J.M. Barrie

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Sir James Matthew Barrie, Bt., OM

Sir James Matthew Barrie, Bt., OM (1860-1937) was a photographer, author, and playwright most famous for creating the character Peter Pan.

Biography

Barrie was born in Scotland, on 9 May, 1860. When Barrie was six, his oldest brother David died in a skating accident at the age of 13. Their mother was devastated and Barrie tried to live up to the high expectations his mother had had for his brother. He became a successful journalist, and later a freelance writer. Through this success he began writing plays and novels. His works were critically acclaimed in his time. He married the actress Mary Ansell, although it is likely he never consummated that marriage.

In 1897 he met George and Jack Llewelyn-Davies, two boys playing in London's Kensington Gardens, and soon became a close friend of their family--especially the boys and their three younger brothers. His wife became tired of being ignored for the Llewelyn-Davieses and eventually began an affair, later divorcing Barrie. Arthur Llewelyn-Davies, father of the five boys, had some suspicion about Barrie's relationship with the family, but when he was stricken with a disfiguring cancer of the jaw which left him unable to speak, Barrie abandoned his current play in production to nurse Arthur back to health after surgery. Barrie never left Arthur's bedside, and any suspicions that were harbored were forgotten. After the death of both of their parents from cancer, Barrie became the guardian of all five Llewellyn-Davies boys.

Famous works

The most famous of Barrie's works is his play Peter Pan, and the associated short stories, but he was a prolific writer. One of the more interesting works to boylovers might be the book The Little White Bird, which contains vivid stories of a bachelor sharing adventures with a young boy.

External links