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J M Barrie to Arthur Quiller-Couch - 1894


Letter from J M Barrie to Arthur Quiller-Couch (‘Q’),3 January 1894



My dear Couch,

It comes to this, that anything of the kind you cared to do is the kind of thing I could not possibly object to.1 But I much question whether that is what is wanted. McGlure’s magazine dogs me as if it wanted my hand in marriage. There must be a mistake about Gilbert Parker. I only met him once (and liked him enormously), but remember no talk on any such matter. He wrote about interviewing me for this magazine, and I declined. Never shall man or maid interview me. Then Harold Frederic wanted to do a joint-author talk with me, a thing in which author (a) says ‘When did you first feel genius springing up within you?’ and author (b) (the owl) gravely tells him and then (a) tells (b) which he considers his masterpiece, etc., etc. I needn’t tell you my answer to that.

Habits of life indeed! The low-minded might say that I have not even much habit of body. (That is ‘graphic’ and I expect the sort of thing wanted.) I like the magazine though. In appearance it is the prettiest on this or that side of the Atlantic, and has much better stuff in it than any of our sixpenny magazines. Also young McClure is a very nice fellow. If anything of the kind is ever done, it is certainly you I should like to do it. When I come to Fowey we can talk it over. Till then I leave the matter thus.

I wrote Andrew Lang and he answered. He is really very kindly, and I believe we have only to meet to be friends. My mother is much better.


{Taken from The Letters of J M Barrie, edited by Viola Meynell, Peter Davies Ltd, 1942.}


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