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I don’t think she ever spoke to her, it was just a look that sunk in.” Manderley, like Hogwarts and Brideshead, is a name fixed in our imagination.
Still, it is said that Daphne was haunted by the suspicion that her husband remained attracted to Ricardo.
“She couldn’t think what to call her and so she didn’t call her anything. Why is it that everybody else thought the sun shone out of her a---?
And then it became a challenge: could she actually write the whole thing without it,” says Browning. There’s never a bad word about Rebecca except from Max.
“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.
'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.Manderley was based on Milton Hall in Cambridgeshire, which du Maurier visited in her youth, but she placed it in the setting of Menabilly, the home she leased, hidden away in the woods by the Gribbin Head outside Fowey, and where the family moved after Ferryside.“She always had this thing that places were more important than people,” explains Browning; and, indeed, while she was in Egypt, she had confessed to missing the then-abandoned house of Menabilly more than her two children (Kits had yet to be born). 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.It was at Milton Hall that she conceived of Mrs Danvers. They were always called Mrs, even if they weren’t married, like Mrs Hudson in Sherlock Holmes,” says Browning.