Rebecca (1938)

Novel: Rebecca ()
Published/Performed: 1938

Author: Daphne du Maurier
Born: May 13, 1907 London, England
Passed: Apr 19, 1989 Cornwall, UK

Film: Rebecca
Released: 1940

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About the Novel Rebecca:

Rebecca is a novel by Daphne du Maurier. When Rebecca was published in 1938, du Maurier became ? to her great surprise ? one of the most popular authors of the day. Rebecca is considered to be one of her best works. Much of the novel was written while she was staying in Alexandria, Egypt, where her husband was posted.

The famous opening line of the book "Last night I dreamed 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.

Some commentators have noted parallels with Jane Eyre.

One edition of the book was used by the Germans in World War II as a code source.[5] Sentences would be made using single words in the book, referred to by page number, line and position in the line. One copy was kept at Rommel's headquarters,[5] and the other was carried by German Abwehr agents infiltrated in Cairo after crossing Egypt by car, guided by Count L?szl? Alm?sy.[citation needed] This code was never used, however, because the radio section of the HQ was captured in a skirmish and hence the Germans suspected that the code was compromised.[6] This use of the book is referred to in Ken Follett's novel The Key to Rebecca - where a (fictional) spy does use it to pass critical information to Rommel.

Rebecca has been adapted several times. The most notable of these was the Academy Award winning 1940 Alfred Hitchcock film version Rebecca, the first film Hitchcock made under his contract with David O. Selznick. The film, which starred Laurence Olivier as Max, Joan Fontaine as the Heroine, and Judith Anderson as Mrs. Danvers, was based on the novel. However, the Hollywood Production Code required that if Max had murdered his wife, he would have to be punished for his crime. Therefore, the key turning point of the novel ? the revelation that Max, in fact, murdered Rebecca ? was altered so that it seemed as if Rebecca's death was accidental. At the end of the film version, Mrs. Danvers perishes in the fire, which she had started. The film quickly became a classic and, at the time, was a major technical achievement in film-making.

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Featured Cast (Names and Roles) of the Film Rebecca: