Sadly, in order to contain the spread of coronavirus, the National Portrait Gallery, along with all other similar institutions, had to close in the third week of March, just as the exhibition was getting underway. Fortunately, the National Portrait Gallery Publications have produced a most beautiful book of the exhibition, which is available and certainly worth reading. Beaton was just three years older than Daphne. A middle-class suburban school-boy who used his skill behind the camera to transform himself into a glittering society figure, and a star photographer at Vogue Magazine, who befriended many of the artists, writers, socialites and partygoers that he photographed. It should not be forgotten that he also became a leading war photographer, best known for his images of the damage done by the German Blitz in World War II. The photograph of Daphne is a picture which is familiar to us, taken in when she was 19 years old.
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She is referred to as "my wife", Mrs de Winter, "my dear", and so on. The one time she is introduced with a name is during a fancy dress ball, in which she dresses as a de Winter ancestor and is introduced as "Caroline de Winter", although this is clearly not her own name.
She signs her name as "Mrs M. Early in the novel she receives a letter and remarks that her name was correctly spelled, which is "an unusual thing," suggesting her name is uncommon, foreign or complex. While courting her, Maxim compliments her on her "lovely and unusual name".
He marries his new wife after a brief courtship, yet displays little affection toward her after the marriage. Maxim killed Rebecca in a blind rage after she pushed him over the edge with her lie that she was carrying the child of one of her lovers and would force him to raise it as his own.
He does eventually reveal to his new wife that he does love her, but not until several months of marriage have passed. Mrs Danvers: The cold, creepy, overbearing housekeeper of Manderley.
She tries to destroy the marriage, but her efforts fail and only serve to bring Maxim and his new wife closer together. After her scheme is ruined, Mrs Danvers apparently burns Manderley to the ground, preferring to destroy it than allow Maxim to share his home with another lover and wife.
Rebecca de Winter: The unseen, deceased titular character, who has been dead for less than a year. A famous beauty, and on the surface a devoted wife and perfect hostess, Rebecca was actually a compulsive liar and an openly promiscuous woman who tormented her husband Maxim with lurid tales of her nonstop affairs. Her lingering presence overwhelms Manderley, dominating the visitors, the staff and the new Mrs de Winter. Through dialogue, it is slowly revealed that Rebecca possessed all the signs of a psychopath : habitual lying, superficial charm, expert manipulation, no conscience and no remorse.
She was also revealed to be somewhat sadistic — Danvers tells a story of Rebecca, during her teenage years, cruelly whipping a horse until it bled. In the film adaptation , her maiden name was said to be Henrich. Recurring characters[ edit ] Frank Crawley: The hard-working, dutiful agent of Manderley. He soon becomes a good friend to the second Mrs de Winter, and helps her in the self-doubt of her inability to rule Manderley as its mistress.
Prior to the novel, she had married Giles Lacy. Frith: The middle-aged, kind and devoted butler at Manderley. Supporting characters[ edit ] Robert: A footman. She aided her lady and mistress in fitting her white, frilly gown for the fancy dress ball. She replaces the original maid, Alice, later on. He and Rebecca had grown up together as children, causing mayhem, and he shares many of her worst traits, suggesting insanity runs in their family.
He is strongly disliked by Maxim and several other characters. Baker: A doctor who specialises in the feminine problems of women. A few hours prior to her death, Rebecca went to see him in secret, when he diagnosed her with an unspecified type of cancer. There is little likelihood of my bringing back a finished manuscript in December.
Psychological and rather macabre. Du Maurier commented publicly in her lifetime that the book was based on her own memories of Menabilly and Cornwall , as well as her relationship with her father.
The suspicion that Tommy remained attracted to Ricardo haunted Daphne. A beautiful home But something terrible would have to happen, I did not know what She threw herself under a train.
The last line of the book "And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea" is also in metrical form; almost but not quite an anapestic tetrameter. MacDonald who alleged that du Maurier had copied her novel Blind Windows. Du Maurier successfully rebutted the allegations.
Publishing history and reception[ edit ] Du Maurier delivered the manuscript to her publisher, Victor Gollancz, in April Pritchett predicted the novel "would be here today, gone tomorrow. The entry, by Katherine Huber, provided the detailed information on the English and American editions as well as translations listed below.
AUTHOR DATA SHEET Macmillan Guided Readers Daphne du Maurier
When I first heard we were going to read this book I thought it would be boring but in just three pages Daphne du Maurier showed me the contrary. It is a relievable and likeable, wonderful novel. A novel which will make you bite your nails and even cry. The storyline consists in the life of a sweet young lady who marries a well-known man, Mr. Maxim de Winter. This lady, married to a man 20 years older than her, has to fight with the memories of the old Mrs.
MAURIER - Rebecca
MACMILLAN READERS UPPER: REBECCA PACK