Picture of J. M. Barrie


Lifetime: 1860 - 1937 Passed: ≈ 86 years ago


Novelist, playwright



J. M. Barrie

Barrie knew that he wished to follow a career as an author. However, his family attempted to persuade him to choose a profession such as the ministry. With advice from Alexander, he was able to work out a compromise: he would attend a university, but would study literature.Barrie enrolled at the University of Edinburgh where he wrote drama reviews for the Edinburgh Evening Courant. He graduated and obtained an M.A. on 21 April 1882.

Following a job advertisement found by his sister in The Scotsman, he worked for a year and a half as a staff journalist on the Nottingham Journal.Back in Kirriemuir, he submitted a piece to the St. James's Gazette, a London newspaper, using his mother's stories about the town where she grew up (renamed "Thrums"). The editor "liked that Scotch thing" so well that Barrie ended up writing a series of these stories.They served as the basis for his first novels: Auld Licht Idylls (1888), A Window in Thrums (1890), and The Little Minister (1891).

Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM (/ˈbæri/; 9 May 1860 – 19 June 1937) was a Scottish novelist and playwright, best remembered as the creator of Peter Pan. He was born and educated in Scotland and then moved to London, where he wrote a number of successful novels and plays. There he met the Llewelyn Davies boys, who inspired him to write about a baby boy who has magical adventures in Kensington Gardens (first included in Barrie's 1902 adult novel The Little White Bird), then to write Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, a 1904 "fairy play" about an ageless boy and an ordinary girl named Wendy who have adventures in the fantasy setting of Neverland.

Barrie died of pneumonia at a nursing home in Manchester Street, Marylebone on 19 June 1937. He was buried at Kirriemuir next to his parents and two of his siblings. His birthplace at 9 Brechin Road is maintained as a museum by the National Trust for Scotland.

Books by J. M. Barrie

Peter Pan Cover image

Peter Pan

Fantasy Fiction Fairy Tale
Free Spirited Youth Innocence Escapism

Peter Pan is the well-loved story of three children and their adventures in Neverland with the boy who refuses to grow up. Swashbuckling, fairy dust, and flight; mermaid lagoons, ticking crocodiles, and Princess Tiger Lily; second to the right and th...

Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens Cover image

Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens

Fantasy Novel
Children's Literature

Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens is a novel by J. M. Barrie, illustrated by Arthur Rackham, and published by Hodder & Stoughton in late November or early December 1906; it is one of four major literary works by Barrie featuring the widely known litera...

Echoes of the War Cover image

Echoes of the War

Fiction War
Military Historical Fiction

Short stories with dramatic parts about civilian life in London during the First World War. Some humorous moments. By the author of "Peter Pan".

 The Admirable Crichton Cover image

The Admirable Crichton

Fiction Drama
Play Customs

The Admirable Crichton is a comic stage play written in 1902 by J. M. Barrie.

Alice Sit-by-the-Fire Cover image

Alice Sit-by-the-Fire

Family Play Love Children Influential Home Struggle Act Wealth Relationships

The play tells the story of a wealthy family whose members have grown distant from one another. When the family's matriarch, Alice, returns home from a long absence, she resolves to bring her family back together and restore the warmth and love that...

Peter and Wendy Cover image

Peter and Wendy

Family Love Children Adventure Pirates Journey Childhood Imagination

The book follows the adventures of a young girl named Wendy and her brothers, who meet a mischievous boy named Peter Pan who takes them on a magical journey to Neverland, a place where children never grow up. Along the way, they encounter pirates, me...

A Kiss For Cinderella Cover image

A Kiss For Cinderella

Fairy Tale
Young Dream Children Imagery Adventure Childhood Guide Family Life Magic

It tells the story of a young girl named Cinderella who dreams of a better life. Written in 1916, the book is a classic work of children's literature that has been beloved by readers of all ages for over a century. In the story, Cinderella lives a d...

Mary Rose Cover image

Mary Rose

Family Romantic Play Struggle Island Legend Life Emotion Memory Folk lore

The play revolves around the character of Mary Rose, a young girl who disappears while on a trip to a Scottish island with her parents. She mysteriously reappears years later with no memory of what happened to her in the interim, causing great distre...

Dear Brutus Cover image

Dear Brutus

At a house in the country 8 guests are invited to enter a magical wood to see what might have happened had they made a different choice in life. Even though they are warned away from the wood, they take a chance and enter. The title comes from Shak...

Little White Bird Cover image

Little White Bird

"A children's book, sharp social commentary and sad psychological thriller about a man's search for a sense of belonging. All in one amazing and lyrical collection. This is the first book in which Peter Pan starts to appear. His adventure in Kensingt...

Sentimental Tommy Cover image

Sentimental Tommy

"J. M. Barrie is most noted for being the author of Peter Pan, the beloved book about a child who does not want to grow up. The two Tommy novels, as they are collectively referred to, are also about a child who does not want to grow up. Yet, unlike P...

Tommy and Grizel Cover image

Tommy and Grizel

This book continues Sentimental Tommy, also in the Librivox catalogue. Tommy grows up and marries Grizel. But life is not only roses and rainbows. This book has all the elements of a good love story, but it is also a book about growing up and finding...

Quality Street Cover image

Quality Street

Two sisters living on Quality Street set up and run a school for children after the local doctor heads off to fight Napoleon. Ten years later he returns, thinking that all the adventures have been his, and that the old life in Quality Street has wait...

Little Minister Cover image

Little Minister

Before "Peter Pan" came "The Little Minister", J.M. Barrie's first published novel. This is not a children's book, but reflections on life in a remote village in Scotland. The story opens with the minister and his mother moving into the village of Th...

Stories by English Authors: London Cover image

Stories by English Authors: London

This book collects seven short stories by some of England's best turn-of-the-(last)-century's writers. The collection begins with the humor of J. M. Barrie, of Peter Pan fame. A later and equally humorous story is by Israel Zangwill, also widely know...

Shall We Join The Ladies? Cover image

Shall We Join The Ladies?

For the past week, the hospitable Sam Smith has been entertaining a country house party, and we choose to raise the curtain on them towards the end of dinner. ‘Shall We Join the Ladies?’ a truly unique mystery play in one act, set around a mysterio...

My Lady Nicotine: A Study in Smoke Cover image

My Lady Nicotine: A Study in Smoke

J. M. Barrie, the author best known for Peter Pan, pens witty anecdotes of smoking, having quit the habit. He relates various accounts of himself and his friends and their relation to My Lady Nicotine. If possible, don't miss the enjoyable, copious i...