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Scottish GothicAn Edinburgh Companion$
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Carol Margaret Davison and Monica Germana

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474408196

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408196.001.0001

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J. M. Barrie’s Gothic: Ghosts, Fairy Tales and Lost Children

J. M. Barrie’s Gothic: Ghosts, Fairy Tales and Lost Children

(p.155) Chapter 12 J. M. Barrie’s Gothic: Ghosts, Fairy Tales and Lost Children
Scottish Gothic

Sarah Dunnigan

Edinburgh University Press

In his obituary of J. M. Barrie, George Bernard Shaw called his plays ‘terrifying’. Although Peter Pan (first performed in 1904) had long become a cherished children’s fantasy and a staple of Christmas theatricals, Shaw seemed more perturbed than enchanted by it (1993: 151). Barrie is seldom described as a Gothic writer, although his own well-known and often reductively understood biography has been ‘Gothicised’ into a dark psycho-narrative. Rather than use the latter to suggest Barrie’s election to the Scottish Gothic canon, this chapter takes its cue from recent work by R. D. S. Jack (2010), Valentina Bold and Andrew Nash (2014) and others, who demonstrate how Barrie is a writer of complexity and contradiction. The generic and thematic range of Barrie’s writing means that he is not a consistent or fully fledged Gothic writer but nevertheless Gothicism still inks a recurrent pattern of motifs and ideas in his work.

Keywords:   J. M. Barrie, Gothic, Scottish, Ghosts, Peter Pan

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