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Perhaps the best biography I have ever read so far Incredibly moving Breaks your heart Birkin tells the story of Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, and of the family he fell in love with, and for which he wrote his most famous story It s about dreams and childhood, about growing up and dying, about what you wish for and what you lose forever, it s incredibly well researched, and written with such compassion by Birkin that you can feel all the complex emotions that Barrie, and the ones he love Perhaps the best biography I have ever read so far Incredibly moving Breaks your heart Birkin tells the story of Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, and of the family he fell in love with, and for which he wrote his most famous story It s about dreams and childhood, about growing up and dying, about what you wish for and what you lose forever, it s incredibly well researched, and written with such compassion by Birkin that you can feel all the complex emotions that Barrie, and the ones he loved, went through I couldn t put this book down and have re read it later I d take it with me on a desert Island I loved it that much This book absolutely haunts me. Well told book whose sales really took off after it became the basis for the movie FINDING NEVERLAND 2004 Informative, but this is one of those cases in which seeing the movie is about as good. I am not a big fan of Peter Pan, but I have liked some of Barrie s other plays, particularly Dear Brutus However, I knew very little about Barrie s life, although there was a vague sense of him using a real little boy as a pattern for Peter Never had the slightest interest in seeing Finding Neverland, and nothing in this book made me change my mind.Birkin issly, which is an odd description for a biographer s style He provides a cursory look at Barrie s career and life beyond his intera I am not a big fan of Peter Pan, but I have liked some of Barrie s other plays, particularly Dear Brutus However, I knew very little about Barrie s life, although there was a vague sense of him using a real little boy as a pattern for Peter Never had the slightest interest in seeing Finding Neverland, and nothing in this book made me change my mind.Birkin issly, which is an odd description for a biographer s style He provides a cursory look at Barrie s career and life beyond his interactions with the Llewelyn Davies family, but the book is about exactly what the title implies J.M Barrie s relationship with the children Birkin is deadly It becomes increasingly uncomfortable to read about Barrie s intrusion into their lives Nico, the youngest, seems to have been the only one to come through the experience of Barrie s attention with minimal damage, but even there Birkin implies that Nico, the only brother still alive when he wrote this book, was hidingsomething What was it Birkin devotes sufficient attention to the inventiveness of Peter Pan to establish the work as a masterpiece But he also leaves no doubt that Peter Pan came at the cost of an emotionally suffocating relationship for the children that began when they were too young to realize what was happening Birkin never accuses Barrie of physical molestation, but makes it painfully obvious that his interest in the boys was not parental It was romantic Many Victorian same sex relationships were romantic without ever being sexual, and the language might be hyperbolic But those romantic friendships were between adults, not an emotionally needy man and a series of very young children There is no other way to put it but bluntly Barrie stalked the boys, especially George and Michael And Birkin sprinkles pictures of the pre adolescent boys bathing nude throughout the book, with the notation always that the photograph was taken by Barrie himself Barrie is depicted as drawn to their mother Given that Birkin presents Barrie as a cold fish with women throughout his life his marriage was a mistake from the start , this is improbable What drew him to Mrs Llewelyn Davies was her motherhood George was born by the time Barrie met the family, but he was there for the infancies of John, Henry, Michael and Nico He was kind to the boys father, but as a means to an end, and that end was access to the man s children.Birkin tries to paint Barrie as a boy who never grew up That doesn t ring true, either It was the boys who were never supposed to grow up Barrie wanted them to remain under his sway Honestly, the sheer passive aggressiveness of the man when the children began to outgrow his stories is astounding His letters of complaint give the impression that adolescence is a stage solely designed to wound J.M Barrie There are hints that George recognized Barrie was a drip before he was killed in World War I His surviving letters are notably less effusive than Barrie s John and Nico may not have been imaginative enough to fully engage Barrie s intensity But Michael was a sensitive, brilliant young man by the time he died There were rumors at the time that his drowning was actually suicide Henry, who edited the family history that provided Birkin with a wealth of material, killed himself by leaping under a train in the 1950s By that time his view of Barrie was jaundiced, and he took the precaution of burning as much of the Michael Barrie correspondence