James Matthew Barrie, more commonly referred to as J.M. Barrie, was born in Scotland in 1860 to Margaret Ogilvy and David Barrie. J.M. Barrie was an author and dramatist and became famous for creating the iconic childhood tale, Peter Pan.
James was the eighth child of a total ten, although two of his siblings had died before he was born. A particular incident which occurred during his childhood certainly had a significant impact on his life and perhaps his later writing. Only a few days before his older brother David turned 14, he died in an ice-skating accident. David was their mother’s favorite son and his death caused her enormous grief. James attempted to fill this gaping hole in their family by occasionally dressing in David’s clothes and imitating a unique whistle he had. Margaret found comfort in the idea that the dead David would never grow up and leave his mother, that he would remain a boy forever.
It is also worth noting that Barrie’s relationship with the Llewelyn Davies boys, members of a family he met when he moved to London after university, may have inspired his writing of Peter Pan. He immortalized many of the boys in his novel by naming main characters after them.