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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 December, 2003, 09:27 GMT
Cornish novel misses prize
Big Read bookworms
21 books were shortlisted for the accolade of nation's favourite
Book lovers in Cornwall hoping Daphne du Maurier's classic novel, Rebecca, would be voted the nation's best-loved book were left disappointed.

It was one of 21 novels left in the final of the BBC's Big Read.

But it did not finish in the first five, with JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings winning the contest, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice second and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams third.

Du Maurier wrote Rebecca in the late 1930s, basing much of the novel in Cornwall.

Family holidays

She was inspired after spending many family holidays in Fowey as a child.

She eventually moved to the county after marrying and having three children.

Rebecca was backed in the BBC's Big Read by the celebrity gardener, Alan Titchmarsh.

He first read the novel when he was 15 and described it as "an exciting thriller, a page-turning mystery, and a romance, but one with a deeper, dark side".

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