Mr Barrett of Wimpole Street is a parallel used by Miss Marple towards the end of the novel Sleeping Murder.

The Mr Barrett Miss Marple is referring to is a character in The Barretts of Wimpole Street, a play written by Rudolf Besier in 1930[1] which was subsequently made into a film in 1934[2]. If, as is often thought, Christie set Sleeping Murder the 1930s, it would be natural for Miss Marple and Gwenda Reed to be familiar with this play/film. The work is a fictionalized account of the love story between the poet Robert Browning and another poet and his eventual wife Elizabeth Barrett. The Mr Barrett being referred to is Edward Moulton-Barrett, the father of Elizabeth. He was a tyrannical and over-controlling man who terrorised his nine daughters and forbade them to associate with men or to be married.

Miss Marple compared Mr Barrett with Dr James Kennedy whose affection for his half-sister Helen Halliday ultimately became over possessive and destructive.


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