Ward's Book of Days.

Pages of interesting anniversaries.

What happened on this day in history.

MAY 13th

On this day in history in 1907, was born Daphne Du Maurier.

Du Maurier was a novelist and playwright best known for her novel Rebecca, which was transformed by Alfred Hitchcock into an Oscar winning film.  

Many of Du Maurierís novels are set on the rugged coast of Cornwall where she set up home. Many of her characters are based on Du Maurier herself or her family and friends. The second Mrs De Winter in Rebecca is clearly Du Maurier and the character of Mr De Winter can be seen as Du Maurierís father, Sir Gerald Du Maurier. Several settings are taken from Du Maurierís experience. The country house in Rebecca, which panics the second Mrs De Winter is evidently Menabilly, a country farmhouse which Du Maurier found irresistible in her youth and eventually bought for a home.  

Menabilly and its farmland was the setting for one of Du Maurierís lesser-known works, a short story which deals with birdlife around Cornwall and the terrifying prospect of commonplace birds becoming sadistic. Hitchcock, who had directed Rebecca, turned his attention to this story and produced his masterpiece The Birds, a fatuous yet terrifying performance. 

So, Hitchcock made a corny film from a Cornish farm.

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