OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
James Barrie's Birthplace and Grave
His father was a weaver and his loom took up most of the downstairs of the small house in which they lived. James had none brothers and sisters, some of whom had dies before he was born. I t was the death of his older brother, David at age 13 (when Barrie was about 7) that had the greatest impact on James' life.Margaret Olgivy, James mother, had been passionately devoted to David and his death had an enormous impact on her. She took to bed and never fully recovered from the disaster. James used to come and sit with her and she would tell him stories about her childhood - stories which he would latter write about in a fictionalized town called "Thrums" - a word used for loose strands on a loom). Barrie's writings appeared in the newspapers and he gained popularity as a result of these stories. Ultimately he moved to London where he became involved with the Davies family, whose children, George (oldest) killed in the war, 1915
John (Jack); Peter who committed suicide in 1960 at the Sloane Square station; Michael who drowned in boating accident with a friend in 1921 and Nicholas. The children play heavily in Barrie's writing of his most famous work Peter Pan.
Barrie's involvement with the Davies family, especially the sons, has been the subject of much discussion. There are those who feel that it smacked pf pedophilia, and others (including the boys themselves) who felt that there was never anything like that involved in the relationship.
James was quite small, about 5 feet, and it is reported that he didn't need to shave until he was in his 20's. Some have argued that there was some hormone deficiency and point to his apparently unromantic involvement with his wife as further evidence. In effect, James related to the Davies boys almost as an equal.
There are many works, indicated in the "Important Dates in Barrie's Life" (below) that Barrie published which are famous, although none reached the level of Peter Pan
Kerriemuir is worth a visit. The house in which Barrie was born and grew up is open to visitors.
A short walk up the hill brings you to the cemetery where Barrie is buried with some of his family members.
Around the town, there are many references to Peter Pan as evidenced by this hotel!
Barrie lived much of his life in London and spent time with the Davies boys on Kennsington Gardens where one can now see a statute of Peter Pan.
A recent film Finding Neverland is a quasi biography of James Barrie. There are several biographies out as well:
See a slide show of the See the Barrie House and Kerriemuir.
BIOGRAPHIES OF BARRIE:
IMPORTANT DATES IN BARRIE'S LIFE
1860 9 May: James Barrie born at Kirriemuir, Scotland
1867: Death of brother David at age 13 in a skating accident.
1873-1878: Attended Dmfries Academy
1878: Studies at University of Edinburgh
1882: Receives M.A, from the University of Edinburgh
1885: Moves to London
1887: Publishes first book Better Dead
1888: Publication of Auld Licht Idylls and When a Man is Single
1889: Publication of A Window in Thrums
1891 16 April: First performance of Richard Savage
1892 25 Feb: First performance of play, Walker, London
1892 9 May: Accidental death of Barrie's friend Rev. James Winter who was to marry Barrie's sister Maggie. Later she marries James' brother William.
1894 25 June: First performance of The Professor's Love Story
1895 1 Sept.: Death of Barrie's sister Jane Ann 1895 3 Sept.: Death of Barrie's mother 1896: Publication of Sentimental Tommy and Margaret Ogilvy
1897 6 Nov. First performance of Little Minister (320 performances)
1898 March: Receives honorary LL.D. degree from St. Andrew's University, Scotland
1900 27 Sept.: First performance of The Wedding Guest (100 Performances)
1902 17 Sept.: First performance of Quality Street (459 performances)
1903: First performance of Little Mary (208 performances)
1904 27 Dec.: First performance of Peter Pan or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up - London (145 Performances)
1905 5 Apr.: First performance of Alice Sit by the Fire (115 performances)
1906: Publication of Peter Pan in Kensington Garden
1908 3 Sept.: First performance of What Every Woman Knows (384 performance)
1909 2 April: Barrie receives honorary LL.D from the University of Edinburgh
1911 May: Appearance of Peter Pan statue in Kennsington Gardens
1913: Barrie made a baronet by George V
1916 18 March: First performance of A Kiss for Cinderella (156 performances)
1917 17 October: First performance of Dear Brutus (365 performances)
1918: Publication of four one-act plays called Echoes of War
1919 1 Nov.: become Rector of St. Andrew's.
1920 22 April: First performance of Mary Rose (399 performances)
1921 27 May: First performance of Shall We Join the Ladies for festival. Actual run in 1923 ran 407 performances.
1922: Barrie receives the Order of Merit
1926 23 June: Receives honorary LL.D. from Oxford
1930 23 June: Receives honorary LL.D. from Cambridge
1936 21 Nov.: First performance of The Boy David
1937 19 June: Barrie dies. Buried in Kerriemuir cemetery with brother and mother
1960 5 April: Peter Llewellyn Davies commits suicide by throwing himself in front of a subway train.
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SOLUTION TO THE CRYPTOGRAM IN THE LAST ISSUE
I ONLY ONCE STAYED DURING THE WHOLE OF MY HOLIDAY AT THE HOUSE ON THE BRAE, BUT I KNEW ITS INMATES FOR MANY YEARS, INCLUDING JAMIE, THE SON, WHO WAS A BARBER IN LONDON. OF THEIR ANCESTRY I NEVER HEARD. WITH US IT WAS ONLY SOME OF THE ARTICLES OF FURNITURE, OR PERHAPS A SNUFF-MULL THAT HAD A GENEALOGICAL TREE.
JAMES M. BARRIE A WINDOW IN THRUMS, THE HOUSE ON THE BRAE
THIS MONTHS QUIZ:
In several Hollywood movies, a character who is Scottish or of Scottish ancestry appears and yet that fact is of no importance to the film. Can you identify the films in which the following character appears from the name and the quote below?
SOLUTION TO LAST ISSUE'S QUIZ
False: Lake Monteith (sometimes spelled Menteith) This loch in Perthshire is the only one referred to regularly as a lake, not a loch.