Topic: ArtComedy

Last updated: May 2, 2019

Introduction Sir James Matthew Barrie is a famous book writer, play director, and actor. He is most famously known for his works Peter Pan, Peter and Wendy, and The Little White Bird. He lived for 77 years, married and was a guardian to 2 children. This article will talk about the successful life of Sir James Matthew Barrie.

Life of J.M. Barrie On May 19, 1860, Sir James Matthew Barrie was born in Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland. His love for art and literature came from his mother, Margret Ogilvy, a weaver. When he was older, he decided to go to the University of Edinburgh to be a writer. After he graduated, he wrote for a newspaper called “The Nottingham” for two years. Wanting to be a successful writer, he decided to move to London. Once he had succeeded in his work, he married an actress named Mary Ansell in 1894.

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Their marriage was troubled and his mom’s interference in his life may have been the reason for the end of the marriage. The couple never had children and, ended their marriage in 1910. He started a relationship with Sylvia Llewellyn Davis, who had two sons. Barrie was very fond of her sons and become their guardian.

Barrie was devastated after Sylvia and her son’s accidentally died in a car crash in 1910. Barrie was a big supporter of the Great Ormond Street Hospital for children in London. He donated anonymously for years but when the hospital reached hard times in raising money, he helped by donating the profits from Peter Pan. He died eight years later and left all the copyrights to the hospital funding their needs for many years to come. Sir James Matthew Barrie died in London, England, On June 19, 1937, (1860 – 1937). He was buried in his hometown, Kirriemuir, where he grew up for most of his childhood.

Before he died, he achieved many honors in his lifetime. He was given the title of baronet in 1913 and he was also given the Order of Merit, a way the British give honor to those who have served in the armed forces, for his service in World War I. About his Books Barrie didn’t want to have distress and sadness in his life so he wrote several fictional books. Some of the books he wrote were a collection of folktales called Auld Licht Idylls (1888). These folktales were set in “Thrums” a town based on his hometown Kirriemuir. He then wrote The Little Minister (1891) which was very well received, and Margret Ogilvy (1897), an autobiography about his mother. Barrie wrote more than 40 books in his career dealing with distress and sadness but his most successful was about Peter Pan. Since the character Peter Pan was so successful, he decided to start doing theater to bring his books to life.

Out of all the books and plays he would write and produce, his most successful play would be Peter Pan. About Peter Pan Peter Pan was first in Barrie’s book The Little White Bird, written in 1902. Peter Pan is about a boy who lives in a place named Neverland. He was flying over London and wandered into the nursery of the Darlings.

Searching for his shadow in the Darlings house he met Wendy, John, and Michael. Peter took Wendy, John, and Michael to Neverland to see all the fun things to do. They met the Lost Boys and Wendy became their mother to tell them stories and take care of them.

Eventually, they had to go home, but Peter wanted them to stay so they would never grow up. Peter Pan was made into a play at the Duke of York Theater, in London, England on December 27th, 1904. Everyone in the stadium was amazed by the boy that never wanted to grow up and his adventures, fairy tales and revelations of Neverland. Peter Pan was inspired by the time he spent with Sylvia Davis’ sons. After Peter Pan was released, he wrote to Peter and Wendy.

It was published in 1911 with great reviews from critics. He later decided to move the play to New York; he worked with Maude Adams to rewrite the play. It ran on Broadway, starring Maude Adams, for over 3000 showings.

It was an enormous success. Barrie wrote letters to Adams to express how excited he was about her performance in the play. He felt she played Peter Pan as he had envisioned. It was Maude Adams and not Barrie that added the most famous part of the play. She added the audience participation by having them clap to bring Tinker Bell back to life. This part of the play was not in the original writing of Peter Pan but after the success of the audience participation, Barrie never removed the scene. The characters in Peter Pan turn into animated characters in Disney’s original movie Peter Pan produced in 1953.

The Disney animated film Hook, produced in 1991, was inspired and based on the original Peter Pan. A live-action film was also made based on the play Peter Pan that was released in 2003.Other works in filming James Matthew Barrie continued to write and produce plays for adults with dark themes. The two comedy plays that he wrote were What Every Woman Knows and The Admirable Crichton in 1908. In What Every Woman Knows, Barrie tells a story of an arranged marriage that shows how important a good wife can be to a husband through his political career. In The Admirable Crichton, Barrie compares the reality and success of people in a high social class versus people with high intelligence. He displays who would survive on a desert island.

In The Twelve-Pound Look (1910), the article says “The film criticizes feminine emancipation.” It takes a look at what an unhappy marriage would look like. Half an Hour (1913) is about a woman who wants to leave her husband for good to be with another man but decides that she should stay because of him being in a horrible bus accident. Dear Brutus (1917) is a play about human nature and giving some invited guests a second chance in life.

The play revolves around making better decisions in life if we had the ability to change the choices we made. Mary Rose (1920) was a play about a mother ghost who visits her son. That was James Matthew Barrie’s last major play that he produced in his lifetime Conclusion Sir James Matthew Barrie lived a very successful life. He achieved his dreams of becoming a writer by writing over forty books and plays. He achieved his greatest success with his books and plays about a character named Peter Pan. His life was lived trying to overcome distress and sadness through his work.


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