Rebecca

DU MAURIER, Daphne. Rebecca.

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DU MAURIER, Daphne. Rebecca. London: Victor Gollancz, 1938.

8vo., recently rebound in full green morocco with gilt borders; five raised bands, lettered and ruled in gilt to spine with gilt devices in compartments; pp. [vii], 6-446, [iv]; pages evenly toned, with some dark marks to the upper edge; a very good, sound copy.
First edition.
Rebecca is arguably Daphne Du Maurier's most loved works, and is a gothic tale which follows the story of the second wife of a wealthy Englishman attempting to build a life in the shadow of her former counterpart. In 1937, Du Maurier had signed a deal with publisher's Victor Gollancz, and had since her marriage in 1932 been toying with the idea of basing a novel around the theme of jealousy. She noted that her husband had been "engaged before – to glamorous, dark-haired Jan Ricardo", and she retained suspicions that he was still attracted to her. In The Rebecca Notebook of 1981, du Maurier "'remembered' Rebecca's gestation ... Seeds began to drop. A beautiful home ... a first wife ... jealousy, a wreck, perhaps at sea, near to the house ... But something terrible would have to happen, I did not know what...". In her notes prior to writing she claimed "I want to build up the character of the first [wife] in the mind of the second...until wife 2 is haunted day and night...a tragedy is looming very close and CRASH! BANG! something happens.'"On completion, Du Maurier herself called it "a sinister tale… psychological and rather macabre", and parallels were drawn with both Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre.
Gollancz initially ordered a first print run of 20,000 copies, but within a month Rebecca had sold more than twice that number. It has been continuously in print since 1938.

#2118475