as he could.Where were the parents The father died first from cancer Birkin filters the deathbed mainly though the adult Henry, who thinks his father had to resent Barrie s emotional attachment to children who were taught to call him Uncle Jim despite the lack of blood relationship Barrie was immensely wealthy, and could provide lovely vacations and financial assistance to his large adopted family Henry and let s be honest Birkin think that the man must have resented the largesse Birkin also makes less than veiled allusions to the idea that the mother was motivated by material comfort, both for herself and her boys after her early death And to his credit, Barrie didn t stint any of the five until his death in 1937.But they also paid a cost And I m sorry, but whether he consciously intended this to be the takeaway from this reader, Birkin left me a little horrified about the circumstances of the real story behind Peter Pan [ DOWNLOAD ] ☨ J.M. Barrie and the Lost Boys: The Real Story Behind Peter Pan ♛ J M Barrie, Victorian novelist, playwright, and author of Peter Pan orThe Boy Who Wouldn t Grow Up, led a life almost as magical and interesting as as his famous creation Childless in his marriage, Barrie grew close to the five young boys of the Llewelyn Davies family, ultimately becoming their guardian and devoted surrogate father when they were orphaned Andrew Birkin draws extensively on a vast range of material by and about Barrie, including notebooks, memoirs, and hours of recorded interviews with the family and their circle, to describe Barrie s life and the wonderful world he created for the boysOriginally published in , this enchanting and richly illustrated account is reissued with a new preface to mark the release of Neverland, the film of Barrie s life, and the upcoming centenary of Peter Pan A psychological thriller one of the year s most complex and absorbing biographies Gerald Clarke, Time A terrible and fascinating story Eve Auchincloss, Washington Post I couldn t say when Peter Pan became important in my life Like Carroll s Alice, Peter has, no doubt, influenced and shaped a lot of my own writing The images Barrie created then remain strong Barrie the man I know very little about, but this book certainly helped.As a collection of letters from Barrie to the Davies and various others as well as the reverse, Birkin has done his best to keep his opinion out and let the letters of the people who actually lived the lives speak for themselves It I couldn t say when Peter Pan became important in my life Like Carroll s Alice, Peter has, no doubt, influenced and shaped a lot of my own writing The images Barrie created then remain strong Barrie the man I know very little about, but this book certainly helped.As a collection of letters from Barrie to the Davies and various others as well as the reverse, Birkin has done his best to keep his opinion out and let the letters of the people who actually lived the lives speak for themselves It is, I admit, confusing in ways.Barrie s adoration for Sylvia and Arthur Davies sons certainly gets the askance eye in our generation I d be lying if I said that I didn t find some of his letters, particularly to George and Michael, to be weirdly personal on some level Not simply because of the letters themselves which are, of course, personal, but the content and Barrie s devotion to the Davies family while his own family fell to the side Nico, the youngest of the Davies boys, claims Barrie was completely innocent because only such a person could write a story like Peter Pan.So while that aspect of Barrie and the boys will probably not be answered for me as I m not sure how much is my modern culture looking back to the Victorians and Edwardians without knowing what the forms really were and how muchwould be known if Peter hadn t burned so many letters I can t start to imagine, but lives Barrie and the boys that shaped Peter Pan strikes me as incredibly tragic If anything, Birkin s book did what a good book should It grabbed by attention aside from being a subject that I wanted to read about and I m curious to knowabout Barrie, to read other views I have to say that at least Birkin was honest in his introduction about omitting this thing for that thing, so I did go in knowing there would be a slant Thankfully it waslike a little tilt than the angle of a roof.As strange as Barrie was, for I m not coming away with the feeling that he was all together fully functional but perhaps that s a price one pays for art, I certainly don t like him less for his letters or manipulations or anything else I have questions and there s sadness that he acted as he did, but I think what comes across, maybe eventhan the fear of growing up, is the fear of being alone But maybe, in a way, they re the same thing.My one complaint about the edition I have is that every single photo, illustration, copy of a letter, etc was placed in the center toward the spine I cant start to fathom what design process oversaw that, but it is particularly annoying Still, it wasn t enough to make me give up on it While reading this biography, I couldn t help noticing similarities between J.M Barrie and Michael Jackson Both men were considered very child like Both werecomfortable with children than with adults Both were unusual looking by normal standards Barrie was barely 5 3 Both were very