London Reading List : Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

London Reading List : Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Welcome to my London reading list. Here I talk about books I've read that have a connection with London in some way shape or form.


London has been home to authors for centuries and I love discovering literary history almost everywhere I look. The other day, for example, I was around our neighbourhood and I saw a plaque stating that A.A. Milne was born there. No big deal just the author of Winnie the Pooh.


It is so easy to miss the history as we go about our everyday lives here. I just finished reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and I absolutely loved it. The first sentence of this book is classic,'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.'This classic gothic novel mainly takes place at the fictional estate Manderley which is located, though never explicitly stated, in Cornwall.


There are, however, several London ties. One of the most crucial scenes takes place in London at the home of Dr. Baker, but I won't say more on that matter. Rebecca's main character is Mrs. De Winter and the novel spans the months from her marriage to Max de Winter until several months of marriage.


We see Mrs. de Winter as a new bride coming to grips with living in a massive house that she has no idea how to run and the reminders of Max's late first wife everywhere she looks. As events unfold we learn more and more about Rebecca and not all is at it seams.


A wrecked ship, letters to lovers, a resentful housekeeper, people listening through key holes, a country estate, a masquerade ball and two skeletons. This book is a must read for anyone who is a lover of classical gothic novels. 


After finishing the book I look up what connections Daphne de Maurier had with London and discovered she was born and raised in Hampstead. She lived most of her life in Cornwall but had a London upbringing.


Her childhood home is around the corner from a darling pub called The Wells. Have you read Rebecca? What did you think?

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