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Laura Varnam on du Maurier

black and white photo of a woman face against a colourised seascapeThe premiere of Daphne du Maurier: sur les traces de Rebecca took place in Paris on 21 February with Dr Laura Varnam, Univ lecturer and English tutor, a key contributor to the documentary, which is one of the most significant pieces of critical work on du Maurier created for television.

Although her main academic speciality is Medieval Religious writing, Laura is also a leading authority on Daphne du Maurier’s work. She attended the premiere, having contributed substantially regarding the literary influences on du Maurier, observing links not only with the work of the Brontes but also with French writers such as Maupassant and Zola.

Asked about her contribution, Laura remarked “I was delighted to be involved in the new documentary about Daphne du Maurier. I was interviewed at Univ in May 2016 about Du Maurier’s most famous novel Rebecca (1938), the influences on her work, and her importance as part of the canon of English literature. As a collector of Du Maurier novels and memorabilia, I also provided lots of visual material for the documentary, including cover designs, photographs, and theatre programmes.”

The documentary will air on the French television channel Arte this Sunday (26 February) following a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 adaption of Rebecca. It will also be shown on the German Arte channel shortly and it’s hoped that its release will promote new interest and create understanding of du Maurier’s work internationally.

Follow Laura on Twitter @lauravarnam

Published: 23 February 2017

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