My Cousin Rachel Essays

My Cousin Rachel Essays-72
“She was my first, and last,” he tells us, but has his inexperience made him vulnerable to her wiles or liable to fevered obsession and delusions? For a long time I felt sure that the verdict would go against Rachel, both because the circumstances of Ambrose’s death certainly seemed suspicious and because the novel seemed tilted against women’s power to disrupt men’s bluff tranquility.Then it dawned on me, rather belatedly, that I was taking Philip too much at his word, or at least taking his point of view too much for granted, something he had, after all, warned me about right at the beginning!And in return I gave them something of myself, a few of my novels passing into the folklore of this ancient place.”Her love of place is one of the reasons du Maurier’s books make such wonderful films, says Taylor: “She had a fantastic way of capturing a sense of place which appeals to film makers because they can imagine these places in their minds and recreate them on the screen.”Director Alfred Hitchcock liked their strong atmosphere and tense plots and his first du Maurier adaptation was Jamaica Inn, in 1939.“She wasn’t friends with Alfred and she didn’t like the film of Jamaica Inn but she loved Rebecca,” says Taylor.

“She was my first, and last,” he tells us, but has his inexperience made him vulnerable to her wiles or liable to fevered obsession and delusions? For a long time I felt sure that the verdict would go against Rachel, both because the circumstances of Ambrose’s death certainly seemed suspicious and because the novel seemed tilted against women’s power to disrupt men’s bluff tranquility.

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In 1994, with the publication of Margaret Forster’s biography, it was revealed that although du Maurier was married she was bisexual.

Taylor says this was what gave du Maurier’s novels such a modern feel.“What we have realised about her is that, long before her time, she had a sense of gender fluidity both in her own life and also in her understanding of characters,” she says.

She is always startling you with her choice of characters – she has extremely disturbed and disturbing characters and situations, and heroes turn into villains at the drop of the hat.”Born in London in 1907, du Maurier was brought up and educated surrounded by creative brilliance.

Her father was the actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier, who had wished she had been a boy, and she was the granddaughter of artist and writer George du Maurier, the Punch cartoonist.

Her legacy continues this Friday with the release of a new film adaptation of My Cousin Rachel, starring Rachel Weisz as an enigmatic woman suspected of being behind the mysterious death of her husband.

Du Maurier’s dark romances have proved timeless and their perfect blend of moral complexity and Gothic drama made them ideal for the big screen.

Telling the stories through different voices, she has an amazing sense of suspense and a great capacity to carry you along and surprise you.”Daphne’s short stories are notable for their inventiveness and Taylor explains: “Her short stories in particular take the genre of horror into new realms.

People have completely the wrong idea about her because she was dismissed as writing novelettes – typically works that are light and romantic or sentimental in character.“She is never sentimental about relationships or love or family, and she is always giving you a very dark and uncomfortable version of human life and that is not how she has been represented in popular discourse.“She is somebody who works with genres like the Gothic and romance and historical novels and she tweaks them in an unusual and original take.

Has he heroically resisted and survived one of the women his godfather warns him about, those who “impel disaster”?

Or has his own suspicious misogyny made him not a hero, not a victim, but a villain himself?

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