Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet OM (9 May 1860 – 19 June 1937), more commonly known as J. M. Barrie, was a Scottish author and dramatist. He is best remembered for creating Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up, whom he based on his friends, the Llewelyn Davies boys. He is also credited with popularising the name Wendy, which was very uncommon before he gave it to the heroine of Peter Pan.
Barrie was born in Kirriemuir, Angus, to a conservative Scottish Calvinist family. His father David Barrie was a modestly successful weaver. His mother Margaret Ogilvy Barrie had assumed her deceased mother's household responsibilities at the age of 8. Barrie was the ninth child of ten (two of whom died before he was born), all of whom were schooled in at least the three Rs, in preparation for possible professional careers. He was a small child (he only grew to 5 feet 3 inches as an adult), and drew attention to himself with storytelling.
When he was 6 years old, Barrie's next-older brother David (his mother's favourite) died two days before his 14th birthday in an ice-skating accident. This left his mother devastated, and Barrie tried to fill David's place in his mother's attentions, even wearing David's clothes and whistling in the manner that he had. One time Barrie entered her room, and heard her say 'Is that you?' 'I thought it was the dead boy she was speaking to,' wrote Barrie in his biographical account of his mother, Margaret Ogilvy (1896), 'and I said in a little lonely voice, "No, it's no' him, it's just me."' Barrie's mother found comfort in the fact that her dead son would remain a boy forever, never to grow up and leave her. Despite evidence to the contrary, it has been speculated that this trauma induced psychogenic dwarfism, and was responsible for his short stature and apparently asexual adulthood. Eventually Barrie and his mother entertained each other with stories of her brief childhood and books such as Robinson Crusoe and The Pilgrim's Progress.