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Mr James Matthew Barrie

Who was Sir James Matthew Barrie?

Sir James Matthew Barrie, famously known as J.M. Barrie, was a Scottish playwright, novelist, and creator of the beloved character Peter Pan. Born on May 9, 1860, in Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland (where he is buried), Barrie was the ninth of ten children. After graduating from the University of Edinburgh, he pursued a career in journalism before discovering his talent for writing fiction.

Life and Work:

Barrie gained prominence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for his novels and plays. His early works included novels such as "Auld Licht Idylls" (1888) and "The Little Minister" (1891), which established his reputation as a skilled writer. However, it was his 1904 play, "Peter Pan; or, The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up," that secured his place in literary history.

"Peter Pan" originated from Barrie's friendship with the Llewelyn Davies family, particularly the boys—George, John, Peter, Michael, and Nicholas—who inspired the characters in the story. The play premiered at the Duke of York's Theatre in London and became an instant sensation, capturing the imaginations of audiences with its enchanting tale of a boy who never grows up and his adventures in Neverland.

Barrie's creation of Peter Pan expanded beyond the stage, including a novelization of the play, "Peter and Wendy" (1911), which further solidified the character's enduring legacy in children's literature. The royalties from Peter Pan were generously donated by Barrie to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, a gesture that continues to benefit the hospital to this day.

Throughout his career, Barrie's writing encompassed various genres, including novels, short stories, and plays. He also delved into other works like "Dear Brutus" (1917) and "Mary Rose" (1920), displaying his versatility as a writer.

Barrie was knighted in 1913 for his literary contributions and continued to be an influential figure in the literary world until his passing on June 19, 1937, in London. His legacy endures through the timeless appeal of Peter Pan and his other literary works, which continue to captivate readers and inspire adaptations across various media.


  1. Birkin, Andrew. "J.M. Barrie: The Man Behind the Image." Yale University Press, 2003.
  2. Barrie, J.M. "Peter and Wendy." Hodder & Stoughton, 1911.
  3. Dudgeon, Piers. "Captivated: J.M. Barrie, the Du Mauriers & the Dark Side of Neverland." Vintage Books, 2009.
  4. Barrie, J.M. "The Little Minister." Hodder & Stoughton, 1891.
  5. Hollindale, Peter. "Studies in Children's Literature, 1500-2000." Macmillan International Higher Education, 2003.

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