Re-Reading ‘Rebecca’… Or A Daphne Du Maurier Season?

Isn’t it funny how sometimes a few individual things can suddenly give you an idea to do something that you really should have done a long time ago? A few individual items and moments in the last week or so have got me plotting and planning something all about Daphne Du Maurier, probably my very favourite author and one I can’t believe I have not done a special something on sooner.

So what got me thinking about Daphne and her wonderful books? After reading the wonderful ‘Annabel’ by Kathleen Winter (you simply must read it) which lead me to thinking of books with a single name title, and ‘Rebecca’ popped into my head. I then went on a hunt, and failed, to find the Hitchcock adaptation of ‘Rebecca’ and so wondered if I should re-read it?

Then several other things made me think. First of all was the announcement of a new collection of unpublished stories by Daphne Du Maurier called ‘The Doll – Short Stories’ which Virago are publishing at the start of May and I can barely contain myself about. Second . Thirdly my research for ‘Woman’s Word 2011’ made me pull some of Daphne’s books out of the TBR. Festivals and the like then reminded me of the Daphne Du Maurier Festival in May, which I have always dreamed of going to. In fact I have dreamt that I would be invited by her descendents/the Du Maurier estate and stay in Menabilly and have a marvellous time, oh  one can dream… hang on I have digressed.

Suddenly the simple spark of re-reading a book became a whole ‘what about a Du Maurier celebration/reading season?’ after all the Sensation Season I did in 2009 was great fun, all the discussion and getting people to join in reading a genre I loved, why not with an author I loved over a prolonged period? I do like a project , they keep me going (and my summer one ‘Reading With Authors’ will be unveiled in the next week or two). Yet May, to coincide with the festival, seemed too soon… so what about one for the autumn?

So that’s what I am planning, with the help of another blogger (can you guess which one?) who loves a good Daphne tale too, and I thought I would put the idea out there and see what you all thought? I have some ideas for special guests and giveaways and the like, so it could be a hoot. I also thought it would be rather fitting, as it is exactly 80 years since Daphne’s debut novel ‘The Loving Spirit’ was published. It all seems to have come together in a rather lovely way.

So, would you be up for a Du Maurier season later this year? Maybe trying some of her lesser known books as well as reading/re-reading some of the better known ones? Are you already a firm fan of Du Maurier or have you not tried her before?

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23 Comments

Filed under Book Thoughts, Daphne Du Maurier

23 responses to “Re-Reading ‘Rebecca’… Or A Daphne Du Maurier Season?

  1. I’d enjoy this, I’ve only read Rebecca and Jamaica Inn so far

  2. A great idea, Simon! Rebecca is an all-time favourite novel of mine since I was fifteen years old (half my liftetime!) but I am still reluctant to read anything else by her in fear it won’t compare. I’ve built up a small collection of her novels in preparation for the day I take the plunge and sounds like that will be in Autumn…

  3. How fun! I just picked up a first edition of The House on the Strand for a whopping $1 at an estate sale. I’m never very successful at reading challenges, but, this might just spur me onward.

    Thoughts are with you right now.

  4. Susan E

    I’ve only read Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel, so would be very interested. Her book on Branwell Bronte sounds very interesting.

  5. Count me in! I loved Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel, and have a couple of more books sitting pretty on the shelf, so I reckon a Du Maurier season would be a blast.

  6. Jo

    Sounds like a good way for the transition from Summer to Autumn.

    Will enjoy reading more Du Maurier.

  7. I haven’t read anything of hers, although your recommendations have led me to gather up a few copies. I’d definitely be up for a themed reading season in the autumn.

  8. Ages ago I did a ‘reading backwards with Daphne’ project – reading her books in reverse order – but, er, I didn’t get very far. I think I managed one. But I have read two others of hers at another time. I’d love to revisit Rebecca, or perhaps read some of D du M’s short stories. My shelves are full of her stuff, so that’s not going to be an issue… in fact, only yesterday I bought Don’t Look Now and other stories.

  9. I’m up for a du Maurier season! I’ve only read Rebecca, The House on the Strand, and an abridged version of Jamaica Inn. I vaguely recall watching Hitchock’s adaptation of The Birds and have always fancied reading it for comparison.

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  11. Sue

    I read Rebecca years ago, would be well up for this.

  12. I’ve been considering rereading Rebecca for some time now. I really need to give some of the other books that this author has written a try as well.

  13. novelinsights

    So excited about this and also… where do I get my hands on THAT fabulous cover of Rebecca?!

  14. Dot

    I am very excited about this! I love Daphne and was planning a little Rebecca re-read this year!

  15. This sounds like a great idea. I’ve been a fan of Daphne du Maurier since I was eleven when I first read ‘Jamaica Inn’ and ‘Frenchman’s Creek’, both of which I remember thinkng were terribly racy at the time. I’ve got five or six books of hers on the shelf which I haven’t read, so I’d love to join in with this.

  16. Have never read any of hers, not even Rebecca. Have been meaning to. So yes, I’d be up for at least the one, and would appreciate the nudge! Do it!

  17. Do read the excellent biography by Margaret Forster. Warts and all and fascinating

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  19. Rita Berman

    A great idea. I am teaching the life and works of Daphne du Maurier this May to Shared Learning, a group of seniors.
    We will celebrate her birthday on May 13. rb

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  21. Thank you all for the recommendations and the possiblity of you all joining in etc. All I will say is keep your eyes peeled for an announcement this Friday!!!

  22. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your site! It’s a coincidence because just a couple of weeks ago I picked up my mum’s book of Du Maurier’s “Four Great Cornish Novels”. I immediately felt the need to re-read Jamaica Inn, because it’s the perfect thing to get you in the mood for Autumn. I then couldn’t stop and re-read Rebecca. I’m now on to the third in the collection; Frenchman’s Creek and I think I’ll just carry right on to read My Cousin Rachel after that.

    So I’m sort of doing my own mini Daphne Du Maurier special on my blog! I’m really enjoying reading through your posts and have got some ideas of her other books to read too!

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