On May 9th…

Portrait of J M Barrie by Herbert Rose Barraud (1892)

James Matthew Barrie, novelist and playwright, was born May 9, 1860, in Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland. He met Arthur Conan Doyle in 1891, and the two men co-wrote the play Jane Annie, or The Good Conduct Prize in 1893. The comic opera’s brief run at the Savoy was unsuccessful. George Bernard Shaw called the play “the most unblushing piece of tomfoolery that two respectable citizens could conceivably indulge in public.”

Among the many authors of Sherlock Holmes pastiches, only one had his story included in Arthur Conan Doyle’s autobiography. J M Barrie’s short work, “The Adventure of the Two Collaborators”, is included in Arthur Conan Doyle’s Memories and Adventures. In it, two gentlemen come to call on Holmes and Watson at Baker Street, and Holmes’s first observation is, “They are two collaborators in comic opera, and their play has not been a triumph.”

Before Barrie and Doyle met, Barrie wrote an anonymously-published pastiche called “My Evening with Sherlock Holmes”, in which a Mr Anon persuades Arthur Conan Doyle to take him to meet Holmes. During their conversation, Mr Anon preempts Holmes’s deductions so often that Holmes leaves in a huff. [Is a Huff a new kind of British car? –Chips] [Very punny –Selena Buttons]

Source: A Curious Collection of Dates: Through the Year with Sherlock Holmes by Leah Guinn (JHWS “Amber”) and Jaime N Mahoney (JHWS “Tressa”)

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