Unique J M Barrie items in anniversary display

Colour illustration of two women
'Quality Street'
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Peter Pan's creator is the focus of a month-long display opening on 1 May at the National Library of Scotland.

Letters, first-edition books, plays and theatre programmes are among items being exhibited to mark the 150th anniversary of J M Barrie's birth. Gems from NLS collections include:

  • A rare booklet of 'Caught napping', one of Barrie's earliest plays, printed in 1883
  • 'Better dead', Barrie's first book
  • The first American edition of the novel 'Peter and Wendy' (1911)
  • A letter from a six-year-old boy proposing to 'Wendy'
  • Two privately printed booklets for Barrie's own amateur cricket club, Allahakbarries
  • Large-format cards telling the Peter Pan story in 20 episodes, thought to date from 1914.
'Marry you' from a child's handwritten letter
Fan letter to 'Wendy'
from Hugh, aged 6.
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James Matthew Barrie (1860-1937) was born in Kirriemuir, Angus. He became a journalist and novelist after graduating from Edinburgh University. Barrie's first full-length play was produced in 1892.

'Peter Pan', first performed in 1904 in London, was an instant success and has been a stage and screen favourite ever since.

Our J M Barrie anniversary display runs from 1-31 May, is free and opens daily. You can also read more in our J M Barrie press release.

16 April 2010

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