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Five Fascinating Facts about J. M. Barrie

Interesting facts about a much-loved writer

1. He was the first writer to kill off Sherlock Holmes. Before Conan Doyle ‘killed off’ Sherlock Holmes in ‘The Final Problem’ (1893), his friend (and fellow Scotsman) J. M. Barrie published a spoof tale in which the famous detective meets his demise. So, the author of Peter Pan was the first writer to kill off Sherlock Holmes.

Always try to be a little kinder than is necessary. – J. M. Barrie Read the rest of this entry

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Who Said, ‘I am not young enough to know everything’?

The origins of a famous quip – in a half-forgotten work of literature

This should be an easy question. Surely it was Oscar Wilde who first said, ‘I am not young enough to know everything’? It certainly sounds like one of Wilde’s witty quotations, and numerous quotation sites (see, for instance, here and here) attribute the line to Wilde, but the attribution predates the web, with James Scott’s Daily Writing Journal in 1987 giving Wilde as the author. But it appears the issue is a little more complicated than that. And the true origins of this quotation lie in a play by a writer best-known for a work of children’s literature. Read the rest of this entry

Five Fascinating Facts about Peter Pan

Fun facts about Peter Pan and his creator, J. M. Barrie

1. Peter Pan first appeared in a novel for adults. The boy who wouldn’t grow up made his debut, ironically, in a book for adults, a little-known 1902 novel called The Little White Bird. However, it was the stage play Barrie produced two years later which really brought the character to a wider audience, and Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up was a huge hit in theatres in 1904. ‘The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up’ wasn’t Barrie’s first choice of subtitle for the book: among the others he considered was ‘The Boy Who Hated Mothers’, but his publisher disliked this suggestion. All royalties from productions of the play go towards helping children at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, after Barrie gave them the rights in 1929. Read the rest of this entry