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J M Barrie - A Victorian Childhood

Saturday 8 May – Saturday 27 June
Sir James Matthew Barrie, the celebrated Scottish novelist and playwright, was born on 9th May 1860, 150 years ago. He came to live in Dumfries in 1873, when he was aged 13. He lived with his eldest brother, Alexander, who was Inspector of Schools for Dumfriesshire and his sister, Mary, who acted as Alexander’s assistant and housekeeper.
Barrie’s first home in Dumfries was in Irving Street. It was close to Dumfries Academy, and to Moat Brae House, the home of the first friend he made at his new school, Stuart Gordon. The Barries moved to 6 Victoria Terrace in 1875. This was a move from the closely arranged streets of the Georgian part of the town to a spacious Victorian suburb. The house overlooked the railway station – a symbol of the modern age.
In the 1870s Dumfries had three newspapers, almost twenty schools, a theatre, a museum and a public lecture hall which regularly held audiences of over 1,000. The Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary was newly built and the Crichton Royal Institution had an international reputation for the treatment of psychiatric illness. There was an atmosphere of prosperity, progress and inquiry about the town.
This exhibition looks at Barrie’s childhood and the lively and prosperous town of Dumfries in the last quarter of the 19th century.
Admission Is Free!