George Louis Palmella Busson du Maurier (1834 – 1896)

From the Daphne du Maurier website:

“George du Maurier (also known as Kiki or Kicky) was an artist, musician and writer and it seems to me that he is the linchpin who brings together the earlier and later generations of the du Maurier family…

George knew everyone of note in Victorian society and had many friends, including the Pre-Raphaelite artist John Everett Millais and the writer Henry James.  It was through the encouragement of Henry James that George began to write his own novels and so, late in life, he had two novels published, Peter Ibbetson and Trilby*.

Both were successful but Trilby in particular was a runaway success on both sides of the Atlantic and is generally considered to be the first best seller.

The success of Trilby did take its toll on George’s somewhat fragile health and he died before his third novel, The Martian, had been published.  He was cremated, an unusual procedure in 1896, and his ashes were buried in the new churchyard at Hampstead. 

Afterwards an unusual wooden memorial was added to George’s grave.  It was designed by his friend Thomas Armstrong and, as well as the inscription, it included the last lines of Trilby:

A little trust that when we die
We reap our sowing! And so – good-bye!”.”

*The trilby hat’s name derives from the stage adaptation of du Maurier’s 1894 novel Trilby. A hat of this style was worn in the first London production of the play, and promptly came to be called “a Trilby hat”. Its shape somewhat resembles the Tyrolean hat.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s