My Cousin Rachel

by

Daphne du Maurier

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Signor Rainaldi Character Analysis

Signor Rainaldi is Rachel’s close friend and advisor, who is also Italian. Ambrose and Philip both suspect Rainaldi of being in love with Rachel. Rainaldi is depicted as self-absorbed and condescending, but it is difficult for the reader to gauge whether Philip is correct in thinking Rainaldi to also be cold and sinister, or if he is just jealous and paranoid.

Signor Rainaldi Quotes in My Cousin Rachel

The My Cousin Rachel quotes below are all either spoken by Signor Rainaldi or refer to Signor Rainaldi. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Guilt Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Sourcebooks edition of My Cousin Rachel published in 2009.
Chapter 26 Quotes

As I lay there in the darkness I was not aware of danger, or of fear. Only compassion. I saw her as someone not responsible for what she did, besmirched by evil. Compelled and driven by the man who had power over her, lacking, through fault of circumstance and birth, in some deep moral sense, she was capable by instinct and by impulse of this final act. I wanted to save her from herself, and knew not how.

Related Characters: Philip Ashley (speaker), Rachel Ashley, Signor Rainaldi
Page Number: 370
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire My Cousin Rachel LitChart as a printable PDF.
My Cousin Rachel PDF

Signor Rainaldi Character Timeline in My Cousin Rachel

The timeline below shows where the character Signor Rainaldi appears in My Cousin Rachel. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Guilt Theme Icon
Identity and Destiny Theme Icon
...Rachel, who is revealed to be his cousin. One warning came from a man called Rainaldi and the other from Nick Kendall, Philip’s godfather. Philip also recalls the night he first... (full context)
Chapter 3
Women, Sexuality, and Society Theme Icon
Jealousy, Possessiveness, and Unknowability Theme Icon
...Ambrose writes that he trusts none of his Italian doctors, all recommended by someone named Rainaldi; he also says that Rachel “watches [him] all the time,” and it is “better [to]... (full context)
Chapter 4
Women, Sexuality, and Society Theme Icon
...beautiful the villa and its gardens are “on a still evening.” He mentions that “Signor Rainaldi told us that the villa is to be let, possibly sold.” Philip asks who Rainaldi... (full context)
Chapter 5
Home and Belonging Theme Icon
...Philip leaves the church, eats a meal near the cathedral, and then goes to find Rainaldi’s house. (full context)
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Women, Sexuality, and Society Theme Icon
Rainaldi is surprised to see Philip, and Philip himself is immediately wary of Rainaldi’s “dark and... (full context)
Home and Belonging Theme Icon
Rainaldi offers to contact Ambrose’s doctors on Philip’s behalf, but Philip declines. Rainaldi then produces Ambrose’s... (full context)
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Jealousy, Possessiveness, and Unknowability Theme Icon
Philip continues to press Rainaldi for details about Ambrose’s letters, which he claims are proof that Ambrose was “surrounded by... (full context)
Women, Sexuality, and Society Theme Icon
Philip demands more answers from Rainaldi: why didn’t Rachel contact him, Philip asks, when Ambrose fell ill? Rainaldi replies that “a... (full context)
Home and Belonging Theme Icon
Identity and Destiny Theme Icon
Rainaldi offers to make arrangements for Philip to visit Ambrose’s grave, but after a brief conversation,... (full context)
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...decides he believes “in the truth of those two letters” from Ambrose, rather than in Rainaldi’s version of events. He then makes a vow to seek revenge on Rachel. He thinks:... (full context)
Chapter 6
Home and Belonging Theme Icon
Identity and Destiny Theme Icon
...day, Nick Kendall pays a visit to Philip in order to read him Ambrose’s will. Rainaldi was correct in stating that Kendall has been appointed Philip’s new legal guardian. Per Ambrose’s... (full context)
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Women, Sexuality, and Society Theme Icon
Philip then recounts for Nick Kendall his visit to Rainaldi. He bitterly informs his godfather of Rachel’s departure from the villa, saying she “[went] off,... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Home and Belonging Theme Icon
Jealousy, Possessiveness, and Unknowability Theme Icon
...Philip. Philip admits: “My godfather […] and the servants learnt of Ambrose’s death through Signor Rainaldi. But […] I learnt of it in Florence, at the villa, from your servants.” Philip... (full context)
Chapter 13
Jealousy, Possessiveness, and Unknowability Theme Icon
