From Du Maurier (1938) to Duffy (2010)

From Wikipedia:

Rebecca is a 1938 Gothic novel by English author Dame Daphne du Maurier.

The Times stated that “the material is of the humblest…nothing in this is beyond the novelette.” In the Christian Science Monitor of 14 September 1938, V.S. Pritchett predicted the novel “would be here today, gone tomorrow.”

More recently, in a column for The Independent, the critics Ceri Radford and Chris Harvey recommended the book and argued that Rebecca is a “marvellously gothic tale” with a good dose of atmospheric and psychological horror.

Few critics saw in the novel what the author wanted them to see: the exploration of the relationship between a man who is powerful and a woman who is not.

The famous opening line of the book “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” is an iambic hexameter. 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.”


“Either you go to America with Mrs. Van Hopper or you come home to Manderley with me.”

“Do you mean you want a secretary or something?”

“No, I’m asking you to marry me, you little fool.”

Tom Holland wrote in The Guardian of 17.7.2010:

“…Back in the sixth century AD, the Roman historian Procopius wrote a portrait of the empress Theodora…Such a woman, it goes without saying, is an absolute godsend to the historical novelist. “Actress, empress, whore”, screams the subtitle of Stella Duffy’s new novel…The novel ends, seemingly on a high, with Theodora walking out with the emperor Justinian, her new husband, to greet the very crowds who had once cheered and gawped at her floor-shows…”

Opening line:

” “And where is the Pentapolis?” ”

From the closing sentence:

“Justinian walked forward…calling Emperor, calling August…and the people called Theodora.”


“Fix what?”

“Oh for God’s sake, Theodora, don’t be so dense. You. Me. I want to marry you.”

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