105 pages 3 hours read

Daphne du Maurier


Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1938

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  • Genre: Fiction; romantic suspense
  • Originally Published: 1938
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 880L; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: 27 chapters; approx. 416 pages; approx. 15 hours on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: A young unnamed female narrator marries a wealthy Englishman, Maxim de Winter, and becomes obsessed with the figure of Rebecca, de Winter’s first wife, who died the previous year.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Bullying and psychological manipulation

Daphne Du Maurier, Author

  • Bio: 1907-1989; born in London to parents who worked in the theater; influenced by them and other family members who devoted themselves to careers in theater, writing, and art; known for her private, almost reclusive demeanor with the press and public; set several romances in Cornwall, where she lived with her husband and three children; made a Dame Commander in the Order of the British Empire (1969)
  • Other Works: Jamaica Inn (1936); My Cousin Rachel (1951); The Scapegoat (1957); The House on the Strand (1969); Rule Britannia (1972); Growing Pains (autobiography; 1977)
  • Awards: National Book Award (1938); Academy Award for Best Picture (film version; 1940)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • The Haunting: Rebecca’s Power
  • The Narrator’s Journey: Childhood Innocence to the Wisdom of Adulthood
  • The Paradise of Manderley

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Gain an understanding of British aristocratic etiquette and how this informs the novel.