...Rachel claimed to have written to Kendall, accepting the allowance. The second is addressed to Rainaldi. As Philip ascends the stairs to his room, he reminds himself that “the man was... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Women, Sexuality, and Society Theme Icon
...suspicious and stopped giving Rachel money. Rachel admits that she had to secretly ask Signor Rainaldi for money in order to pay her servants’ wages. (full context)
Chapter 18
Jealousy, Possessiveness, and Unknowability Theme Icon
...evasion, [and] to lies.” Ambrose even suspects that Rachel is having an affair with Signor Rainaldi. (full context)
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Women, Sexuality, and Society Theme Icon
Ambrose is particularly disturbed by recent inquiries Rainaldi has been making about Ambrose’s will. Ambrose reveals in the letter that he has drawn... (full context)
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...a brain tumor) experiencing. Ambrose is obsessed by a single thought: “Are they [Rachel and Rainaldi] trying to poison me?” (full context)
Chapter 19
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...inside and hears Rachel call him into the drawing room to see her visitor: Signor Rainaldi. (full context)
Chapter 20
Jealousy, Possessiveness, and Unknowability Theme Icon
Philip and Rainaldi exchange a few tense words, and then Philip goes upstairs to dress for dinner. From... (full context)
Jealousy, Possessiveness, and Unknowability Theme Icon
After dinner, Rachel and Rainaldi go up to her room to discuss their business; Philip declines Rachel’s invitation to join... (full context)
Women, Sexuality, and Society Theme Icon
Rainaldi stays an entire week, and Philip continues to find him unpleasant and condescending. One evening,... (full context)
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Women, Sexuality, and Society Theme Icon
Before he goes upstairs to dress for dinner, Rainaldi tells Philip that the “strong medicine” of Rachel’s presence, “taken in so large a dose,... (full context)
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Jealousy, Possessiveness, and Unknowability Theme Icon
On the last day of Rainaldi’s stay, the Kendalls dine at the Ashley estate. Philip is annoyed by Rainaldi’s suggestion that... (full context)
Identity and Destiny Theme Icon
The next day, Rainaldi prepares to leave. He once again asks Rachel to come to him in London, but... (full context)
Chapter 25
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...into the harbor and spies on the entrance to the inn. Before long, he spots Rainaldi. (full context)
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...before she can lock the door against him. Philip badgers Rachel until she reveals that Rainaldi has been staying at the inn for two weeks, and that she has been meeting... (full context)
Jealousy, Possessiveness, and Unknowability Theme Icon
Philip orders Rachel to send Rainaldi away, but she stands her ground, saying that she will even ask Rainaldi to the... (full context)
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The next night, Rainaldi comes to dinner at the Ashley house. Seecombe accidentally shows Rainaldi into the library, where... (full context)
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After Rainaldi leaves, Rachel knocks on Philip’s door, where she finds him sitting by the window. She... (full context)
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Philip tells Rachel she should spend time with Rainaldi if she prefers. Rachel replies that Rainaldi left England the previous day. Philip is relieved,... (full context)
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Jealousy, Possessiveness, and Unknowability Theme Icon
...returns home, he finds Seecombe with the post-bag and sees a letter to Rachel from Rainaldi. Philip regrets that Seecombe is present; otherwise he would have stolen the letter. (full context)
Jealousy, Possessiveness, and Unknowability Theme Icon
...sits in Rachel’s bedroom as she brews his tisana. He cannot take his eyes off Rainaldi’s letter, which sits on Rachel’s bureau. He wonders: “Would an Italian, writing to the woman... (full context)
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...to Rachel’s room to open it. He pulls out an envelope but it is not Rainaldi’s letter—it is an envelope filled with laburnum pods and seeds, “poisonous to cattle, and to... (full context)
Chapter 26
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Women, Sexuality, and Society Theme Icon
...tells Louise he thinks Rachel has been poisoning him. He says the proof lies in Rainaldi’s letter, which he needs Louise’s help in translating from Italian. As he begins searching Rachel’s... (full context)
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Jealousy, Possessiveness, and Unknowability Theme Icon
Philip cannot find Rainaldi’s letter. Louise suggests he check the blotter; the letter is there. It is written in... (full context)