Cornwall

Fowey bookseller finds rare Daphne du Maurier stories

Daphne du Maurier in Fowey
Image caption Daphne du Maurier's work includes Jamaica Inn and Frenchman's Creek

Rare early work by Cornwall's Daphne du Maurier has been found by a local bookseller.

Ann Willmore who runs Bookends in Fowey has found a rare collection of short stories by the celebrated author.

Ms Willmore stumbled across some of the titles over the internet.

One of the most exciting finds for du Maurier fans is a story called The Doll. It was written when du Maurier was barely in her 20s.

Many of the stories were only featured once in magazines in the UK and USA in the 1930s.

Constantly searching

Ms Willmore said: "I have been collecting them for a very long time. Mostly the ones I find are the same stories that are available in her already published collections."

But her years of dedicated searching can sometimes end in disappointment.

"Sometimes I've thought something was new, only to discover it was the same story with a different title, so to find something that is completely new is very exciting," she said.

Other stories hunted down by Ms Willmore include East Wind and The Limpit which only appeared in America and The Happy Valley which was published in a magazine in 1932.

'Exciting' discovery

One story Ms Willmore was particularly keen to add to her collection was The Doll. The story was mentioned briefly in du Maurier's autobiography.

Ms Willmore said: "By complete chance I was doing a book search and I put in the words Doll and Du Maurier, and up came a reference for a book called The Editor Regrets.

"I promptly bought it as I needed to know if it was the story. And when the book arrived it certainly was the right one."

The Daphne du Maurier gem was hidden in a collection of stories by different authors.

Now more than 80 years after the young author penned The Doll, it will be published in a collection of Du Maurier's other rare stories.

The anthology, also called The Doll, will be released at the beginning of May, just days before the famous du Maurier Festival begins in Fowey.

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