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Barrie J.M.; Echoes of the War

SKU: Barrie J.M. AB0602046 $39.00
J.M. Barrie (1860-1937) - in full Sir James Matthew Baronet Barrie Scottish journalist playwright and children's book writer. Barrie became world famous with his play and story about ''Peter Pan'' (1904) the boy who lived in Never Land had a war with Captain Hook and would not grow up. The first name of Peter Pan was almost certainly taken from Peter Llewellyn-Davies (1897-1960) one of the several Davies brothers that Barrie knew. James Matthew Barrie was born in the Lowland village of Kirriemuir in Forfarshire (now Angus). His father David Barrie was a handloom weaver and mother Margaret Ogilvy the daughter of a stonemason. They had ten children Barrie was the ninth. Jamie as he was called heard tales of pirates from his mother who read her children R.L. Stevenson's adventure stories in the evenings. When Barrie was seven his brother David died in a skating accident. David had been the mother's favorite child and she fell into depression. Barrie tried to gain her affection by dressing up in the dead boy's clothes. The obsessive relationship that grew between mother and son was to mark the whole of his life. After her death Barrie published in 1896 an adoring biography of his mother. At the age of 13 Barrie left his home village. At school he became interested in theater and devoured works by such authors as Jules Verne Mayne Reid and James Fenimore Cooper. His classmates Barrie observed like an outsider they were tall interested in girls while he remained small and apparently never had a girl friend. Barrie studied at Dumfries Academy at the University of Edinburgh receiving his M.A. in 1882. After working as a journalist for the Nottingham Journal he moved in 1885 with empty pockets to London as a freelance writer. He sold his writings mostly humorous to fashionable magazines such as The Pall Mall Gazette. In his mystery novel Better Dead (1888) Barrie made jokes of well-known people. Barrie knew such great figures of literature as G.B. Shaw who did not like his pipe smoking and H.G. Wells and could surprise them with his remarks. Once he said to Wells: ''It is all very well to be able to write books but can you waggle your ears?'' When a friend noticed that he ordered Brussels sprouts every day he explained: ''I cannot resist ordering them. The words are so lovely to say.'' With his friends Jerome K. Jerome Arthur Conan Doyle P.G. Wodehouse and others Barrie founded a cricket club called Allahakbarries. Doyle was the only member who could actually play cricket. During World War I Barrie made a western film with his literary friends starring Shaw William Archer G.K. Chesterton etc... In 1888 Barrie gained his first fame with ''Auld Licht Idylls'' sketches of Scottish life. Critics praised its originality. His melodramatic novel''The Little Minister'' (1891) became a huge success and was later filmed three times. After its dramatization Barrie wrote mostly for the theater. In 1894 he married Mary Ansell who had appeared in his play ''Walker London.'' According to Janet Dunbar's biography (1970) Barrie was impotent. ''Boys can't love'' was Barrie's explanation to her. ''The Little Minister'' was a popular stage production in 1897 both in England and in the United States where Barrie began his collaboration with the impresario Charles Frohman and his star Maude Adams. Two of Barrie's best plays''Quality Street'' about two sisters who start a school ''for genteel children'' and ''The Admirable Crichton in which a butler saves a family after a shipwreck were produced in London in 1902 and also later filmed. In the same year Peter Pan appeared by name in Barrie's adult novel ''The Little White Bird.'' It was a first-person narrative about a wealthy bachlor clubman's attachment to a little boy David. Taking this boy for walks in Kensington Gardens the narrator tells him of Peter Pan who can be found in the Gardens at night. ''Peter Pan'' was produced for that stage in 1904 but the play had to wait several years for a definitive printed version and it did not appear as a narrative story until 1911. The book was titled ''Peter and Wendy.'' Barrie wrote two more fantasy plays. ''Dear Brutus'' (1917) described a group of people who enter a magic wood where they are transformed into the people they might have become had they made different choices. ''Mary Rose'' (1920) was a story of a mother who is searching for her lost child. eventually she becomes a ghost. ''What Every Woman Knows'' (1908) portrayed a determined woman Maggie whose husband eventually realizes that he owes his success to her. ''It's sort of bloom on a woman. If you have it you don't need to have anything else and if you don't have it it doesn't much matter what else you have. Some woman the few have charm for all: and most have charm for one. But some have charm for none.'' (from ''What Every Woman Knows 1908) In 1913 Barrie became a baronet and in 1922 he received the Order of Merit. Barrie's penthouse at Adelphi Terrace was visited by ministers duchesses movie stars such as Charlie Chaplin and a number of admirers whom he occasionally helped with money or advice. Even in his old age Barrie could play enthusiastically Captain Hook and Peter Pan with the son of his secretary Lady Cynthia Asquith. Barrie was elected lord rector of St. Andrew's University and in 1930 chancellor of Edinburgh University. Barrie died on June 3 1937. This is a very nice edition with 168 supple cream colored pages blue cloth binding and solid spine with expected bumps. All pages are intact without foxing spotting tears or loss. The spine is showing expected wear and Sun fading after 88 years. Volume measures: 13 cm. x 18.5 cm. (12mo) There is a vendor stamp and signature on the first inside blank page. All in all a very nice volume.