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"In her heartfelt memories...one hears the genuine, thoughtful voice of a woman whose works have been loved by millions."-New York Times Rebecca was one of Daphne du Maurier's greatest bestsellers. It has been read all around the world, and in many different languages. The book has been adapted for the theater, film, television, and even opera. Now Daphne du Maurier reveals "In her heartfelt memories...one hears the genuine, thoughtful voice of a woman whose works have been loved by millions."-New York Times Rebecca was one of Daphne du Maurier's greatest bestsellers. It has been read all around the world, and in many different languages. The book has been adapted for the theater, film, television, and even opera. Now Daphne du Maurier reveals how it came to be written: its origins, its development, and the directions its plot might have taken. The original outline of the novel is here, as well as the original Epilogue. Daphne du Maurier also reveals how she first came upon Menabilly, the secret house hidden away in Cornish woodland, that was to become the romantic setting of Rebecca: a house which stood derelict, and which she lovingly restored.


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"In her heartfelt memories...one hears the genuine, thoughtful voice of a woman whose works have been loved by millions."-New York Times Rebecca was one of Daphne du Maurier's greatest bestsellers. It has been read all around the world, and in many different languages. The book has been adapted for the theater, film, television, and even opera. Now Daphne du Maurier reveals "In her heartfelt memories...one hears the genuine, thoughtful voice of a woman whose works have been loved by millions."-New York Times Rebecca was one of Daphne du Maurier's greatest bestsellers. It has been read all around the world, and in many different languages. The book has been adapted for the theater, film, television, and even opera. Now Daphne du Maurier reveals how it came to be written: its origins, its development, and the directions its plot might have taken. The original outline of the novel is here, as well as the original Epilogue. Daphne du Maurier also reveals how she first came upon Menabilly, the secret house hidden away in Cornish woodland, that was to become the romantic setting of Rebecca: a house which stood derelict, and which she lovingly restored.

30 review for The Rebecca Notebook: and Other Memories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Woman Reading

    3.5 ☆ I recently read Rebecca as my first novel by Daphne du Maurier. Prior to starting it, I didn't have high expectations despite the very favorable ratings. Imagine my surprise to feel the emotional pull of Rebecca lingering even several days later. I considered reading other authors' attempts at writing a follow-up such as Mrs de Winter or Rebecca's Tale, but the mixed reviews have dissuaded me. I opted instead to pick up du Maurier's The Rebecca Notebook. Disappointingly, fewer than 50 pages 3.5 ☆ I recently read Rebecca as my first novel by Daphne du Maurier. Prior to starting it, I didn't have high expectations despite the very favorable ratings. Imagine my surprise to feel the emotional pull of Rebecca lingering even several days later. I considered reading other authors' attempts at writing a follow-up such as Mrs de Winter or Rebecca's Tale, but the mixed reviews have dissuaded me. I opted instead to pick up du Maurier's The Rebecca Notebook. Disappointingly, fewer than 50 pages were related to her thinking process and the artistic influences for her Rebecca. This included her original plot outline and an epilogue. To avoid spoilers, suffice to say that the published iteration conveyed more dramatic tension, made Mrs. Danvers more sinister, and created more questions. Also in this section was a true story about Menabilly, a house in Cornwall which du Maurier absolutely loved. Her feelings for this country estate were manifested in Mr. de Winter's love for Manderley. The Menabilly vignette and epilogue can also be found in the 2006 edition of Rebecca. As Rebecca had piqued my interest in du Maurier, my second motivation for reading this book was for her personal accounts about her grandfather, her father, and various musings of her beliefs. Our characters are greatly formed by our pasts, of which family would have played significant roles. After reading this section, I could see how some aspects were echoed in Rebecca. Her essay "This I Believe" gave me the biggest jolt. Du Maurier opined that as women strive for gender equality, in achieving this they lose their first purpose in life, which is to preserve, to maintain the family. For a woman who liked non- traditional feminine pursuits as a child and who carved out a career as a novelist, I am confused by this anti-feminist stance. A more charitable interpretation is possibly that du Maurier was stating that women couldn't have it all, ie. a healthy family and a career. I don't know when du Maurier wrote "This I Believe" but this book was published when she was in her early 70s. Whether she was a true anti-feminist or a woman who felt guilty about her child-rearing practices is beyond my knowledge of du Maurier, but her stance may have explained why the two unlikable Mrs. de Winters in Rebecca were both childless. My edition was published in 1980 and is likely out of print. This book also contained 15 short stories and 3 poems that haven't been widely known. The stories varied in quality but nearly all explored the messy dramas of life such as jealousy, hypocrisy, deception, and murder. Only two had what could be regarded as happy endings - "Adieu Sagesse" and "Fairy Tale." A few stories hinted at du Maurier's ability to create sleights of hand and thus her writing mastery that culminated with Rebecca. I regard these stories as her best in this collection: "Panic," "La Sainte-Vierge," and "A Difference in Temperaments."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Decent read, but frustrating as well, because although the book is titled The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories, there's actually very little in it concerning her most famous novel except for the early preliminary notes that she jotted down regarding each chapter of Rebecca and a first draft of Chapter One. Unfortunately, 40 years had passed between the publication of this book and Rebecca, and du Maurier's memories of her original thoughts and creative process while penning Rebecca had been d Decent read, but frustrating as well, because although the book is titled The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories, there's actually very little in it concerning her most famous novel except for the early preliminary notes that she jotted down regarding each chapter of Rebecca and a first draft of Chapter One. Unfortunately, 40 years had passed between the publication of this book and Rebecca, and du Maurier's memories of her original thoughts and creative process while penning Rebecca had been dimmed by time and memory loss. There were too many statements like: "I don't remember why I did this" or "I can't recall why I wrote it this way". Like I said, very frustrating. I had hoped to get more into the writer's mind, but it just wasn't there. Fortunately, the "other memories" section saved this book from being a total wash out. There was a section devoted to short stories du Maurier had penned throughout her career. My absolute favorite being The House of Secrets, which was really her "love letter" to Menabilly (the house she once lived in and based the house from Rebecca on: "Manderley"). For anyone who has a passion for old houses like I do, I could fully relate to du Maurier's almost obsessive desire to possess this house and learn it's secrets. Anyone who loves old houses will be able to relate to this story entirely. The final portion of the book was devoted to some of du Maurirer's personal memoirs and character studies of people from her life like her father and grandfather. I found this section to be interesting and informative but also a bit sad, as she explores widowhood, growing old and death. All in all, I'm happy I picked this up at the library, but I do think the title is a misnomer.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Piepie

