is a 1956
novel by Grace Metalious
. It sold 60,000 copies within the first ten days of its release and remained on the New York Times best seller list
for 59 weeks. It was adapted as both a 1957 film and a 1964–69 television series.
The fictional Peyton Place is a composite of several real New Hampshire towns: Gilmanton
. Grace Metalious and her husband George first considered Potter Place (the name of a real community near Andover, New Hampshire
). Realizing their town should have a fictional name, they looked through an atlas and found Payton (the name of a real town in Texas). They combined that with Place and changed the "a" to an "e". Thus, Peyton Place
was created, prompting her comment, "Wonderful—that's it, George. Peyton Place. Peyton Place, New Hampshire. Peyton Place, New England. Peyton Place, USA. Truly a composite of all small towns where ugliness rears its head, and where the people try to hide all the skeletons in their closets."Metalious, George and O'Shea, June. The Girl from Peyton Place
, Dell, 1965.
Characters and story
The main plot follows the lives of three women—lonely and repressed Constance MacKenzie; her illegitimate daughter Allison; and her employee Selena Cross, a girl from across the tracks, or "from the shacks." The novel describes how they come to terms with their identity as women and sexual beings in a small New England
town.... Read More