The untold story behind Peter Pan: The shocking account of J. M. Barrie's abuse and exploitation of the du Maurier family.
In his revelatory Neverland, Piers Dudgeon tells the tragic story of J. M. Barrie and the Du Maurier family. Driven by a need to fill the vacuum left by sexual impotence, Barrie sought out George du Maurier, Daphne du Maurier’s grandfather (author of the famed Trilby), who specialized in hypnosis. Barrie’s fascination and obsession with the Du Maurier family is a shocking study of greed and psychological abuse, as we observe Barrie as he applies these lessons in mind control to captivate George’s daughter Sylvia, his son Gerald, as well as their childrenwho became the inspiration for the Darling family in Barrie’s immortal Peter Pan.
Barrie later altered Sylvia’s will after her death so that he could become the boys’ legal guardian, while pushing several members of the family to nervous breakdown and suicide. Barrie’s compulsion to dominate was so apparent to those around him that D. H. Lawrence once wrote: J. M Barrie has a fatal touch for those he loves. They die.
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Piers Dudgeon worked closely with Daphne du Maurier on her book Enchanted Cornwall. He began his research on his book Neverland after learning that Daphne had placed a moratorium on her diaries until fifty years after her death. Piers has worked with authors as diverse as John Fowles, Peter Ackroyd, Shirley Conran and Ted Hughes. He lives in London.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations vii
Family Tree xi
Author's Note xiii
Part I 1945-1960 The Lost Boys and Daphne
Chapter 1 Peter's suicide: a case to answer 3
Chapter 2 What is the secret? 27
Part II 1789-1862 Kicky and Barrie: learning to fly
Chapter 1 Du Maurier dreamers 39
Chapter 2 Peak experience 44
Chapter 3 The boy who hated mothers 58
Chapter 4 Nervous breakdown 78
Part III 1885-1894 Kicky, Barrie and Svengali: the secret
Chapter 1 Impotent and ambitious 91
Chapter 2 Gateway to Neverland 98
Chapter 3 Purloining the key 116
Chapter 4 The corruption of Neverland 123
Part IV 1894-1910 Sylvia, the Lost Boys and Uncle Jim: the Peter Pan Inheritance
Chapter 1 Slipping into madness 139
Chapter 2 Predator and victim 146
Chapter 3 Philanderings in the park 152
Chapter 4 The boy in the box 156
Chapter 5 Flying Uncle Jim to Neverland 167
Chapter 6 Peter Pan, a demon boy 176
Chapter 7 Sylvia's Will 186
Part V 1910-1921 Michael, Daphne and Uncle Jim: 'An Awfully Big Adventure'
Chapter 1 Looking for Michael 201
Chapter 2 Daphne's initiation 213
Chapter 3 Michael's suicide 232
Part VI 1921-1989 Uncle Jim and Daphne: the Rebecca Inheritance
Chapter 1 Rebecca, a demon boy 249
Chapter 2 Breakdown and suicide 278
Chapter 3 No escape 288
Appendix: On Women in Love 293
Acknowledgements and Sources 312
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Peter Pan never appealed to me. There always seemed something deeply wrong with it. Even as a child, it made me uncomfortable. As an adult, I continued to find it unlikeable. This biography of Barrie, his relationship with the five boys, and ongoing relationship with the DuMaurier family (Daphne DuMaurier is the endpoint of this book), has the same quality of watching a car wreck. Hard to look away, and yet you feel like you should. Parts of it are shocking. Parts of it seemed speculative in the extreme. But, as Flora Poste would say, "Interesting and depressing." I don't know that I liked it. The author was a little too gleeful in his digging up of old and ugly scandals. It was nice to feel that my childhood instincts were correct. Peter Pan is icky.
While the previous review was not helpful for this book, the Witch & Wizard by Patterson and Charbonnet is a very fun and twisty sci fi futuristic novel. I agree with that reviewer, try it. My rating is for that novel actually!