    Rebecca is my absolute FAVORITE book of all time, and the first part of this book contains notes and drafts from this one of the most well-known works of fiction. The rest, well.. it was pretty boring and bland. My favorite essay was "The House of Secrets," with "Moving House" a close second. The preface and introduction were both interesting, as well, as I have a sharp interest in the life of Daphne du Maurier. I recommend this book to diehard fans, as you're getting not only insight into how R Rebecca is my absolute FAVORITE book of all time, and the first part of this book contains notes and drafts from this one of the most well-known works of fiction. The rest, well.. it was pretty boring and bland. My favorite essay was "The House of Secrets," with "Moving House" a close second. The preface and introduction were both interesting, as well, as I have a sharp interest in the life of Daphne du Maurier. I recommend this book to diehard fans, as you're getting not only insight into how Rebecca was written, but also a peek into the lives of the author and her family.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Robson

    Whilst researching for my blog Always posted back in September I ended up buying as an ebook The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories published originally in the early 1980s. There is an introduction by Alison Light written in 2014 and also an introduction by Daphne du Maurier herself, looking back 40 years to the publication of Rebecca. The Rebecca Notebook itself follows with notes and the original Epilogue. Fans of Rebecca will find this compelling reading. The rest of the book is entitled Mem Whilst researching for my blog Always posted back in September I ended up buying as an ebook The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories published originally in the early 1980s. There is an introduction by Alison Light written in 2014 and also an introduction by Daphne du Maurier herself, looking back 40 years to the publication of Rebecca. The Rebecca Notebook itself follows with notes and the original Epilogue. Fans of Rebecca will find this compelling reading. The rest of the book is entitled Memories and these are 11 prose pieces which du Maurier explains “are not articles in the strict sense of the word, for I have never been a journalist but a writer of novels, stories and biographies, including one book of childhood and adolescent memories.” The book she refers to is Growing Pains: the shaping of a writer. The 11 prose pieces are: The Young George due Maurier The Matinee Idol (du Maurier’s father) Sylvia’s Boys (cousins of du Maurier’s who inspired the novel Peter Pan My Name in Lights Romantic Love (the author is very forthright here) This I Believe: “The child who rebelled against parental standards rebels against them still in middle age. The sceptic of seven who queried the existence of God in the sky, of fairies in the woods, of Father Christmas descending every London chimney in a single magic night, remains a sceptic at fifty-seven.” Death and Widowhood The House of Secrets. This chapter is the main reason I bought the ebook. It recounts the discovery of Menabilly, one of the two houses that inspired Manderley. In my blog I quote from Growing Pains. Here is a paragraph from The House of Secrets. “The drive twisted and turned in a way that I described many years afterwards, when sitting at a desk in Alexandria and looking out upon a hard glazed sky and dusty palm trees; but on that first autumnal afternoon when the drive was new to us, it had the magic quality of a place hitherto untrodden, unexplored.” Moving House - this is about du Maurier leaving Menabilly. A Winter’s Afternoon, Kilmarth Sunday The book finishes with several poems. It is a must read for fans of this fascinating writer.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jack Robinson

