An extraordinary book about the imagination - and the astonishing force of its creative power ... for evil as well as good.
Piers Dudgeon is the author of many works of non-fiction. He worked for ten years as an editor in London before starting his own company producing books with authors as diverse as John Fowles, Catherine Cookson, Peter Ackroyd, Daphne du Maurier, Shirley Conran and Ted Hughes. Subsequently, he left London for Yorkshire where he wrote a number of biographies as well as illustrated books evocative of the spirit of place.
Wonderfully batty...a rattling grisly read...I defy you not to be
captivated * Sunday Times *
The pathology of the artist - the motivations, temperament, clashes between public and private behaviour - is the real subject of Dudgeon's meticulous and highly provocative study of three writers... Dudgeon knows what he's doing and builds his case with precision and coolness... A gripping read * Scotsman *
Dudgeon characterises [Barrie's] association with the Llewellyn Davies family... and with Daphne du Maurier, and her father, the actor Gerald, as the Kiss of Death and the embrace of mental illness. Barrie's shadow side, as a manipulative monster without conscience, is linked to the darker aspects of Rebecca, Peter Pan and Svengali, the hypnotic character created by Gerald * The Times *
He has written his literary biography, Captivated, from the heart...The subject matter is absorbing, disturbing and baffling in equal measure...offers a vivid picture of Barrie's and George Du Maurier's murky psychological environment, and in so doing proves a valuable addition to literary history * Glasgow Herald *
A fascinating account of the psychological web in which Barrie trapped the tragic du Maurier family -- David Lodge