Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

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A 2012 World Book Night selection.

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…” is probably one of the most famous first lines from a novel and captures the readers interest immediately. What is Manderley? Why is our narrator dreaming about it? The story is relayed to us by the second Mrs de Winter who is not even given a name throughout the novel, as if to emphasise how insignificant she is compared to her predecessor, Rebecca. This book is haunting, chilling and packed full of intrigue. Who was Rebecca, why did people love her so much, was she good or evil? The narrator is constantly searching for answers to questions that no-one seems to want to answer but the truth that has been hidden for years is about to be revealed. A true classic.

If you like Daphne du Maurier you might also like to read books by Will Davenport, Susan Howatch and Sara Donati.


Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

On a trip to the South of France, the shy heroine of Rebecca falls in love with Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower. Although his proposal comes as a surprise, she happily agrees to marry him. But as they arrive at her husband's home, Manderley, a change comes over Maxim, and the young bride is filled with dread. Friendless in the isolated mansion, she realises that she barely knows him. In every corner of every room is the phantom of his beautiful first wife, Rebecca, and the new Mrs de Winter walks in her shadow.


One of the most influential novels of the twentieth century, Rebecca has woven its way into the fabric of our culture with all the troubling power of myth or dream. A stunning book -- Sarah Waters Addictive and breathtaking. Its blending of melodrama and subtlety is ingenious. The Cornish setting never quite leaves the imagination Independent Possibly the best crime novel ever written. Right from page one you are gripped by a palpable sense of suspense -- Hilary Bonner Express With one of the most evocative first lines ever, Daphne du Maurier's fifth novel has everything a reader could ask for ... Psychologically astute and disturbingly romantic, Rebecca was an immediate bestseller on publication in 1938 and has cast a sinister spell ever since Marie Claire A brilliantly constructed novel - the ultimate in psychological suspense, instantly gripping and haunting, Rebecca will stay with you for ever. -- Alex Barclay Psychologies As a new generation of readers are introduced to the wicked housekeeper Mrs Danvers and learn Maxim de Winter's terrible secret, this chilling, suspenseful tale is as fresh and readable as it was when it was first written. Daily Telegraph Excellent entertainment ... du Maurier created a scale by which modern women can measure their feelings. -- Stephen King Her masterpiece ... Seldom has a dead woman exercised such power beyond the grave. Rebecca will live for ever, because du Maurier touches a fearful nerve -- Kate Saunders The Times I loved the fact that at the start of the story, Rebecca is dead and yet she influences every action and thought of all the other characters in the book. The moment I finished this story, I turned to page one and started it over again. -- Malorie Blackman Addictive and breathtaking -- Joanna Briscoe Independent

About the Author

Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was born in London, the daughter of the famous actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of George du Maurier, the author and artist. In 1931 her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published. A biography of her father and three other novels followed, but it was the novel Rebecca that launched her into the literary stratosphere and made her one of the most popular authors of her day. In 1932, du Maurier married Major Frederick Browning, with whom she had three children. Many of du Maurier's bestselling novels and short stories were adapted into award-winning films, including Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now. In 1969 du Maurier was awarded a DBE. She lived most of her life in Cornwall, the setting for many of her books.

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Daphne Du Maurier
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Publication date

4th July 2005




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