J.M. Barrie

James Matthew (Jimmy, J.M.) Barrie was born in 1860 in Kirriemuir, Forfarshire (now Angus), Scotland. He was the 9th of 10 children born to the family.

It is believed that the death of his 14 year old brother (David) when he was 6 caused James to suffer from psychogenic dwarfism.

Barrie’s first play Bandelero the Bandit, was performed at Dumfries Academy when he was 17 and caused controversy among the clergymen of the school board. When he got to the University of Edinburgh he wrote drama reviews for the Edinburgh Evening Courant. After he graduated in 1882, he submitted a story to the St. James’s Gazette in London and the editor liked the “Scotch thing” so he submitted a series of stories for them. They become the novels Auld Licht Idylls, A Window in Thrums, and The Little Minister. These works received unfavorable criticism, but established Barrie as a successful writer.

Barrie first play was Richard Savage in 1891 and his first opera was in 1893, Jane Annie (which was completed and revised by his friend Arthur Conan Doyle). His other early plays include: Ibsen’s Ghost, Walker London, Quality Street, and The Admirable Crichton.

In 1897, while in London, J. M. Barrie met the Llewelyn Davies family that consisted of 5 brothers: George, John (Jack), Peter, Michael and Nicholas (Nico) and their parents Arthur and Sylvia. The Llewelyn Davies boys inspired him to write first The Little White Bird (released in the US and then UK in 1902), and then Peter Pan (also called The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up). Peter Pan’s first theatrical performance was in 1904. Barrie unofficially adopted the boys after their parents died (1907, 1910), but it wasn’t until 1929 that he give the copy write of Peter Pan to the Great Ormond Street Hospital.

After Peter Pan, Barrie had success with The Twelve Pound Look, Mary Rose, Dear Brutus, What Every Woman Knows, and The Boy David. His final play, The Boy David, was written for Elisabeth Bergner and like Peter Pan, had a woman (Elisabeth) playing a man.

J.M Barrie received a baronet in 1913 and the Order of Merit in 1922. Sir James M. Barrie died in 1937 in London, England. He is buried at Kirriemuir Cemetery in Scotland, next to his parents and 2 of his siblings.

To play or downlaod the “Simply Scottish” podcast on J.M. Barrie click here, or find it on iTunes here.

