(Ann) Philippa Pearce Julia Briggs - Essay

Julia Briggs

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The power of imagination and memory to transfigure everyday life, to create a subtle haunting, has always distinguished Philippa Pearce's writing—when Tom entered his midnight garden, he and Hatty experienced each other almost as spirits, traditional ghostly playfellows. So the title of her latest book, The Shadow-Cage and Other Tales of the Supernatural, sounds particularly promising. Her previous and much underrated What the Neighbours Did recreated ordinary events with the intensity of vision of the child—or the artist. It seemed as if the new book might play [Samuel Taylor] Coleridge to the [William] Wordsworth of the earlier collection, the charm of novelty imparted to "things of everyday"...

(The entire section is 435 words.)