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The House of Dr. Edwardes

3.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  142 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
The single most striking quality of Francis Beeding's 'The House of Doctor Edwardes' is the sense of foreboding and uncertainty that pervades every scene, the hallmarks of many great mystery.

From the very first page of the prologue, Beeding makes the very air the characters live and breathe in seem to crackle with an ominous electricity. It is surely what appealed to Alfr
ebook, 314 pages
Published November 16th 2002 by Rosettabooks, LLC (first published 1927)
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May 20, 2016 Owlseyes marked it as to-read

Spellbound, the movie based on the Francis Beeding book.

Anyone trying to get familiar with Psychoanalysis should see this movie. The major concepts are all there: trauma in childhood as cause for psychological illness, amnesia, dream analysis, patient-therapist relation, healing etc, etc.

It's a black-and-white movie, but, I guess, it will certainly color your thoughts.

I have recently re-read an issue (of 2004) of the French magazine LNO*, all dedicated to Psychoanalysis, but in a very critica
Ho deciso di leggerlo per mera curiosità, perché su questo romanzo è basato l’omonimo e famosissimo film di Alfred Hitchcock. Ma i due hanno ben poco in comune, a parte qualche nome e qualche rara situazione. In pratica, sono diversi come il giorno dalla notte. Titolo e copertina fanno riferimento alla pellicola e nulla hanno a che spartire con il libro, che ha risvolti gotici assai poco credibili, nonché spesso noiosi.

Comunque, è interessante osservare come, a volte, partendo da un determinato
Bill FromPA
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 08, 2014 Pamela rated it it was ok
Used by Hitchcock as basis for his movie Spellbound, this is one case where the movie is far, far better than the book. Written in 1927, the book reads more like something from 50-75 years earlier. As with most of that genre from the mid to late 1800s, the opening is fine, the middle far too drawn out, and the ending too pat. The only common point between the movie and the book is the basic premise of a lunatic posing as a psychiatrist. The main difference between the two is that the movie is br ...more
Miranda Barnett
With the opening of England's first institution for the criminally insane in the middle of the 19th century, the notorious Broadmoor, and with England's long history of confining mentally ill individuals to not only hospital wards but also prison cells, it is of no great surprise that Frances Beeding, a pseudonym for two skillful individuals, found a fascinating subject in these still somewhat recent mental hospitals.

Questions about how to manage such a facility effectively would certainly have
Originally published, in 1928, as the House of Dr Edwardes, this is something of a ‘penny dreadful’: there is a damsel in distress placed in great peril in a gothic castle high in the foothills of the French Alps. The castle is now home to an asylum for the insane and the ‘damsel’ is the newly qualified Dr Constance Sedgewick. The story opens as she takes up her post at the asylum under the direction of Dr Murchison, an assistant of Dr Edwardes, who remains in charge while the latter is on vacat ...more
Nov 15, 2010 Philip rated it liked it
This was the basis for the Selznick/Hitchcock film SPELLBOUND, with Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck - I've had a 1928 copy for years, and think I started reading it some years ago - anyway, it's been packed away in a box for a while and I pretty much forgot I even had it until I 'unearthed' it yesterday! So I'm giving it a try.

11/14/10: I've just finished the novel upon which SPELLBOUND was based, THE HOUSE OF DOCTOR EDWARDES, by Francis Beeding (actually a duo, Hilary Saint George Saunders and
Jan 19, 2015 Kendra rated it did not like it
This was a terrible book. It was the January selection for Lifelong Learning's Book to Film series. No one in the discussion group liked it either. The only positive comment being that it was at least a very quick read. The movie, Spellbound, was terrific however. It bore no resemblance to the book.
Rosie Genova
A creaky old melodrama that was the basis for Hitchcock's Spellbound, which is why I downloaded it. It's a creepy tale of what happens when the lunatics take over the asylum--literally. It's not even close to the film, but it's got its own brand of creepy charm.
Hannelore Cheney
Dec 16, 2014 Hannelore Cheney rated it liked it
Started by liking it, but ended up bored with the devil worship and skipped through to the end.
Jun 06, 2013 Francis rated it liked it
For those with active imaginations and willing to use them this is a good read. While the story differs from the movie Spellbound, you will find the edgy, sinister, foreboding atmosphere, that all good Hitchcock junkies require.

