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The Admirable Crichton

J. M. Barrie

Book Overview: 

Lord Loam, a British peer, considers class divisions to be artificial. He promotes his views during tea-parties where servants mingle with his aristocratic guests, to the embarrassment of all. Crichton, his butler, particularly disapproves of this.

Loam, his family, a maid, and Crichton are shipwrecked on a deserted tropical island. The resourceful Crichton is the only one of the party with any practical knowledge. Eventually, social roles are reversed, and Crichton becomes the governor.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I might give you, some thought, some noble saying over which you might ponder in my absence. In this connection I remember a proverb, which has had a great effect on my own life. I first heard it many years ago. I have never forgotten it. It constantly cheers and guides me. That proverb is—that proverb was—the proverb I speak of—

(He grows pale and taps his forehead.)

LADY MARY. Oh dear, I believe he has forgotten it.

LORD LOAM (desperately). The proverb—that proverb to which I refer—

(Alas, it has gone. The distress is general. He has not even the sense to sit down. He gropes for the proverb in the air. They try applause, but it is no help.)

I have it now—(not he).

LADY MARY (with confidence). Crichton.

(He does not fail her. As quietly as if he were in goloshes, mind as well as feet, he dismisses the domestics; they go according to precedence as they entered. . . Read More

Community Reviews

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 b...more

review coming

A rather bizarre play, but honestly The Admirable Crichton is still an excellent one. While a bit dated in the ways in which it features women, J.M. Barrie, who brought readers the famous Peter Pan, introduces in this classic play the dissolution of social class. Having also seen the 1919 silent...more

In this one J.M. Barrie (of Peter Pan fame!) tells the story (in play form) of an English family and a few of their servants, who get stranded on a deserted island for two years. The interesting part is the idea that in England the aristocracy was in charge and the servants loyally followed order...more

Had this on my kindle for a long time and finally decided to give it a try, nice short little read. Same author who wrote Peter Pan in this play it’s focus is on class structure although it’s not stated in the play race doesn’t appear to play a part in that the domestic staff especially Creichton...more

পরথম অঙকের উডহাউজিপনা দবিতীয় অঙক শুরু হইতে না হইতেই বারনারডশয়ী এবং ভয়ংকর হয়ে ওঠে। আর এই কারণেই পরথম দৃশয নাকানে হাসি ছাড়া পাঠকেরে আর কিছু না দিলেও- দয়াল উডহাউজের কারবার সবয়ং তিনি ছাড়া আর কে পারেন - একটু পরেই কাহিনীতে করমাগত মাংশ জমতে থাকে।

জঞানদায়িনী বযাপারসযাপার আছে, কিনতু তলসতয়ের মত গলপ অযানটি-...more

Barrie's wry and cutting satire of the British class system is a delight to read, though one wonders whether its nuances could be successfully staged. Barrie's stage directions are often detailed and provide character insights that would be difficult to convey in performance. Reading them adds co...more

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 s...more

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 virtua...more

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