15 May 2012

Exeter Loans Du Maurier’s notebook to the British Library

The University of Exeter has loaned The Rebecca Notebook – the key document that defended Daphne Du Maurier against plagiarism – to the British Library for the major new Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands exhibition.

Obviously, this is some great publicity for archives and heritage collections at the Uni where Carrie and I currently work and study (and as regularly as possible try to champion the collections), and draws attention to the excellent Du Maurier holdings we have here.

The notebook has been on public display along with other items such as Du Maurier’s writing desk within Exeter’s recently revamped Research Commons. The book was donated to Exeter in 2001 by Du Maurier’s children; it contains draft material for her most famous novel Rebecca, and as such was used as evidence in a plagiarism case launcehd against the writer in 1947, proving the authenticity of her authorship of the novel.

The Notebook appears in a section of the exhibition that looks at how writers are inspired by the rivers, seashores and other waterscapes of the country, alongside some other regionally related mauscripts such as the Exeter Book from Exeter Cathedral.

Christine Faunch, head of heritage collections (and a speaker back at our original conference), said of the loan: “These unique items are a fantastic resource for our students, who regularly consult them for dissertations, and our academics. However, we are also committed to sharing our historic documents with wider audiences.”

For full information (and further words from Chris), see Exeter’s news pages.

For more information on Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands, click here.

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