The first book we will be sharing in our new Cornwall Today Book Club is House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier.
First published in 1969, House On The Strand never reached the popularity of her other novels such as Rebecca and Jamaica Inn, yet it remains a favourite amongst many Du Maurier fans, who enjoy the blend of drama, dark passions and fascinating insights into Cornish history and the changing landscapes.
The book is set in Kilmarth, near Tywardreath, where Du Maurier lived in 1967. Tywardreath, means House On The Strand. Dick Young, the narrator, is offered the use of Kilmarth by his friend Magnus, a scientist who has been developing a drug which allows the user to mentally travel back in time, whilst remaining physically in the modern landscape.
As Young becomes more and more immersed in the lives of the historical figures he can see and hear, but cannot interact with, the risks of the drug, and Young’s growing addiction to life in the past become clear. The story also allows us a fascinating glimpse of how the physical landscape around Par and Tywardreath has changed over the centuries.
We’d love to know your thoughts about this book, please scroll down and share your comments
Here are some links and suggestions for books which share common themes…
Reviews of The House on the Strand
Daphne du Maurier fan site
A BBC article includes photos and audio.
Explore the area where House On The Strand is set with these walking guides
Here is an interesting article on the 1960s drug scene.
The Time Travellers Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Lady of Hay – Barbara Erskine
The Magus – John Fowles
The King’s General – Daphne du Maurier
Castle Dor – Daphne du Maurier.
Du Maurier is known for her gothic romance but she also wrote in other genres including horror, historical and so on Where do you think The House on the Strand fits in?
Which part of the story works best for you the 1300s or the present day?
You can buy House On The Strand or other Cornish literature at Hurley Books, or call 01726 842200