Sir James Matthew Barrie, Baronet, Scottish author
Sir James Matthew Barrie, Baronet (May 9, 1860 - June 19, 1937), more commonly known as J. M. Barrie, was a Scottish novelist and dramatist. He is best known for creating the character Peter Pan, whom he based on his friends, the Llewellyn-Davies boys.
Barrie was born in Kirriemuir, Angus, and was educated at Dumfries Academy and Edinburgh University. He became a journalist at Nottingham, then London, and became a novelist. His first two novels were set in Kirriemuir, disguised as "Thrums" (his father was a weaver). He then wrote for the theatre, including Quality Street, What Every Woman Knows, and The Admirable Crichton.
Although some people may find his friendship with children suspicious, there does not seem to be any evidence that anything inappropriate happened.
He died in 1937 and was interred at Kirriemuir, next to his parents, sister, and brother David.
In his will, he specified that the copyright of Peter Pan should go to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
The Llewelyn-Davies family
The Llewelyn-Davies family consisted of the parents Arthur (1863-1907) and Sylvia, née Du Maurier (1866-1910) (daughter of George Du Maurier) and their five sons George (1893-1915), Jack (1894-1959), Peter (1897-1960), Michael (1900-1921), and Nicholas or Nico (1903-1980).
Barrie became acquainted with the family in 1897 or '98 after meeting George and Jack with their nurse in London's Kensington Gardens, where he often came, and lived nearby.
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.
A semifictional movie about his relationship with the family, Finding Neverland, was released in October 2004, starring Johnny Depp as Barrie and Kate Winslet as Sylvia Llewelyn-Davies.
- Project Gutenberg e-texts of works by James Matthew Barrie (http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/author?name=Barrie%2c%20J%2e%20M%2e%20%28James%20Matthew%29%2c%201860%2d1937)
- eLook Literature: Works by J. M. Barrie (http://www.elook.org/literature/jmbarrie/) - Writings by J. M. Barrie formatted in HTML and broken down by chapters.
- Was the author of Peter Pan a pedophile? (http://www.straightdope.com/columns/041119.html) (from The Straight Dope)
- "Why J.M. Barrie Created Peter Pan" (http://newyorker.com/critics/atlarge/?041122crat_atlarge) New Yorker (magazine) November 22, 2004 issue; Anthony Lane, author.