Author Topic: Michael's Death  (Read 10677 times)

Taylor

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Re: Michael's Death
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2009, 06:56:51 PM »
Andrew... you are pretty sure the service for Michael was at
Hamstead Church????  Isn't that an imporant detail that should have been in your book?  You were in contact with Nico.  He was certainly there.  Did Barrie visit Michael's grave in the years following?  The death had a MAJOR effect on Barrie and yet it is almost just a mention in your book.  Why?

ecb

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Re: Michael's Death
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2009, 08:41:33 PM »
Just do a search on 1921 in the Database and you will find a number of letters where it is stated that the funeral was at Hampstead.  Nico was not there, however.  Peter and Jack were.  I believe that Nico was at Cannon Hall, the DuMaurier's house - it was just too much for him.

Hannah High

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Re: Michael's Death
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2009, 08:48:41 PM »
Mention...? Well, those final pages of the last chapter and epilogue are pretty damn powerful. I think the "mention" of it is a right ending in history, plot and style for both the book and the film. Of course many things happened afterward -a number of which Andrew does point to- but there's only so much you can fit into a script or a book (that's why there's a website), and the death of Michael in a way (in many ways!) was the death of Barrie.


andrew

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Re: Michael's Death
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2009, 10:07:46 PM »
Thank you, Hannah! I don't consider the name of the church where Michael's funeral took place to be "an important detail", given that I state that he was buried in Hampstead Churchyard. "You were in contact with Nico.  He was certainly there." Taylor's comment(s) have a faintly accusational tone. Yes, of course I was in contact with Nico. But no, he was not there. "Did Barrie visit Michael's grave in the years following?" I haven't the faintest idea. Probably. "The death had a MAJOR effect on Barrie and yet it is almost just a mention in your book. Why?" The last 7 pages of my book deal almost exclusively with the effect that Michael's death had on Barrie - what more is there to be said?




Taylor

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Re: Michael's Death
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2009, 12:20:12 AM »
Andrew, i took some time last night to read the section on Michael's death in some 14 Barrie bios that i have.  I am sure you have read most..  No mention of the funeral, but one does mention that Barrie did visit Michael's grave every day he was in London.  So often that his friends and especially CA felt it unhealthy for him and that this was driving him into deeper depression.  They feared he would take his own life or allow himself to waste away.  So yes, those visits to that grave are very important to the life of Sir J. M. Barrie.  And what a picture it paints in our minds.

Nico?  Don't you say in your book that Nico came down to London from school?  Not really important other than 1st hand knowledge.

andrew

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Re: Michael's Death
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2009, 09:10:48 AM »
I'm very curious to know which biography says that Barrie visited Michael's grave "every day he was in London" - meaning for the rest of his life?? I can find no mention of it in Mackail, the only reliable biography in Nico's opinion when it comes to facts. Nico certainly never mentioned it to me, which seems odd given that he lived with Barrie "off and on for more than 20 years". Barrie was often referred to in the press as "the hermit of the Adelphi". He didn't drive and had no chauffeur, so the idea that he made a daily (or nocturnal?) pilgrimage from the Strand up to Hampstead churchyard also seems a little far-fetched. But of course such visits - if true - would "very important to the life of Sir J. M. Barrie" -- did I suggest otherwise?

Yes, Nico came down to London from Eton, but no, he did not go to the funeral. If you check his letters to me (published on this website) he says "I was discouraged (praise the Lord!) from going to the funeral and went to stay in Cannon Hall with the du Mauriers about half a mile from the church."
« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 01:28:34 PM by Andrew »

ecb

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Re: Michael's Death
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2009, 05:58:27 PM »
Thanks Andrew - I knew that somehow I knew that Nico was not at the funeral but went to stay at Cannon Hall, but I could not figure out how I knew it!  Since Barrie was in such a state himself that he could not bear to look at Nico (because it made him think of Michael) it was good for him to have a place to go.  He always seemed to get along well with the du Maurier sisters - after all he and Angela were only a few months apart in age.

The letters from a 1921 search (which I recommended in an earlier post) are very touching by the way.  Some are written to Mary Hodgson by women who must have been former domestic servants at 23 - they remembered Michael as a little boy and knew how  heartbroken Mary and Nico had to have been.  There is also a sad letter from Margaret Llewelyn Davies written to Mary H., which looks as though someone either writing it or reading it was crying - there are tearstains. 

Some of the letters do not show up - there is one from Crompton for example which is not viewable.

As to the question of how Michael's death affected Barrie and how it was handled in the book - I think the fact that the book essentially ends with Michael's death pretty much tells the story.  From reading the book (30 years ago the first time and Lord knows how many times since!), I had no doubt that Barrie was totally devastated.  How an author decides to handle any topic is certainly the author's choice.  I don't see how it could have been better handled myself.

andrew

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Re: Michael's Death
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2009, 08:26:03 PM »
Thanks for that, ECB - and the alert about Crompton's letter being unviewable - I'll look into it asap. If anyone else spots similar glitches, do please let us know!

Monika89

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Re: Michael's Death
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2009, 11:18:37 AM »
Why Michael died so young?

JAQ

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Re: Michael's Death
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2009, 05:48:21 PM »
Why Michael died so young?
He drowned with his friend Rupert Buxton, in an apparent swimming accident near Oxford.
Unless you're looking for a metaphysical explanation... and there is none.