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Messages - Brutus

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Davies Family / Re: Boys’ Engraving initials in tree
« on: August 19, 2019, 07:43:48 AM »
I would take anything said by Piers Dudgeon with a very large pinch of salt. His first book on Barrie and the du Mauriers, Captivated was full of weird conspiracy theories, plagiarisms, misquotes, citations out of context and complete fabrications. I haven't bothered reading his book on Michael LD as I suspected it was full of the same, trying to fit events around his own theories. If he doesn't say where he saw the initials on the tree, I doubt he's actually seen them.
JMBarrie / Re: Barrie’s stamp and coin trick
« on: August 18, 2019, 01:52:09 PM »
It's very doubtful, as ceilings would have been repainted several times over the years since then - if the houses are still standing.
JMBarrie / Re: JM Barrie’s will
« on: August 13, 2019, 09:17:15 PM »
I don't think anyone would know the answer to your first question, except Cynthia Asquith who most likely helped draft the will. Same with the question of the rights - yes, they probably  should have gone to the boys, but they didn't. Did you read Nico's letter to Andrew? Peter and Nico were thinking of challenging the will but in the end, decided not to.

The Adelphi Terrace flat was most probably leased, and the executors would have sold it off for the remaining years. Or it might have been rented and in that case, no-one got anything.

Do you mean the Campden Hill Square house where the Llewelyn Davies lived? The lease was sold in 1918 after Jack got married. If the house had been in Sylvia's name, the money would have gone to the boys. If it was still in Barrie's name, we don't know where the money went but it's likely it was put towards the boys' education.

Which Mary do you mean? Mary Ansell or Mary Hodgson? The former received £1000 and an annuity of £600 from Barrie's will (he had previously bought a house for her in Biarritz where she lived comfortably until her death). The latter received a legacy of £500.
Davies Family / Re: Boys’ Engraving initials in tree
« on: August 13, 2019, 10:50:24 AM »
I don't recall the story of the boys engraving their initials on a tree, although I suspect this was very common among boys of that time. Where did you read about this?
JMBarrie / Re: JM Barrie’s will
« on: August 13, 2019, 09:10:51 AM »
The £30,000 legacy to Cynthia Asquith and all the other many legacies to various people would have come out of Barrie's estate after probate and after death duties have been paid (and legal fees), so there probably wasn't much left after that.  Any residue would have gone back into the estate and it would have been allocated to the main beneficiaries at the discretion of the trustees and executors.

Cynthia also inherited all rights to JMB's works (except for Peter Pan)(Clause 7), so that set her up for life as royalties were quite significant and provided her and her husband with a steady income (after her death, her children would continue to enjoy the benefit of these royalties).

Additionally, she and Peter LD were bequeathed all Barrie's furniture, manuscripts, papers, pictures, books etc (Clause 8 ) which were sold off and raised a considerable sum of money.
JMBarrie / Re: JM Barrie’s will
« on: August 12, 2019, 03:35:38 PM »
I wouldn't say they were left entirely high and dry - the legacies were quite substantial sums in those days. Don't forget that Peter had previously been set up as a publisher by Barrie, which was not altogether insignificant; Jack wasn't particularly interested and nor was Nico, to an extent. Having said that, it does look as though Cynthia had behaved quite inappropriately with the will but then she had become used to Barrie bailing her out as she and her husband were constantly living above their means. She was desperate to maintain the lifestyle she felt was befitting her status. However, at the same time, she was also very good to Barrie and helped him enormously in his work and correspondence as well as supporting him emotionally. It worked both ways.

Nico's letter to Andrew of 5 December 1975 is quite revealing (and damning). Nicola Beauman's biography of Cynthia is also an eye opener.
Davies Family / Re: Morgue
« on: August 07, 2019, 08:04:49 AM »
It's not published, but Andrew has scanned it and you'll find it on the database.
Davies Family / Re: George
« on: July 25, 2019, 09:21:25 PM »
Andrew Birkin's book quotes a letter from Lord Tennyson's son to Peter Davies giving as many details as he could about George's death (page 243). He was shot through the head, and died almost immediately.
JMBarrie / Re: Mary Ansell, her family, her life
« on: July 17, 2019, 10:47:44 AM »
This is great, Lynn! That collection of old photos was quite a find. Thanks for sharing your research.

