Agent—Clare Alexander, Gillon Aitken Associates, 18-21 Cavaye Pl., London SW10 9PT, England.
Historian, educator, and author. Has appeared on radio and television.
Elizabeth David: A Biography, Pan (London, England), 1998.
Hide-and-Seek with Angels: A Life of J.M. Barrie, Hutchinson (London, England), 2005, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor of reviews and articles to British journals and newspapers, including the Sunday Times, Spectator, and the Guardian.
Lisa Chaney has written and lectured on the history of art and literature. She is also the author of several books, including a biography of the author who wrote Peter Pan. In Hide-and-Seek with Angels: A Life of J.M. Barrie, the author begins with Barrie's childhood, which is largely normal, except for the fact that the young Barrie began wearing the clothes of an older brother who died. The intention was to help his grieving mother, a move that steered the two into a complicated relationship. According to Chaney, Barrie was a natural storyteller from a young age, but he became a writer over his parents' protests. The author delves into how the story of Peter Pan came to fruition and writes about Barrie's numerous other novels and plays, as well as his role in the "Golden Age" of children's literature. Furthermore, she discusses Barrie's personal life, including his disastrous marriage, which may have been complicated by his asexuality. Chaney explores long-held rumors about Barrie being a pedophile, which she believes to be untrue. Robert Kelly, writing in the Library Journal, noted that Chaney "is exacting—but not unsympathetic—in her treatment of Barrie's often impenetrable character." In a BookLoons review, Tim Davis referred to the book as a "marvelous volume," concluding: "Filled with surprises and abundant in its detail, this long overdue biography is something quite special."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Age (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), September 17, 2005, Alan Atwood, review of Hide-and-Seek with Angels: A Life of J.M. Barrie.
Booklist, June 1, 2006, June Sawyers, review of Hide-and-Seek with Angels, p. 25.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2006, review of Hide-and-Seek with Angels, p. 445.
Library Journal, June 15, 2006, Robert Kelly, review of Hide-and-Seek with Angels, p. 68.
Observer (London, England), July 23, 2005, Frances Wilson, review of Hide-and Seek with Angels.
BookLoons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (December 19, 2006), Tim Davis, review of Hide-and Seek with Angels.