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Messages - andrew

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Davies Family / did u auction off the davies photos ?
« on: February 19, 2005, 02:14:34 AM »
As I explained in the new intro to the Yale edition of my book, I gave my collection to the Great Ormond Street Hospital in memory of my son Anno, who was killed at the same age as Michael. They auctioned it at Sothebys to raise money for their new wing - the collection was bought by the Beinecke Rare Book & MS collection at Yale University, where it joins all their other Barrie material. The entire collection was scanned prior to sale and is accessible via the database on this website.
I think Michael's drowning was an accident for the reasons I give in my book - you can also hear what contemporaries thought on the audio clips on this site and decide for yourself.
Peter Pan / Peter Pan review, 1906/07
« on: February 17, 2005, 09:04:55 PM »
Just came across a fascinating review for the 1906/07 London revival of Peter Pan in the Sphere: "'The vogue of Peter Pan is really extraordinary. The first night it was produced on this its fourth-year season it was received with almost hysterical enthusiasm by a house which knew every line of the script and every turn of stage management. ... 'The other theatre entertainments for children - Alice in Wonderland not excepted - have never attracted such a huge audience as Peter Pan. This is rather astonishing, for unlike Alice it has curiously grown-up elements in it which deserve the attention of some serious student of psychology although nobody has treated it in that light. Yet I believe it is just those elements - some of them like a sad, far-off voice - that attract grown-ups, and it is just these moments which Miss Pauline Chase with all her charm does not capture. Thus, for example, when standing on the rock amid the rising seas, she exclaims "To die would be a great adventure," she says it as a child from a copybook not as one who feels it - as Melisande would have felt it. 'Miss [Nina] Boucicault with her fine wistfulness is the true Peter.... "   For the rest, visit:
General topic / The Barrie Exhibition at Yale University
« on: February 17, 2005, 06:39:43 PM »
To those like myself who can't get to the Beinecke's Barrie exhibition at Yale, Timothy Young's superb companion - "My Heart in Company: The Work of J M Barrie and the Birth of Peter Pan" - makes a welcome consolation. It has been exquisitely put together, with colour facsimiles of such gems as Barrie's poem to Michael (transcribed on p128 of my book), pages from the rehearsal script of Peter Pan, and a photograph - entirely new to me - of Barrie with his mother. The images - beautifully reproduced - are accompanied by sharp, incisive words that absolutely capture Barrie's spirit. The book costs $16.95 and is distributed by University Press of New England via their Customer Service Staff, 800-421-1561. The exhibition website -
also features the brilliant John Hassall's 1907 panoramas of Peter Pan. Having read Tim's book, I'm more delighted than ever that my collection has wound up at Beinecke.
Boy Castaways / Is there any possible way to see it?
« on: February 15, 2005, 01:33:37 PM »
There's nothing to read - the book contains only the 36 photos reproduced on this site, along with the captions and chapter headings for chapters that were never written.
Peter Pan / P Pan cenetnary
« on: February 14, 2005, 02:13:03 PM »
Ziegfried, I only just saw your posting (haven't yet got my head around Dafydd's new forum!). The new edition of my book should be readily available - it's just had a 2nd printing in the USA and has sold much better than Yale were expecting, given that most of the book is 25 years old!  Amazon have it for sure, and you can always get older/cheaper editions on  
As for celebrations, there were a number of TV/radio programmes here in the UK - one of them is now on our audio page and we'll be shortly adding a half-hour TV programme I did 10 years ago as part of Channel 4's "Great Ideas of the 20th Century" series....   There's also new Peter Pan material in the database - just enter "Peter Pan"
JMBarrie / Geraldo slanders Barrie
« on: February 10, 2005, 12:06:06 AM »
I have written to Geraldo Rivera as follows:

Dear Mr Rivera,
I understand that in a recent programme on Fox TV, you said in effect that J M Barrie was accused of "exactly the same thing as Michael Jackson". As Barrie's only living biographer ("J M Barrie & the Lost Boys", published by Yale University Press) I feel it my duty to point out that this is wholly untrue. The New York Post made the same scurrilous - and totally unfounded - accusation before Christmas. I offered $10,000 payable to the Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital if they - or anyone else - could produce a shred of evidence to substantiate the claim that Barrie was a paedophile, or that he in any way behaved in a sexually "inappropriate" manner with anyone. As his adopted son Nico Llewelyn Davies succinctly put it, "I doubt that Uncle Jim ever experienced a stirring in the undergrowth for anyone - man, woman, child, or beast!" Thus far the Post has retained a cowardly silence.
I also suggested that in the absence of such proof, the Post should donate a similar amount to the Hospital, to compensate for the damage they have done to the memory of the hospital's greatest benefactor - J M Barrie. No donation has thus far been received from the Post.
If it is true that you made the same allegation on Fox TV, I offer you the same challenge: prove your statement, and I will pay $10,000 to the hospital, failing which I would ask that you publicly withdraw your allegation; better still, make a similar donation to the hospital for the damage you have done. None of the foregoing is to be taken as a judgement on Michael Jackson, but he at least is able to defend himself in court. J M Barrie is not.
Andrew Birkin
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