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Mary Barrie was the wife of J. M. Barrie. She was born Mary Ansell in 1861, in Kensington, Lond. She died Mary Cannan in 1945 in Biarritz, France.
Mary Ansell became acquainted with J. M. Barrie in 1891 when he asked his friend Jerome K. Jerome for a pretty actress to play a role in his play Walker, London. The two became friends, and she joined the Barrie family in caring for him when he fell very ill in 1893 and 1894. She and James married in Kirriemuir on July 9, 1894, shortly after his recovery, and she retired from the stage. The wedding was a small ceremony in his parents' home in the Scottish tradition with his sister Sarah and his sister Isabella's husband William as witnesses. She was 33 years old, but the marriage certificate stated her age as 27.
The couple lived in London, in a house near Kensington Gardens. In 1900 Mary found Black Lake Cottage, at Farnham, Surrey which became the couple's 'bolt hole' where he could entertain his cricketing friends and the Davies family.
Beginning in mid 1908, Mary had an affair with Gilbert Cannan (an associate of Barrie's in his anti-censorship activities), including a visit together to Black Lake Cottage, known only to the house staff. When Barrie learned of the affair in July 1909, he demanded that she end it, but she refused. In hopes of avoiding the scandal of divorce, James offered her a legal separation if she would agree not to see Cannan any more, but she still refused. He sued for divorce on the grounds of infidelity, which was granted in on Oct 13, 1909 in London. In the course of the proceedings, Mary asserted that their marriage had not been consumated; i.e. they had never had sex.
In his will, James left £1,000 plus £600/year for life to "My Dear Mary Canaan".