Connecticut-based illustrator D. G. Smith was commissioned by The Folio Society of London, UK, to illustrate a new edition of Daphne du Maurier’s gothic romance Rebecca. This luxury edition, released on May 19, 2017 — bound in cloth and enclosed in a slipcase — includes six full-color illustrations, six black-and-white images, and a two-page frontispiece depicting the famous setting of this classic of twentieth-century fiction: the Manderley estate.
Smith worked alongside Folio Society art director Sheri Gee and editor Johanna Geary, who guided the project and ensured a cohesive vision for the book. Illustrating du Maurier’s novel was a challenge, Smith said, because it exists so powerfully in the public imagination, especially since Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 film adaptation. “When I began my illustrations, I hadn’t seen the movie—and I decided not to watch it until afterward,” Smith said. “I didn’t want to be influenced by Hitchcock’s perspective.” He researched important details from the novel’s setting, from architecture to fashion to automobiles. “There was a tragic elegance I had to communicate to reflect that time,” Smith said.