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Messages - Brutus

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General topic / Re: Michael and Simon Asquith
« on: September 04, 2020, 11:20:36 AM »
I suspect the LD boys didn't get on with the Asquiths because Simon and Michael were very spoilt and full of themselves. Cynthia was a snob and full of a sense of superiority because she was the daughter of a lord and daughter-in-law of a lord and Prime Minister, and she most probably looked down on the LDs whom she would have considered from a different class. It's likely that she passed on her snobbishness to her sons.

Here's a bit of trivia: Michael's son Stephen married Nicola Scott, daughter of Sir Peter Scott (son of Captain Scott and Kathleen Bruce, and Barrie's godson), who was brought up in Barrie's house in Bayswater, Leinster Corner.  Kathleen and her second husband Hilton Young bought the house in the 1920s and her descendants lived there until it was sold a couple of years ago. Small world.
Peter Pan / Re: Can Peter Pan die?
« on: August 29, 2020, 11:29:28 AM »
Death and growing up (or not) are recurrent themes in Barrie's works and have been linked to the death of his brother David who died young - and never grew up in his mother's and siblings' mind. So the grieving memory idea is quite believable.

The story of Phoebe Phelps and Walter Stephen Matthews' "tombstones" features in The Little White Bird (and Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens) but not in the play. In fact, fairies will "certainly mischief" the babies that fall out of their prams, but if the fairies don't get them, they "may perish of cold and dark before Peter Pan comes round". When Peter is too late to rescue them, he buries them, hence the little tombstones.

The stones of course are just Barrie imaginatively interpreting (with his usual whimsy and dark humour) the boundary stones in the Gardens marking  the boundary between the Parish of Paddington and Westminster St Margaret.
JMBarrie / Re: About the "Kissing pretty boys" article
« on: August 21, 2020, 09:59:31 AM »
As Andrew pointed out, there are no restrictions on topics for discussion here (apart from the ones he lists) and the subject of Barrie's sexual orientation has been discussed in the past. The accusation of paedophilia has come up, in particular due to Piers Dudgeon's dodgy so-called biography, where he happily twists the facts to suit his theories. Barrie did indeed like the company of children, but he also had many adult friends, both male and female. He was attracted by female beauty, as evidenced by his marriage to Mary Ansell and his friendship with Sylvia LD - although these never lead to sexual relationship. In his lifetime, there never was a whiff of scandal about him.

It is believed he may have been asexual. When asked pointedly, Nico Llewelyn Davies asserted that Barrie felt "no stirrings in the undergrowth for anyone: man, woman, child or dog".

Going back to the "pretty boys" article, I think Barrie's humour was quite particular to his time and doesn't always work 100 years later!

Bugs and Errors / Re: Photos missing from photo pages
« on: August 17, 2020, 01:12:43 PM »
Thanks for reporting the bug, which has now been sorted. I hope. If you still find some glitches, let us know!
General topic / Re: Michael and Simon Asquith
« on: August 14, 2020, 05:27:17 PM »
According to Nicola Beauman's biography of Cynthia Asquith, both Michael and Simon were a disappointment, as neither were a success academically nor did they follow the kind of career she would have wanted. She later acknowledged that she probably thoroughly spoilt them when they were young and they felt entitled! Apparently, in Cynthia's latter years, her relationship with Simon had completely deteriorated. She tried to set up Simon in a publishing career in the publishing firm of James Barrie (nephew of JMB) but that didn't work out. Peter and Nico Llewelyn Davies didn't get on with the Asquith boys, so they never maintained any relations with them after Barrie's death.

The only interview I've heard of was with Janet Dunbar when she was researching her biography of JMB. One thing is for sure: Michael and Simon didn't waste any time to make money from Cynthia's inheritance and they promptly sold her archives and letters. They also enjoyed the royalties from Barrie's works which they inherited on her death and that would have amounted to a nice income, as his plays were still very popular up to the end of the 20th century and Barrie's copyright expired in the UK and Europe in 2007.

For information on their family and descendants, here are some links

Hope this helps!

Davies Family / Re: Sylvia Llewelyn Davies' eyes colour
« on: August 14, 2020, 04:30:58 PM »
There are no colour photographs of Sylvia LD and as you say, you can't trust colourised pictures. They are described as grey in Birkin's book but hazel in Janet Dunbar's biography of JMB. So, neither brown nor blue. However, eye colour can vary depending on the colour the person is wearing, and that is very noticeable in people with hazel eyes. In the absence of real evidence, we'll probably never know!
JMBarrie / Re: About the "Kissing pretty boys" article
« on: August 14, 2020, 04:23:19 PM »
Hi Sylvia8. Your English is fine, no apology necessary!

