Neverland by Piers Dudgeon
J. M. Barrie, The Du Mauriers, and the Dark Side of Peter Pan

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Synopsis

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 children—who 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.
32 b&w illustrations
 

About Piers Dudgeon

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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.
 
Published October 15, 2009 by Pegasus. 352 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Neverland

Kirkus Reviews

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Aside from sure proof, presented in a pair of photos, that Barrie altered Sylvia’s will to give him guardianship over the boys, it’s all based on suppositions, uneasy comments or dark hints by contemporaries, bald guesses and supposedly telling parallels between fleshly characters and those in ei...

Oct 15 2009 | Read Full Review of Neverland: J. M. Barrie, The ...

The New York Times

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His mother treated him badly, Mr. Dudgeon says, adding that “maternal rejection is a terrible thing” and that “it can destroy a child’s self-esteem.” It will not come as news that “Neverland” sees “a text-book inevitability about what would become of him” and that the young Barrie would realize “...

Oct 25 2009 | Read Full Review of Neverland: J. M. Barrie, The ...

The Bookbag

Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, and his infatuation with the du Maurier family.

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of Neverland: J. M. Barrie, The ...

Historical Novel Society

This, together with his long view covering several generations, allows him to disentangle the threads and examine not only how Barrie was able to take over the Llewelyn-Davies boys so completely, but also how they, and Daphne du Maurier, ended up deeply disturbed and, in some cases, destroyed, by...

| Read Full Review of Neverland: J. M. Barrie, The ...

Bookmarks Magazine

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 children—who became the inspiration for the ...

Nov 02 2009 | Read Full Review of Neverland: J. M. Barrie, The ...

Shelf Awareness

Charlie Redmayne has been appointed to the newly created position of executive v-p, chief digital officer, at HarperCollins, and will be responsible for "leading and coordinating overall strategy, development and management of all digital initiatives aimed directly at the consumer across all of H...

Oct 02 2009 | Read Full Review of Neverland: J. M. Barrie, The ...

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