That Hideous Strength

Author(s): CS Lewis


The book, written during the final period of World War II, takes place at an undetermined year "after the end of the war".

Mark Studdock is a young academic who has just become a Senior Fellow in sociology at Bracton College in the University of Edgestow. The fellows of Bracton are debating the sale of a portion of college land to the National Institute for Co-ordinated Experiments (N.I.C.E.), whose staff already includes some college faculty. The sale is controversial since the land in question (Bragdon Wood) is an ancient woodland believed to be the resting place of Merlin. After the deal is struck, a N.I.C.E. insider called Lord Feverstone proposes a possible post for Mark at the Institute. (It is gradually revealed that Feverstone is the new title of Richard Devine, who accompanied Professor Weston on the trip to Mars in Out of the Silent Planet, but not on the trip to Venus in Perelandra.)

Mark's wife Jane (a PhD student at the university) has suffered a peculiar nightmare involving a severed head. She meets Mrs. Dimble, the wife of one of her former tutors, who is being evicted due to sale of land to the N.I.C.E. When Jane talks about her dreams, Mrs. Dimble leads her to seek counsel from a Miss Ironwood who lives in the Manor in the nearby town of St. Anne's. An argument between Jane and Mark shows how their marriage is deteriorating.

Lord Feverstone introduces Mark to the N.I.C.E., where he becomes acquainted with the top brass at their headquarters at Belbury, near Edgestow. Here and throughout his time with them, Mark can never find out what his place in the organisation is; he has no office or duties and seems to be alternately in and out of favour. A scientist named Bill Hingest, who is resigning from the N.I.C.E., warns Mark to get out. As he drives home that night, Hingest is mysteriously murdered.

At the same time, Jane works up the courage to visit Miss Ironwood at St. Anne's. Miss Ironwood, who is dressed in black...

Price is marked accordingly due to

No dust jaket

General use wear on the cover (Spots appearing)

Foxing present, however, not as much as one would expect for a book of its age.


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Product Information

General Fields

  • : CIR1597796458
  • : John Lane The Bodley Head
  • : January 1949
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : CS Lewis