Random House, Inc. An extraordinary book about the imagination — and the astonishing force of its creative power . . . for evil as well as good.
Captivated is a true story of genius and possession. The central character is the creator of Peter Pan, the novelist and playwright J.M. Barrie, a man tormented by inner demons since childhood.
Barrie developed a consuming interest in the family of George du Maurier, author of Trilby, a bestselling novel featuring his creation Svengali. Barrie made his move on the du Maurier family immediately after George’s death, assuming George’s mantel. Soon Barrie was “Uncle Jim” to George du Maurier’s eight grandchildren, playing romping games of adventure and make-believe and inviting the children into the transcendental world of Neverland. Four of the boys (the “lost boys” of Peter Pan) and one of the girls (the imaginative tomboy Daphne) were captivated.
This fascinating book delves deep, makes links and yields up secrets. It tells how Barrie’s victims — whom he would have not grow up — were lost to breakdown, suicide or early death. Daphne du Maurier, author of Rebecca emerges as the lost boys’ companion and the enigmatic chronicler of their fate. Captivated is about writing and the world of the imagination: it is a singular example of art being used not only to imitate life, but darkly to transform it.
Gardners Piers Dudgeon knew Daphne du Maurier and worked with her in the 1980s. When he discovered that she had put a moratorium on publication of her adolescent diaries until fifty years after her death, he was prompted to begin his researches into her background. What was the mystery that had Daphne been so keen to suppress?
Blackwell North Amer Captivated is a true story of genius and possession at a crossroads in time, when the late nineteenth-century world of the occult and the psychic arts gave way to the new science of psychology. The central characters are J. M. Barrie, a man tormented by inner demons since childhood; George du Maurier, the creator of Svengali, who showed how it is possible by means of hypnosis for one person to gain control over the mind of another; and Daphne du Maurier, George's enigmatic granddaughter, author of Rebecca and secret chronicler of her family's story. This book delves deep, makes links and yields up secrets. It tells how Barrie brought his victims to nervous breakdown, early death and suicide, and how three writers formed an image of their dark side - in Svengali, Peter Pan and Rebecca - and how these images cleaved to reality and took control.