J. M. Barrie

Novelist, Author

1860 – 1937


Who was J. M. Barrie?

Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM was a Scottish author and dramatist, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan. The child of a family of small-town weavers, he was educated in Scotland. He moved to London, where he developed a career as a novelist and playwright. There he met the Llewelyn Davies boys who inspired him in writing about a baby boy who has magical adventures in Kensington Gardens, then to write Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, a "fairy play" about this ageless boy and an ordinary girl named Wendy who have adventures in the fantasy setting of Neverland. This play quickly overshadowed his previous work and although he continued to write successfully, it became his best-known work, credited with popularising the name Wendy, which was very uncommon previously. Barrie unofficially adopted the Davies boys following the deaths of their parents.

Barrie was made a baronet by George V in 1913, and a member of the Order of Merit in 1922. Before his death, he gave the rights to the Peter Pan works to London's Great Ormond Street Hospital, which continues to benefit from them.

Famous Quotes:

  • Heaven for climate, Hell for company.
  • We never understand how little we need in this world until we know the loss of it.
  • Dreams do come true, if we only wish hard enough, You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.
  • Never ascribe to an opponent motives meaner than your own.
  • We are all failures -- at least, all the best of us are.
  • Life is a long lesson in humility.
  • The best place a person can die, is where they die for others.
  • Ambition -- it is the last infirmity of noble minds.
  • Temper is a weapon that we hold by the blade.
  • Every time a child says, I don't believe in fairies, there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead.


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May 9, 1860
Also known as
  • James M. Barrie
  • James Matthew Barrie
  • Sir James M. Barrie
  • Sir James Matthew Baronet Barrie
  • J. M. (James Matthew) Barrie
  • Sir James Barrie
  • Sir James Matthew Barrie
  • Baronet Barrie of Adelphi Terrace, London
  • Scotland
  • United Kingdom
  • University of Edinburgh
  • The Glasgow Academy
  • Dumfries Academy
  • University of Edinburgh
Jun 19, 1937

on July 23, 2013