    Absolutely loved reading this. For anyone interested in the writer, this is a fascinating insight into the woman she was in the later years of her life. The title of this book seems to have drawn some criticism. 'The Rebecca Notebook & other Memories' seems as if it was a way to make the book sell. Maybe the publishers were worried a bunch of Daphne's non-fiction prose would have trouble selling? Maybe they forgot that Gerald: A Portrait and The Du Maurier's were very successful before she had Absolutely loved reading this. For anyone interested in the writer, this is a fascinating insight into the woman she was in the later years of her life. The title of this book seems to have drawn some criticism. 'The Rebecca Notebook & other Memories' seems as if it was a way to make the book sell. Maybe the publishers were worried a bunch of Daphne's non-fiction prose would have trouble selling? Maybe they forgot that Gerald: A Portrait and The Du Maurier's were very successful before she had penned Rebecca? It's possible that Growing Pains: Shaping of a writer/Myself when young hadn't sold very well and publishers needed to use the popularity of her most famous novel to create sales. This seems a shame and suggests that they didn't appreciate her nonfiction which is as alive as her fiction. The collection starts with the 'The Rebecca Notebook', the one which was used as evidence when she was sued over Rebecca. It is interesting to see which direction the book originally was going in but it doesn't excite the reader like the rest of the collection. Daphne states that some of her views may have become stale in her old age and that she has become set in her ways after her husband died. It actually offers a fascinating portrait of Daphne at this stage of her life. Some of my favourite pieces include, 'Sylvia's Boys' where she affectionately remembers her cousins, the Llewelyn Davies boys. Calling them Sylvia's boys seems like a way to reclaim them from what they are commonly remembered as now, Barrie's boys. Daphne reclaims them from a man who had no right over the boys. Especially provoking are 'Romantic Love' and 'This I Believe'. A few of the pieces are relating to the famous Menabilly and Kilmarth. These three are beautiful and show how much those houses meant to her. I must say, I did find these extremely emotional and exceptionally well written. There is something about her writing that speaks to me and I will be coming back to this book for many years to come.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)

