J. M. Barrie

J.M. Barrie

(May 9, 1860 – June 19, 1937)

Courtesy of: telegraph.co.uk

All children, except one, grow up.”
-Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up


James Matthew Barrie was born in Kirriemur, Angus, Scotland to David Barrie and Margaret Ogilvy on May 9, 1860. He came from a rather large family of three brothers and six sisters. At a young age, he was already a fan of the works of Jules Verne and James Fenimoore Cooper. He always knew that he wanted to be a writer from a young age. In 1882 he graduated with a Master of Arts degree from Edinburgh University. Three years later he moved to London, England to write for the “Nottingham Journal.” In 1894 he married Mary Ansell. On their honeymoon they purchased a St. Bernard puppy who later became the influence for the character of Nana in Barrie’s Peter Pan series. Barrie met the Lleweyn-Davies family while walking through Kensington Gardens. The five Davies sons would later inspire many of the characters in Peter Pan. In 1913, Barrie became knighted and a rector of St. Andrews University. He received the Order of Merit in 1922 and six years later he became the President of the Society of Authors. Throughout his life he was extremely close with Jerome K. Jerome and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Barrie died in 1937 and was buried next to his parents and his siblings. (Merriman)

In 2004, Johnny Depp starred in the biographical Finding Neverland, which was based on the life of J.M. Barrie. Below is the trailer to the movie that provides insight into the life of Sir James Matthew Barrie.


  • Auld Licht Idyls “Thrums” (1888)
  • A Window in Thrums (1889)
  • The Little Minister (1891)
  • Ibsen’s Ghosts (1891)
  • Sentimental Tommy (1896)
  • Margaret Ogilvy (1897)
  • Tommy and Grizel (1900)
  • Quality Street (1902)
  • The Admirable Crichton (1902)
  • Little White Bird: or, Adventures in Kensington Gardens (1902)
  • Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up (performed in 1904, published in 1928)
  • Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (1906)
  • When Wendy Grew Up: An Afterthought (1908)
  • What Every Woman Knows (1908)
  • Peter and Wendy (1911)
  • Dear Brutus (1917)
  • The Boy David (1936)


Barrie’s Peter Pan series is about a boy who never grows up. It is semi-autobiographical. The “Thrums” Series are based on Barrie’s life in Kirriemur and the religious sect that Margaret Ogilvy belonged too. Margaret Ogilvy is a tribute to Barrie’s mother.

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Jess Halpern, Karen Bilotti