Generally considered Merrick's best work, a man in his late thirties begins to grow restless for the happiness of his youth. Merrick manages to bring to the plot the realistic details of theatre life for which he was best known. J.M. Barrie called this "the best sentimental journey written in this country since the publication of the first one; so gay it is, so sad, of such an alluring spirit, so firm a temper." The introduction by J. M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, is lively and perceptive. There are few works of pessimistic literature more valued than Merrick. Leonard Merrick (nee Miller) was born in London in 1864 of Jewish parents. As a young man he traveled, and went to South Africa where he worked for a time in the diamond mines. When he returned to England, he went on the stage, and legally changed his name to Merrick. His theatrical career faltered, and he turned to writing novels and plays, with considerable success. While Paris Laughed, a collection of twelve short stories set in Merrick's beloved Paris, was first published in 1918.