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The House of Dr. Edwardes

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  81 ratings  ·  17 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...more
ebook, 314 pages
Published November 16th 2002 by Rosettabooks, LLC (first published 1927)
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Community Reviews

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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...more
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
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...more
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.
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...more
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
It was more frightening than I imagined it could be Hitchcock had good material for his film!
Very good gothic mystery, set in an insane asylum... so how could it go wrong?
Shala Howell
A bit predictable, but a very good read.
not a great ending but a fun read
Probably a 3.5 star, kind of freaky!
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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...more
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