House on the Strand

House on the Strand

by Daphne du Maurier

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380006434
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/01/1985
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x 1.00(h) x 6.80(d)

About the Author

In addition to The Scapegoat and The House on the Strand, Dame Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989) wrote more than twenty-five acclaimed novels, short stories, and plays, including Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, Frenchman's Creek, and "The Birds."

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The House on the Strand 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book when it first came out many years ago. I think I have read it as many as 11 times and each time I am unable to put it down. The writing is so beautiful and easy to read as well as taking you into places you can only imagine going. I can 'see', feel, smell and almost 'touch' the characters and places the journey takes you and you cannot wait to see what will happen next. You get so wrapped up in the stories that you want to touch or even yell at the characters and get involved in their lives! I almost never loan my books out but I have made an exception with House on the Strand as I wish as many as people as possible to read it and have always gotten it back, at times with a thank you note from the borrower for giving them the chance to read this exciting book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a story that draws the reader in and one feels that one is actually present and viewing the events as they occur. Appropriately, this is a condition experienced by the main character of the story during his travels back in time. I have read and re-read this story many times and never find it dull. Each character in the story seems real.
I_Have_Blue_Roses More than 1 year ago
Have you ever traveled abroad and walked alone down a street in a city you've never been to before and had a sense of timelessness, like you stepped into a dream? I'm talking: without a tour group, walking in a place where you don't know what anyone is saying, and you are seeing things that you've only read about? Well, I've done that, and that sense of odd displacement, but vivid imagery of the scenery around me: that is the only thing I can think of to compare to the feeling you get reading this book about traveling back to medieval Cornwall. Have you ever felt out of place in a conversation when you talk about your obsession with some past age and you realize that your fervor is beyond the person's understanding? Ok: if you've said yes to anything, or agreed with any of these sentiments, then read this book. DuMaurier is rich, mysterious and addicting. Just like time travel. Just like a drug.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a re-read after 40 years and it still packed a powerful punch. it was great to go thru it again as an adult. Things I never considered before and life lessons taught were great.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put this book down! Fantastic historical detail and an absorbing story in both the past and present settings. A must read for any fan of time-travel novels.
justabookreader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Time travel and the 14th Century¿what more can one want in a book? OK, a lot more, but let¿s go with these two as the starter for this one.Richard Young is staying at his friend Magnus Lane¿s home in the English countryside. Magnus is a chemical researcher at the University of London and has concocted a drink, that when taken, will transport a person to the 14th Century. The one catch is that the traveler cannot touch any person while on the trip or they will be instantly hurled back to the present rather painfully. Richard, while waiting for his wife and step-sons to arrive, agrees to take the potion and report back to Magnus with the results. The potion has the same affect on Richard as Magnus and they compare their trips to the past observing the daily lives of the people who used to live in the same area where Magnus¿s house is. Richard becomes fascinated with the past so much so that he keeps returning to see one particular woman that he has become obsessed with. His sense of reality takes a turn and he starts to have trouble deciphering the past and the present which frightens him but not enough to stop him from taking what is left of the potion like some madman believing he can change the outcome of the past. The results of his actions make the present a terrifying place for both Richard and his family.Time travel in books can sometimes go bad but Du Maurier does something that makes it work --- she makes it unbelievable. That might sound odd but stick with me. For a good portion of the book, Richard isn¿t sure what he¿s seeing and he isn¿t sure he should believe it. When he starts to believe, things go off track in his life making him wonder if what he thinks he believes is true. Even when some historical research proves that the people he saw and observed on his trips were real, he still isn¿t sure what to think or believe. Life becomes difficult for him on so many levels and it seems as if you¿re watching a man on the brink of madness. How Du Maurier does this is fascinating and makes the whole idea of time travel so fantastical and terrifying at the same time.Richard was not a person I liked at first. I didn¿t dislike him either but he¿s a selfish person and one who doesn¿t seem to think, or care, much for his family which is truly annoying. Magnus however was a character I would have liked more of. His ambiguity makes it work though because you get back to the idea of Richard slowly falling into the depths of madness without Magnus around.There is so much to like about this book. The fantasy element is done well, and even though you¿re not sure if it truly exists outside of Richard¿s mind, it works and is believable. There are rules and consequences to the time travel and I like that. A free system wouldn¿t work here and Du Maurier creates a system that fits perfectly within the confines of the story. The characters all have some sort of flaw that makes even the annoying ones likable, to a degree. You do in the end sympathize with everyone which I wasn¿t prepared to do half way through the book.I will be adding more of Du Maurier¿s books to my list. Her writing is wonderfully descriptive and at the same time sparse, as if she¿s giving you time to ingest it all.
Misfit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"We are all bound, one to the other, through time and eternity". While vacationing at the Cornwall home of old chum Magnus, Richard Young is convinced to act as guinea pig for his friend's latest experiment - a drug that enables the mind to travel into the past - although the body stays in the present. Richard's "trips" take him to the 14C where he is soon so wrapped up in the past that it becomes as addictive to him as a drug - or is it the drug itself that is addictive? Are the lives of those in the past so much more important that his wife and step-sons become a hindrance to his journeys? Did these people really exist or do they only exist in Richard's mind? Although Richard's mind is in the 14C while on the drug, his body is not and as he walks in the footsteps of those in the past it leads him into some very close calls when his mind returns to the present. He could be standing anywhere - the middle of a road, on private property or in the path of an oncoming....... Nope, I'm not telling and to say much more gives the whole thing away - half the fun is the guessing and unexpected twists in the story. Although the segments in the 14C were well written they were a bit confusing to me at times, but don't spend too much time trying to sort those relationships out. IMO they were mostly background and the main focus were the parts in the present day. Du Maurier is superb and understated as always, and this one will definitely leave you guessing all the way to the very last page and beyond.
Gwendydd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this book rather disappointing. The premise is really fascinating: the main character travels in time by taking a drug that unlocks a sort of collective memory in his brain, and he hallucinates about events in the 14th century. I really like this idea of time travel, and the complications it causes: he moves around in the contemporary world while he hallucinates about the 14th century, so he will be suddenly jarred into the present when he bumps into a modern building or almost gets hit by a car.But this isn't really a book about time travel. It's a book about drug addiction. The narrator enjoys his time travel, despite some of the horrible physical side-effects. He behaves like a typical drug addict: he lies to his wife, is very secretive about his activities, is very jealous of his opportunities to take the drug, and spends all of his time looking forward to his next trip. He eventually endangers his family, and continues to endanger himself despite the obvious risks involved. The medieval storyline isn't very interesting - not much happens, and there is nothing particularly compelling about any of the medieval characters (although one of the reasons the narrator keeps traveling to the past is that he has a crush on one of the medieval women). There is decent closure to the medieval storyline, but the focus of the book is really the narrator's drug addiction and its dangerous effects. Unfortunately, it's hard to sympathize with his addiction: he is so obviously destructive to himself and his family, and the medieval storyline hardly seems worth the risk.
nglofile_reads_2008 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm struck by how much more I liked this book upon a second reading. It's even more surprising given the lack of truly empathetic characters.The story and structure are well-executed, and I suppose it is additional research and study that has helped me to appreciate the writing so much more.
RichardSeltzer More than 1 year ago
The action alternates between the present-day and Cornwall around 1310-1348 (with the start of the Plague). The mechanism of taking a drug to time travel feels reminiscent of the best of H. G. Wells. The scenes in the 1300s are very credible; and the overlay of the two time periods in the same landscape is evocative. Not at all what you would expect from the author of "Rebecca" Richard
Anonymous More than 1 year ago