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JM Barrie- Inscribed gift to infant son of one of the Peters

Attwell illustrated Peter and Wendy

Christmas, 1921, JM Barrie is casting about for a gift to Timothy, son of "one of the Peters", on child's first Christmas.

A new edition of Peter and Wendy has just come out in 1921, the one illustrated by Mabel Lucie Attwell. Problem solved: Barrie gives young Timothy a copy of the book his father helped create.

"Timothy- His Book No.1- from his loving godfather- J.M.B."

Image showing inscription in JM Barrie Peter and Wendy for godson Timothy

This inscription fills about a third (vertically) of the ffep, and is about 7cm high, top of "T" to bottom of "1921".

Note that "Fred Bloggs/ His Book" was quite a common way to indicate ownership of a book. Hence Barrie is being whimsical when he says "Timothy/ His No.1 book".

As with anything to do with Barrie, the story is complicated. He may or may not actually have been the child's godfather. There's no great mystery, it is just not something I can attest to... but I have heard that Barrie sometimes used the word loosely.

I spoke of Timothy as "son of one of the Peters". Timothy was Jack's son. And one of Jack's brothers bore the name Peter... but Barrie always said that Peter Pan was an amalgam created out of all five of the Lewellyn-Davies brothers.

The Wikipedia article on Jack will tell you more.

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