du Maurier, George

Tagged: Art | Author

(1834-1896) French/UK illustrator, cartoonist – over 3000 cartoons for Punch alone between 1864 and 1896 – and author, resident mostly in UK from the 1850s on; grandfather of Daphne du Maurier. The protagonists of his first and best novel, Peter Ibbetson (1891), share each other's dreams, in which they return to their idyllic childhood. But du Maurier is known almost exclusively today as the author of Trilby (January-June 1894 Harper's Monthly; expurgated 1894 3vols; text restored vt Svengali: George du Maurier's Trilby 1982), whose Antihero, the preternaturally competent mesmerist (see Hypnosis) Svengali, is a foreign-born Jewish eminence gris whose invasive manipulation of his victims reflected Late Victorian fears of Decadence and of psychic corruption from abroad (see Imperialism; Race in SF), making him into an immensely popular Icon, a convenient embodiment of fin de siècle worries. Du Maurier's last novel, The Martian (1897), lackadaisically tells through hindsight the life story of a sensitive but mysterious Spiritualist who turns out to have been a Martian all her life (see Mysterious Stranger). [JC]

see also: Psi Powers.

George Louis Palmella Busson du Maurier

born Paris: 6 March 1834

died London: 8 October 1896


  • Peter Ibbetson (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1891) [hb/]
  • Trilby (London: Osgood, McIlvaine, 1894) [published in three volumes: first version appeared January-June 1894 Harper's Monthly: book version expurgated: hb/]
  • The Martian (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1897) [hb/]
  • A Legend of Camelot, Pictures and Poems, Etc (London: Bradbury, Agnew, and Co, Publishers, 1898) [poetry plus graphics: coll: title poem is fantastical Satire of the Pre-Raphaelites: hb/George du Maurier]

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