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Peter Pan

James M. Barrie

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Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up and Peter and Wendy are the stage play and novel (respectively) which tell the well-known story of Peter Pan, a mischievous little boy who spends his never-ending childhood on the island of Neverland, and his adventure with the ordinary girl Wendy Darling and her brothers. The story was written by Scottish playwright and novelist J. M. Barrie (1860–1937). It features many fantastical elements, including children who can fly, a magical fairy, and mermaids. It was first staged at the Duke of York's Theatre on 27 December 1904, then adapted by Barrie into a novel published in 1911, and since adapted numerous times for film and other media, remaining popular with generations of children and adults.

Plot Introduction

Although the character appeared previously in Barrie's book The Little White Bird, the play and the novel based on it contain the portion of the Peter Pan mythos that is best known. The two versions differ in some details of the story, but have much in common. In both versions Peter makes night-time calls on Kensington, London, listening in on Mrs Mary Darling's bedtime stories by the open window. One night Peter is spotted and, while trying to escape, he loses his shadow. On returning to claim it, Peter wakes Mary's daughter, Wendy Darling. Wendy succeeds in re-attaching his shadow to him, and Peter learns that she knows lots of bedtime stories. He invites her to Neverland to be a mother to his gang, the Lost Boys, children who were lost in Kensington Gardens. Wendy agrees, and her brothers John and Michael go along.

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