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A popular romantic novel by D. du Maurier, published in 1938. When the unnamed narrator becomes the second wife of the wealthy widower Maxim de Winter, and mistress of Manderley, his Cornish estate, she is tormented for her failure to match the standard set by Maxim's glamorous first wife, Rebecca. In time the narrator discovers that Maxim hated and indeed—provoked by her shameless adultery—murdered Rebecca, disguising her death as a boating accident. The de Winters go into exile after Mrs Danvers, the memorably drawn servant obsessively loyal to Rebecca's memory, sets fire to Manderley. The novel has echoes of C. Brontë's Jane Eyre and of the wider Gothic tradition.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

Daphne Du Maurier (1907—1989) novelist

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