    *Special Content only on my blog, Strange and Random Happenstance during Du Maurier December (December 2018) From first hearing of the abandoned estate to several failed attempts to finally glimpse the house, Menabilly captured Daphne's imagination. She would eventually sit for hours on the lawn, gazing at the boarded up house imagining what once was and what ghosts might lurk there still. The seeds for Rebecca were thus planted and came to fruition years later while stationed with her husband in *Special Content only on my blog, Strange and Random Happenstance during Du Maurier December (December 2018) From first hearing of the abandoned estate to several failed attempts to finally glimpse the house, Menabilly captured Daphne's imagination. She would eventually sit for hours on the lawn, gazing at the boarded up house imagining what once was and what ghosts might lurk there still. The seeds for Rebecca were thus planted and came to fruition years later while stationed with her husband in Cairo. She mapped out her story, staring an unnamed heroine and her husband Henry and the ghost of his dead wife haunting them still. Du Maurier was inspired by Cornwall and Menabilly, but her inspiration came from her family as well. The lauded author and grandfather she never knew, George Du Maurier, to her father, the famous stage actor, Sir Gerald Du Maurier, to her "uncle" J.M. Barrie. She was surrounded by artistic genius and it almost seemed predestined that she would make a name for herself in her own right. But seeing her name in lights? That was a humbling experience for the author. She longed for the days when authors would disappear behind their work and let it speak for itself. Yet, if called upon to give her opinion, despite her caustic wit tearing other authors to shreds for doing so, she would give it, without censor. Daphne Du Maurier might be remembered most for Rebecca, but that's not all she was. Years ago, when I rediscovered Daphne Du Maurier by stumbling on a hoard of books at my local used bookstore I took to the Internet to see what other works she had written that were no longer in wide release, especially in the United States. That is when I first heard of The Rebecca Notebook. Not only is Rebecca the seminal work of Du Maurier, but one of my most favorite books ever. Therefore I needed The Rebecca Notebook to get further insight into Du Maurier's masterpiece and was willing to pay the exorbitant shipping from England in order to learn more about one of my favorite books. So was it worth it? Yes and no. There are insights to be learned but with the "other memories" there is a lot of filler, which is saying something as this slim volume is only 180 pages. I felt that seeing as Du Maurier cherry-picked essays from her back catalog she should have stuck with pieces relating to Cornwall and the house that inspired Manderley, as "The House of Secrets" is a wonderful little piece showing the genesis of Rebecca and has the lyricism of her fiction, which is sadly absent in her non-fiction, making it clunky and often painful to read. As for "The Rebecca Notebook" itself? It's interesting to see how she plotted her writing chapter by chapter, showing what big reveals needed to happen when with snatches of dialogue she had hoped to use. Yet at the same time I feel this only truly interesting to writers or lawyers. Why lawyers? Because Rebecca was at the heart of a plagiarism case and "The Rebecca Notebook" was brought forward as evidence for the defense. This fact makes me leery of the veracity of the notebook. I don't doubt that Du Maurier wrote Rebecca and it was all her own creation, but I do doubt the notebook... it's a bit too convenient to have a chapter by chapter breakdown of the book being questioned. Yes, it could be real, but it could also be fabricated. I know this might seem very cynical of me, but Du Maurier was talented but also, as evidenced in her writing, she was devious. So it's more a compliment then a criticism to say that she fabricated this entire notebook just to win a court case. As for the book that supposedly was similar to Rebecca? Edwina L. MacDonald's Blind Windows? I'd really like to get my hands on a copy to see for myself the similarities but the book is lost to the mists of time. Yet for how technical "The Rebecca Notebook" is and how depressing Rebecca's original "Epilogue" with the second Mrs. de Winter and Maxim, originally called Henry, were disfigured by a car accident, there was a very interesting reveal. Between these two pieces you see that Du Maurier had originally planned Mrs. Danvers to be insignificant. She is almost irrelevant until they need her to dig out Rebecca's planner and show that Rebecca had an appointment in London on the day she died leading to the reveal that Rebecca was dying and her greatest fear was pain. While this is very important to the resolution of the story not having Mrs. Danvers looming over the second Mrs. de Winter the whole time makes Rebecca an entirely different book! That this mousy second wife would just accidentally choose the same portrait Rebecca did to emulate at the masquerade? That seems unlikely. To have Mrs. Danvers push here to do it? Evil genius! There's a reason Hitchcock took Mrs. Danvers even further to her fiery end, it's because he knew that she is the linchpin that holds Rebecca together. Of course I disagree with what he did, but that doesn't mean he wasn't right in the significance of this one character. As for the filler that makes up the rest of The Rebecca Notebook? In my mind it's best avoided. It's not just the fact that Du Maurier isn't the best writer when it comes to nonfiction, it's that she sometimes reveals things you really didn't want to know. A theme she keeps returning to is her family, from the more direct tales about her grandfather and father, "The Young George du Maurier" and "The Matinee Idol" respectively, to her ideas on love and the importance of family in "Romantic Love" and even to what it is like to lose love in "Death and Widowhood." While she tries to paint it as a lovely family unit, it's really a fucked up family unit. Seeing as she views Emily Bronte dying months after her brother Branwell from a cold she caught at his funeral romantic and just, because obviously Emily couldn't live without her "genius" brother, an opinion only held by Du Maurier I might add, gives you a hint at where she's going. And yes, she's going straight towards incest. And it's interesting to point out here that the only time she refers to it directly and not obliquely she refers to it as something "denied to us." Like we'd all be clamoring like Lannisters if it wasn't a sin? Eww. Just no. Even putting aside the whole yeah incest, she has a lot of politically incorrect views. Yes, you could say she's a product of her time, but her stance against religion would have been viewed divisive even in it's day. As for comparing the stigma of widowhood as similar to the oppression suffered by people of color, I'm going to pretend I never read that. It's just SO offensive I can't even and that's why I've now categorized her as one of my favorite authors with reservations. I have many authors on this list, Lewis Carroll is one because he was a pedophile. J.M. Barrie, interestingly enough the adoptive father of Daphne's cousins, is another pedophile. Daphne's cousin Michael Llewelyn Davies, the favorite of Barrie's, committed suicide, which should easily prove the whole pedophile charge to any doubters. But my problem is I had already read and fallen in love with Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and Rebecca long before I learned anything of these authors personal lives. And unlike authors like Orson Scott Card and the dog whistles peppered in his writing, these authors work stands apart. You wouldn't know anything about the ick factor of their lives unless you read up on them, or in the case of Du Maurier, read their non-fiction. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. But I prefer in the end to be an informed reader. The Rebecca Notebook ★★ Epilogue ★★ The Young George du Maurier ★★ The Matinee Idol ★★ Sylvia's Boys ★★★ My Name in Lights ★ Romantic Love ★ This I Believe ★ Death and Widowhood ★ The House of Secrets ★★★★★ Moving House ★★★★ A Winter's Afternoon, Kimarth ★ Sunday ★★ The Writer (Poem) ★★★★ Another World (Poem) ★ The Prayer? (Poem) ★★★

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sue Corbett

    I loved this. So interesting to read behind the scenes, as it were. Helped to understand ter books better.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rosanne Hawke

