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Rule Britannia, the novel by Daphne du Maurier that in 1972 "saw" Brexit An Article by Barbara Boneschi


Rule Britannia book image


In 2022, Barbara Boneschi wrote an article about Daphne du Maurier's final novel, Rule Britannia, and how, through that novel, we can see that she predicted Brexit.  Barbara's article was originally published in gliSTATIGENERALI, an online magazine and participatory information platform that provides investigations, insights, and opinions on politics, economy, culture, and society.  The magazine is based in Italy.

Let's introduce you to Barbara:

Barbara Boneschi was born in Bergamo, a city about 40 kilometres northeast of Milan, in 1943.  Like Daphne du Maurier, she was the middle daughter of three sisters.  She was educated at the Giovanni Berchet Classical High School in Milan and then at the faculty of law at the State University of Milan.  She then went on to work for her father's law firm, where she continued her training and practised law for many years.  When Barbara retired, she returned to study at the university in Milan, this time studying history and obtaining a Bachelor's degree. 

Since then, she has written a book and a number of papers, and following their death, she organised her parents' archive and presented a paper on it.  It was during the reorganisation of her father's papers that she found a review of the Italian version of Rule Britannia (Un bel mattino, 1973), entitled A Political Fable - What Happens if England Leaves the European Community.  It was Barbara's reflections on this review that prompted her to write her article. 

Barbara lives in Milan but spends some of her time in the old lemon house restored by her husband and herself on the Brescia shore of Lake Garda.  From the large window overlooking the lake, she can see, on the opposite side of the lake, the village of San Vigilio, where Lawrence Olivier, the unforgettable protagonist of the film Rebecca, used to stay in the old inn.


We are happy to say that gliSTATIGENERALI has kindly given permission for the article to be reproduced on our website, and we include the link to the original article, which was, of course, published in Italian, here https://www.glistatigenerali.com/letteratura/rule-britannia-il-romanzo-di-daphne-du-maurier-che-nel-1972-vide-la-brexit/

For those of you who don't read Italian, we have translated the article for you; we hope you enjoy it.  We are sure you are going to find it very interesting.

Please click here for Barbara's article: https://www.dumaurier.org/data/uploads/1868_93599543.pdf


March 2024.


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