“She did get so irritated with people calling it a romantic novel.Because she always said it was a study in jealousy.” The seed of the story lay in du Maurier’s jealousy of Jan Ricardo, the first fiancée of her husband.Their marriage was stable, despite infidelities on both sides, and they went on to have three children: Tessa, Flavia and Christian (known as “Kits”).It was quite clear that Kits was her favourite, and she doted on him.The novel’s nameless young narrator is perplexed by her volatile new husband, Maxim de Winter, the rich owner of the grand Cornish estate, Manderley.Maxim is the kind of charmer who proposes by snapping: “I’m asking you to marry me, you little fool.” His first wife, the glorious but perhaps malevolent Rebecca, drowned in a sailing accident, but her spirit remains, infused in the masonry of Manderley and the seething glare of its housekeeper, Mrs Danvers. The acknowledgments Pratt is the last person that she mentions in the book's acknowledgments, where she thanks him for flowers, finding the credit card, deer jerky and "an impossible amount of support and love."She adds, "Thank you for being just about the best person I know. I wish we had more words for love." It's only February, and we have the first big Hollywood breakup story of 2018.Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston announced their separation after two years of marriage Thursday.
A tomboy – and her actor father’s favourite – she preferred visiting Ferryside, the family’s remote holiday home, to participating in London society.
'Very roughly, the book will be about the influence of a first wife on a second,” wrote Daphne du Maurier in her notes. “It goes on and it goes on,” says Kits Browning, du Maurier’s son, leaning back in his sofa at Ferryside, the house in Fowey, in Cornwall, that has been in the du Maurier family since the Twenties. With his matinee-idol wave of hair and yacht-club bonhomie, at 72, Browning retains a jovial manner.
The novel was to be du Maurier’s masterpiece and a classic of 20th-century fiction that continues to enthral today. And it still sells more than any of her other books.” An impressive 4,000 a month, by the reckoning of its publishers Virago, and it has never been out of print.
“I know that she came across one or two letters or cards, fairly sort of harmless things, where Jan did sign 'Jan Ricardo’ with this wonderful great R,” says Browning, flourishing his hand in the air.
It is a portentous curlicue that is emulated in the book.