Antiques & Collectibles

(844) 828-7855
P.O. Box 12048, Tempe, AZ 85284


Shop by Category

Barrie J.M.; The Admirable Crichton

SKU: Barrie J.M. AB0602047 $30.00
Sir James Matthew Barrie 1st Baronet OM (May 9 1860 - June 19 1937) more commonly known as J.M. Barrie worked as a Scottish novelist and dramatist. Most people remember him for inventing the character of Peter Pan whom he based on his friends the Llewelyn-Davies boys. Born in Kirriemuir Angus as the second-youngest of ten children Barrie received his formal education at Dumfries Academy and the University of Edinburgh. He became a journalist in Nottingham then in London and became a novelist and subsequently a playwright. Barrie set his first novels in Kirriemuir disguised as ''Thrums'' (his father worked as a weaver). Barrie often wrote dialogue in Scots. He subsequently wrote for the theatre including ''Quality Street'' ''What Every Woman Knows'' and ''The Admirable Crichton (1902).'' His ''Thrums'' novels were hugely successful when they were published starting with ''Auld Licht Idylls'' (1888). Next came ''A Window in Thrums'' (1889) and ''The Little Minister'' (1891). His two ''Tommy'' novels''Sentimental Tommy'' and ''Tommy and Grizel'' came in 1896 and 1902 and dealt with themes much more explicitly related to what would become ''Peter Pan.'' The first appearance of ''Pan'' came in ''The Little White Bird'' (1901). In 1891 Barrie wrote ''Ibsen's Ghost a parody of Henrik Ibsen's drama ''Ghosts'' which had just been performed for the first time in England under the Independent Theatre Society led by J.T. Grein. Barrie's play was first performed on May 31st at Toole's Theatre in London. Barrie seemed to appreciate Ibsen's merit: even William Archer the tranlator of Ibsen's works into English enjoyed the humor of the play and recommended it to others. ''Peter Pan'' had its first stage performance on December 27 1904. Barrie along with a number of other playwrights were involved in the 1909 and 1911 attemps to challenge the censorship of the Lord Chamberlain over play production in London. In 1924 he specified that the copyright of ''Peter Pan'' should go to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. The current status of the copyright is complex. Barrie became acquainted with the Llewelyn-Davies family in 1897 or 1898 after meeting George and Jack with their nurse in London's Kensington Gardens where he often came while walking his dog Porthos and lived nearby. He did not meet Sylvia until later at a chance encounter at a dinner party. He became a surrogate father and when the boys became orphans he became their guardian. Some sources say that the mother's will specified the nurse's sister and that he forged or unintentionally mistranscribed the will. However it was clear that he was the only one with the time and resources to bring them up together the alternative being splitting the boys up amongst relatives a scenario Sylvia objected to. Although some people may find his friendship with the children suspicious there is not any evidence that anything inappropriate happened and the youngest of the boys Nico flatly denied that Barrie ever behaved inappropriately: some biographers suggest that he may have been asexual. To that extent he may have been fey: his work characteristically taking us beyond the temporal sexual material preoccupation of contemporary Western consciousness back into another earlier world reminiscent of the Gaelic ''Tir Na nOg'' the mythic land of perpetual youth. He married the actress Mary Ansell but it was a sexless and childless marriage and ended in divorce. Barrie suffered bereavements with the boys losing the two to whom he was the closest. George was killed in action (1915) in World War I and Michael with whom Barrie corresponded daily drowned (1921) in a possible suicide pact one month short of his 21st birthday while swimming at a known danger-spot with a friend at Oxford. Some years after Barrie's death Peter Davies later a publisher wrote his ''Morgue'' which contains much family information and comments on Barrie. He later committed suicide by jumping in front of an Underground train. The statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens erected in secret overnight for May Morning in 1912 was supposed to be modeled upon a photograph of Michael but the sculptor decided to use a different child as model leaving Barrie very disappointed with the result. ''It doesn't show the devil in Peter'' he said. Made a baronet in 1913 barrie died in 1937 and lies buried at Kirriemuir next to his parents sister and elder brother David who had died in a skating accident just before his 14th birthday. This volume exhibits 168 supple cream pages which are intact without foxing spotting tears or loss with one exception - a 6.5 cm. x 7 cm. piece has been torn from the back end page. There is an inscription in ink on the front endpaper and three minor condition issues: on the spine the head and foot have a 1.5 cm. loss. Volume measures: 13 cm. x 18.5 cm. (12mo). All in all for 81 years an okay copy.