Biography of J. M. Barrie

J.M. Barrie was a Scottish novelist and playwright who wrote a number of fantastical stories and plays throughout his career. He is best known for his novel and play, Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, which remains a popular children's fable to this day.

Raised by conservative Calvinist parents, Barrie earned attention in his 10-sibling household by creating fantasy stories. He also became preoccupied with reading and developed a strong literary interest, even though his parents hoped he would become a minister. He studied literature at the University of Edinburgh, then began working as a journalist, before writing stories for the St. James's Gazette. From there, he became more and more interested in theater, writing plays such as Ibsen's Ghost, Walker, London, Quality Street, and The Admirable Crichton.

The first book he wrote that existed in the world of Peter Pan was The Little White Bird in 1902. In 1904, his play Peter Pan; or, The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up premiered in London, which received high praise. In 1911, he turned the play into a novel called Peter and Wendy.

The plot of Peter Pan was inspired by Barrie's acquaintance with a woman named Sylvia Llewelyn Davies and her five sons. It emerged as a story he would tell two of the boys to amuse them.

Study Guides on Works by J. M. Barrie

The Little White Bird is a novel by British author J.M. Barrie which spans fantasy and whimsy to social commentary with dark, aggressive undertones. The book reached prominence and longevity primarily due to the introduction of a character called...

Peter Pan is playwright and novelist J.M. Barrie's most famous work, published both as a play in 1904 and in 1911 as a novel. It tells the story of the magical Peter Pan, who flies into the Darling family's nursery in London one night and...