rich and famous Barrie was the top playwright of his era Peter Pan being his best know work Both men were suspected of being pedophiles J.M Barrie s life was filled withtragedy than Jac While reading this biography, I couldn t help noticing similarities between J.M Barrie and Michael Jackson Both men were considered very child like Both werecomfortable with children than with adults Both were unusual looking by normal standards Barrie was barely 5 3 Both were very rich and famous Barrie was the top playwright of his era Peter Pan being his best know work Both men were suspected of being pedophiles J.M Barrie s life was filled withtragedy than Jackson s and he lived longer but their situations are hard to ignore Like Jackson, Barrie insinuated himself into the lives of families through their children He and his wife were childless so he attached himself to other people s children In the case of Barrie, it was the Llewelyen Davies family of five sons His particular fondness for two of the boys, George and Michael, was apparent, to everyone Uncle Jim based many of his characters on the Davies boys, as well as on himself and others close to him His unflattering, and obvious, autobiographical depictions of situations and persons were deemed in questionable taste by some critics and those portrayed.This book makes clear that J.M Barrie, for all his success, did not have a particularly happy life Tragic circumstances abounded and he was already prone to depression Although Barrie tried his best to buy happiness, money was no guarantee This very academic biography is touted as the story behind the movie Finding Neverland but it quickly becomes clear that the movie not surprisingly really is a highly romanticized version of the truth Indeed, several key plot points in the movie prove to be patently untrue to life even if the movie is true in essence The biography itself was deadly dull in its presentation It is chockful of primary documents but in such a way that it rather feels as if you are reading the research notes This very academic biography is touted as the story behind the movie Finding Neverland but it quickly becomes clear that the movie not surprisingly really is a highly romanticized version of the truth Indeed, several key plot points in the movie prove to be patently untrue to life even if the movie is true in essence The biography itself was deadly dull in its presentation It is chockful of primary documents but in such a way that it rather feels as if you are reading the research notes for the real biography The author is also apparently responsible for a trilogy of documentary films on the subject so this book might stand better as a companion and the research material to those films Far too many of Barrie s plays and fiction were quoted at great length under the guise of his writing being essentially autobiographical for my taste The basic facts were of enough interest to compel me to finish the book but I would only recommend it to readers with a great interest in the subject 3.5 There s a reason Birkin is the definitive JMB expert With a delicate hand, he weaves together a variety of primary sources to tell the story of J.M Barrie and his intimate relationship with the Llewellyn Davies family It approaches the subject from an academic mindset this is not easy, breezy bedtime reading Learningabout Barrie s life will impact the way you view his classic characters for some, the additional knowledge will taint and for others it will expand the meaning. I never thought that reading his biography would turn out as pleasant as it was although the things that Barrie went through in his life weren t always that pleasantEven though Barrie was often seen as a serious and even weird persona, he was pretty damn hilarious in my opinion.Birkin used a very easy writing style to take the reader on his journey the different passages from Peter s Morgue , Nico s thoughts and the many, many letters show you the authenticity, if you don t believe wha I never thought that reading his biography would turn out as pleasant as it was although the things that Barrie went through in his life weren t always that pleasantEven though Barrie was often seen as a serious and even weird persona, he was pretty damn hilarious in my opinion.Birkin used a very easy writing style to take the reader on his journey the different passages from Peter s Morgue , Nico s thoughts and the many, many letters show you the authenticity, if you don t believe what Birkin is writing you can always look at the excerpts Nevertheless, they sometimes bother me, since there are so damn many of them and they weren t always as interesting as one would hope But that doesn t mean that it didn t read fluently The emotion is around every turn of a page and the story takes you on a complete roller coaster if yo u don t feel a tiny bit sad at the death s of George and Michael I don t think you really understood Barrie s emotions for either of them not that they re sexual or something In my opinion nothing of that matter is going on, I believe Peter even said so himself there is an excerpt somewhere in the book This book gives a clear insight in Barrie s life and I m immensely grateful for it, since I m currently writing a huge paper on Barrie and Peter Pan and this gives me the perfect material for ain depth analysis of Barrie s life