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Writing penny dreadfuls.

[AB: The first note in Notebook #6, which is stuffed with ideas and one-liners for possible use in the newspaper articles Barrie was writing between 1885 and 1888.

By 1887, Barrie had three other notebooks on the go (Nos #7, 8 and 9) and was clearly in the habit of jumping from one to another. Many of the same lines crop up in similar form in more than one notebook, and the dating can only be approximate.

The first four notebooks consist mostly of texts for the numerous articles Barrie was writing in his earlier days, but since they can be found in print at Colindale (if you know where to look) I never got around to transcribing them. Notebook #5 should really be #25A, covering the year 1904, and will appear in its correct position. I started transcribing with notebook #6, initially rationing myself to one or two quotes - the ones that might come in useful for the TV and/or biography - but in the end I became so captivated that I typed up 5,774 of them! Barrie never kept a diary or journal. He didn't really need to - it's all here.

The original notebooks are in the Walter Beinecke Collection @ Yale University, and it was they who kindly microfilmed them for me back in 1975. Copies from those negatives can be bought direct from Yale (for a fraction of the price it cost me!) Any discrepancies between my readings and others will be gracefully entertained.

For details about the copyright in these notes, see the Copyright Page. Technically they remain in copyright until 2007... or, in the case of those notes that might be said to form part of Barrie's "Peter Pan Gift" to Great Ormond Street Hospital, for ever. That said, anyone is free to quote from these notebooks as far as I'm concerned. I suppose there's a certain inherent copyright in my transcription, but who cares. However, an acknowledgement (or link) to this website would be much appreciated.