BARRIE WRITES TO THE ARCHITECT ABOUT THE CENOTAPH BARRIE (Sir James M., 1860-1937, Novelist & Dramatist, Writer of ‘Peter Pan’)

Exceptional Autograph letter signed, to Sir Edwin LUTYENS (1869-1944, Architect, probably best known for designing the Cenotaph) saying that “the ‘cenotaph’ crows in beauty as one steals down alone o’nights to look at it, which becomes my habit, I stand cogitating why and how it is so noble a thing. It is how the war has moved you and lifted you above yourself. I think it was Milton who described poetry as ‘thoughts that voluntarily move harmonious numbers’. This is a harmonious number and I feel proud of it and you..”, 2 sides 8vo., 2 Robert Street, Adelphi, WC2, 6th August

J. M. Barrie's architectural influence was enabled by Lutyens who was his friend and creative collaborator. He and Barrie were undoubtedly major figures of Edwardian culture, and both have been closely associated with the carefree 'garden party' image of the era. In 1918, Barrie commissioned Lutyens to design him a large new flat in the attic storey of a house in the Adelphi development in Robert Street, London. The Adelphi flat was a domestic fantasy drawn from Barrie's own narratives, and Lutyens's familiarity with Barrie's personal life made him the ideal collaborator. Lutyens played an instrumental role in designing and building New Delhi, which would later on serve as the seat of the Government of India and is also known as ‘Lutyen’s Delhi’.
Barrie first saw the Cenotaph as a temporary plaster and wood structure before Lutyens was asked to make it permanent with stone. Lutyens designed the stage sets for Barrie’s 1904 Peter Pan. The Cenotaph was unveiled in 1920.
Together with a letter from Nicholas Taylor of the Lutyens Trust thanking the then owner Ben SONNENBERG Jr (1936-2010, American Publisher and founder of the Literary Magazine Grand Street) for letting him see a copy of this letter was not among the Lutyen’s family papers,
From the Bart Auerbach Collection

Item Date:  1919

Stock No:  41786      £1475

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