Saturday, July 02, 2005


I was inspired to start a list of novels gardeners might like (and perhaps, gardening books bookworms might like?) by Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, the so-called "gothic romance" that won the Anthony Award for Best Novel of the Century. The descriptions of Manderley, the estate that is just as much a central protangonist as the novel's hapless narrarator, and in particular, its gardens, are brilliantly vivid: "There was Manderley, our Manderley, secretive and silent as it had always been, the grey stone shining in the moonlight of my dream, the mullioned windows reflecting the green lawns and the terrace. Time could not wreck the perfect symmetry of those walls, nor the site itself, a jewel in the hollow of a hand." And, "The rhododendrons stood fifty feet high, twisted and entwined with bracken, and they had entered into alien marriage with a host of nameless shrubs, poor, bastard things that clung about their roots as though conscious of their spurious origin..." Love it!


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