Authors I’ve read: Daphne Du Maurier ‘Rebecca


rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

I’ve read such a lot of Daphne Du Maurier books – some good and some better,  If I had to rate them, number one would surely be Rebecca.  The  first line sets the mood  of the book, as we are whisked away back in time to the mysterious Manderley and the equally mysterious Max De Winter.  The story reads like Cinderella, where poor servant (well, rich woman’s companion) wins wealthy prince (De Winter) and goes to live happily ever after in his palace (Manderley).  However, the ‘Happy ever after’ is a long time coming –  something keeps getting in the way. 



 There’s another fairytale in here, if you think about it.  The handsome Prince kisses the beautiful princess who turns into a frog (Rebecca).  Max’s second wife (we never do learn her name?) is also awakened by her prince but not to a life of pleasure (like her predecessor) she inherits a nightmare – the ruin and devastation that Rebecca has left her.  I have only just thought about the fairytale aspect of Rebecca.  When  the poor woman (encouraged by evil Danvers) dresses  unknowingly in a fancy dress costume that Rebecca wore and confronts her portrait, it is so ‘Mirror Mirror on the wall’ (Snow White) with Rebecca winning again by being the fairest of them all.  In the end though, all that glisters is not gold and the real beauty shines through –  not the supercilious veneer that is Rebecca – the beautiful frog triumphs and  marries the prince.


Beauty is only skin deep

I shall go through these books separately in other posts.  The list below is not in particular order of preference.

Jamaica Inn

Frenchman’s Creek

My Cousin Rachael

House on the Strand

The infernal world of Branwell Bronte

Don’t look now

The Birds

9 thoughts on “Authors I’ve read: Daphne Du Maurier ‘Rebecca

  1. Interesting look at Rebecca–I especially like the Snow White queen illustration. How perfect is that!

    I’m in a rereading du Maurier phase myself, and hope to get to Frenchman’s Creek soon.

    If you want a good read, try Justine Picardie’s Daphne. I loved it.

  2. Hh ha! I read that Jane, you recommended it! Enjoyed it too – a lot. Reviewed it on Echostains. I might take another look at how these fairytales can be applied to literature. I wrote a dissertation about Hitler and folktales like the Pied Piper when I was Uni. Wonder which fairytale ‘Wuthering Heights’ would could be likened to? Orphan boy, used ill, who becomes a cruel master: unrequited love, curses and a ghost knocking at the window to be let in…sounds like one of the brothers Grimm tales.

  3. Interesting, I like Du Maurier too but hadn’t thought of a fairytale comparison – I’d been more struck by the similarities with Jane Eyre. The mini-series of this with Charles Dance and Emilia Fox is quite good (reviewed it a while ago at my blog) but I still prefer the old film with Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. Also enjoyed ‘Daphne’ and heard Justine Picardie give a talk on it – seems as if a lot of it was based on fact.

  4. Hi Judy, Couldn’t agree more! I adore the Fontaine and Olivier one too. Can’t remember who played Danvers, but she was chilling. There are so many fantastic and mysterious scenes in that film;- Danvers telling Mrs De W to jump from the window, the fancy dress, the beach and the simple old man, the body being found, plus the whirlwind romance and proposal by Max! Jane GS recommended ‘Daphne’ by Picardie to me, fabulous book. Lucky you getting to meet the author! Just when you think that there’s nothing new about the Bronte’s to be read – something is uncovered or new clains arise. I have quite a few items in my ‘Bronte Bites’ category on Echostains, plus a review of this book. The Jane Eyre comparison is indeed interesting – rich man marries poor Ladies companion, competes with a ghost (dead wife), yes I see what you mean! Mmm do you think there’s some kind of ‘formula’ to these stories? That could be a challenge – write a story based on a famous book or fairytale, set in contemporary times!

  5. Hi Kelink, The Hitchcock Danvers really scared me – fabulous acting! I’ve not read the King’s General but I too like her short stories – love her writing! Thanks for visiting Kelink, have you tried my other blog it’s full of well -all sorts!

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