J. M. Barrie Profile Image

J. M. Barrie

1860 — 1937

James Matthew Barrie, more commonly known as J. M. Barrie, was a Scottish author and dramatist. He is best remembered for creating Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up, which he based on his friends, the Llewelyn Davies boys. He is also credited with popularising the name Wendy, which was very uncommon before he gave it to the heroine of Peter Pan. Barrie’s most famous and enduring work, Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, had its first stage performance on 27 December 1904. This play introduced audiences to the name Wendy, which was inspired by a young girl, Margaret Henley, who called Barrie ‘Friendy’, but could not pronounce her Rs very well and so it came out as ‘Fwendy’. It has been performed innumerable times since then, was developed by Barrie into the 1911 novel Peter and Wendy, and has been adapted by others into feature films, musicals, and more.

Barrie had a long string of successes on the stage after Peter Pan, many of which discuss social concerns. The Twelve Pound Look shows a wife divorcing a peer and gaining an independent income. Other plays, such as Mary Rose and a subplot in Dear Brutus revisit the image of the ageless child. His final play was The Boy David (1936), which dramatised the Biblical story of King Saul and the young David. Like the role of Peter Pan, that of David was played by a woman, Elisabeth Bergner, for whom Barrie wrote the play. (source: Wikipedia)

Published Works