8 Jun 2011

Exeter Arts Week: In the Archive with Daphne Du Maurier

As part of Exeter Arts Week, a special event is running at the University entitled 'In the Archive with Daphne Du Maurier.' This timely workshop chimes with the new discovery of her paintings, and offers an opportunity to see manuscripts of her most famous works including Rebecca and Jamaica Inn, led by Acting Head of Special Collections and Reclamation panelist Christine Faunch.
The event takes place on Monday 13th June, 11am - 12:30pm, Seminar A/B Research Commons, University of Exeter.
Booking is essential and can be made my telephone or email. Please click on the link above for the Arts Weeks brochure for details.

7 Jun 2011

Du Maurier paintings to go on display

Paintings created by author Daphne Du Maurier are being put on public display for the first time, more than 20 years after her death.

The artworks were created during a turbulent period in her life, and only now have her family allowed the collection to be seen.

BBC news have a video report on their website, which features interviews with Du Maurier's son and Exeter's Professor Helen Taylor (one of our two Reclamation keynotes from back in October).

Helen remarks on Du Maurier's painting as an escape from writer's block, explaining that the author 'went into her little hut in the grounds of Menabilly where she was living, and instead of writing, which is what everyone thought she was doing, she was painting.'

6 Jun 2011

Lost Conan Doyle novel to be published

"After languishing unpublished for almost 130 years, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's first novel is set to be released for the first time this autumn. [...]


"As you might expect with the creator of Sherlock Holmes, there's a bit of a mystery around the manuscript," said Rachel Foss, lead curator of modern literary manuscripts at the British Library, which is publishing the 150-page book in November. "He wrote it in 1883 and 1884, when he was starting to try to establish himself in the medical profession and as a writer. He sent it to a publisher, but it got lost in the post, so he decided to try and redo it from memory. The manuscript we have is the novel as reconstructed from memory, and it stops around chapter six."
The book, said Foss, is "fairly loose in terms of plot and character", but it does provide "some hints towards the Sherlock Holmes stories to come". John Smith's housekeeper, Mrs Rundle, for example, "can be seen as a prototype for the garrulous Mrs Hudson, Sherlock Holmes's landlady".
"It gives a really fascinating insight into the early stages of [Conan Doyle's] development as a writer – his apprenticeship period ... It represents his first attempt to make the transition from short story writer to novelist," she said. "It demonstrates that there are still things we can learn about him.""