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Customer reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
13
3.3 out of 5 stars


on 2 December 2016
See my comments elsewhere on my Profile page for The Martian, A Pilot Omnibus by George du Maurier. I think this is Pier's best book & I've read quite a few - see elsewhere on my Profile page. Of course, my parents, myself & my youngest brother saw Les Contes d'Hoffmann when we were the guests for the 1990 Spoleto Festival of Gian-Carlo Menotti & Chip & Melinda - never been so social in my life - ran out of clothes! One of my sisters & I also know Vanessa & Richard Branson - see elsewhere on my Profile page - who I think still have possibly the holiday place that J M Barrie took on Eilean Shona.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 August 2016
I was thoroughly captivated by this book. We are taken through the life of George Du Maurier & then onto his children, Sylvia who married Arthur Llewelyn-Davies & Gerald Du Maurier, the father of Daphne. We discover George's infatuation with hypnotism & how that passes through the family to Daphne. We discover how JM Barrie becomes so infatuated with the Llewelyn-Davies boys who are "The Lost Boys" of Peter Pan & his relationship with their mother.
This book is well written and does carry you along as opposed to some biographies which can get rather turgid. It is well researched with plenty of references but there are still significant parts which must be supposition on the part of the author. It is also a wonderful commentary on literary & artistic society through the late Victorian times until the the 1960's. It has encouraged me to re-read some of Daphne Du Maurier's books, as with more knowledge of the background I suspect I shall see them in a different light. I also plan to read George Du Maurier's "Trilby" & "Peter Ibbotson" as a result of reading this book. An excellent book but not one if you have rose tinted illusions about the writer of Peter Pan or the Du Maurier family - the illusions will be shattered!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 January 2016
I was thoroughly captivated by this book. We are taken through the life of George Du Maurier & then onto his children, Sylvia who married Arthur Llewelyn-Davies & Gerald Du Maurier, the father of Daphne. We discover George's infatuation with hypnotism & how that passes through the family to Daphne. We discover how JM Barrie becomes so infatuated with the Llewelyn-Davies boys who are "The Lost Boys" of Peter Pan & his relationship with their mother.
This book is well written and does carry you along as opposed to some biographies which can get rather turgid. It is well researched with plenty of references but there are still significant parts which must be supposition on the part of the author. It is also a wonderful commentary on literary & artistic society through the late Victorian times until the the 1960's. It has encouraged me to re-read some of Daphne Du Maurier's books, as with more knowledge of the background I suspect I shall see them in a different light. I also plan to read George Du Maurier's "Trilby" & "Peter Ibbotson" as a result of reading this book. An excellent book but not one if you have rose tinted illusions about the writer of Peter Pan or the Du Maurier family - the illusions will be shattered!
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on 3 December 2010
This book was both interesting and irritating. The Du Maurier family had problems; whether Barrie added to them is a moot point. As a biographer, Dudgeon is entitled to speculate where there is good supporting evidence, but his clear dislike of Barrie, and his readiness to blame him for anything that goes wrong in the life of anyone to whom Barrie becomes close is frustrating. Too much Dudgeon and not enough J M Barrie: to whom he irritatingly refers to as 'Jim' throughout the book. Barrie may have been an undue influence on the children, but they had parents, and if the 'lost boys' mother was more entranced by Barrie than by her own husband, surely that is her responsibility, not Barrie's. The same is true of other adult relationships. Biographers need to stand back and take a somewhat ironic stance to the people they dissect.
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on 10 July 2009
'Captivated' provides a deeply disturbing insight into the background of the story of Peter Pan. Dudgeon's book is a revelation in many ways and extremely thought-provoking.

However, I do have several criticisms: first, there is an awful lot of guesswork in this book. Dudgeon will admit to using supposition to reach a conclusion, but then will base facts on these suppositions. For example, he makes a tenuous claim that Jack Llewellyn Davies had depression due to his lung disease - this despite blaming JM Barrie for all possible mental health issues which impacted the rest of Jack's family.

Barrie is blamed for any and all disasters to befall the Davies and Du Maurier family - though he was clearly a strong and charismatic character, my feeling is that Dudgeon stretches the tales of Barrie's power too far at times.

This book obviously stems from very in-depth research: unfortunately this leads me to my greatest frustration with this book - the referencing. Dudgeon uses an incredibly irritating system whereby he lists each chapter's references separately so that, in order to check a reference, you first must check which section of the book you are in and which chapter you are reading - by then, you have forgotten the reference number so have to go back to the page you are reading - all of which severely interrupts the flow of your reading! Why not just number each reference continually?

Further, whilst some referencing is obsessive, there are many times when quotes appear with no reference whatsoever and with no hint to where they come from. This is not only unhelpful but it is also unprofessional and something the publisher should have picked up on. Further evidence of poor proof-reading is clear on page 206, where the wrong reference is given!

Dudgeon quotes Margaret Forster's criticism of Daphne du Maurier for mixing fact 'in the most awkward fashion with entirely imaginary suppositions, greatly to [the book's] detriment'. An interesting quote and one which could well serve as a warning to Mr. Dudgeon.
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on 9 August 2009
Part psychological, part revelatory and part historical, Captivated offers a deep insight into the lives of J.M.Barrie and the Du Maurier family. Barrie was initially drawn to the author and illustrator George Du Maurier (1834-1896) who created the hypnotic Svengali character in his novel Trilby and explored the territory of the unconscious long before the arrival of psychoanalysis.

An obvious fan, Barrie subsequently weaved his way into the lives of Du Maurier's children namely Sylvia and Gerald (Daphne's father) themselves interesting characters in their own right. By penetrating the imagination of the more susceptible family members, especially the children, there is no doubt of Barrie's unhealthy influence. Dudgeon does a brilliant job of drawing us into the incredible sequence of events that consequently ensues.

In addition to this fascinating investigation Captivated also provides us with a cultural and social commentary of the day. The reader is given an opportunity to peek into the rich human and often disturbing experiences of the Du Maurier family, whilst in the background there is always the central character whose dark and questionable motives play a major part throughout.

This is a very well researched and totally absorbing book.
Highly recommended.
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on 20 May 2010
How on earth does a book like this get published? The slightest knowledge of the Du Mauriers and Barrie rips to shreds the author's very premise for this book. More of a fantasy than Peter Pan itself. Suitable only for serializing in the Daily Sport. Whatever will Dudgeon's follow-up be? How John Lennon influenced the creation of the Third Reich?
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on 4 September 2014
Interesting reverlations about J M Barrie - a bit stop and start but worth a read
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on 30 October 2015
Atrived within given time. Condition as described. Very interesting read.
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on 27 January 2016
Riveting sad to many unanswered questions another which I had never read
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