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By Janet Dunbar

As far as the world knew, James Barrie's life was one long success story. The son of a poor Scottish weaver had come a long way. He was rich, famous, a friend of the great, the author of a long list of perennially successful plays. Few people knew the lonely, unhappy, guilt-ridden man behind the mask.

At the age of six Barrie was forced to assume the terrible burden of a devouring mother's total absorption. 'Jamie' was to take the place of the older brother she had adored, whose sudden death had plunged her into despair. From that time on he was dominated by this terrifying tiny scrap of a woman, outwardly sweet and inwardly driven by the furies of ambition and rigid Puritanism. For the rest of his life he would search ceaselessly for the love denied him as a child and try to win it by gestures of fantastic generosity and years of relentless devotion.

This is the story of Barrie's private world - a world in which fantasy sometimes achieved its end by blurring the rough edges of reality. It is also, obliquely, the story of the four women who were essential parts of his life; his mother, his wife, and the women whose marriages he almost destroyed, though not by conscious plan. The story, too, of his friends and of the children, he loved and charmed, and of the writing that was the fruit of his curious, secret, unhappy life.

Hardback - 318 pages

Published 1970

Book is in very good condition - dust jacket shows a little wear
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  • Seller location: Hamilton, Waikato, NZ

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