Rebecca Lettered Edition Run

by John Fowles
Illustrated by David Álvarez
Published by Suntup Editions, California, USA, 2021,
Book dimensions: H 235 x W 163 x D 35mm
Box dimensions: H 320 x W 252 x D 86mm
Sample board #62
Bound in 2022

About the book:
Winner of the Anthony Award for Best Novel of the Century, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is the classic Gothic suspense novel that has haunted and enchanted generations of readers. Originally published in 1938 by Victor Gollancz Ltd., the British publishing house ordered a first print run of 20,000 copies. Within a month, Rebecca had sold more than twice that number. Since its initial publication, Rebecca has never gone out of print, selling 2.8 million copies between the years 1938 and 1965 alone. The novel has been adapted numerous times for stage and screen, including a 1939 play by du Maurier herself, and the 1940 film adaptation directed by Alfred Hitchcock which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. 

Renowned for its infusion of Gothic macabre into the romantic, Rebecca has also been celebrated as an important piece of feminist literature—a savage critique of gender power dynamics and society’s fear of powerful women. This haunting story of a young girl consumed by love and the struggle to find her own identity, continues to cast its sinister spell on readers over 85 years later.

About the binding:

  • Full dark green goatskin binding with linen-jointed boards in a custom color for this edition by J Hewit & Sons.
  • Leather-jointed endpapers made from a combination of rose pink and ocean green Canson Mi-Teintes papers along with dark green leather for the joints.
  • The doublures are covered in venetian red Canson Mi-Teintes paper.
  • The top edge of the binding is ploughed and sanded flat, with the fore edge and bottom edge of the pages deckled.
  • The head & tail bands are covered in pistachio-colored bull skin by Remy Carriat Tannerie in France, with additional pink goatskin and thread detail.
  • The front cover of the book has a thinly pared bull-skin onlay applied, illustrating a Rhododendron flower.
  • The Rhododendron is lino-printed in a variety of green, pink, white and burgundy inks.
  • The onlay is embroidered on top of the Rhododendron using a range of coloured threads and different embroidery stitches, including; French Knots, seed stitch, running stitch, whipping stitch and couching.
  • The binding has a recessed title label applied to the spine, blocked onto pink Harmatan and Oakridge goatskin.
  • The edition is housed in a clamshell enclosure with a four-sided base covered in Windsor cloth with trays covered in Dubletta cloth, and lined with marled green wool felt.
  • There is a recessed title label applied to the spine, blocked onto pink goatskin to match the book.

Design Description:
A young woman working as a lady’s maid in Monte Carlo is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives—presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

The rhododendrons symbolise Rebecca. They represent her dominant personality, her vividness, her love of life and her beauty. Their unnatural aspect also symbolises her cruelty and depravity, and their lurid blood-red colour hints at her violent end.

“We were amongst the rhododendrons. There was something bewildering, even shocking, about the suddenness of their discovery. The woods had not prepared me for them.”

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

More details about this project can be found at the Suntup Editions website here, and information about the making process will soon be available to read in one of my blog posts.

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