- George Llewelyn Davies
name = George Llewelyn Davies
caption = Davies in his last year at Eton in 1912 at age 19
20 July 1893
15 March 1915
known_for = foster son of
J. M. Barrie
occupation = soldier
George Llewelyn Davies (
20 July 1893- 15 March 1915) was the eldest son of Arthur and Sylvia Llewelyn Davies. Along with his brothers, George was the inspiration for playwright J. M. Barrie's characters of Peter Panand the Lost Boys. The character of Mr. George Darling was named after him. He died in combat in World War I.
Davies and his brother Jack met Barrie during their regular outings to
Kensington Gardens, with their nurse Mary Hodgson. As the oldest (he was four years old when he met Barrie) he featured most prominently in the early storytelling and play adventures from which the writer drew ideas for Barrie's works around that time about young boys. The character of David in Barrie's 1901 book " The Little White Bird" resembles him as a small boy, and Arthur Rackhamused him as the model for that character in the illustrated reprint of the Peter Pan chapters of the book as "Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens". He and Jack (and to a lesser extent Peter) were featured in a photo storybook "The Boy Castaways" which Barrie made during a shared holiday at Barrie's Black Lake Cottage in 1901.
In the 1904 play "
Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up", the central character is roughly the same age that Davies was. Barrie reported taking some of the characterization of Peter and individual Lost Boys from things Davies and his younger brothers said or did. For example, in response to Barrie's oral tales about babies who died and went to live in Neverland, the boy reportedly exclaimed, "To die will be an awfully big adventure"; this became one of Peter Pan's most memorable lines.
Barrie financially supported Davies and his brothers following the death of their father (1907), and became their primary guardian following the death of their mother (1910). Davies remained very close with "Uncle Jim" as he grew up and went away to school, with the two exchanging letters regularly. His youngest brother Nico later described him (and their brother Michael) as "The Ones": the boys who meant the most to Barrie.
Eton College, where he excelled at sports (especially cricket) and was elected to the elite social club Pop while still an underclassman. He later attended Cambridge Universitywhere he joined the Amateur Dramatic Club, following in the footsteps of both his uncle, actor Gerald du Maurierand his dramatist guardian.
Following the UK's entry into
World War I, Davies and his brother Peter volunteered for service. He received a commission as a second lieutenantin the King's Royal Rifle Corps, and served in the trenches in Flanders. He died of a gunshot to the head at the age of 21. As yet unmarried, the young George Llewelyn Davies left no children.
In the 1978
BBC mini-series"The Lost Boys", he was portrayed at various ages by Barnaby Holm(son of actor Ian Holm, who portrayed Barrie), Paul Holmes, Philip Kassler, Mark Benson, and Christopher Blake.
In the 2004 film "
Finding Neverland" he was portrayed as a child by Nick Roud.
*Birkin, Andrew: "J. M. Barrie & the Lost Boys" (Yale University Press, 2003)
* [http://www.jmbarrie.co.uk/df_index.html Web site about the Llewelyn Davies family]
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