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J. M. Barrie (1860–1937) is today known almost exclusively for one work: Peter Pan. Yet he was the most successful British playwright of the early twentieth century, and his novels were once thought equal to those of George Meredith and Thomas Hardy. Although in recent years there has been a revival of interest in Barrie’s writing, many critics still fail to include him in surveys of fin de siècle literature or drama.
Perhaps Barrie’s remarkable variety of output has prevented him from being taken to the centre of critical discussions in any one area of literary criticism or history. Is Barrie predominantly a novelist or a playwright? Is he Victorian, Decadent, Edwardian or Modernist?
Gateway to the Modern is the very first collection of essays on Barrie which attempts to do justice to the extraordinary range of his literary achievement. What emerges is a significant writer, fully immersed in the literary and intellectual culture of his day.
Part One: Drama and Film
- Barrie and the New Dramatists (Jan McDonald)
- ‘The odd, odd triangle’: Barrie’s Metatheatrical Critique of the Victorian Dramatic Tradition (Anna Farkas)
- Barrie’s Later Dramas: The Shakespearean Romances
(R. D. S. Jack)
- The Boy Who Never Grew Up? J. M. Barrie and Cinema (Jonathan Murray)
Part Two: Barrie and Literary Traditions
- Barrie’s Farewells: The Final Story (Douglas Gifford)
- ‘Frae Anither Window in Thrums’: Hugh MacDiarmid and
J. M. Barrie (Margery Palmer McCulloch)
- Barrie, Sentimentality, and Modernity (Andrew Nash)
Part Three: Peter Pan’s Connections
- Betwixt-and-Between: Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens and the Decadent Moment (Paul Fox)
- Peter Pan’s Make-Believe: Place, Uncertainty, and Wonder (Ralph Jessop)
- Barrie and Bloomsbury (Rosemary Ashton)
- ‘A love that is real’: Children’s Responses to Wendy
- Dumfries Academy: Responses to Peter Pan (Hugh McMillan)
Cover image: “The Kensington Gardens are in London, where the King lives”, from Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens by J. M. Barrie, 1906
Rackham, Arthur (1867–1939)
Private Collection / The Bridgeman Art Library
Last updated 6 January 2015.