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Instead, they were forced to live in a workhouse where conditions were deliberately made harsher than the worst conditions outside the government believed that the cause of poverty was laziness or a bad character. Poor harvests in and increased shortages and poverty.

There was a good harvest in , but the benefits of this were lost because that was a year of economic depression, so industrial workers could not afford to buy agricultural goods. Lastly, there were big social divisions between the gentry large landowners and the small tenant farmers and labourers who worked on the land.

The gentry tended to belong to the Church of England Anglican and spoke English. They often served as local magistrates or were Poor Law officials or belonged to Turnpike Trusts. They fixed the poor rate, the tolls and the tithes. They had little in common with those who worked on the land and often made decisions that suited their own interests.


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The rest of the population was Welsh-speaking and Non-Conformist. The authorities eventually suppressed the Rebecca riots, using troops and the full force of the law. Some rioters were caught and sentenced to transportation. Social conditions also changed over the decade. Improvements in the laws controlling turnpike trusts and the coming of the railway eased many of the transport problems in west Wales.

People could move more easily to find work and this helped reduce pressure in rural areas for jobs. The ending of the Corn Laws in , and attempts in to make the Poor Law less cruel, also helped. It looks at the story of the Rebecca riots through evidence relating to the nature of the movement, the experience of some of those involved and the reaction of the authorities. Part of industrialisation was the transport revolution, which involved the turnpike system on the roads and ultimately the coming of the railways.

Source 1 provides evidence of the aims and concerns of the movement. It also reveals the lack of opportunities for those aspiring to protest — they had to conceal their identity to avoid capture. The means of social control used by the authorities are evident in the source. Source 3 reveals more about the attitude of the authorities and shows that punishments were severe transportation for those who damaged the tollgates and houses.

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Source 4 provides evidence from the commission of inquiry into the roads of south Wales that ultimately resulted in a change to the law. Welsh Newspapers online Explore Welsh Newspapers on line to read how the Rebecca riots were reported. Suitable for: Key stage 3 , Key stage 4 , Key stage 5 Time period: Empire and Industry Curriculum topics: Industrial Revolution , Local Histories , Political and social reform , Revolution and Rebellion Download: Lesson pack Sign me up to the mailing list Subscribe now for regular news, updates and priority booking for events.

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Search our website Search our records. View lesson as PDF View full image. Lesson at a glance. What happened during them? Tasks 1. Look at Source 1. This letter was addressed to the inhabitants of St Clears and others in Carmarthenshire in How can we tell that the person who wrote this letter was not well educated?

Sex, jealousy and gender: Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca 80 years on

How does the language of the letter make it appear threatening? Look at Source 2. The toll collector describes an attack on the Trevaughan Turnpike Gate in August When did the attack on the toll gate take place?


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Do you think this is likely to be a reliable piece of evidence? What things suggest that the attack was well planned? How do you think William Rees might have felt during this attack? Look at Source 3. Edward Crompton Lloyd Hall, high sheriff of Cardiganshire, offers advice to Rebecca and her daughters in Why does Hall tell Rebecca and her daughters not to meet together on Wednesday night?

How does Hall advise the Welshmen to act to get their views heard? How does the handbill aim to persuade people to listen? What information does this source provide about the attitude of the authorities towards Rebecca and her daughters? Why do you think Hall had this handbill printed in English and Welsh? Look at Source 4. George H Ellis was involved in gathering evidence at the start of an inquiry into the state of the Turnpike Trusts in Wales and the causes of the disturbances. After a fortnight of courtship, she agrees to marry him and, after the wedding and honeymoon, accompanies him to his mansion in Cornwall , the beautiful estate Manderley.

Danvers, the sinister housekeeper, was profoundly devoted to the first Mrs. She continually attempts to undermine the new Mrs. Whenever the new Mrs. Danvers describes how Rebecca ran it when she was alive. Each time Mrs Danvers does this, she implies that the new Mrs. Cowed by Mrs. Danvers' imposing manner, and the other members of West Country society's unwavering reverence for Rebecca, the new mistress becomes isolated. She is soon convinced that Maxim regrets his impetuous decision to marry her and is still deeply in love with the seemingly perfect Rebecca.

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The climax occurs at Manderley's annual costume ball. Mrs Danvers manipulates the protagonist into wearing a replica of the dress shown in a portrait of one of the former inhabitants of the house—hiding the fact that the same costume was worn by Rebecca to much acclaim shortly before her death. The narrator has a drummer announce her entrance using the name of the lady in the portrait: Caroline de Winter. When the narrator shows Maxim the dress, he gets very angry at her and orders her to change. Shortly after the ball, Mrs.

Danvers reveals her contempt for the second Mrs. Danvers tries to get Mrs. However, she is thwarted at the last moment by the disturbance occasioned by a nearby shipwreck. A diver investigating the condition of the wrecked ship's hull also discovers the remains of Rebecca's sailing boat, with her decomposed body still on board.

Sex, jealousy and gender: Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca 80 years on | Books | The Guardian

This discovery causes Maxim to confess the truth to the second Mrs. He tells her how his marriage to Rebecca was nothing but a sham: how from the very first days husband and wife loathed each other. Rebecca, Maxim reveals, was a cruel and selfish woman who manipulated everyone around her into believing her to be the perfect wife and a paragon of virtue. She repeatedly taunted Maxim with sordid tales of her numerous love affairs. The night of her death, she told Maxim that she was pregnant with another man's child, which she would raise under the pretense that it was Maxim's and he would be powerless to stop her.

In a rage, he had shot her through the heart, then disposed of her body by placing it in her boat and sinking it at sea. The second Mrs de Winter thinks little of Maxim's murder confession, but instead is relieved to hear that Maxim has always loved her and never Rebecca. Rebecca's boat is raised and it is discovered that it was deliberately sunk. An inquest brings a verdict of suicide. However, Rebecca's first cousin, and lover, Jack Favell, attempts to blackmail Maxim, claiming to have proof that Rebecca could not have intended suicide based on a note she sent to him the night she died.

It is revealed that Rebecca had had an appointment with a Doctor Baker in London shortly before her death, presumably to confirm her pregnancy. When the doctor is found, he reveals that Rebecca had been suffering from cancer and would have died within a few months. Furthermore, due to the malformation of her uterus, she could never have been pregnant. Maxim assumes that Rebecca, knowing that she was going to die, manipulated him into killing her quickly. Mrs Danvers had said after the inquiry that Rebecca feared nothing except dying a lingering death.

Maxim feels a great sense of foreboding, and insists on driving through the night to return to Manderley. However, before he comes in sight of the house, it is clear from a glow on the horizon and wind-borne ashes that it is ablaze. The novel is remembered especially [1] for the character Mrs Danvers , the fictional estate Manderley , and its opening line:.

There is little likelihood of my bringing back a finished manuscript in December.


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  6. On returning to Britain in December , du Maurier decided to spend Christmas away from her family to write the book and she successfully delivered it to her publisher less than four months later. Psychological and rather macabre. Du Maurier commented publicly in her lifetime that the book was based on her own memories of Menabilly and Cornwall , as well as her relationship with her father. While du Maurier "categorised Rebecca as a study in jealousy The suspicion that Tommy remained attracted to Ricardo haunted Daphne.