    I'm fascinated by writers' notebooks and creative journals and keep them myself. The first part of The Rebecca Notebook deals with her thoughts and notes as the story was forming in her mind. I'm fascinated by writers' notebooks and creative journals and keep them myself. The first part of The Rebecca Notebook deals with her thoughts and notes as the story was forming in her mind.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Turner

    For anyone who loves Rebecca or indeed for anyone who's curious about the creative process, the Rebecca notebook, which makes up the first part of this book, is a must. It's fascinating to see the parts that changed and the characters that were added (I'm thinking of dear Frank who isn't present in any of the draft). Such an insight. I wish more authors would publish original drafts and the like. The second half ( ok, more like the last two thirds?) of this book is a mixed bag with some essays mo For anyone who loves Rebecca or indeed for anyone who's curious about the creative process, the Rebecca notebook, which makes up the first part of this book, is a must. It's fascinating to see the parts that changed and the characters that were added (I'm thinking of dear Frank who isn't present in any of the draft). Such an insight. I wish more authors would publish original drafts and the like. The second half ( ok, more like the last two thirds?) of this book is a mixed bag with some essays more interesting than others. But amongst them are some gems. For those who came to the book hoping to learn more about Rebecca, the last couple of essays on Du Maurier discovering and coming to live at Menabilly (the inspiration for manderley) are wonderful and so so beautifully written. You can tell how passionate she was about old houses and forests because her writing becomes so alive and lyrical. Whilst irrelevant to Rebecca, I was interested by the essay 'This I believe'. I always want to know what people think of religion, science, etc and Du Maurier was so open minded about those things. (It's easy to forget that she has used sci fi themes in some of her novels)As a child of the early 20th century and I assume a relatively old person when she wrote the essay, it exudes a sort of childlike wonder and interest in new developments - even if some are rather outlandish. Her views on gender are rather traditional although given the time this isn't a surprise but it was really interesting to hear her talk about her complex relationship with the idea of a God and the almost inevitably of our genes. A very interesting lady

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty

    The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories – du Maurier’s final work – was first published in 1981, and was reissued by Virago in 2005. According to its blurb, The Rebecca Notebook provides ‘an unparalleled insight into the mastery of a writer’s craft and the inner vision that made du Maurier a household name’. Whilst The Rebecca Notebook is interesting enough to read on its own, it goes without saying that it is best as a companion volume to Rebecca. Much of the ‘Rebecca Notebook’ section describe The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories – du Maurier’s final work – was first published in 1981, and was reissued by Virago in 2005. According to its blurb, The Rebecca Notebook provides ‘an unparalleled insight into the mastery of a writer’s craft and the inner vision that made du Maurier a household name’. Whilst The Rebecca Notebook is interesting enough to read on its own, it goes without saying that it is best as a companion volume to Rebecca. Much of the ‘Rebecca Notebook’ section describes how du Maurier came to write her famous Gothic novel, ‘tracing its origins, developments and the directions it might have taken’. After this, a collection of essays, all written about a wealth of rather different subjects, can be found. Aside from the original musings about Rebecca, which was first published in 1938, much of the material within The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories was penned towards the end of du Maurier’s writing career. The preface to the Virago edition is written by Alison Light. Throughout, she talks of du Maurier’s discovery of her beloved Menabilly, the house which inspired Manderley in Rebecca, and discusses the way in which: ‘Fans of du Maurier’s fiction know that in her world disenchantment is the price we pay for the magic: “it is the very insecurity of the love which makes the passion strong”‘. Light also tells us that ‘this volume of short pieces about her family, her life and beliefs, is prompted, like so many of her stories, by the desire to reanimate the past’. Du Maurier’s own introduction to her notebooks is eloquent and informative. Du Maurier began to conceive her ideas for Rebecca whilst living in Alexandria, where her husband was stationed. In The Rebecca Notebook and The Rebecca Epilogue, it is possible to see the original chapter outlines for the novel, and the edits which were made from notebook to novel are fascinating to compare. It is incredibly interesting to see what du Maurier altered or removed altogether, for whatever reason. The Rebecca Notebook is quite a slim volume, running as it does to just 180 pages. Despite this, it is crammed to the brim with fascinating ideas and musings upon many subjects. The extra material which has been included is comprised of eleven essays and three poems, each of which has been carefully crafted and thoughtfully written. The themes of du Maurier’s essays range from her cousins, the Llewellyn-Davies boys, upon whom the young Darlings in J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan were based, to moving away from Menabilly and speaking of her widowhood. She talks of mythology, Shakespeare, the use of tragedic devices in novels, the concept of heredity, religion and grief. Of her essays, she writes: ‘The pieces in the present section have nothing to do with my imagination, but with the conscious self, the person who is Me. This may sound, and probably is, conceited, but I make no apology for it; they were written at different times throughout my life because I felt strongly about the various subjects, and so was impelled to put my thoughts on paper’. The essays are relatively short, but they are perfectly formed, and can be dipped in and out of. When writing, du Maurier never wastes her words, and as she does not repeat herself at all, each sentence she crafts feels both fresh and original. It goes without saying that the writing here is beautiful, particularly when it comes to du Maurier’s descriptions. In ‘The House of Secrets’, which was written in 1946, she writes the following regarding her discovery of Menabilly: ‘It was an afternoon in late autumn, the first time I tried to find the house. October, November, the month escapes me. But in the West Country autumn can make herself a witch, and place a spell upon the walker. The trees were golden brown, the hydrangeas had massive heads still blue and untouched by flecks of wistful grey, and I would set forth at three of an afternoon with foolish notions of August still in my head’. She is rather amusing at times too, and her wit shines through, particularly in the essay entitled ‘Sunday’ (1978): ‘[Sunday is a] day for privacy, except for neighbouring cattle and sheep, with which I am on excellent terms, speaking to them in their own language. (I baa better than I moo, nevertheless they appear to understand the drift of my conversation; even Romany of Till, the bull, acknowledges my presence with a courteous inclination of his horns)’. Du Maurier’s poetry, too, is lovely. The following extract is taken from ‘The Writer’ (1926): “Mine is the silence And the quiet gloom of a clock ticking In an empty room, The scratch of a pen, Ink-pot and paper, And the patter of the rain. Nothing but this as long as I am able, Firelight – and a chair, and a table.” The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories is a great accompaniment to Rebecca, and is sure to delight anyone who has so enjoyed the titular novel. The whole has been so well put together, and as well as examining the craft of writing, it gives a real insight as to what du Maurier was like as an individual when viewed away from her craft. She is both candid and modest throughout and, one cannot help but think, would have been quite a joy to know.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rae

