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The Birds

Daphne du Maurier’s novels are famous for their passion, tension and alarmingly candid psychological takes on men and women, often trapped in unhealthily obsessive relationships. Her writing was noted as being so strongly cinematic that Alfred Hitchcock made three films based on her work: Jamaica Inn, The Birds and Rebecca, while Don’t Look Now, the classic horror film by Nicolas Roeg, was based on another of her works. Daphne du Maurier was born in London, the middle of three daughters of prominent actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and actress Muriel Beaumont. Her mother was a maternal niece of a journalist, author, and lecturer William Comyns Beaumont. Her grandfather was an author and Punch cartoonist George du Maurier, who created the character of Svengali in the novel Trilby. Her elder sister, Angela du Maurier, also became a writer, and her younger sister Jeanne was a painter. Du Maurier's family connections helped her establish her literary career, and she published some of her early work in Beaumont's Bystander magazine. Her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published in 1931. In The Birds, humble farmer Nat Hocken and his family are attacked by a flock of killer birds. He first notices that the birds are congregating when he sees an unusual amount of them on his walk home. At the end of the story, Nat futilely attempts to board up his house against an attack. Eventually, the birds break in and kill Nat. You can listen online to free English audiobook “The Birds” by Daphne du Maurier on our website.

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