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J. M. Barrie

Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, was a Scottish novelist and playwright, best remembered as the creator of Peter Pan. He was born and educated in Scotland and moved to London, where he wrote a number of successful novels and plays. There he met the Llewelyn Davies boys, who inspired him to write about a baby boy who has magical adventures in Kensington Gardens to write Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, a "fairy play" about an ageless boy and an ordinary girl named Wendy who have adventures in the fantasy setting of Neverland. Although he continued to write Peter Pan overshadowed his other work, is credited with popularising the name Wendy. Barrie unofficially adopted the Davies boys following the deaths of their parents. Barrie was made a baronet by George V on 14 June 1913, a member of the Order of Merit in the 1922 New Year Honours. Before his death, he gave the rights to the Peter Pan works to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, which continues to benefit from them.

James Matthew Barrie was born in Angus, to a conservative Calvinist family. His father David Barrie was a modestly successful weaver, his mother Margaret Ogilvy assumed her deceased mother's household responsibilities at the age of eight. Barrie was the ninth child of ten, all of whom were schooled in at least the three Rs in preparation for possible professional careers, he drew attention to himself with storytelling. He grew to only 5 ft 3​1⁄2 in. According to his 1934 passport; when he was 6 years old, Barrie's older brother David died the day before his 14th birthday in an ice-skating accident. This left his mother devastated, Barrie tried to fill David's place in his mother's attentions wearing David's clothes and whistling in the manner that he did. 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 "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. Barrie and his mother entertained each other with stories of her brief childhood and books such as Robinson Crusoe, works by fellow Scotsman Walter Scott, The Pilgrim's Progress. At the age of 8, Barrie was sent to the Glasgow Academy in the care of his eldest siblings Alexander and Mary Ann, who taught at the school; when he was 10, he continued his education at the Forfar Academy. At 14, he left home for Dumfries Academy, again under the watch of Mary Ann, he became a voracious reader, was fond of penny dreadfuls and the works of Robert Michael Ballantyne and James Fenimore Cooper. At Dumfries, he and his friends spent time in the garden of Moat Brae house, playing pirates "in a sort of Odyssey, long afterwards to become the play of Peter Pan", they formed a drama club, producing his first play Bandelero the Bandit, which provoked a minor controversy following a scathing moral denunciation from a clergyman on the school's governing board.

Barrie knew. However, his family attempted to persuade him to choose a profession such as the ministry. With advice from Alexander, he was able to work out a compromise: he would attend a university, but would study literature. Barrie enrolled at the University of Edinburgh where he wrote drama reviews for the Edinburgh Evening Courant, he graduated and obtained an M. A. on 21 April 1882. Following a job advertisement found by his sister in The Scotsman, he worked for a year and a half as a staff journalist on the Nottingham Journal. Back in Kirriemuir, he submitted a piece to the St. James's Gazette, a London newspaper, using his mother's stories about the town where she grew up; the editor "liked that Scotch thing" so well. They served as the basis for his first novels: Auld Licht Idylls, A Window in Thrums, The Little Minister; the stories depicted the "Auld Lichts", a strict religious sect to which his grandfather had once belonged. Modern literary criticism of these early works has been unfavourable, tending to disparage them as sentimental and nostalgic depictions of a parochial Scotland, far from the realities of the industrialised nineteenth century, seen as characteristic of what became known as the Kailyard School.

Despite, or because of, they were popular enough at the time to establish Barrie as a successful writer. Following that success, he published Better Dead and at his own expense, but it failed to sell, his two "Tommy" novels, Sentimental Tommy and Tommy and Grizel, were about a boy and young man who clings to childish fantasy, with an unhappy ending. The late nineteenth century English novelist George Gissing read the former in November 1896 and wrote that he "thoroughly dislike". Meanwhile, Barrie's attention turned to works for the theatre, beginning with a biography of Richard Savage, written by Barrie and H. B. Marriott Watson, he followed this with Ibsen's Ghost, a parody of Henrik Ibsen's dramas Hedda Gabler and Ghosts. Ghosts had been unlicensed in the UK until 1914, but had created a sensation at the time from a single "club" performance; the production of Ibsen's Ghost at Toole's Theatre in London was seen by William Archer, the translator of Ibsen's works into English. Comforta

The Countess Alice

The Countess Alice is a 1992 BBC made for television drama film directed by Moira Armstrong and features Wendy Hiller, Zoë Wanamaker and Duncan Bell. This was Wendy Hiller's last film role, it was made with the support of WGBH-Boston and shown on the American PBS network in 1993. It was written by Allan Cubitt as part of the BBC Screenplay anthology TV series. In 1935 a young English society woman caused a stir by marrying a German aristocrat and moving to live with him in Germany. Many decades shortly after German reunification, her daughter decides to make a trip to the family's former estate in East Germany. However, she discovers the grave of a child with her name in the family plot. Back in Britain, she forces a confession from her mother. The'real' Konstanza had been shot by the invading Russians, the Countess had been forced to take the daughter of a dying couple to save the child's life, she is unable to recall anything about Connie's real background. A breach between the two women is followed by a reconciliation.

Wendy Hiller as Countess Alice von Holzendorf Zoë Wanamaker as Connie Duncan Bell as Nick Black Patricia Quinn as Margot Lucinda Fisher as Jane Sylvia Barter as Tilly Madge Ryan as Beattie Martin Wimbush as Jeremy Terence Donovan as Himself Sarah Crowden as Sarah Jan Van Hool as Vivian Wolf Kahler as Werner Carl Duering as German Taxi Driver The New York Times described the story as "fragile and not persuasive, but many of the details are skillfully observed," with praise for Hiller: "Miss Hiller has failed to impress, but her recent performances have assumed an higher level of authority. The voice is the bearing more regal; the effect can be quite astonishing." Thomas Sutcliffe of The Independent called the plotting "rather casual", praised both Wanamaker and Hiller writing "So coercive was the direction in this respect that I was readying myself to laugh at the climactic encounter out of sheer cussedness. The Countess Alice on IMDb

Champions (Usher and Rubén Blades song)

"Champions" is a song by American singer Usher and Panamanian singer Rubén Blades, recorded for the biographical sports film, Hands of Stone and is included on his eight studio album Hard II Love. It was released by RCA on August 2016, available for digital download and online streaming; the song was written by Rubén Blades, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson. Following Usher's 2012 album Looking 4 Myself, his next studio album was expected to be released in 2014. "Good Kisser", "She Came to Give It to You" and "I Don't Mind" were released and he embarked on the UR Experience Tour, yet no album was released. In October 2015, Usher released "Chains", a song about social justice featuring the artists Nas and Bibi Bourelly; the singer released "Crash" on June 10, 2016 available for digital download on iTunes, Google Play and online streaming services, Apple Music and YouTube. On August 29, 2016, the official music video was uploaded to the Usher's Vevo channel. During the music video various clips of Hands of Stone are played.

Credits adapted from Tidal