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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

ERNEST. (This is the epigram.) Tea cups! Life, Crichton, is like a cup of tea; the more heartily we drink, the sooner we reach the dregs.

CRICHTON (obediently). Thank you, sir.

Feb 4, 840pm ~~ Review asap.

Feb 5, 1140pm ~~ "You know, Vandersee, I have always looked upon you as a sort of Admirable Crichton among sailors."

Sounded like an insult to me. But who or what is an Admirable Crichton? Color me clueless. So when I saw this remark in the book Gold Out of Celebes, I Goo

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 a

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 orders f

প্রথম অঙ্কের উডহাউজিপনা দ্বিতীয় অঙ্ক শুরু হইতে না হইতেই বার্নার্ডশয়ী এবং ভয়ংকর হয়ে ওঠে। আর এই কারণেই প্রথম দৃশ্য নাকানে হাসি ছাড়া পাঠকেরে আর কিছু না দিলেও- দয়াল উডহাউজের কারবার স্বয়ং তিনি ছাড়া আর কে পারেন - একটু পরেই কাহিনীতে ক্রমাগত মাংশ জমতে থাকে।

জ্ঞানদায়িনী ব্যাপারস্যাপার আছে, কিন্তু তল

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 consi

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

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

It was a fun change to read a play (something that I haven't done since high school Shakespeare--and of that experience I have no fond memories.) This play felt small but thoughtful and effortlessly humorous, though it took a while to pull me in (and even then I felt no special attachments to some o

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