1921: An Adopted Son of the Creator of ‘Peter Pan’ Drowns in a Bathing Pool


(By Special Leased Wire.) LONDON, Friday. — There is one thing of the wistful pathos of his personal imaginings in the tragedy which has darkened the house of Sir James Barrie.

Michael Llewellyn Davies and Rupert Buxton, the youthful son of the late Sir Thomas V. Buxton, have been drowned close to the Sanford bathing pool at Oxford yesterday. The two undergraduates have been nearly inseparable. Davies was twenty years of age, Buxton twenty-two.

It has been associated how Sir James Barrie, seeing the Davies youngsters in Kensington Gardens a few years in the past, stopped to play with them. When each their father and mom (who was the sister of Gerald du Maurier) died nonetheless younger, Sir James adopted the youngsters.

From his affiliation with them sprang some of his most stunning fantasies. Typically, nonetheless, of his shyness and reserved nature was the incontrovertible fact that not even his buddies have been in a position to say to-day what number of of the youngsters Sir James adopted.

“He is so retiring that he hardly ever spoke about it,” stated one of his buddies to-day. “I always had understood that he adopted two children, not four. The elder, who, of course, is believed to be the original Peter Pan, was killed in the war. Now comes the death of the other. It is terrible.”

Birth of Peter Pan

Sir James has advised how Peter Pan was created as the end result of the fairy tales he advised these youngsters and the way it was constructed up as they clamored for extra. The “original” Peter Pan’s title was George, a lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade, who was killed in motion in March, 1915. He was, maybe, the solely boy for whom a particular efficiency of a London manufacturing has been given in his own residence.

When “Peter Pan” was produced in London, the “original” was sick in mattress at house. “If the boy cannot come to the play, we will take the play to the boy,” stated the late Charles Frohman, in observing Sir James’ misery. And they did.

Now each boys, who’re most intently related to the fashioning of Peter Pan, are lifeless. One of Sir James’ buddies to-day recalled the phrases of Peter himself. “To die would be an awfully big adventure.”

“Nobody can say what it will mean for Sir James,” declared an actress who’s intently related to the dramatist and his performs. “I knew all the adopted family — five altogether — all boys. The lad who just met such a tragic death was very brilliant. I do not know if it will interfere with the play we are now rehearsing under Sir James’ supervision.”

— The New York Herald Tribune, European Edition, May 21, 1921.



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