Maude Adams: An Intimate Portrait

By Phyllis Robbins | Go to book overview

Chapter Six

A LETTER of April 18, 1904, from Barrie had brought the first definite news of Peter Pan. Now at last the play was ready for 1905. "Help had come from somewhere."

Mr. Barrie himself was the first to express doubt of its success:

April 18, 1904

MY DEAR MAUDIE,

I have written a play for children, which I don't suppose would be much use in America. She is rather a dear of a girl with ever so many children long before her hair is up and the boy is Peter Pan in a new world. I should like you to be the boy and the girl and most of the children and the pirate captain. I hope you are coming here before the summer is ended and I also hope I may have something to read you and tell you about. I can't get along without an idea that really holds me, but if I can get it how glad I shall be to be at work for little Maudie again.

(Incidentally, it was Wendy that Miss Adams felt she would play, but Mr. Frohman held out for her to play Peter.)

In spite of Barrie's doubts about Peter Pan's success in America, it was to this country that his thoughts turned from the beginning. It is true that the play was put on at the Duke of York's Theatre in London, with Miss Nina Boucicault as Peter, on December 27, 1904, nearly a year before Miss Adams opened with it in New York. But she relates in an interview for the Boston Transcript of October 20, 1906, that while the play was still in the making, Barrie had told her he had a character in mind, and "that the character came to my

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Maude Adams: An Intimate Portrait
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Chapter One 3
  • Chapter Two 21
  • Chapter Three 40
  • Chapter Four 58
  • Chapter Five 75
  • Chapter Six 89
  • Chapter Seven 110
  • Chapter Eight 124
  • Chapter Nine 140
  • Chapter Ten 155
  • Chapter Eleven 165
  • Chapter Twelve 174
  • Chapter Thirteen 186
  • Chapter Fourteen 201
  • Chapter Fifteen 213
  • Chapter Sixteen 232
  • Chapter Seventeen 247
  • Chapter Eighteen 257
  • Chapter Nineteen 263
  • Chapter Twenty 284
  • Appendix 292
  • Index 299
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