First of all, I would like to point out that Finding Neverland is a complete travesty and work of fiction  which bears little resemblance to Barrie's life and the story of his relationship with the Llewelyn Davies family. Andrew Birkin's BBC drama The Lost Boys is the best film on the subject by far.

The article on pretty boys was one Barrie wrote when he worked on the Nottingham Journal in 1882-83 (long before he met the LD family) and was meant to be humorous - although it seems many readers did not appreciate his sense of humour! I don't know when it featured in Finding Neverland film, and in what context so am not sure what explanation you're looking for,  but if you want to read the full text, it features on page 13 of Andrew Birkin's book JM Barrie and the Lost Boys, based on the BBC series.

Peter Pan / Re: Barrie's 1903 "Fairy" notes for Peter Pan
« on: August 14, 2020, 04:04:26 PM »
The transcripts were uploaded a while back when the new website went up but Andrew Birkin decided to take them off as more work was needed on them. They will hopefully come out again in the near future, in some form or other, but we don't know when. The current pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works and some things had to be put back. Patience!
JMBarrie / Re: Barrie on Film (1932) -- J. B. Priestley's House
« on: May 11, 2020, 11:23:07 AM »
Yes, it's a lovely film. I don't know if it originally came from the J B Priestley website, but was posted on YouTube by the French Barrie site (which incidentally is a treasure trove of Barrie information).

I haven't been able to find much about Barrie's friendship with Priestley, but he was godfather to Priestley's son, so it must have been a close one. It was Priestley who unveiled the plaque placed in the chapel of Great Ormond Street Hospital in memory and gratitude to Barrie after his death.
Davies Family / Re: Peter Llewelyn Davies -- Later Life
« on: May 09, 2020, 12:14:53 PM »
I agree with EHuhn - an accumulation of all the traumas and worries (financial and health) coming to a head. His publishing company wasn't doing very well, he was an alcoholic and suffered from emphysema (like his brother Nico) and his wife and children all had Huntingdon's Disease. Not a good outlook for life.

As for the reason for asking Mary Hodgson questions later on in life, I think this is something people often do as they get older and start thinking of the past. They would normally ask their parents about it but in Peter's case,  he could only ask Mary.

The letters and archives that constituted the Morgue were from his family, so not part of  the Barrie estate and nothing to do with Cynthia Asquith (who on her part, as heir to Barrie's estate,  promptly sold all the correspondence with Barrie, mss, etc to Beinecke - and anything else that could raise money, of which she was always in dire need.
Davies Family / Re: Film about Davies boys
« on: March 14, 2020, 02:24:41 PM »
Well, there's Andrew Birkin's brilliant The Lost Boys TV drama which puts to shame Finding Neverland, which was a ridiculous travesty. No-one could outdo Ian Holm as JMB. If you haven't seen it yet, do!
JMBarrie / Re: Barrie’s box at the Duke of York’s
« on: March 11, 2020, 10:10:27 AM »
There is a mention in Denis Mackail's biography of JMB (p458) that he sat "again behind his little curtain in Box F." As far as I can see, that's the only reference to a box at the theatre. Perhaps the Duke of York itself can help if you contact their archive department? Let us know if you find out more.
Davies Family / Re: Jack’s children
« on: December 02, 2019, 07:12:28 PM »
I stand corrected - I had no idea that Timothy had children. He died in Canada in 1965 so it's fair to assume the children are Canadians.
Davies Family / Re: Jack’s children
« on: December 01, 2019, 04:50:00 PM »
I'm afraid not.. I tried to look up the Guinness Book of Records on Google, but could only see the most recent "most married man" - and it obviously wasn't him!
Davies Family / Re: Jack’s children
« on: December 01, 2019, 09:50:58 AM »
Sylvia (Jack's daughter) never married. She raised Henrietta as a single mother, working in advertising (she came up with the slogan “Cheese Please, Louise”). According to Henrietta, her (unnamed) father was in the Guinness Book of Records as 'Britain's Most Married Man': he married seven times but never married her mother, who came between numbers 3 and 4.
(Source: interview by Jeanette Winterson in The Times, 19 June 2003)
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