Author Topic: Why does Barrie refer to specific books in many of his works?  (Read 108 times)

Rosalind Ridley

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Why does Barrie refer to specific books in many of his works?
« on: September 29, 2017, 09:35:38 AM »
J M Barrie often appears on his own works, some of which are overtly autobiographical, while in other works he is present as the narrator. But parts of his personality can also be seen in other characters e.g. Peter can be seen as Barrie’s fantasy of himself as a child. Several well-known books are mentioned in Barrie’s work and they are often not an essential part of the plot, suggesting that the books are there for some other reason. Captain Hook is described and having a copy of Roget’s Thesaurus, one of Barrie’s favourite works; Chrichton has the only book on the Island – a poetry book by W. E. Henley, where Henley was Barrie’s good friend; and, in Auld Licht Idylls, one man sheltering in a bothy has a copy of one of Darwin’s books, where I would argue that many post-Darwinian themes about human nature appear in Barrie’s books. Does Barrie sometimes indicate that a particular fictional character is, in fact, himself by making him the only character with a book? Can anyone think of other books that act as ‘badges’ indicating that the character is a personification of the author?