Daphne du Maurier Festival: A pilgrimage to Manderley

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The Independent Culture

I've helped programme the Daphne du Maurier Festival in the beautiful little Cornish town of Fowey, since its inception.

The festival is named after its most famous resident, whose son now lives in the restored boathouse where Daphne began to write fiction, and for 15 years Du Maurier fans have enjoyed a quirky mixture of events celebrating the literary and musical arts.

Festival Village – a large marquee raised on the college sports field – is perched on the hill. Festival-goers gasp at the sight of blazing azaleas and blood-red rhododendrons (recalling those of Manderley in Rebecca).

This year's programme features among others David Aaronovitch, Alastair Campbell, Jenny Éclair, Linda Grant and Tim Rice, while the University of Exeter and Virago Press provide discussions of Daphne du Maurier's new short collection, The Doll, Judy Golding on her Cornish-born father William, as well as lectures on John Betjeman the Cornish nationalist.

You can don your boots for the My Cousin Rachel or Smuggling in Polperro Guided Walk, or visit Du Maurier locations – Jamaica Inn, Frenchman's Creek and Menabilly (the main model for Manderley).

Daphne du Maurier Festival of Arts and Literature, Fowey, Cornwall, ( www.dumaurierfestival.co.uk) 12 to 21 May

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