Page 30. " a square old-fashioned daimler "
!925 Daimler
Public Domain!925 Daimler - Credit: AlfvanBeem

 The Daimler Motor Company was founded in London in 1896, with its manufacturing base in Coventry. Over the decades, the company went through various changes which culminated in its acquisition in 1960 by Jaguar, which is now under Indian ownership.

Assuming Rebecca is set in the late 1920s or early 1930s (see bookmark p.321), an 'old-fashioned daimler' would presumably belong to the early or mid-1920s

Click here to see a 1922/1923 Daimler

Click here to see a mid 1920s  Daimler

Click here to see a Daimler 'Double-Six' (launched 1926)

Click here to see a 1933 Daimler

Click here to see a 1934 Daimler

Click here to see a 1935 Daimler

Click here to see a 1938 Daimler

Page 30. " that took us to Mentone "
Menton Old Town
GNU Free Documentation LicenseMenton Old Town - Credit: Tobi 87

Menton (Mentone in Italian) is a small coastal town, situated between Monaco and the Italian Riviera, in the Alpes-Maritimes department of France. It is both elegant and picturesque and has earned itself the nickname la perle de la France ('the pearl of France').

The town developed as a tourist attraction from the 19th century onwards and quickly became a favourite with the British and Russian aristocracy.


The Villa Serena at Menton
Public DomainThe Villa Serena at Menton - Credit: Tangopaso

Google Map


Page 30. " This car had the wings of mercury "
Bronze of Mercury by Giambologna
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeBronze of Mercury by Giambologna - Credit: shakko

In Roman mythology, Mercury was the messenger of the gods.  He wore winged sandals on his feet, and was also the god of trade, merchants and travel. His Greek counterpart is Hermes.

Mercury is often depicted carrying a rod entwined by two serpents (sometimes surmounted by wings) known as a caduceus.

Page 34. " clumps of azalea "
Azaleas at Hazlehead Park
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeAzaleas at Hazlehead Park - Credit: Richard Slessor

 Azaleas are flowering shrubs which belong to two sub-genera of the genus Rododendron. When grown en masse, their bright colours can create a spectacular display.

Like rhododendrons, their leaves and nectar contain some toxic substances, and historically the sending of either azaleas or rhododendrons in a black vase was a recognised death-threat.

Later on in the text, we learn that white azalea was the favourite perfume of Maxim de Winter's first wife, Rebecca.

Page 35. " I fled Him, down the nights and down the days "
Francis Thompson (aged 19)
Public DomainFrancis Thompson (aged 19) - Credit: Herder, MO, USA

This is the opening line of 'The Hound of Heaven', a 182-line poem by Francis Thompson, an English Catholic poet. It was first published in 1893 and tells of a sinner who is fleeing from a loving God.

Click here for the full text.




Page 36. " I took up an old copy of L'Illustration "
Nail varnish advert from a 1924 copy of L'Illustration
Public DomainNail varnish advert from a 1924 copy of L'Illustration - Credit: unknown

L'Illustration was a weekly French newspaper, established by Edouard Charton in 1843. It is remembered as the first French newspaper to publish a photograph.

During World War II  L'Illustration published Nazi propaganda, and was, as a result, shut down in 1944 following the liberation of France. In 1945, it was re-established as France-Illustration. It ceased publication in 1957.

Page 36. " the chateaux of the Loire "


Château de Chambord
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeChâteau de Chambord, Loire Valley - Credit: Neige19

The Loire Valley is an area of central France which is renowned for its châteaux (castles or large stately homes).

The Châteaux of the Loire were built by French kings and the French nobility in towns such as Amboise, Blois, Chinon, Nantes and Tours, all of which are situated on the banks of the River Loire.

Inevitably, many of the châteaux were destroyed or ransacked during the French Revolution.


Château de Brézé
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeChâteau de Brézé, Loire Valley - Credit: Orikrin 1998
Page 36. " It was not Blois with its thin turrets and its spires "

Blois, situated on the banks of the River Loire in central France, is the principal town of the French department of Loir-et-Cher. It is the site of the Château de Blois which was once occuped by King Louis XII.


Part of the Château de Blois
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikePart of the Château de Blois - Credit: Manfred Heyde

Google Map



Page 37. " A denial heralded the thrice crowing of a cock, and an insincerity was like the kiss of Judas "
'Peter Denying Christ'
Public Domain'Peter Denying Christ' - Credit: Duccio di Buoninsegna

The first part of the line is a reference to the Denial of Peter: on three occasions Jesus's disciple Peter denied knowledge of him. It appears in all four gospels of the New Testament, for example in Matthew 26:34 (King James Version):

Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

The second part of the line refers to the Kiss of Judas, the kiss given to Jesus  by his disciple Judas Iscariot in the Garden of Gethsemane in order to identify him to the Roman soldiers, an event sometimes known as the Betrayal of Christ. In Mark 14:44-45 (King James Version), it is recounted thus:

And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him and lead him away safely./And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightaway to him and saith, Master, master, and kissed him.

Used figuratively, a kiss of Judas may refer to any act which appears on the surface as an act of friendship but is in fact an act of betrayal or malice.


'Kiss of Judas'
Public Domain'Kiss of Judas' - Credit: Giotto
Page 38. " you forget to buy my Taxol "

In the 1930s, Taxol was the name of a laxative marketed by a French company.

Today, it is the proprietary name of an anti-cancer drug whose generic name is Paclitaxel. Bristol-Myers Squibb, the pharmaceutical company which developed Paclitaxel, bought the trademark Taxol from the French company.

Page 38. " the dark face stared up at me like Jezebel "
Depiction of Jezabel meeting Elijah
Public DomainDepiction of Jezabel meeting Elijah - Credit: Sir Francis Dicksee (1853-1928)

 Jezebel (sometimes Jezabel) was a 9th century BC princess, daughter of Ethbaal, King of the Phoenicians. There are various references to her scattered throughout the biblical Book of Kings.

She is reputed to have dominated her husband Ahab, and encouraged the worshipping of idols. Her ultimate fate was to be thrown out of a window and eaten by dogs.

As she is said to have painted her eyes with kohl before going to her death, her name has become associated with 'painted women' or prostitutes, and the term Jezebel has become a general description of any shameless or immoral woman.

Page 44. " she would make me play bezique "
Hungarian 1930s playing cards
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeHungarian 1930s playing cards - Credit: Takkk

 Bezique (sometimes Bésigue) is a card game which originated in 19th century France, and has certain similarities to the game Piquet.

It became very fashionable in Britain in the early twentieth century and was said to be one of the favourite games of Winston Churchill, who specialised in Six-Pack, or "Chinese" Bezique.

Special boards knows as markers were available to keep score of players' points. 

Click here and here to see Bezique markers


Page 44. " hot-house exotics crammed beside mimosa "
Acacia dealbata
Creative Commons AttributionAcacia dealbata - Credit: miluz

A hothouse is a heated glasshouse which allows flowers and fruit to be grown out of season, or in geographical locations where they are not native species.

Mimosa is a genus containing about 400 species of shrubs and herbs. Several mimosas, such as Mimosa tenuiflora and Mimosa verrucosa, have a fern-like quality which may make them suitable for flower-arranging.

However, "mimosa" is also the name given to Acacia dealbata (also known as silver wattle or blue wattle) which is particularly popular with florists.


Mimosa verrucosa
Creative Commons AttributionMimosa verrucosa - Credit: Joäo de Deus Medeiros