I have photos of Mary's grave and house in Biarritz, if you're interested. Her villa is still there and lived in by the the descendants of Mary's housekeeper/companion, who inherited her estate. 

The name "Mary Cannan"on the tombstone is hardly decipherable because the family who inherited her estate  took over the plot for their own dead members, and have now probably forgotten who Mary Cannan was.
Davies Family / Re: Davies family in Tilford
« on: July 17, 2019, 10:09:19 AM »
In Sylvia and Arthur LD's lifetime, Barrie did not have the boys staying with him. Andrew Birkin's book mentions (p 83) a letter that Sylvia LD wrote to Mary Barrie on 16 June 1901 about their arrangements for the summer holidays that year: "We have taken a charming cottage at Tilford, near Mr Barrie's, instead of Burpham...." Andrew B writes that "the cottage at Tilford was less than a five-minute walk along the dusty, winding road to Black Lake Cottage", but doesn't give the exact address. There is a picture in his book of Sylvia with George, Jack and Peter standing outside the cottage and there's another on this site's database of the cottage itself

As it's not mentioned again, one assumes the LD only rented it for that summer.

If you find out more about the actual address, and if the cottage is still there, do let this forum know.
JMBarrie / Re: Barrie's final illness and his flat
« on: July 11, 2019, 08:22:08 AM »
Hi. What is now referred to as the Adelphi is the Art Deco 1930s block built on the site of the old Adelphi buildings designed by the Adam brothers. The building where Barrie occupied a 3rd floor flat is the only one that survives in Robert Street, called Adelphi Terrace House or Robert Adam House.

As mentioned in a previous post here, Barrie's old flat was occupied by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) who allowed visitors. However, they moved out a while back and the building is undergoing renovation works. I don't know who the owners are, but you might be able to get the information from the architects doing the refurbishment (who misspelt Barrie's name!). Apart from the window overlooking the river, nothing remains of Barrie's flat nowadays. If you do get more details of the owners, please post these on this site, as it may interest others.
Davies Family / Re: Michael’s Death
« on: June 16, 2019, 09:11:10 AM »
To add to Nicholas's excellent answers to mb0521's questions:

- according to witnesses (and Andrew Birkin's research), Michael and Rupert greeted friends on the way to the pool and seemed in a good mood, which doesn't sound like the behaviour of someone planning to commit suicide
- as Nicholas said, there was no foul play suspected, so no need for a full scale post mortem, which wouldn't have been standard procedure at the time.
- Michael's grave is in no worse state than some of the others in the churchyard, or other old cemeteries in London. It's sad, but unless descendants live nearby or can afford to maintain the graves, there's little that can be done. The only surviving descendants of the Llewelyn Davies boys are Nico's daughter Laura, who must be over 80, and her son, who live outside London.
- as far as I can see, there's nothing odd about the spacing or the wording on the stone. This seemed pretty standard for the time.
JMBarrie / Moat Brae, Dumfries
« on: May 07, 2019, 07:31:08 AM »
After years of fundraising and renovations, the beautiful Georgian house where Barrie played as a child is finally opening on 1st June 2019 as a Centre for Children's Literature and Storytelling and a Barrie Museum. Its "enchanted garden" on the banks of the River Nith where, according to Barrie, Peter Pan was born, has been recreated as an adventure playground, complete with Pirate Ship, Mermaids' Lagoon, Wendy house, Tiger Lily's encampment, and lots more.

If you're travelling to Scotland this Summer, don't miss it!
JMBarrie / Re: Lost Boys Script
« on: May 07, 2019, 07:16:39 AM »
It's on this site's database: However, apparently, it's only Part 1.

(There's also a link on The Lost Boys (TV Series) Wikipedia entry.)
Peter Pan / Re: sort of a newbie
« on: November 30, 2018, 05:26:59 PM »
Yes, I know about them but of course, JK Rowling has a lot more clout (and money) to deal with them. Back in the day, Barrie and then GOSH did not have the advantage of the internet to sniff out all those pirate editions and ripoffs. Before WW2, there were many US illustrated unauthorised adaptations, some of them rather strange (one of them renamed one of the Darling boys Richard, one wonders why?).

Nowadays, we have the plague of self-published books, prequels and sequels, whose authors mostly did not seem to bother reading the original but tried to reinvent the wheel... Thank God Barrie did not have to witness or police that!
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