Synopses & Reviews
James Matthew Barrie's fame is based largely on that iconic work of twentieth-century drama and children's literature, Peter Pan: The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up, a cultural juggernaut that flew into the hearts of theater-goers and readers.
Always interested in the nature of childhood, Barrie's devotion to the young Llewelyn Davies brothers signaled an experiment with form that produced the play Peter Pan. Its success, following its 1904 premiere, assured Barrie a permanent place in popular culture and spawned an avalanche of novelties that eventually overshadowed most of Barrie's other works, including his insightful later plays and essays. The story of Barrie and the Llewelyn Davies family has also entered the realm of legend, having been explored in books, plays, and the recent motion picture Finding Neverland.
The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University holds a collection of manuscripts and books documenting Barrie's life and has put a selection of them on display to mark Peter Pan's 100th anniversary. This accompanying catalogue features images and descriptions of objects from the exhibition, forming a timeline that traces the development of Barrie's work in connection with his life. Timothy Young's prefatory essay discusses the ongoing impact of this enigmatic genius.
The life and work of James Matthew Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, is highlighted in this catalogue published in conjunction with the 2005 exhibition at the Yale University's Beinecke Library. Original manuscripts, photographs, documents detailing the influence of the young Llewelyn Davies brothers on the creation of Peter Pan, and artifacts, including Barrie's key to Kensington Gardens, are pictured, with commentary to create an iconic timeline of Barrie's life and works.