J. M. Barrie

J. M. Barrie
J. M. Barrie

Sir James Mathew Barrie author of Peter Pan was born on May 9th, 1860. He was a native of Kirriemuir in Scotland. He belonged to a traditional Calvinist family. His father, David Barrie, was a successful weaver. J. M. Barrie was six years old when his older brother David died just a few days to his 14th birthday. David was his mother’s most admired and loved child. His death left the mother heartbroken and frustrated for so many years. James tried as much as possible to console his mother and would sometimes act like David to comfort his mum. But sometimes she would confuse James to David due to the emotional trauma. James M. Berrie’s father later abandoned him, and he suffered from psychogenic dwarfism as a result of emotional stress.

Career and education

At the age of eight, he was sent to the Glasgow Academy under the care of his elder siblings. Gradually, Sir James developed the zeal for reading, and his older siblings guided him. In his quest for further education, he attended the University of Edinburgh, where he majored in literature and earned a Master of Arts degree. During his pursuit to obtain his degree, he wrote a lot of stories and drama, some saw the stage while others were written in books. In the year 1885, James relocated to London and made a career and a living from journalism and writing.

While he worked as a journalist, he wrote about the story of his mother, which was in St. James Gazette. Some stories were Better Death in 1888, Auld Licht Idylls in 1888, and a Window in Thrums in 1890. The stories did not sell as much, but they laid a foundation for a successful career. He started writing for stage plays in 1890, and his passion grew tremendously for theater.

Marriage and death

Barrie got married to Mary Ansell, who was an actress. The lovebirds got married in 1891. Ansell played an active role in his second play titled Walker London. They had no child, and the marriage eventually broke up. People speculated that James and his wife were into a Platonic relationship; that was why they had no children. Another speculation was that he divorced his wife in 1909 on the ground of infidelity.  After their divorce, he met Sylvia Llewellyn and her sons, and he adopted them. A series of unfortunate events occurred where one of the boys drowned, and the other died during the world war. These tragic deaths gave him more inspirations to write on the characters of the lost boys in his book Peter Pan. Peter pan was first printed in 1901

James Mathew Barrie remains one of the world’s greatest writers. He won numerous awards, including the BBC 1978 awards. He is best remembered for his novel Peter Pan.

Barrie James died on June 19th, 1937 from pneumonia. He was buried in Kirriemuir beside his siblings.


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