Monday, July 17, 2006

Where Dreams are born

Where Dreams are born

James Matthew Barrie, the son of a weaver, was born near Dundee (in Kirriemuir), Scotland, in 1860. He is considered one of 20 Great Scots.


For the first six years of his life, he lived in the shadow of his elder brother David. Just before his fourteenth birthday, David was killed in a skating accident. Barrie soon realised that, by dying so young, David would remain a boy forever in the minds of all those who had known him.

Following images are taken from the Peter Pan film fan site Butterflies.

Peter Pan (JEREMY SUMPTER) & Film Director P.J. Hogan

One of his visits was to a four-year-old girl called Margaret who called Barrie "my friendy". Because she couldn't pronounce her r's, the word "friendy" often sounded like "fwendy" or "wendy". She died when she was six but Barrie immortalised her in Peter Pan by calling his heroine Wendy, a name that he created.

(Left to right) The Darling children: John (HARRY NEWELL), Michael (FREDDIE POPPLEWELL), and Wendy (RACHEL HURD-WOOD) in their London home.

J.M. Barrie

He was a journalist and novelist and began writing for the stage in 1892. "Peter Pan," first produced in London on December 27, 1904, was an immediate success.

So come with me, where dreams are born, 
and time is never planned.

"Just think of happy things,
and your heart will fly on wings, forever,
in Never Never Land!"
- Peter Pan

The story of Peter Pan first appeared in book form (titled Peter and Wendy, and later Peter Pan and Wendy) in 1911. Barrie died in 1937, bequeathing the copyright of Peter Pan to the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, a hospital for children.

"All children, except one, grow up."

And so begins the story of one of the most beloved characters in children's literature, Peter Pan. J. M. Barrie's classic tale, completely unabridged, features a boy who refuses to grow up, Tinker Bell the fairy, and the Darling children — Wendy, John, and Michael.


Their great adventure begins on the night that Peter flies into the Darling home looking for his shadow and teaches Wendy, John, and Michael how to fly with him back to the Neverland, where adventures happen every day.

Caldecott winner Trina Schart Hyman's illustrations are as mischievous, ethereal, and playful as Peter Pan himself.

“. . . for me it has always been easier to draw a picture of what I’ve seen rather than to try to explain it with words. I drew a lot—I think I was born drawing. I drew because I needed to as well as for the sheer joy of it.”
- Trina Schart Hyman

Self-Portrait: Trina Schart Hyman, Addison Wesley, 1981.

Barrie, J. M., Peter Pan, New York, Charles Scribner, 1980.

“I feel like an actor preparing for a role when I’m working on a book. I need to get inside my characters and begin to think and feel their thoughts and feelings before I can succeed in my illustrations.

In order to do that, I have to become them. I often get up from my drawing board and act out scenes. . . . Illustration is theatre. You have to pick a setting, create characters, costumes, lighting. You even have to think about weather and how the weather creates mood.

I often think I should have been a film director, because I see the imagery of a story in my mind as a film first, from which I pick out particular frames that I want to illustrate.”
- Trina Schart Hyman


I plan to visit James Barrie's home in Kirriemuir over the weekend now that I am so closeby in Dundee.

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