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Great Love Stories/Romantic Heroes in Gothics
maisonvivante Wrote:Du Maurier was always very surprised that so many people considered Maxim/the book romantic. She felt it was a story about hate, and I'm not convinced she saw Maxim as a hero at all.

Wow! You answered my question before I even had a chance to post it.

Last night I was wondering about Maxim in relation to other Du Maurier heroes (yes, I'm a Gothic geek! I think about this stuff at night). I was trying to wrap my head around the question of whether he loved the narrator or not. I just assumed he did because the book is called a classic of "romantic suspense." This is the only Du Maurier book I've ever read, however, and I wondered if Maxim was similar to her other heroes. If so, his coldness would have been a standard characteristic of her male heroes.

I wonder why this became a classic of "romantic suspense." The suspense is there and the narrator loves Maxim, but we never feel his love for her. He is drawn to her because of her youth and innocence, but that's only implied in some dialogue. It's not a relationship between equals because she is very much like his puppy dog for so long. In fact, she has no real sense of herself until she finds out he never loved Rebecca. She never really develops except in relation to Maxim's treatment and perception of her.
Many of du Maurier's books have similarly "untidy" depictions of relationships, including "Jamaica Inn." Du Maurier was skeptical of romance and you can feel it throughout her work. I think Maxim is intriguing and attractive in a domineering kind of way, but I certainly don't think of him as loving.
(11-10-2007, 05:55 PM)Desdemona Wrote: \

I've read Pride and Prejudice and enjoyed it. I loved the BBC miniseries with Colin Firth. But I'm not a fan of her other books. I didn't like Northanger Abbey
It's interesting that you didn't enjoy Northanger Abbey. Most of the novel is a send-up of Gothic cliches and the Mysteries of Udolpho by Miss Radcliffe seems to come in for particular scorn.

Jane Eyre is my absolute favourite Gothic romance of course, as I see it is for a number of others. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Ann Bronte is also very good, it does involve a mysterious light in a deserted old castle but is actually less Gothic IMO than Jane Eyre. Couldn't stand Wuthering Heights, the characters are all absolutely vile.

Falling Stars is a good thriller novel.

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