I spent last month reading Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, not for the intention of my column but because I craved a story where setting was pivotal. I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with literary spaces but I love stories set in huge ancestral mansions with secret rooms and wild gardens, places where afternoon tea is served on the lawn. Du Maurier didn’t disappoint me.
But as I began reading Rebecca I was surprised at how much else was familiar. It wasn’t just the house but the characters and plot that resonated in my literary consciousness. I’d been in this story before. And I began to realise that Rebecca was so much more than just a ‘gothic romance’ (the label it was originally marketed under), it is a complex, intertextual response to so many ideas that preceded it, specifically those contained within Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.
To read more about Rebecca please click here to view my column on the This is Horror site.