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The Admirable Crichton

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  282 Ratings  ·  33 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 willingly accept the leadership of their former butler, but on retur ...more
Paperback, 88 pages
Published November 3rd 2006 by Hard Press (first published 1902)
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Anne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank BaumThe Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan DoyleThe Call of the Wild by Jack LondonPeter Pan by J.M. Barrie
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139th out of 302 books — 566 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 634)
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Werner
May 08, 2015 Werner rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in literature or in plays that say something dr
Shelves: plays
A recent discussion in one of my groups rekindled my interest in the several plays I studied in high school, all of which made enough of an impression on me that I haven't forgotten them to this day. This was one of those, written by the author of Peter Pan (which I've never read; but like virtually everyone else, I'm familiar enough with the pop culture figure!) --but this is a very different, and more adult, sort of play than the more famous one.

Here, our setting is the real world: the staid a
...more
Laura
Jun 21, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Bettie, Wanda, Dagny
Recommended to Laura by: Karen
From BC Radio 4 - Saturday Drama:
Adaptation of JM Barrie's classic satire about the changing fortunes of Crichton, the perfect butler. Liberal aristocrat Lord Loam favours a return to nature, with masters and servants living together as equals, but Crichton is the perfect butler and the perfect snob who adores the intricacies of the class system. He cannot help but be horrified by his master's opinions, and it will take a sea change to alter them.


A movie was made based on this book: Paradise Lag
...more
Tony
Dec 13, 2012 Tony rated it really liked it
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
Rachel
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
Kaethe
Aug 29, 2015 Kaethe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It has the advantage of being a quick read.And also free.
Juniper Shore
Jun 25, 2015 Juniper Shore rated it really liked it
Shelves: satire, plays
I've never seen a J.M. Barrie play on stage, but they're pretty good in the reading. The Admirable Crichton is a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the British class system, and how long that system can endure being stranded on a desert island. While it's clearly satire, it isn't the mean or bitter kind. The real strength of the story is that it's still funny, even a century after it was written.
Bobbie Darbyshire
Jul 05, 2016 Bobbie Darbyshire rated it liked it
A butler who believes in the class system more than his master does upturns the hierarchy when he is shipwrecked for two years with the family of toffs, only to revert to subservience when they are rescued.
Lady Mary: You are the best man among us.
Crichton: On an island, my lady, perhaps; but in England, no.
Lady Mary: Then there’s something wrong with England.
Crichton: My lady, not even from you can I listen to a word against England.
First performed in 1902, this is essentially a comedy that
...more
Ebster Davis
Mar 11, 2014 Ebster Davis rated it liked it
"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
Henry
Nov 26, 2015 Henry rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
I liken J M Barrie to one of those actors who can never quite escape their one most famous role, their other works consigned in popular consciousness to suffer in the darkness.

A supremely popular writer in his day, this is really rather superior, written
when British drama seemed to excel in supreme craftsmanship, great lines, and providing a meaningful message.

Barrie's inherent goodness shines through, there is warmth and sympathy with all characters, he tackles controversial topics of the day
...more
Diane
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.
Larry Piper
Apr 05, 2014 Larry Piper rated it really liked it
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
Elizabeth
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
Sarah
Jul 17, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
Jeslyn
Jul 23, 2015 Jeslyn rated it really liked it
My first exposure to this story was through the silent film, Male and Female, with Gloria Swanson. Reading this play was great fun - I loved the stage directions, Lady Mary and Ernest's lines, etc. Made me want to see a stage version one of these days. Maybe it will come back to the Shaw Festival? Fingers crossed.
Timothy Morrow
Dec 18, 2012 Timothy Morrow rated it liked it
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
Vanteacher
Oct 28, 2015 Vanteacher rated it liked it
Fun little comedic play with clever moments.
Meghan
Mar 23, 2016 Meghan rated it liked it
Downton Abbey vibes were real
Jonathan
English play

Not really an opinion.
Mohab Hariry
Sep 27, 2013 Mohab Hariry rated it really liked it
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
Jane
Oct 21, 2012 Jane rated it liked it
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.
Lise
Feb 07, 2016 Lise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, barrie
Aristocrats on a desert island. Classic play
Steven
Jan 07, 2015 Steven rated it liked it
Shelves: plays, british
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.
Christine
Dec 06, 2012 Christine rated it liked it
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 :(
Jason
Feb 11, 2009 Jason rated it liked it
Shelves: read2007, drama
Servant becomes master when a yacht crashes near a deserted island.
Not the radical piece about class I was hoping for, but still entertaining.
Joslins
Jan 05, 2010 Joslins rated it really liked it
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.
Samantha Glasser
Read this book for free through Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3490/3...
Sarah
Sep 07, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Simple, yes, but I think simple was definitely best for this play. Such a wonderful quick read.
Andre Piucci
Dec 23, 2015 Andre Piucci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"The man who could never tell a lie makes no answer"

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Mike Radice
Apr 13, 2012 Mike Radice rated it really liked it
Enchanting (actually a play in print).
Susan
Feb 28, 2008 Susan rated it liked it
The ending was a little inconclusive.
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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
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