Manderley is the fictional estate of the character Maxim de Winter, and it plays a central part in Daphne du Maurier's 1938 novel, Rebecca, and in the film adaptation by Alfred Hitchcock. Located in southern England (possibly Cornwall where the author herself lived, but this is never explicitly stated), 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. The adult du Maurier's Cornish home near Fowey, called Menabilly, was influential in her descriptions of the setting. 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 culture
- 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 (novel).