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The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier

The House on the Strand (1969)

by Daphne du Maurier

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (44)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (47)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
Daphne du Maurier writes very deep books that masquerade as mystery/romances. No two are alike, and in this novel she steps into the world of time travel (or maybe she doesn’t). After all, have you ever read a du Maurier that didn’t pose more questions than it answered?

We are taken into the world of Richard Young, a man who has reached a crossroads in life and is contemplating what his next step is going to be. His best friend, Magnus, a bit of a mad scientist, has loaned Richard his home in Cornwall for vacation. Magnus is experimenting with a drug he has developed, and he is not above using Richard as his guinea pig to test its effects. Just as we have stepped into Richard’s world by opening this book, when Richard takes the drug he steps into another world as well, the world of 14th Century Cornwall and the previous owner of Magnus’ house, a squire named Roger.

To tell of Richard’s or Roger’s adventures would be to ruin the plot surprises, and this book if full of them. But some of the questions posed here are subtle but profound. Are we attached to the past through our genetic material? Do we have stored in our brains every memory of our ancestors, if we knew how to access them? What is the cost of addiction? Of escape into any reality that is not our own? What price does it cost us when we ignore our present lives to live in the past, the future, or just dreams? I find this quite relevant in view of how many people escape into virtual reality these days, but it could be as easy asked of those who bury themselves in books, I suppose.

I had read this book many years ago, but found it was mostly new to me after so many years. It was as good as I remembered and no doubt more meaningful to me this go around. Nice to end the year with an old friend.
( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
Daphne du Maurier has created a stunning story of two worlds existing side-by-side. On vacation at an ancient manor house in Cornwall, a young man takes an experimental drug that transports him 600 years into the past, while leaving his body in the present.

The story was well-written and a great time-travel adventure. All the characters were well-developed and Daphne du Maurier makes you feel like you are experiencing everything along with them. The plot is rather complex as Professor Magnus Lane and Richard 'Dick' Young travel back in time to the 14th century and experience historical events first hand - but were not able to influence them. They soon become addicted to the experience which has drastic affects on the rest of their lives. The moral of the story seems to be that you should stay in the present time and not spend too much time thinking in your head or daydreaming regardless of how compelling it is. I look forward to reading another of du Maurier's books and I highly recommend this book to those who love time-travel books. ( )
  EadieB | Jun 4, 2017 |
The House on the Strand by Daphne DuMaurier takes the reader to 14th century Cornwall, England where Dick Young travels with his family for a holiday at his dear friend Magnus’s house. While at the home, Dick serves as Magnus’s ‘guinea pig’ to experiment with some secretive, hallucinogenic drugs, of which transport Dick to another spellbinding time in history. Dick becomes so enraptured by the intrigues occurring in 14th century England, that he is unable at times to distinguish between his present day life and medieval England, so that he erringly nearly chokes his wife in misunderstanding rage. Although DuMaurier presents page after page of superbly descriptive historical text, I was at times disengaged and confused with the characters presented in medieval England. (In reading a review, some reference was made to a chart included with the novel, presenting the characters and their relationships to each other, but such an aid was not available to me in the Kindle version). Without giving too much away, let me say that a minor character earlier on in the novel, Dr. Powell, plays a major role in the story’s resolution. Dick resorts to a final transport in time to satisfy his obsession of seeing how events have transpired. But with history’s finality, I was still unclear about how Dick Young might proceed with his drone and rather dissatisfying present day life. ( )
  haymaai | Dec 21, 2016 |
This is a terrible cover, but this is probably my favourite book by Daphne du Maurier so far.

The plot is about a guy who travels to his friend's old manor house and takes a drug that allows him to travel back in time to medieval France, or something similar. This novel is about his obsession with that time, with the drug, and how his own faults and flaws affect his family.

I adore this book. It's powerful, it's incredibly well-crafted and it has an incredible ending. du Maurier's writing is incredibly atmospheric, as always. The environment is a character, the house is a character and an incredible feature in the novel.

I really like the relationship between the two male friends - it's complicated, it's layered, there's a little bit of tension, too.

