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Daphne du Maurier commemorated in Hampstead

PUBLISHED: 13:00 24 June 2011

Daphne Du Maurier plaque at Well Cottage.
Daphne Du Mauriers daughter Viscontess Montgomery of Alamein unveils plaque

Daphne Du Maurier plaque at Well Cottage. Daphne Du Mauriers daughter Viscontess Montgomery of Alamein unveils plaque

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Relatives of novelist Daphne Du Maurier spanning multiple generations gathered for the unveiling of a commemorative plaque on Tuesday.

The plaque was mounted at Cannon Cottage on Well Road in Hampstead.

More than 30 people attended the afternoon unveiling, including Daphne Du Maurier’s daughter Tessa Montgomery, her grandson Paul De Zulueta, and her great-grandson Guy De Zulueta.

Paul De Zulueta said: “The plaque is terrific. I am very proud that the Du Maurier family will be remembered.”

Regarding Ms Du Maurier, he said: “She was a very kind and generous grandmother, but not a grandmother in a traditional sense. She was not cuddly and never handed out sweets.”

Daphne Du Maurier moved to Cannon Cottage after marrying Frederick Browning in 1932 and lived there for two years.

Her family already had links with Hampstead and her father Gerald and grandfather George are both buried in St John-at-Hampstead.

Ms Maurier was an acclaimed writer who penned novels such as Jamaica Inn and Rebecca, both of which Alfred Hitchcock adapted for the screen. Mr Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ was also based on one of Ms Du Maurier’s short stories.

The plaque was installed by the town committee of the Heath and Hampstead Society. Vice Chairman Frank Harding said: “We have been planning this plaque for three years. There are about 30 others around the area.

“We have these plaques so people who live in Hampstead or visit here will learn more about the history of the area.”

After unveiling the plaque, committee member Juliette Sonabend spoke on the historical significance of the Du Maurier family. Tessa Montgomery also said a few words about her mother. The group continued on to Burgh House for afternoon tea.

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