James Matthew Barrie lived from 1860 to 1937. He was born in Scotland, the son of a weaver. He adored his mother, Margaret Ogilvie – it was the Scottish fashion in those days for wives to keep their maiden names – and, although the family were quite poor she made sure that he was educated. In 1885 Barrie moved to London to follow a literary career.
He first wrote short stories and later successful plays which made him rich and famous. He was very nervous when he gave Peter Pan to his theatrical manager because it was a child’s fantasy, the first and only time he had ever written especially for children. But Peter Pan with its flying and theatrical devices was a huge success and continues to be performed today. In 1911 James Barrie turned his play into a novel, one of the most thrilling and magical of all the great adventures that have been written for children.