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J M Barrie to Sylvia Llewelyn Davies - 1904

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Letter from Barrie to Sylvia re costumes for Peter Pan, 24 November 1904


Leinster Corner,
Lancaster Gate,`W.
20 Nov. 1904.

My dear Jocelyn,
It seems almost profanation to turn your pretty ideas about babies to stage account, but I am giving the basketful of them to those people nevertheless, and the pictures too, and may they treat them with reverence. You know Michael so well that though you didn't dare trust yourself to drawing his head (you adore him so), the rest is so like him that he could be picked out as the king of the castle from among a million boys. He is so beautiful that the loveliest bit of him is almost as pretty as the plainest bit of his mother.
It’s very strange how that cabby’s whip could have had the heart to hit you that night. I know it hurt very much, and I fear the mark is still there.
The boys will be burning such a lot of candles on the 25th! I think if they were to invite me I should have to go.
Your loving,

Peter's comments:

The reference in the first part of this letter must be to ideas for the costumes, etc., for Peter Pan, though it seems rather late in the day, only a month before production.

I have looked a lot lately at the very young photographs of G. and M.Ll.D., and there is no denying that, quite apart from all sentimental considerations, they were two most spectacularly attractive children. In 1904, of course, George had acquired the comparatively unromantic schoolboy characteristics (Inky I, he had been called at Wilkinson’s, I think, to Jack’s Inky II), whereas Michael, at four, still with his long curls, was just about at his most beautiful.

The cabby’s whip allusion baffles me.

The 25th was Sylvia’s 37th birthday. I have the copy of the poems of that forgotten Edwardian genius, _John Davidson (committed suicide 1909) which A.Ll.D. gave her on that day.

The absence of any correspondence relative to the first production of “Peter Pan” happily relieves me of the responsibility, which would have weighed on me, of referring to it here.


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