Harriet Walter reads Daphne du Maurier's Gothic masterpiece.
'There was Manderley, our Manderley, secretive and silent as it had always been....Time itself could not wreck the perfect symmetry of those walls, nor the site itself, a jewel in the hollow of a hand.'
When Maxim de Winter brings his shy new bride to his beautiful stately home on the Cornwall coast, it seems like all her dreams have come true. The terrace slopes to the lawns, the lawns stretch to the sea and the gardens are full of scented flowers.
But she soon finds that Manderley is haunted by the shadow of Maxim's first wife, Rebecca, who died the year before. It was Rebecca who made the house and gardens the showpiece of the county and her memory is revered by all, especially the housekeeper Mrs Danvers.
As the hot summer fades, the mystery of Rebecca's death grows, weaving a spell of fear and foreboding. In a series of climactic revelations, Rebecca's memory is finally laid to rest...but at what cost?