“A Femme Fatale, translating to “Deadly Woman” in french, is an alluring, seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers in bonds of irresistible desire. Often this leads them into compromising, dangerous, and deadly situations.” ~ Wikipedia
I first discovered this class of women from 1930s and 40s film noir several years ago and was seduced by their charm and cunning minds. I then began to see them popping up in novels I read, even my favorites like Gone with the Wind and Wuthering Heights. This weekly post is to highlight/celebrate/condemn these sultry and conniving ladies in literature.
What villainous ladies have you read of in literature? Now’s the time to give them a shout out. Because let’s face we love to route for the bad girl. Expression of this could be in any form, hate or love mail, fan fic, quotes or a simple profile. The skies the limit. Just be sure to include what book the femme fatale comes from so we can check them out too.
Rebecca, even though she has been dead a year her presence is everywhere. Manderly oozes with Rebecca’s power, still keeping the Mannor under a tight ship. Mrs. de Winter was perfect, she could ride, sail, dressed to the nines and threw the most memorable parties. Rebecca intimidated the second Mrs. de Winter just because she was using her morning room, pens etc. But the reason why she is a femme fatale is because she has done things in her past that are too horrible to name making her marriage to Maxim a sham.
Not only does the former walk the halls like the living dead, but she also lives on through Mrs. Danvers, her most devoted maid. Mrs. Danvers has run the house just like Rebecca did before her death and tries to usurp any power the second Mrs. de Winter might have had. (Mrs. de Winter always wrote her correspondence in the morning room Mrs. de Winter was most particular about her sauces). And then there’s the costume party fiasco/sabotage
“It was Mrs. Danvers. I shall never forget the expression on her face, loathsome, triumphant. The face of an exulting devil. She stood there, smiling at me.”
Although, I think one of the best examples of the atmosphere of the house, is this clip from Hitchcock’s 1940s movie.