Great characters in literature get all the credit, but the fictional spaces they occupy are often just as interesting and can provide an opportunity for the reader to go even deeper into a story. What would some of your favorite stories be without the creepy old farmhouses, crumbling castles, and estates overlooking a body of water whose waves crash against the rocks at night? Today, as we celebrate the birthday of Daphne du Maurier — a writer who gave us one of the 20th century’s most unforgettable grand old homes, in Rebecca — we’re rounding up the most memorable structures that served as settings for some of our favorite stories.
Manderley, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca
It’s one of the most famous opening lines in literature: “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” From there, du Maurier turns the country estate filled with antiques, heirlooms, and evil housekeepers that would make the Downtown Abbey staff look like kittens into one of the most important characters in this classic Gothic novel. And if you want a better visual representation of Manderley, you can’t go wrong with Alfred Hitchcock’s adaptation of the book.