    Short prose pieces, remembrances, and essays. I loved her thoughts on being a widow, her discovery of Menabilly (which became the inspiration for Manderley) and her insights into her singular belief system. A delightful read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Anderson

    3.5 stars Daphne du Maurier is one of the authors I admire most. Not because I've read a ton of her books and they were all great, but because she has a certain, fascinating style, and because her novel Rebecca is a puzzle that took me several readings to solve (at least I think I have...) - Charlotte Bronte meets David Lynch. So even if not everything in The Rebecca Notebook was quite my cup of tea, I finished it out of reverence, and curiosity to learn more about the writer herself. Rebecca fans 3.5 stars Daphne du Maurier is one of the authors I admire most. Not because I've read a ton of her books and they were all great, but because she has a certain, fascinating style, and because her novel Rebecca is a puzzle that took me several readings to solve (at least I think I have...) - Charlotte Bronte meets David Lynch. So even if not everything in The Rebecca Notebook was quite my cup of tea, I finished it out of reverence, and curiosity to learn more about the writer herself. Rebecca fans will love reading the journal that du Maurier kept as she wrote her most famous novel. The epilogue that was originally intended for it is included, and although the epilogue paints Manderley's fate as quite different than in the final version of Rebecca, and most of it was eventually cut, it gives a good deal more insight into what the protagonist's life with Maxim is supposed to be like at the very beginning of the novel. This book contains several of the short stories du Maurier published at the start of her career, around 21 years old. I thought some contained too-obvious explanations of characters' behavior or motivations, a facet that improved with Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel: disguised meanings became a characteristic of her writing. Yet, it's very interesting to recognize her often-dark subject matter - unhappy relationships, mundane betrayals, disappointment and regret. And recurring themes, like individualism and going against convention, give hints about what she valued herself; even in her later years, du Maurier's short memoirs reflect some of the same thoughts that appear in her early works. Of anecdotes, there are several: recollections from childhood, the restoration of Menabilly, her husband's death, and some of her beliefs on religion, spirituality, and society. At times, she seems contradictory, which gets frustrating; she writes about assertion of individuality, but then in the same article comments that women's main purpose is to have a family (nothing about that of men), and denounces Christianity's message of subservience and belittling oneself, but claiming that she had "great respect" for the Christian religion. Still, these provide further explanation of her inner life, and tell stories about her everyday experiences. On its own, this is worth checking out (although DEFINITELY skip the Notebook and epilogue if you have not read Rebecca!), but should be of interest especially to du Maurier readers.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    The Rebecca Notebook and Epilogue is Daphne du Maurier's original plan of her well-known novel Rebecca (seeRebecca). This novel being one of my favourites book, it was interesting to read the author notebook to see how she built her plot, when to reveal leading facts and place important reflections of the second Mrs. de Winter. There are minor differences between the notebook and its novel (e.g. characters' names, when some events occurred,..), although the large part of Rebecca was straightfowar The Rebecca Notebook and Epilogue is Daphne du Maurier's original plan of her well-known novel Rebecca (seeRebecca). This novel being one of my favourites book, it was interesting to read the author notebook to see how she built her plot, when to reveal leading facts and place important reflections of the second Mrs. de Winter. There are minor differences between the notebook and its novel (e.g. characters' names, when some events occurred,..), although the large part of Rebecca was straightfoward written by Daphne du Maurier when she was settled in Egypt. Away from England and her dear Menabilly, this the reason why Manderley can be look as a leading character. It also explains the outstanding descriptions of Manderley and the characters' love for the large mansion. Memories are a collection of essays followed by poems. In her essays, the author recollect childhood memories (The Matinee Idol, Sylvia's Boys), talks about her grandfather (The Young George du Maurier), and her thoughts. Daphne du Maurier's poems are a different way of seeing the author, her poems being different from her novels and short-stories. Those collection of essays are an insight in Daphne du Maurier's life influenced by the stage-world from an early age (My Name in Lights), a theme developed in The Parasites (seeThe Parasites). In The House of Secrets, Daphne du Maurier describe the first time she went to Menabilly, a large mansion which she falls in love with. Menabilly will influenced the author when writing her well-known novel Rebecca, Manderley being a copy of Menabilly. The discovery of a corpse dressed as a cavalier of the English Civil War at Menabilly will inspired Daphne du Maurier to write The King's General (seeThe King's General). The most interesting essays, Romantic Love, This I Believe, Death and Widowhood are a mirror of Daphne du Maurier's philosophy. It is a glimpse of the author's psychology and inner thoughts, which helps to see and understand how she came to write such exciting novels (e.g. Rebecca, The King's General, Mary-Anne, The Frenchman's Creek, Jamaica Inn, My Cousin Rachel), focusing on the shuttered places of mankind, hidden and repressed thoughts/feelings through outstanding and relevant characters. Fascinated by Daphne du Maurier's writings, I really did enjoy reading her memories which are a mirror of her philosophy and inner thoughts, which really inspired me in everyday life.