But, like many old late show movie favorites your sense of mounting tension may often be interrupted by your logical, thinking side trying to impose itself on an otherwise other worldly experience.

So, don't let logic butt-in and spoil your good time, just be scared and ha
Jan 30, 2008 Alexis rated it liked it
The House of Dr. Edwardes is a modern gothic novel about about madness, power and terror. When a mental asylum receives a new director, reality and fantasy, sanity and madness become harder and harder to distinguish. I highly recommend it-a real spine-tingler!

Side note:
The House of Dr. Edwardes was written by John Leslie Palmer and Hilary Aidan St. George Saunders under the pseudonym Francis Beeding. Hitchcock based Spellbound loosely upon this gothic detective story.
Aug 13, 2010 Christina rated it it was amazing
I read this book as a reissue entitled Spellbound. this book was the inspiration for Hitchcock's movie "Spellbound", the only similarities to the book and movie are the names of Dr. Edwardes, Dr. Murchison, and Constance. not a bad book at all. i was kept in suspense from beginning to end. it's a shame Hitchcock couldn't follow the book exactly b/c a movie of this book by him would have been incredible... not that Spellbound isn't a fantastic in itself.
May 05, 2012 Sharon rated it did not like it
I read this because it was the basis for the Hitchcock movie Spellbound. It was, however, very little like the movie. Hitchcock changed the story radically.

The original novel conveys a creepy atmosphere well, but the mystery at its heart is easily solved and the plot moves too slowly. It builds to a wearisome climax of will-she-or-won't-she-be-raped, one of my least favorite literary tropes. All in all, a waste of reading time.
This book was the basis for Hitchcock's film Spellbound with Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman. As a huge Hitchcock fan, I had to read the book. The book is quite different from the movie as usual, but I thought the book was extremely creepy in its own right and I could see why Hitchcock would be inspired by it. I liked the psychological aspects despite it's somewhat predictability.
Feb 16, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a year of reading, I finished the last half of the book in about a day. A psychological thriller from the 1920s set in an isolated private mental institution. I'm not sure I'd the first half is really that much shower than the second half, but the climax and conclusion were riveting.
Nathan Shumate
Aug 22, 2012 Nathan Shumate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By now, the twist premise (which I'm not going to spoil for you) has been so overused that it doesn't seem strong enough to carry a novel alone, but the first two-thirds are still a classic example of keeping things ominous without obviously telegraphing all of what's going on.
Donna Foston
Oct 28, 2013 Donna Foston rated it liked it
The first part of the book moves a bit too slowly and it's pretty easy to figure out one of the big secrets. The second part really picks up the pace and it's sufficiently tense at the end.
Karen Sullivan
Sep 18, 2011 Karen Sullivan rated it liked it
It was more frightening than I imagined it could be Hitchcock had good material for his film!
Nov 15, 2011 Donna rated it really liked it
Very good gothic mystery, set in an insane asylum... so how could it go wrong?
Shala Howell
Sep 06, 2009 Shala Howell rated it really liked it
A bit predictable, but a very good read.
Oct 12, 2011 Btdebarros rated it liked it
not a great ending but a fun read
Dec 26, 2011 Kim rated it liked it
Probably a 3.5 star, kind of freaky!
Ruthann Breitenfeld
Ruthann Breitenfeld rated it liked it
May 22, 2016
Laura Johnson
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May 06, 2016
Tallyho575 rated it it was ok
May 04, 2016
Sasha Grimes
Sasha Grimes marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2016
Cindy marked it as to-read
Apr 29, 2016
Beverly Baty
Beverly Baty rated it liked it
Apr 25, 2016
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Francis Beeding is the pseudonym used by two British male writers, John Leslie Palmer (1885-1944) and Hilary St George Saunders (1898-1951). The pseudonym was a joint effort and was apparently chosen because Palmer always wanted to be called Francis and Saunders had once owned a house in the Sussex village of Beeding.

The pair met when undergraduates at Oxford and remained friends when they both wo
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