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Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM (9 May 1860 – 19 June 1937) was a Scottish novelist and playwright, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan. He was born and educated in Scotland and then moved to London, where he wrote a number of successful novels and plays. There he met the Llewelyn Davies boys, who inspired him to write about a baby boy who has magical adventures in Kensington Gardens (included in The Little White Bird), then to write Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, a "fairy play" about an ageless boy and an ordinary girl named Wendy who have adventures in the fantasy setting of Neverland.
Although he continued to write successfully, Peter Pan overshadowed his other work, and is credited with popularising the name Wendy. Barrie unofficially adopted the Davies boys following the deaths of their parents. Barrie was made a baronet by George V on 14 June 1913, and a member of the Order of Merit in the 1922 New Year Honours. Before his death, he gave the rights to the Peter Pan works to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, which continues to benefit from them.
Barrie died of pneumonia at a nursing home in the West End of London on 19 June 1937. He was buried at Kirriemuir next to his parents and two of his siblings. His birthplace at 4 Brechin Road is maintained as a museum by the National Trust for Scotland.
He left the bulk of his estate to his secretary Cynthia Asquith, but excluding the rights to all Peter Pan works (which included The Little White Bird, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, the play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up and the novel Peter and Wendy), whose copyright he had previously given to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
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