Rebecca is a 1938 Gothic novel by English author Dame Daphne du Maurier. It concerns an unnamed young woman who impetuously marries a wealthy widower, only to discover that he and his household are haunted by the memory of his late first wife. A best-seller which has never gone out of print, Rebecca sold 2. 8 million copies between its publication in 1938 and 1965.
About Rebecca (novel) in brief
Rebecca is a 1938 Gothic novel by English author Dame Daphne du Maurier. It concerns an unnamed young woman who impetuously marries a wealthy widower, only to discover that he and his household are haunted by the memory of his late first wife, the title character. A best-seller which has never gone out of print, Rebecca sold 2. 8 million copies between its publication in 1938 and 1965. It has been adapted numerous times for stage and screen, including a 1939 play, the film Rebecca, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and the 2020 remake directed by Ben Wheatley for Netflix. The novel is remembered especially for the character Mrs. Danvers, the fictional estate Manderley, and its opening line: \”Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again. \”Rebecca’s boat is raised, and it is discovered to have been deliberately sunk. An inquest is held into the death of Rebecca’s first cousin and lover, Jack Favell, claiming that she could not have intended suicide based on a note she sent to him shortly before her death. It is revealed that Rebecca had had an appointment with a doctor in London shortly before she died, presumably to confirm her pregnancy. When the doctor is found to have cancer and would have died within a few months due to the malformation of her uterus, she could never have been pregnant with Maxim’s child. Maxim feels a great sense of foreboding and insists on knowing that Rebecca would die quickly, knowing that she would be manipulated into killing her quickly.
The narrator is soon convinced that Maxim regrets his impetuous decision to marry her and is still deeply in love with the seemingly perfect Rebecca. After the narrator shows Maxim the dress, he angrily orders her to change. Shortly after the ball, Mrs. Danvers reveals her contempt for the narrator, believing she is trying to replace Rebecca, and reveals her deep, unhealthy obsession with the dead woman. She tries to get the narrator to commit suicide by encouraging her to jump out of the window, but is thwarted at the last moment by a nearby shipwreck. A diver investigating the wrecked ship’s hull’s condition also discovers the remains of Rebecca’s sailing boat, with her decomposed body still on board. This discovery causes Maxim to confess to the narrator that his marriage to Rebecca was a sham. Rebecca, Maxim reveals, was a cruel and selfish woman who manipulated everyone around her into believing her to be the perfect wife and a paragon of virtue. On the night of her death, she told Maxim that she was pregnant with another man’s child, which she would raise under the pretense that it was Maxim’s, and he would be powerless to stop her. In a rage, Maxim shot her through the heart, then disposed of her body by placing it in her boat and sinking it at sea. The narrator thinks little of Maxim’s murder confession but is relieved to hear that Maxim has always loved her and never Rebecca.