Located in southern England (often said to be Cornwall as this was where the author lived and was explicitly stated as such in the Hitchcock adaptation), Manderley is a typical country estate: it is filled with family heirlooms, is run by a large domestic staff and is open to the public on certain days.
In spite of the house's beauty, the main character, the unnamed "I", who has become mistress of Manderley, senses an atmosphere of doom about it, due to the death of Max's first wife (the titular Rebecca), and it is hinted that she haunts the estate.
Childhood visits to Milton Hall, Cambridgeshire, home of the Fitzwilliam family, influenced the descriptions of Manderley, especially the interior. She told the 10th Earl Fitzwilliam in a letter that when she wrote Rebecca 20 years later, the interior of Manderley was based on her recollection of the rooms and 'big house feel' of Milton in the First World War. The adult du Maurier's Cornish home near Fowey, called Menabilly, was influential in her descriptions of the setting, though a much smaller house. Several years after writing the novel, she leased the manor (1945–1967) from the Rashleigh family, who have owned it since the 16th century. Like Menabilly, Manderley could not be seen from the road.
In popular cultureEdit
- As a result of the novel's popularity, the name "Manderley" became extremely popular as a name for ordinary houses, and at one time was the most common house name in the UK. Notably, the Irish singer Enya renamed her Dublin castle Manderley Castle.
- Manderley Castle features in one of the Anno Dracula books by Kim Newman.
- Danish film director Lars von Trier's 2005 film, Manderlay, is set in a country estate with a large domestic staff, similar to Manderley from Rebecca.
- In Stephen King's 1998 novel, Bag of Bones, it is a place identified with Sara Laughs, a semi-isolated lake house in Maine, in the dreams of the main character (Mike Noonan).
- ""Five Villages, Their People and Places" A History of the Villages of Castor, Ailsworth, Marholm with Milton, Upton and Sutton" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-10-16. Retrieved 2018-11-12.
- "Philip Rashleigh". Archived from the original on 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2013-09-22.