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J. M. Barrie

J. M. Barrie

J.M. Barrie was a Scottish dramatist, best known for writing Peter Pan or The Boy Who Would Never Grow Up in 1904. The son of Scottish weavers, he moved to London to pursue his interest in becoming a playwright, where he met the Llewelyn Davies boys who inspired his masterpiece.  James Matthew Barrie was born on May 9, 1860, in Kirriemuir, Forfarshire, Scotland. After graduating from Edinburgh University in 1882, Barrie worked as a journalist. He published his first novel, Better Dead, in 1887. Barrie soon had a string of popular novels set in Scotland, including A Window in Thrums (1889). After having some success with fiction, Barrie began writing plays in 1890s. His play, Walker London, was warmly received. He married actress Mary Ansell in 1894, but the couple later divorced. Perhaps to escape his difficult home life, Barrie took to going out for long walks in London's Kensington Gardens, where he met the five Llewelyn Davies brothers in the late 1890s. He found inspiration for his best-known work—Peter Pan—in his friendship with the Davies family. (Barrie would later become the boys' guardian after the death of their parents.) 'Peter Pan' The famous character of Peter Pan first appeared in the 1902 book The Little White Bird. Two years later, his play Peter Pan premiered on the London stage and became a great success. Barrie also wrote a book based on the play called Peter and Wendy, which was published in 1911.  After Peter Pan, Barrie continued writing, mostly plays aimed at adults. Several of his later works had a dark element to them. The Twelve-Pound Look (1910) offers a glimpse inside an unhappy marriage and Half an Hour (1913) follows a woman who plans on leaving her husband for another man, but decides to stay when her husband is severely injured in a bus accident. His last major play, Mary Rose, was produced in 1920 and centered on a son visited by his mother's ghost. J.M. Barrie died on June 19, 1937, in London, England. As a part of his will, he gave the copyright to Peter Pan to a children's hospital in London. After his death, Barrie's beloved characters were transformed into animated figures in the Disney classic Peter Pan (1953). Through the years, numerous stage productions of Peter Pan have produced and have starred such actresses Mary Martin and Cathy Rigby.


Samuel French Titles by J. M. Barrie