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Five lost tales by Daphne du Maurier are included in The Doll: Short Stories, published this month in the UK and scheduled for release in the US this fall. A bookshop owner in Fowey, England, the author’s hometown, located the stories after years of searching for them in vintage magazines. Among them are “The Doll,” a dark, sexually charged story mentioned in du Maurier’s autobiography, and “The Happy Valley,” which has plot elements similar to those later used in Rebecca, du Maurier’s best-known work and the first major gothic romance of the 20th century.

The seascapes and quaint fishing villages of the windswept Cornish Riviera on the south coast of Cornwall inspired du Maurier, who lived much of her life there and used the dramatic backdrop in her fiction. Kicking off tomorrow in the harbor resort town of Fowey is the Daphne du Maurier Festival of Arts and Literature, which runs through May 21st on the grounds of the luxurious Fowey Hall Hotel (right).

Some of the events and activities on the agenda:

– Talks and signings, including “The Brontë Connection,” a discussion on how Cornwall influenced Charlotte and Emily Brontë, given by author Angela Crowe, a trustee of the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth

– A tea hosted at Hidden Valley Gardens, close to the railway tunnel featured in du Maurier’s House on the Strand

– A film show featuring footage of du Maurier and other writers with a link to Cornwall

– “Du Maurier’s Fowey,” “Rebecca and du Maurier’s Coastline,” and other themed walking tours given by Cornish Riviera Guides

– And a whole lot more, including musical performances and dance lessons

Click here for a brochure of the full schedule and details on times, locations, and ticket prices.

If a trip to Cornwall isn’t in the cards this month, Cornish Riviera Guides offers a plethora of tours year round. One is “Literary Links,” an excursion that highlights the area’s literary legacy. Along with du Maurier, other writers with a Cornwall connection are Rosamund Pilcher and Virginia Woolfe.

[Photo © Fowey Hall Hotel]

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