The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier

The House on the StrandIt’s Historical Fiction week over at Vulpes Libris, and I’m throwing some fat on the fire with a post about why I don’t like historical fiction… and (because I MULTI-TASK, y’all) it’s also a review of The House on the Strand (1969) by Daphne du Maurier.

Which sounds like I hated the novel – whereas in fact I had quite a confusing relationship with it, given that half of it is in present day (yay!) and half in the 14th century (boo!). Read all about it over at Vulpes Libris

5 thoughts on “The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier

  • February 28, 2017 at 10:24 am

    I read this a loooong time ago (when I was in my teens!) so I can’t really offer much in the way of a coherent opinion except to say that at the time I think I loved it. However, nowadays the 14th century doesn’t really interest me so I might well have the same reaction as you did if I re-read it!!

  • February 28, 2017 at 10:48 am

    I might actually like this one — I just read a book set in 1300 that I really liked, and the Medieval period normally isn’t my favorite. I tried reading Frenchman’s Creek recently and couldn’t get into it, but I’ll have to try again. Rebecca is by far my favorite of du Maurier’s novels. I don’t know if I could love another book as much as that one.

  • February 28, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    I enjoyed your review over on Vulpes Libris, Simon. I even commented, making the point that this novel isn’t proper historical fiction. The time travel stuff is mere set decoration to the protagonist’s emotional battle-within-himself. (Perhaps?)

    Not one of my favourite du Mauriers. I’m not sure which one *is* my favourite. I’ve read most of them at one point or another. Hmm. The Progress of Julius, maybe? Rebecca? Rule Britannia has a certain lasting appeal, it gets re-read often here. There’s one for you, Simon! Rule Britannia. America invades England, “for its own good”, of course. The locals react with mixed feelings…

  • February 28, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    I am hesitant to try Du Maurier’s “other” books because I don’t think they can quite live up to Rebecca or My Cousin Rachel. I was disappointed when I read Jamaica Inn. I guess I need to maybe just adjust my expectations. But I do want to read Frenchman’s Creek mostly because I found the debate between you and your mother about it so hilarious (Pirates!). :)

  • February 28, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    I quite like historical fiction, but I’m not particularly keen on time travel. I doubt I’ll be rushing to read this. I really liked your line about Du Maurier’s “genius for ambiguity and readerly uncertainty that would leave Henry James weeping into his hands and wishing somebody had introduced him to a full stop earlier in life.” Very funny, I thought.

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