Cover image for Peter Pan
Title:
Peter Pan
Author:
Barrie, J. M. (James Matthew), 1860-1937.
Publication Information:
New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1992.

©1911
Physical Description:
234 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm.
Summary:
The adventures of the three Darling children in Never-Never Land with Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
330 Lexile.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780679417927
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Peter, Wendy, Captain Hook, the lost boys, and Tinker Bell have filled the hearts of children ever since Barrie's play first opened in London in 1904 and became an immediate sensation. Now this funny, haunting modern myth is presented with Bedford's wonderful illustrations, which first appeared in the author's own day, have long been out of print, and have never been equaled.


Author Notes

James Matthew Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, was born on May 9, 1860, in Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland. His idyllic boyhood was shattered by his brother's death when Barrie was six. His own grief and that of his mother influenced the rest of his life. Through his work, he sought to recapture the carefree joy of his first six years.

Barrie came to London as a freelance writer in 1885. His early fiction, Auld Licht Idylls (1888) and A Window in Thrums (1889), were inspired by his youth in Kirriemuir. After publishing a biography of his mother Margaret Ogilvy and the autobiographical novel Sentimental Tommy, about a boy living in a dream world (1896), he concentrated on writing plays.

The Admirable Crichton (1902), the story of a butler who becomes king of a desert island, helped to establish Barrie's reputation as a playwright. Meanwhile, he began to relive his childhood by telling the first Peter Pan stories to the sons of his friend, Sylvia Llewellyn Davies. The play Peter Pan was first performed in 1904 and published as a novel seven years later. Its imaginative drama, featuring the eternal boy's triumph over the grownup Captain Hook, idealizes childhood and underscores adults' inability to regain it. These resonant themes made it a classic of world literature.

Barrie's later work shows his increasingly cynical view of adulthood, particularly in Dear Brutus (1917). Often considered his finest play, it concerns nine men and women whose caprices destroy a miraculous opportunity to relive their lives.

Barrie married the former Mary Ansell in 1894. They divorced in 1909, never having any children. Barrie died in London on June 19, 1937.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-6. Peter Pan's back in the spotlight with the recent Michael Hague edition of the Barrie story (Booklist 84:700 D 15 87) and now this newly illustrated version by Ormerod. Unlike the lush, fairy-tale graphics that Hague supplies, these pictures are stylized art nouveau illustrations. The colorplates are eye-catching, inventive pieces, although many of the black-and-white sketches are spare offerings with little child appeal. Libraries may want Hague's book as their first choice, but those desiring several editions will find this an attractive alternative. IC. [OCLC]


Publisher's Weekly Review

A number of classic children's books return in milestone and reissued editions for a new generation. J.M. Barrie's enchanting Peter Pan: 100th Anniversary Edition features a large trim for reading aloud and rich, detailed illustrations by Michael Hague (which he originally published in 1987). Peter Pan's flyaway red hair and tattered garment of "skeleton leaves and the juices that ooze out of trees" capture the free spirit of the boy who refused to grow up. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-The story of Peter Pan, that little boy who just wouldn't grow up, has been a childhood staple for years. Though countless film and musical adaptations ensure that most children will be familiar with the basic story of how Peter arrives on the scene, taking Wendy, John, and Michael Darling to Neverland for adventures with mermaids, pirates, and Indians, the original story is in many ways darker and more poignant (as well as more whimsical) than many will remember. Barrie is also droll, and many adults will appreciate his piquant jabs at Edwardian society and mores, which will fly over the heads of most children. This particular edition of the classic, originally published in 1980 and now in print again, features mesmerizing, nostalgia-inducing illustrations from Caldecott winner Hyman. Black-and-white images rendered in India ink and full-color acrylic paintings depict well-known scenes-the Darling children taking flight, Peter in combat with the villainous Captain Hook-mixing in just a hint of menace (the pirates are certainly fearsome, and even Peter looks quite feral, more fairy than boy). This enchanting version soars. (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

