As I ease gradually into post B****r Prize resumption of normal and varied reading projects I'm really looking forward to getting back to some non-fiction and more especially some biographies.
I have a massive queue of lives waiting to be revealed and first up is one recommended in comments here (thanks Walter) Hide-and-Seek With Angels : A Life of J.M.Barrie by Lisa Chaney.
My recent read of Peter Pan in Scarlet, Geraldine McCaughrean's perfect sequel, actually made me realise that, to my chagrin,I had read bits of the original Peter Pan in all sorts of versions to the point where, like most people, I know the story, but I'm not sure I've ever read the actual, unabridged original and much darker version.I have a feeling I even went to see it on ice but I don't think I've really truly read it properly.
Peter Pan in Scarlet was a fantastic read in every sense and you just have to marvel at the imagination of Geraldine McCaughrean.She had used the original as a springboard and the ideas for this sequel are crammed full of originality and humour.I loved it all, every word.
J.M.Barrie was by all accounts a morose yet fascinating man and last week's excellent TV programme narrated by Alan Yentob offered some illuminating insights into JMB's life and the possible origins of his fear of growing up expressed so clearly in Peter Pan. A man it would be far too easy to judge by present day standards but they did allow a psychologist in on the act during the course of the programme.He did some fairly disturbing analysis and I have to admit that what he had to say made perfect sense.The received opinion is that Barry was certainly indulging in some unrequited erotic imaginings here and there but Professor Jacqueline Rose viewed that more as our problem than JMB's.He was a man living in very different times.
That said, I've made a start on Hide-and-Seek With Angels and it's certainly living up to Walter's high praise.