I loved the texture in this novel, I love how easily and seamlessly du Maurier creates tension. If you like suspenseful, nouveau gothic literature with a touch of homoerotic tension, The House on the Strand is the book for you. c: ( )
1 vote lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
Set in the atmospheric landscape of Cornwall, "The House on the Strand" concerns a young man's experiments with hallucinogenic drugs and resulting "time travel" back to mysterious characters and events in the 14th century. Set in the 1960's, our protagonist, Dick Young, becomes increasingly drawn (perhaps "addicted" might be more accurate) to the past, which he finds far more interesting than his current life with his wife Vita and young stepsons. Daphne du Maurier, a skilled hand at suspense, has crafted a compelling story with keen psychological insights. The characters are well-developed, particularly Dick and Vita, whose banter and interactions realistically reflect martial tension and conflict. I will confess that I generally found the chapters concerning the 14th century events quite baffling in their complexity, and the numerous similar-sounding characters and place names equally exasperating. Consequently, I merely skimmed those sections; but Dick's subsequent recaps in the present day adequately summarize all the reader needs to know. The open-ended surprise twist perfectly caps the tale. ( )
1 vote ghr4 | Jul 13, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maurier, Daphne duAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brayfield, CeliaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keith, RonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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for my predecessors at Kilmarth
First words
The simple and instant response to The House on the Strand is that it is a novel revisiting the themes expected of Daphne du Maurier, all about Cornwall, set in a mysterious mansion, and featuring romantic episodes in the region's history.
The first thing I noticed was the clarity of the air, and then the sharp green colour of the land.
Never before, neither in my own world nor on the previous occasions when I strayed into the other, had I felt such a sense of unity. I was one of them, and they did not know it. I belonged amongst them, and they did not know it. This, I think, was the essence of what it meant to be me. To be bound, yet free; to be alone, yet in their company; to be born in my own time yet living, unknown, in theirs. (102)
"We're far too wrapped up in ourselves to encourage ghosts. Poor things, they'd wither away from tedium, unable to draw attention to themselves."
Could time be all-dimensional—yesterday, today, tomorrow running concurrently in ceaseless repetition?
When I lie I like to base the lie on a foundation of fact, for it appeases not only the conscience but a sense of justice.
. . . I thought how this thing of how well or how badly one had slept was really the great test of marital relationship; if one partner came off poorly during the night hours the other was immediately to blame, and the following day would come apart in consequence.
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Book description
Written in the great tradition of Edgar Allen Poe and H. P. Lovecraft, The House on the Strand is a gripping and masterfully written tale of history and horror with a fresh approach to time travel.
When Dick Young's friend, Magnus, offers him an escape from his troubles in the form of a new drug, Dick finds himself transported to the Cornish manor of Tywardreath in the fourteenth century. As Dick witnesses the intrigues of the court there, he becomes fixated with Roger and the captivating Isolda Carminowe and withdraws from the modern world to spend more and more time in the past. But his attempts to change history can bring terror to the present and throw his own life into the balance.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812217268, Paperback)

In this haunting tale, Daphne du Maurier takes a fresh approach to time travel. A secret experimental concoction, once imbibed, allows you to return to the fourteenth century. There is only one catch: if you happen to touch anyone while traveling in the past you will be thrust instantaneously to the present.

Magnus Lane, a University of London chemical researcher, asks his friend Richard Young and Young's family to stay at Kilmarth, an ancient house set in the wilds near the Cornish coast. Here, Richard drinks a potion created by Magnus and finds himself at the same spot where he was moments earlier—though it is now the fourteenth century. The effects of the drink wear off after several hours, but it is wildly addictive, and Richard cannot resist traveling back and forth in time. Gradually growing more involved in the lives of the early Cornish manor lords and their ladies, he finds the presence of his wife and stepsons a hindrance to his new-found experience. Richard eventually finds emotional refuge with a beautiful woman of the past trapped in a loveless marriage, but when he attempts to intervene on her behalf the results are brutally terrifying for the present.

Echoing the great fantastic stories of H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe, The House on the Strand is a masterful yarn of history, romance, horror, and suspense that will grip the reader until the last surprising twist.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:13 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Dick Young is lent a house in Cornwall by his friend Professor Magnus Lane where he agrees to serve as guinea pig for a new drug Magnus has discovered in his biochemical research, the effect of which is to transport Dick to the 14th century.

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