J.M. Barrie & the Lost Boys Summary & Study Guide

Andrew Birkin
This Study Guide consists of approximately 27 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of J.M. Barrie & the Lost Boys.
This section contains 528 words
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J.M. Barrie & the Lost Boys Summary & Study Guide Description

J.M. Barrie & the Lost Boys Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on J.M. Barrie & the Lost Boys by Andrew Birkin.

The prologue of Andrew Birkin's "JM Barrie and the Lost Boys: The real story behind Peter Pan," begins by discussing the death of Peter Llewelyn Davies. Davies was the leader of a London publishing house and was often referred to as an artist among publishers. In 1960 Davies stepped in front of an oncoming train. Davies was 63 years old. The author states that although such a death would normally warrant only a small obituary in the London Times, the fact that Peter Davies was part of the inspiration for JM Barrie's "Peter Pan" made the death headline news around the world. In fact, Peter Davies and his brothers, George, Jack, Michael, and Nico, were all dubbed as "Peter Pan" in the press and every time one of them was involved in some newsworthy event such as being fined for speeding or getting married, the news made headlines. Understandably, the brothers began to hate the association with Peter Pan. The author states that while the five boys were used as influence for Peter Pan, the lost boys were also based on the five brothers.

According to Barrie, the idea for "Peter Pan" and the Lost Boys was created from parts of each boy. Barrie said, "I made Peter by rubbing the five of you violently together, as savages with two sticks produce a flame. That is all he is, the spark I got from you" (Prologue, page 2).

That spark created the boy who never grew up. The mischievous and brave Peter who taught Peter, Michael and Wendy to fly by thinking good thoughts, who cared for the magical place called Never Never Land, enjoyed the company of talking animals and mermaids, and fought against the dastardly Captain Hook.

Peter Pan started out as what Barrie referred to as his dream child but turned into something entirely different. Peter Pan gave Barrie his life - from the immense financial success to the lifelong relationships with the Lost Boys.

Birkin follows Barrie from the time of his birth in Kirriemuir, Scotland in 1860 through to the death of Peter Llewelyn Davies in 1960. The main part of the book is devoted to the years in which Barrie was an integral part of the lives of George, Jack, Michael, Peter, and Nico, plus the formation and development of Peter Pan. Although Barrie was well known for other works in the literary and theatre worlds, it would be Peter Pan that would solidify the author's place in eternity.

Barrie's adoption of the Llewelyn Davies' boys seemed to give the author his life's purpose. Barrie doted on the children. While Barrie was a godsend, he was also a curse, as the Llewelyn Davies boys would forever be tied to Peter Pan, a fact which often overshadowed their careers and personal lives.

Also included are tales of Barrie's family, failed marriage to Mary Ansell, and various friendships and business connections, including people such as Henry James, Robert Louis Stevenson, Winston Churchill, Charles Froham, Maude Adams, and perhaps most importantly, the relationship between Barrie and Sylvia du Maurier Llewelyn Davies, mother to the children that would inspire Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.

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This section contains 528 words
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Buy the J.M. Barrie & the Lost Boys Study Guide
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