Literary Criticism

Reading du Maurier was long considered less than a literary pursuit. John Raymond, writing in the New Statesman, once called her "a kind of poor woman's Charlotte Bronte." Kelly, writing in 1987 before du Maurier's death, declared, "The literary establishment clearly wants nothing to do with Daphne du Maurier. There are no critical essays or books about her. . . . The fact that millions of people read her novels certainly works against her approval by literary critics, who are not inclined to prize what the popular audience does."

Critically, her books were never considered of the same caliber of Bronte, Austin, or Elliot.   They were not "intellectual heavyweights".  However, she had a dedicated and loyal following.   Considered Gothic Romantic, du Maurier wrote books that relied on suspense.    She is truly a first-rate storyteller, who has a flare for "doom and gloom", and always has a surprise waiting for the reader.    In fact, most of her books end in ways that the reader himself has to draw his own conclusions.   She was truly a pioneer for women in the literary world.