  14. 5 out of 5

    DJ

    This is a delightful book which provides the"Du Maurier"fan with a snapshot into the Authors family life and childhhood.It tells the tale of how she became so infatuated with "Menabilly"which of course was the basis for one of the best known homes in literature,I mean of course"Manderly"in"Rebecca". Unfortunately this book purports to be "The Rebecca Notebook"In this aspect I found it to be quite disappointing as it did not give the reader any insight into her thought processes or conclusions to This is a delightful book which provides the"Du Maurier"fan with a snapshot into the Authors family life and childhhood.It tells the tale of how she became so infatuated with "Menabilly"which of course was the basis for one of the best known homes in literature,I mean of course"Manderly"in"Rebecca". Unfortunately this book purports to be "The Rebecca Notebook"In this aspect I found it to be quite disappointing as it did not give the reader any insight into her thought processes or conclusions to the direction which she ultimately took the plot.Now I`m not saying that the changes didn`timprove the story(They did),but I feel that I was misled by the title of this book... In conclusion this is a lovely light introduction into Ms du Maurier`s history and if I wasn`t already smitten,I certainly would have come away with just such a feeling of thirst for more. Ultimately it is for you to reach your own conclusion!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    The Rebecca Notebook & Other Memories, Daphne Du Maurier. PB. 22/5/2015. 2/5. 180 pages. Virago Modern Classics. Enjoyed the story of where the notebook had been and returned to her decades later, then her putting this book together in 1981. The writer died in 1989. I found the notebook interesting as to the process of forming the story. The further memories contained are from okay to fabulous. Only such an amazing writer could have such insight and ability to write as in Romantic Love, This I Be The Rebecca Notebook & Other Memories, Daphne Du Maurier. PB. 22/5/2015. 2/5. 180 pages. Virago Modern Classics. Enjoyed the story of where the notebook had been and returned to her decades later, then her putting this book together in 1981. The writer died in 1989. I found the notebook interesting as to the process of forming the story. The further memories contained are from okay to fabulous. Only such an amazing writer could have such insight and ability to write as in Romantic Love, This I Believe and Death and Widowhood! The stories or memories of the house at Menabilly then as the House of Secrets, and her beloved home, then on to Kilmarth and settling in are sensitive and convey such an intense sense of place and nature with a respect for history. Her love of Cornwall and nature was powerful! The poems at the end are lovely too.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    This book is a little gem. It is something like visiting duMaurier and going for a walk with her. She may point out a home and tell you the background, and it turns out to be her inspiration for Rebecca. You will find out about her famous father and grandfather, and how she felt about fame. You have a cup of tea and learn about dealing with widowhood. The book is delightful if you are a fan of DuMaurier and her style of "adult fairy tales" as she called some of her works. She was a born writer, This book is a little gem. It is something like visiting duMaurier and going for a walk with her. She may point out a home and tell you the background, and it turns out to be her inspiration for Rebecca. You will find out about her famous father and grandfather, and how she felt about fame. You have a cup of tea and learn about dealing with widowhood. The book is delightful if you are a fan of DuMaurier and her style of "adult fairy tales" as she called some of her works. She was a born writer, loner and nature lover. She also loved her large, visiting family of children and grandchildren to her Cornwall home. My only complaint is that the book is too short. There were so many stories she could have told!

