As we approach the 26th anniversary of your death, I felt compelled to write you this letter. To put it frankly Daphne, I am a huge fan of your work. In my modest and very humble opinion, you totally rock.
After years and years of hearing how marvelous Rebecca was, I finally got round to reading it about ten years ago. They were quite right Daphne, it really is fantastic. I was completely mesmerized with your descriptions of Manderley and your villainous Rebecca. I was busy booing Mrs Danvers and rooting for your pretty protagonist without a name. Very well done indeed. What I didn’t expect was to find out that this isn’t your best work. Not in my eyes, not by a blinking long shot.
The second book I read was Jamaica Inn, amazing Daphne, that’s the only word to describe it. It had me up half the night, because I just couldn’t put it down. The twist with the Vicar – Never Saw It Coming, very well played. And your descriptions of the “filthy night” just excellent, I adopted the phrase immediately – I hope you don’t mind.
After I’d devoured Jamaica Inn, I started reading your short story collection “Don’t look now and other stories”. Now I’ve watched that movie and to be honest with you, I didn’t think much of it. I just couldn’t get past all those dated 1970s sex scenes. But your story was something different entirely. So sinister and eerie that it lingers with me still. In fact every story in the collection is a triumph, so gripping and unputdownable (a terrible phrase, I do apologise). Seriously Daphne, hats off to you.
But the thing I like most about you Daphne, is your ability to shock. Let’s talk about ‘The Doll’. It’s wild Daphne, creepy, macabre and so very bold. Did you really write a story about a sex doll when you were only 20 years old? Was the year really 1920? You are fierce Daphne Du Maurier.
And that’s why I’m writing this letter to you. I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for the legacy of work to left behind for me to read and enjoy. Thank you for keeping me up all night glued to your books. And most of all thank you for teaching me how to be the best writer I can be. Now that I’ve read your work, I realise that to be truly great, you’ve got to be completely fearless.
Daphne Du Maurier, I salute you.
Your biggest fan