For The Glass-Blowers (1963), one of Daphne du Maurier’s later novels, the author drew upon her own family history. Her ancestor, Robert Busson du Maurier, who was in the glass business, escaped to London from France at the start of the French Revolution.
The story is through letters written by Sophie Duval, the sister of the fictional version of Robert (also so named). They follow the family trajectory from her mother’s marriage into the family of glass blowers in 1747 through Robert’s death in 1811.
Adapted from the 1999 Little, Brown edition of An Unfinished Woman by Lillian Hellman: The plays of Lillian Hellman — The Little Foxes, Watch on the Rhine, The Autumn Garden, Toys in the Attic, and all the others — speak eloquently for themselves and for Miss Hellman’s life in the theatre. An Unfinished Woman speaks for her life in the world outside.
It is in no sense a predictable theatrical memoir. Instead, she offers a detailed, unsparing self-scrutiny and a passionate, sometimes comic, always candid account of her experience, whether in New York, New Orleans and Hollywood, in Spain during the Civil War, or in Moscow and Leningrad during the Second World War and twenty years later. Read More→