CHAPTER 1 _______ PETER BREAKS THROUGH   ALL CHILDREN, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs. Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, "Oh, why can't you remain like this for ever!" This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end.   Of course they lived at 14, and until Wendy came her mother was the chief one. She was a lovely lady, with a romantic mind and such a sweet mocking mouth. Her romantic mind was like the tiny boxes, one within the other, that come from the puzzling East, however many you discover there is always one more; and her sweet mocking mouth had one kiss on it that Wendy could never get, though there it was, perfectly conspicuous in the righthand corner.   The way Mr. Darling won her was this: the many gentlemen who had been boys when she was a girl discovered simultaneously that they loved her, and they all ran to her house to propose to her except Mr. Darling, who took a cab and nipped in first, and so he got her. He got all of her, except the innermost box and the kiss. He never knew about the box, and in time he gave up trying for the kiss. Wendy thought Napoleon could have got it, but I can picture him trying, and then going off in a passion, slamming the door.   Mr. Darling used to boast to Wendy that her mother not only loved him but respected him. He was one of those deep ones who know about stocks and shares. Of course no one really knows, but he quite seemed to know, and he often said stocks were up and shares were down in a way that would have made any woman respect him.   Mrs. Darling was married in white, and at first she kept the books perfectly, almost gleefully, as if it were a game, not so much as a brussels sprout was missing; but by and by whole cauliflowers dropped out, and instead of them there were pictures of babies without faces. She drew them when she should have been totting up. They were Mrs. Darling's guesses.   Wendy came first, then John, then Michael.   For a week or two after Wendy came it was doubtful whether they would be able to keep her, as she was another mouth to feed. Mr. Darling was frightfully proud of her, but he was very honourable, and he sat on the edge of Mrs. Darling's bed, holding her hand and calculating expenses, while she looked at him imploringly. She wanted to risk it, come what might, but that was not his way; his way was with a pencil and a piece of paper, and if she confused him with suggestions he had to begin at the beginning again.   "Now don't interrupt," he would beg of her. "I have one pound seventeen here, and two and six at the office; I can cut off my coffee at the office, say ten shillings, making two nine and six, with your eighteen and three makes three nine seven, with five naught naught in my cheque-book makes eight nine seven--who is that moving?--eight nine seven, dot and carry seven--don't speak, my own--and the pound you lent to that man who came to the door--quiet, child--dot and carry child--there, you've done it!--did I say nine nine seven? yes, I said nine nine seven; the question is, can we try it for a year on nine nine seven?"   "Of course we can, George," she cried. But she was prejudiced in Wendy's favour, and he was really the grander character of the two.   "Remember mumps," he warned her almost threateningly, and off he went again. "Mumps one pound, that is what I have put down, but I daresay it will be more like thirty shillings--don't speak--measles one five, German measles half a guinea, makes two fifteen six--don't waggle your finger--whooping-cough, say fifteen shillings"--and so on it went, and it added up differently each time; but at last Wendy just got through, with mumps reduced to twelve six, and the two kinds of measles treated as one.   There was the same excitement over John, and Michael had even a narrower squeak; but both were kept, and soon you might have seen the three of them going in a row to Miss Fulsom's Kindergarten school, accompanied by their nurse.   Mrs. Darling loved to have everything just so, and Mr. Darling had a passion for being exactly like his neighbours; so, of course, they had a nurse. As they were poor, owing to the amount of milk the children drank, this nurse was a prim Newfoundland dog, called Nana who had belonged to no one in particular until the Darlings engaged her. She had always thought children important, however, and the Darlings had become acquainted with her in Kensington Gardens, where she spent most of her spare time peeping into perambulators, and was much hated by careless nursemaids, whom she followed to their homes and complained of to their mistresses. She proved to be quite a treasure of a nurse. How thorough she was at bath-time; and up at any moment of the night if one of her charges made the slightest cry. Of course, her kennel was in the nursery. She had a genius for knowing when a cough is a thing to have no patience with and when it needs stocking around your throat. She believed to her last day in old-fashioned remedies like rhubarb leaf, and made sounds of contempt over all this new-fangled talk about germs, and so on. It was a lesson in propriety to see her escorting the children to school, walking sedately by their side when they were well behaved, and butting them back into line if they strayed. On John's soccer days she never once forgot his sweater, and she usually carried an umbrella in her mouth in case of rain. There is a room in the basement of Miss Fulsom's school where the nurses wait. They sat on forms, while Nana lay on the floor, but that was the only difference. They affected to ignore her as of an inferior social status to themselves, and she despised their light talk. She resented visits to the nursery from Mrs. Darling's friends, but if they did come she first whipped off Michael's pinafore and put him into the one with blue braiding, and smoothed out Wendy and made a dash at John's hair.   No nursery could possibly have been conducted more correctly, and Mr. Darling knew it, yet he sometimes wondered uneasily whether the neighbours talked.   He had his position in the city to consider.   Nana also troubled him in another way. He had sometimes a feeling that she did not admire him. "I know she admires you tremendously, George," Mrs. Darling would assure him, and then she would sign to the children to be specially nice to father. Lovely dances followed, in which the only other servant, Liza, was sometimes allowed to join. Such a midget she looked in her long skirt and maid's cap, though she had sworn, when engaged, that she would never see ten again. The gaiety of these romps! And gayest of all was Mrs. Darling, who would pirouette so wildly that all you could see of her was the kiss, and then if you had dashed at her you might have got it. There never was a simpler happier family until the coming of Peter Pan.   Mrs. Darling first heard of Peter when she was tidying up her children's minds. It is the nightly custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for next morning, repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day. If you could keep awake (but of course you can't) you would see your own mother doing this, and you would find it very interesting to watch her. It is quite like tidying up drawers. You would see her on her knees, I expect, lingering humorously over some of your contents, wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up, making discoveries sweet and not so sweet, pressing this to her cheek as if it were as nice as a kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight. When you wake in the morning, the naughtiness and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind; and on the top, beautifully aired, are spread out your prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on.   I don't know whether you have ever seen a map of a person's mind. Doctors sometimes draw maps of other parts of you, and your own map can become intensely interesting, but catch them trying to draw a map of a child's mind, which is not only confused, but keeps going round all the time. There are zigzag lines on it, just like your temperature on a card, and these are probably roads in the island; for the Neverland is always more or less an island, with astonishing splashes of colour here and there, and coral reefs and rakish-looking craft in the offing, and savages and lonely lairs, and gnomes who are mostly tailors, and caves through which a river runs, and princes with six elder brothers, and a hut fast going to decay, and one very small old lady with a hooked nose. It would be an easy map if that were all; but there is also first day at school, religion, fathers, the round pond, needlework, murders, hangings, verbs that take the dative, chocolate pudding day, getting into braces, say ninety-nine, three-pence for pulling out your tooth yourself, and so on; and either these are part of the island or they are another map showing through, and it is all rather confusing, especially as nothing will stand still.   Excerpted from Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.