The Folio Society release new illustrated edition of Rebecca
- Credit: Archant
The celebrated novel of Du Maurier, who spent her childhood in Hampstead, is accompanied by an introduction from Helen Dunmore
“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…”
The opening line of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca is one of the most recognisable in English literature. The tale of the second Mrs de Winter was an immediate success when it was originally released and has never waivered in popularity.
Du Maurier, who spent much of her childhood living at Cannon Hall in Hampstead, delivered the manuscript to the bestselling novel to her publisher in 1938. It has been continuously in print ever since, despite disparaging reviews from critics such as The Times who said “nothing in this is beyond the novelette”.
A new clothbound edition by The Folio Society, introduced by Helen Dunmore and illustrated by D.G. Smith is now available.
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The story follows an unnamed narrator, a timid and naïve young woman in her twenties who meets the widowed Maxim de Winter and quickly agrees to marry him. On moving to his estate in Cornwall, she is haunted by the memory of his deceased wife, Rebecca, whose looming presence in the house appears as strong as if she were alive.
Plagued by feelings of inadequacy and anxiety spurred on by a malicious housekeeper, Mrs Danvers, the new Mrs de Winter becomes obsessed with Rebecca, believing that her husband must still love her.
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D.G Smith’s six illustrations show some of the books iconic scenes and characters, including the house in the cove and Mrs Danvers herself.
The Folio Society has been publishing illustrated editions of great literary works since 1947. With either specially researched or commissioned images, many of the books are enhanced further with an introduction.
This edition is particularly poignant as the introduction was written by author Helen Dunmore, who passed away just two months ago. Her admiration for the novel and its author are expressed plainly as she discusses the impact of the unreliable narrator and the mirroring of Manderley with its inspiration Menabilly, which Du Maurier rented: “Like Rebecca herself, Du Maurier overturns the established order of things, and through her gifts as a writer, rather than with money or inheritance, she claims the house for her own.”
Available exclusively at www.foliosociety.com