The Admirable Crichton
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The Admirable Crichton

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  191 ratings  ·  20 reviews
The English production of this play in 1902 starred Henry Irving. In 1903, the play was produced on Broadway by Charles Frohman, starring William Gillette. The story of the play concerns an aristocratic English family who revert to the state of Nature when shipwrecked on a desert island. While there, they are willing slaves to their former butler, but on return to civiliza...more
Paperback, 88 pages
Published November 3rd 2006 by Hard Press (first published 1902)
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Dec 13, 2012 Tony rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: drama
THE ADMIRABLE CRICHTON: A Comedy in IV Acts. (1902). J. M. Barrie. ****.
Barrie (1860-1937) is best known for his series featuring Peter Pan, but he was a successful playwright on top of it all. Next to Peter Pan, this is his best-known play, and a searing indictment of the class organization in England at the time. As the play opens, we are presented to the occupants of Loam House, in Mayfair. Sir Loam, an extremely wealthy member of the upper class and an MP, is getting ready to host his month...more
Ebster Davis
"Time to play the game."

This story is supposed to be a comedy satirizing the class system in britian during the late 1800-early 1900, but I thought it was a bit sad. It was originally a play in four acts, but I listened to it on libravox (there are different voice actors, and a narriator).

The title-character is a butler for a wealthy english family who is completely comfortable with his social role in the family.

And at the beginning of the story we are instructed to not pay him too much atten...more
Larry Piper
Philip, the protagonist in Of Human Bondage, didn't have a lot of friends when he was young, so he spent a lot of his time reading. One of the things he read was The Honorable Crichton, which I discovered was by James M. Barrie, the guy who came up with Peter Pan. Then I discovered that The Honorable Crichton is actually a play. Well, I thought I'd not read a play since college, but realized that I was actually in a couple of plays, musicals actually, after I'd settled down and begun having chil...more
I'm sure I'm not the only one to have had this thought, this seemed like a nice template for a story, but certainly not a very full story in and of itself. There's absolutely no depth. And yes, I understand that it's supposed to be a comedy (of sorts) and that comedic works don't always have to be as deep as more serious works, but... there wasn't really anything to this story.

We're told that Mary is a spoiled aristocratic snob at the beginning of the play, and I suppose that's shown clearly en...more
"Or Ever the Knightly Years..."

Or ever the knightly years were gone
With the old world to the grave,
I was the King of Babylon
And you were a Christian Slave.

I saw, I took, I cast you by,
I bent and broke your pride.
You loved me well, or I heard them lie,

But your longing was denied.
Surely I knew that by and by
You cursed your gods and died.

And a myriad suns have set and shone
Since then upon the grave
Decreed by the King of Babylon
To her that had been his Slave.

The pride I trampled is now my sc...more
It was a fun change to read a play (something that I haven't done since high school and Shakespeare--and of that experience I have no fond memories:). This was small but thoughtful and effortlessly humorous and though it took awhile to pull me in and even then I felt no special attachments to some of the key characters, I was "sitting in the audience", completely invested, when Chrichton turned out the lights in the last scene and the imaginary curtain came down. And though I closed the book, fe...more
Timothy Morrow
My very first Barrie play and what a fun script it was.

This comedy was not only funny but tragic and thought provoking. I love how the social structures are questioned and exploited in this work of art. I hope to read more of J.M Barrie and learn his ideas and views.

Concerning the ending I suppose it was justified though naturally I was a little disappointed. I hoped that love would somewhat win, and I suppose it did. I just wished it was different, but then again, would it be as good with a...more
Mohab Hariry
although it is a light story it is still fun and amazing bringing you the fantasy when the king and the butler switch roles
apart from the direct story some side-thoughts are projected to the reader's mind such as the capability of a human being and how his job cant define who he is on the other hand we see the weird philosophy of crichton about the society and its layers
i enjoyed it .. it made me smile .. and through all the acts crichton is really admirable :)
i would like to see it as a play
A re-read, this, and not as good as I thought. British class struggle, a shipwreck on a deserted island and romance all around make for a winning formula, but the writing was not as witty and light as it was in my memory. And WHAT is it with those Victorian writers - Kipling, Barrie, Buchan, etc,
whose belle-ideal heroine looks, acts and dresses like a boy? Latent homosexuality or arrested development on account of the British boarding school system.
You decide.
Mar 29, 2013 Steven rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: play
Admirable portrait of the injustices of the English class system where incompetent Lords were served by competent butlers who did everything for them. When the Lords and Ladies crash on a deserted island, they are helpless at looking after themselves and the servants take over. But when they are rescued, the 'natural order' resumes.
A fun little play, though a bit of a bitter-sweet ending. Marriner gives it 5-stars, it's just the sort of thing he loves. And I enjoyed it a lot, too! I promise, 3 stars is a very respectable rating from me! Just a little sad that he didn't get the girl :(
Oct 18, 2011 Diane marked it as to-read
Saw the play at the Shaw Festival this fall. I'm interested in becoming more acquainted with J. M. Barrie's works, reaching out beyond his most famous work - Peter Pan.
Servant becomes master when a yacht crashes near a deserted island.
Not the radical piece about class I was hoping for, but still entertaining.
I really liked this play, it makes you stop and think about class divisions (between servants and masters) and was funny at the same time.
Simple, yes, but I think simple was definitely best for this play. Such a wonderful quick read.
Mike Radice
Enchanting (actually a play in print).
The ending was a little inconclusive.
I loved this play.
Elise Jensen
My first highschool play!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM (9 May 1860 – 19 June 1937) was a Scottish author and dramatist, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan.

The child of a family of small-town weavers, he was educated in Scotland. He moved to London, where he developed a career as a novelist and playwright. There he met the Llewelyn Davies boys who inspired him in writing about a baby boy who has...more
More about J.M. Barrie...
Peter Pan Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens and Peter and Wendy Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens The Little White Bird Peter Pan and Other Plays: The Admirable Crichton; Peter Pan; When Wendy Grew Up; What Every Woman Knows; Mary Rose

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