Born in 1907, Daphne du Maurier was the second daughter of the famous actor and theatre manager-producer, Sir Gerald du Maurier, and granddaughter of George du Maurier, the much-loved Punch artist and author of Trilby and Peter Ibbetson. After being educated at home with her sisters, and then in Paris, she began writing short stories and articles in 1928, and in 1931 her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published. Two others followed. Her reputation was established with her frank biography of her father, Gerald: A Portrait, and her Cornish novel, Jamaica Inn. When Rebecca came out in 1938 she suddenly found herself to her great surprise, one of the most popular authors of the day. The book went into thirty-nine English impressions in the next twenty years and has been translated into more than twenty languages.
There were fourteen other novels, nearly all bestsellers. These include Frenchman's Creek (1941), Hungry Hill (1943), My Cousin Rachel (1951), Mary Anne (1954), The Scapegoat (1957), The Glass-Blowers (1963), The Flight of the Falcon (1965) and The House on the Strand (1969). Besides her novels she published a number of volumes of short stories, Come Wind, Come Weather (1941), Kiss Me Again, Stranger (1952), The Breaking Point (1959), Not After Midnight (1971), Don't Look Now and Other Stories (1971), The Rendezvous and Other Stories (1980) and two plays The Years Between (1945) and September Tide (1948). She also wrote an account of her relations in the last century, The du Mauriers, and a biography of Branwell Brontë, as well as Vanishing Cornwall, an eloquent elegy on the past of a country she loved so much. Her autobiography, Growing Pains, appeared in 1977 and The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories in 1981. Her books have translated well to the cinema. Sir Laurence Olivier starred in the filmed version of Rebecca, and Jamaica Inn, Hungry Hill and Frenchman's Creek have also been notable successes; as well as `the Birds' and `Don't Look Now', both adapted from a short story.
Daphne du Maurier was made a D. B. E. in 1969. She was married to Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Browning K.C.V.O., D.S.O. Daphne du Maurier died in 1989 at her home in Cornwall. Margaret Forster wrote in a tribute to her. `No other popular novelist has so triumphantly defied classification as Daphne du Maurier. She satisfied all the questionable criteria of popular fiction and yet satisfied too the exacting requirements of "real literature", something very few novelists ever do.'
Born to a Catholic family in London in 1899, Alfred Hitchcock endured many harrowing experiences throughout his lifetime that may have helped to fuel his fascination with the macabre. His father died when Hitchcock was only fourteen years old. He had to quit school, but continued to study and read on his own. He took evening classes, attended theater and cinema performances regularly, and he got his feet wet in the talent pool of art and writing. In 1920, Hitchcock became aware of an American film company called Famous Players-Lasky that was opening a studio in London. He was offered a position as a title designer, which he accepted, and developed a love for the art of filmmaking from there.
Hitchcock was determined to learn the ins and outs of the film industry, which led him to become an Assistant Director just three years after his introduction to the business. By 1925, he was a full-fledged director. Then, in 1921, Hitchcock met and became engaged to his first true love, Alma Reville, and they married five years later. They had one child, a daughter, born in 1928, and remained married until Hitchcock's death in 1980. Hitchcock had directed a total of nine silent films and was one of Britain's leading directors when he made his first partially sound film, Blackmail, in 1929. Thirteen Hitchcock sound films followed, including Murder! (1930), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) The 39 Steps (1935), Sabotage (1936), and The Lady Vanishes (1938). By this point he had become known as Britain's top film director. Hitchcock journeyed to America in 1939, believing he would have more creative freedom. His first American film, Rebecca (1940) won an Academy Award for best film.
Throughout his long career, Hitchcock made 53 feature-length films, he worked with scores of actors, including Ingrid Bergman and Grace Kelly, not to mention technicians, composers, publicists and studio administrators, and he created some of America's most popular and cherished films to date. Yet he frequently complained about his loneliness and his fear of death, even as he was still hailed, even in the last moments of his life, as one of the film industry's greatest directors of all time. Perhaps the darkness of his nature not only led Alfred Hitchcock to attain worldwide acclaim, but also prevented him from enjoying it. The Birds
Spoilt socialite and notorious practical joker Melanie Daniels is shopping in a San Francisco pet store when she meets Mitch Brenner. Mitch is looking to buy a pair of love birds for his young sister's birthday; he recognises Melanie but pretends to mistake her for an assistant. She decides to get her own back by buying the birds and driving up to the quiet coastal town of Bodega Bay, where Mitch spends his weekends with his sister and mother.
The whole thing starts when Melanie is crossing a lake and is nipped by a gull, but this is just the start of a series of attacks by an increasing number of birds. Gradually, incidence of bird damage to humans by pecking increases. Glass windows splinter before diving birds, children are sent home from school to safety, townspeople take refuge in a lunchroom, Miss Hedren in a phone booth, and finally everyone hides in homes tightly boarded up against repeated attacks by the birds.
In my opinion, the story is farly believable, but because of the nature of science fiction and horror tales, it can't be criticized that way.
With “The Birds”, the author maybe wanted to show us her thought about the respect that the wild fauna received from man by those days; or maybe how unpredictable can it be. In the story, the massive attack of the sea gulls to the town, reflects that in a very clearly way.
Anyways, the story is for me more than boring, because a bird can't frighten me and especially because nowadays horror stories aren't written that way.