Author: Daphne du Maurier
Published by: Virago Press in 2003
First published by: Victor Gollanez Ltd. in 1983
Afterword: Sally Beauman
Our heroine; the novel’s protagonist and narrator, we never learn her given name.
Maxim de Winter; an intelligent older man, and the owner of Manderley.
Rebecca; in life, Rebecca was the beautiful, much-loved, wife of Maxim de Winter.
Mrs. Danvers; the sinister housekeeper at Manderley.
Jack Favell; Rebecca’s cousin.
Frank Crawley; Maxim’s kind, loyal overseer at Manderley.
Beatrice; Maxim’s sister.
Mrs. Van Hopper; the gossipy and wealthy American woman, who employs our heroine as a companion.
Ben; a harmless man, a little mad, who spends much of his time on the beach near Manderley.
Baker; a London doctor
Frith; the butler at Manderley
Clarice; the heroine’s maid
Jasper; one of Maxim’s dogs, and the heroine’s favourite.
Daphne du Maurier
Daphne du Maurier was born in London (although she spent most of her life in Cornwall), the second of three daughters of actor and manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and actress Muriel Beaumont. Her grandfather was the author George du Maurier. These connections helped her in starting her literary career; Du Maurier published some of her very early work in her grandfather’s magazine, and her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published in 1931. Du Maurier was also the cousin of the Llewelyn Davies boys, who were J.M. Barrie's inspiration for the characters in the play Peter Pan. As a young child she was introduced to many of the brightest stars of the theatre thanks to the celebrity of her father.
She married Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Browning and had two daughters and a son (Tessa, Flavia and Christian). Her son now lives in her house in Fowey and my parents know him a little, funnily enough. Her husband died in 1965 and soon after Daphne moved to Kilmarth which became the setting for The House on the...