUL MS 207/3/1) is held at the National Portrait Gallery.
Access ConditionsUsual EUL arrangements apply.
ArrangementThe original deposit was received in two portions, the first of four boxes and the second of two boxes. All boxes were merged in the collection description with subsequent additions catalogued in 2021.
Creator_NameMaurier; Angela du (1904-2002); author
Maurier; Sir; Gerald du (1873-1934); actor and theatrical manager
Llewelyn-Davies; Sylvia (1867-1910) nee du Maurier; friend of J M Barrie
Coles; Marie Louise (1869-1934); nee du Maurier; known as May
Maurier; George Louis Palmella Busson du (1834-1896); illustrator and novelist
Maurier; Guy Louis Busson du (1865-1915); soldier and playwright
Wallace; Louise (1795-fl 1854); nee Busson du Maurier; aunt of George du Maurier
Maurier, Daphne du (1907-1989); author
Mgt_GroupHistorical papers
Literary papers
Performing arts papers
DS/UK/118Maurier; Daphne du (1907-1989); author1907-1989
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