Oriel Malet

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Lady Auriel Rosemary Malet Vaughan (20 January 1923 – 14 October 2014) was an author of literary fiction and biographies who wrote under the name of Oriel Malet.[1]


Her parents were Ernest Edmund Henry Malet Vaughan, 7th Earl of Lisburne and Maria Isabel Regina Aspasia de Bittencourt.[1] Her godmother was the French actress and singer Yvonne Arnaud, whom Malet wrote about in her book Marraine: A Portrait of My Godmother (1961).[2]

Life and work[edit]

After spending her childhood in Wales, Malet wrote her first book at the age of 17, Trust in the Springtime, which was published in 1943. This was followed by My Bird Sings (1946) for which she was awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in the same year. Among her other works is a fictionalised biography of Marjory Fleming, the child poet and writer, written when Malet was 20.[3] Marjory Fleming was originally published in 1946, and was reprinted by Persephone Books in 2000. Malet spent much of her life in France, and after initially moving to Paris, she lived in Normandy, in Eure.

Malet was a close friend of the author Daphne du Maurier. Their friendship is documented in the book Letters from Menabilly: Portrait of a Friendship (1994), a collection of du Maurier's letters to Malet over the course of 30 years, as well as Malet's accompanying commentary.


  1. ^ a b Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003)
  2. ^ http://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n94-4757
  3. ^ Marjory Fleming (London: Faber, 1946, rep. London: Persephone, 2000). ISBN 978-1-903155-07-3. French translation 2002.

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