Selected works:
• Bandolero, the Bandit, 1877 (play, prod. 1877)
• Caught Napping: A Commedietta, 1883 (privately printed)
• The New Amphion, 1886
• Auld Licht Idylls, 1888
• Better Dead, 1888
• When a Man’s Single, 1888
• A Window in Thrums, 1889
• An Edinburgh Eleven; Pencil Portraits from College Life, 1889
• My Lady Nicotine: A Study in Smoke, 1890
• The Little Minister, 1891
• Ibsen’s Ghost, 1891 (play, prod. 1891, privately printed 1931)
• Richard Savage, 1891 (play, with H.B. Marriot-Watson)
• A Holiday in Bed and Other Sketches, 1982 (also: Life in a Counrtry Manse, 1899)
• Walker London, 1892 (play, prod. 1892)
• Professor’s Love Story, 1892 (play, prod. 1892)
• Tillyloss Scandal, 1893
• Two of Them, 1893
• Becky Sharp, 1893 (adaptation of the novel Vanity Fair by W.M. Thackeray)
• An Auld Licht Manse and Other Sketches, 1893
• Scotland’s Lament: A Poem on the Death of Robert Louis Stevenson, December 3rd, 1894, 1895 (privately printed)
• Jane Annie, or the Good Conduct Prize Comic Opera, 1893 (with A. Conan Doyle)
• Margaret Ogilvy, 1896
• Tommy and Grizel, 1896
• Novels, Tales, Sketches, 1896
• Sentimental Tommy: The Story of His Boyhood, 1896 (film adapatation 1921)
• A Platonic Friendship, 1898 (play, prod. in London 1898)
• The Wedding Guest: A Comedy in Four Acts, 1900
• Maude Adams in Quality Street: A Comedy in Four Acts, 1901
• Quality Street, 1902 (film adaptations: 1927, dir. by Sidney Franklin, starring Marion Davies and Conrad Nagel; 1937, dir. by George Stevens, starring Katherine Hepburn, Franchot Tone, Fay Bainter, Eric Blore)
• The Little White Bird, 1902 (note: Peter Pan appeared first time)
• The Admirable Crichton, 1902 (play, prod. in London 1902, film adaptations: 1918, and 1957, dir. by Lewis Gilbert, starring Kenneth More, Diane Cilento, Cecil Parker)
• Peter Pan; or, The Boy Who Would Nor Grow Up, 1904 (play) – films: first movie version in 1924;
• Pantaloon, 1905 (play, prod. in London and New York 1905)
• Alice Sit-sit-the-Fire, 1905 (play, prod. in London and New York 1905)
• Josephine, 1906 (play)
• Punch, 1906 (play)
• Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, 1906 (with drawings by Arthur RackhamWalker, London: A Farcial Comedy in Three Acts, 1907
• What Every Woman Knows, 1908 (play)
• When Wendy Grew Up: An Afterthought, 1908
• George Meredith, 1909, 1909
• Old Friends, 1910 (play)
• A Slice of Life, 1910 (play)
• The Twelve-Pound Look, 1910 (play)
• Peter and Wendy, 1911 (illustrated by F.D. Bedford; later published as Peter Pan and Wendy) – Pekka Poikanen (suom. Tyyni Haapanen-Tallgren, 1922) / Peter Pan (suom. Tyyni Tuulio, illustrated by Björn Landström, 1954; Martta Eskelinen, 1978; Ilkka Rekiaro, 1992; Sari Karhulahti, 2002)
• Rosalind, 1912 (play)
• The Dramatist Get What They Want, 1912 (play)
• The Will, 1913 (play)
• The Adored One, 1913 (play)
• Half Hours, 1914 (four one act plays: Pantaloon, The Twelve-Pound Look, Rosalind, The Will)
• “Der Tag;” or, The Tragic Man, 1914 (play)
• Rosy Rapture, the Bride of the Beauty Chorus, 1915 (play)
• The Fatal Typist, 1915 (play)
• The New Word, 1915 (play)
• The Little Minister, 1915 (screenplay, film adaptations: 1915, 1921, and 1934, dir. by Richard Wallace, starring Catherine Hepburn, Joen Beal)
• A Kiss for Cinderella, 1916 (film adaptation 1925)
• The Real Thinf at Last, 1916 (play, also screenplay)
• Irene Vanbrugh’s Pantomime, 1916 (play)
• Shakespeare’s Legacy, 1916 (play, privately printed)
• A Kiss for Cinderella, 1916 (play)
• Who Was Sarah Findlay? By Mark Twain With a Suggested Solution of the Mystery, 1917 (privately printed)
• The Old Lady Shows Her Medals, 1917 (play)
• Reconstructing the Crime, 1917 (play)
• Dear Brutus, 1917 (play)
• What Every Woman Knows: A Comedy, 1917 (film adaptations: 1917, 1921, and 1934, dir. by Gregory La Cava, starring Helena Hayes, Brian Aherne, Madge Evans, Lucile Watson)
• A Well-Remembered Voice, 1918 (play)
• Echoes of the War, 1918
• The Truth about the Russian Dancers, 1920 (play)
• Mary Rose: A Play in Three Acts, 1920 (play)
• Shall We Join the Ladies?, 1921 (play, with L.E. Jones)
• Courage, 1922 (the rectorial address delivered at St. Andrews university, May 3, 1922)
• Neil and Tintinnabulum (An Interlude for Parents), 1925 (play, privately printed)
• Representative Plays, 1926 (with an introduction by William Lyon Phelps)
• Barbara’s Wedding, 1927
• Selections from the Prose Works of J M Barrie, 1929
• The Plays of J. M. Barrie; in One Volume, 1929
• The Works of J. M. Barrie, 1929-41 (18 vols.)
• The Entrancing Life, 1930
• Farewell, Miss Julie Logan: A Wintry Tale, 1931 (a Christmas supplement to the Times in memory of Charles Dickens’s Christmas Book)
• The Boy David, 1936 (play)
• As You Like It, 1936 (script, by J.M. Barrie and Robert Cullen based on Film adaptation: William Shakespeare’s play, film dir. by Paul Czinner, starring Elisabeth Berger, Laurence Olivier, Sophie Stewart. “There are far too many dull middle-length shots from a fixed camera, so that we might just as well be seated in the circle above the deep wide stage at Drury Lane.” Graham Greene)
• Uniform Edition of the Works and Plays, 1913-1937
• The Greenwood Hat, Being a Memoir of James Anon, 1885-1887, 1937 (with a preface by the Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, k. G.)
• The Boy David, 1938
• M’Connachie and J.M.B.: Speeches, 1938
• Letters of J. M. Barrie, 1942 (edited by Viola Meynell)
• The Plays of J.M. Barrie, 1942 (edited by A. E. Wilson; rev. 1947)
• J M Barrie’s Allahakbarries C C 1899, 1950 (foreword by Don Bradman)
• Fifty Years of Peter Pan, 1954
• Whe Wendy Grew Up, an Afterthought, 1957 (with a foreword by Sydney Blow)
• Peter Pan; the Story of the Play, 1962 (presented by Eleanor Graham and Edward Ardizzone)
• Mary Rose, and Other Plays, 1975
• The Annotated Peter Pan, 2011 (edited with an introduction and notes by Maria Tatar)


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