  17. 4 out of 5

    The Missing Text Bookstore

    ‘The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories’ contains the original notebook of ideas and process that Daphne du Maurier wrote while she was writing ‘Rebecca.’ It also contains a number of short stories that hadn’t been published in the U.S. before and some short biographical essays. I enjoyed the short stories as they were never predictable and they weren’t your typical happy-ending-type stories. Some of the biographical essays shed some light on how the author thinks and why she tends to create su ‘The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories’ contains the original notebook of ideas and process that Daphne du Maurier wrote while she was writing ‘Rebecca.’ It also contains a number of short stories that hadn’t been published in the U.S. before and some short biographical essays. I enjoyed the short stories as they were never predictable and they weren’t your typical happy-ending-type stories. Some of the biographical essays shed some light on how the author thinks and why she tends to create such discordant characters in her stories. All of the stories were told so concisely and attention grabbing that I felt that I knew the characters and stories as if I had read a long novel.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bryn (Plus Others)

    I liked seeing this little bit more into the composition of Rebecca and into du Maurier's mind -- I think my favourite of the essays was the one about her ordinary winter's day, just for all of the little details about how she lived her life at that time. There was nothing here that stunned me, but it was a very pleasant read and makes me more eager to pick up another of her novels. I liked seeing this little bit more into the composition of Rebecca and into du Maurier's mind -- I think my favourite of the essays was the one about her ordinary winter's day, just for all of the little details about how she lived her life at that time. There was nothing here that stunned me, but it was a very pleasant read and makes me more eager to pick up another of her novels.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Maura

    I enjoyed her description of how "Rebecca" came to be written, and the notebook has a chapter by chapter synopsis that served her as an outline. It was interesting to see how the final form differed from the notes she first made. The rest of the book consists of short stories and some journalistic pieces plus a few poems and personal essays. The short stories were intriguing - sort of Twilight Zone-ish in a way, always having an odd twist to them. I enjoyed her description of how "Rebecca" came to be written, and the notebook has a chapter by chapter synopsis that served her as an outline. It was interesting to see how the final form differed from the notes she first made. The rest of the book consists of short stories and some journalistic pieces plus a few poems and personal essays. The short stories were intriguing - sort of Twilight Zone-ish in a way, always having an odd twist to them.

  20. 4 out of 5

    David

    This book can be divided in two parts: the Rebecca notebook and a couple of texts that show Daphne's inspiration sources for the book, and that's the interesting part of it, and the second part with poems and other personal texts that only Daphne's fans will really enjoy and that was the, to me, boring part of it. This book can be divided in two parts: the Rebecca notebook and a couple of texts that show Daphne's inspiration sources for the book, and that's the interesting part of it, and the second part with poems and other personal texts that only Daphne's fans will really enjoy and that was the, to me, boring part of it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    This compilation had several interesting stories. I thought that the actual Rebecca memories were disappointing.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mia

    So disappointing! By the title I expected it to be much more about Rebecca. Instead, it was a few semi interesting pages of DuMaurier's notes along with some so so short stories. So disappointing! By the title I expected it to be much more about Rebecca. Instead, it was a few semi interesting pages of DuMaurier's notes along with some so so short stories.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    As a fan, it was great to hear more insight and thoughts from Daphne du Maurier.

  24. 5 out of 5

    John Newcomb

    I thought that some of this collection was profound and very memorable. I was particularly moved by the article on widowhood and also the walk in the hail storm.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    This is a compelling read, but I never considered it gothic. It's a study of jealousy and obsession. This is a compelling read, but I never considered it gothic. It's a study of jealousy and obsession.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Hella

    Erg leuk om de eerste opzet van Rebecca te lezen. De overige stukken zijn wat memoires-achtige herinneringen, niet speciaal erg interessant of mooi geschreven.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Linda Orvis

    Interesting to read some of the incidents that brought "Rebecca" into being. Interesting to read some of the incidents that brought "Rebecca" into being.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tara

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jo Olie

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nickole Schlapkohl

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