J.M. Barrie’s timeless tale of the ‘boy who would not grow up’ Peter Pan is edited with an introduction by Jack Zipes in Penguin Classics.
When Peter Pan and his fairy companion Tinker Bell fly in through the window of Wendy’s nursery one night, it is the beginning of an adventure that whisks Wendy and her brothers Michael and John off to Neverland. There they will find mermaids, fairies, pirates led by the sinister Captain Hook, and the crocodile who bit off his leg – and still pursues him in hope of the rest! Peter Pan originally appeared as a baby living a magical life among birds and fairies in J.M. Barrie’s sequence of stories, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. His adventures capture the spirit of childhood – and of rebellion against the role of adulthood in conventional society.
This edition includes the novel and the stories, and reproduces the original illustrations by Francis Donkin Bedford and Arthur Rackham. In his introduction, Jack Zipes sifts through the psychological interpretations that have engaged critics, explores the cultural and literary contexts in which we can appreciate Barrie’s enduring creation, and shows why Peter Pan is fundamentally a work that urges adults to reconnect with their own imagination.
James Matthew Barrie (1860-1937) was born in Scotland, the son of a weaver. In 1885, he moved to London to pursue a literary career. Peter Pan, with its flying and theatrical devices, was a huge success and continues to be performed today; in 1911 Barrie rewrote the play as a novel. On his death in 1937 Barrie gifted copyright of the play Peter Pan to Great Ormond Street hospital.
‘Intensely moving as well as enchanting in its evocation of childhood, the heartlessness of youth and parental grief as children grow older’