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The Study Of Literature
English Literature Of The 19th Century:
 James Matthew Barrie

 Ian Maclaren

 Mrs. Humphry Ward

 George Du Maurier

 Rudyard Kipling

 Read More Articles About: English Literature Of The 19th Century

James Matthew Barrie

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

In the latter part of the eighties a small group of novelists appeared who depicted in a life-like manner the peculiarities of Scotch character. The first was James Matthew Barrie, born in May, 186o, at Kirriemuir, which he has described under the name Thrums. He was the son of a physician, and after graduating at Edinburgh University, went to London to work as a journalist. In the "St. James's Gazette" he began the series of "Auld Licht Idylls," showing the stiff, stubborn character of the members of the smallest body of Scotch Presbyterians, yet awakening sympathy for their kindly nature, hidden deep under the forbidding surface. In "A Window in Thrums" the sketches of life in the little village are continued, from the point of view of a crippled woman, Jess, and her daughter Leeby. But Barrie's real success came with "The Little Minister" (1891), a romantic story in which a Scotch minister who undertakes to reprove and rebuke a half-gipsy girl ends by being married to her with gipsy rites. In spite of the improbability of the plot, the whirl of the incidents, the gay humor of the writer, and the variety of strange characters, enlist the reader's favor. "Sentimental Tommy" (1895) is a grim revelation of the miseries of child life in London, mitigated by the fancies and posings of the hero.

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