Well, you guys fooled me again. I thought sure this one was a dead giveaway, because of the name Manderley. But I apparently thought wrong. However, we do have THREE winners today, yay! Please help me congratulate Darlene Foster, Olga Nunez, and Trish Power. *claps hands for our winners*
So happy some of you got this one, since this is the opening line of my favorite book of all time. Here’s the answer you’ve all been trying to remember:
“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” is the very famous first line of Daphne du Maurier’s noir-ish romance, Rebecca.
I first read this book when I was twelve, and have read it many times over the years, loving it just as much each time, though social customs have certainly changed since it was published in 1938. The book has never been out of print, and in 1940, was made into a wonderfully dark, and equally excellent movie by Alfred Hitchcock. It starred Joan Fontaine, Sir Laurence Olivier, and Dame Judith Anderson, and was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning Best Picture and Best Cinematography. It is well worth watching if you love brooding, dark, moody stories that pack a punch.
On a completely different note, my daughter’s middle name is Rebecca, in honor of this book. When she finally read it, Erin was horrified to discover Rebecca is a pretty selfish, wicked woman. I assured her it was the book I was honoring, not the character, and told her the actual heroine of the book remains unnamed throughout, so I’d had no choice. 😀
Rebecca won the Anthony Award for Best Novel of the Century!
I highly recommend you buy Rebecca!
You can do so HERE.
A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick
“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again.”
With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten—a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house’s current occupants. With an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim’s first wife—the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca.
This special edition of Rebecca includes excerpts from Daphne du Maurier’s The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories, an essay on the real Manderley, du Maurier’s original epilogue to the book, and more.
Yes, I know this is an oldie, but it is SUCH a wonderful book and movie, and has made so many classic lists, including almost every Best Opening Line list, that I thought it was worth sharing. Those of you who’ve never had the pleasure of reading any of du Maurier’s fabulous books (Frenchman’s Creek, My Cousin Rachel, The Scapegoat, her short story The Birds, House on the Strand, and others) really should check her out. If you love descriptive writing that puts you in the scene, you’ll find she’s fantastic. And she does love a wicked twist at the end of her stories, too, which is why Hitchcock starting filming them.
And there you have it for this week. Thanks for playing, everyone! Check in at 8:00am next Friday, 9/20, and see what new famous first line I’ve got for you. Set your alarms, and I’ll see you then!