The Scottish writer, J.M. Barrie, created the character of Peter Pan and the story of Peter and Wendy Darling. Though the character of Peter Pan first appeared in chapters from The Little White Bird (1902) and subsequently published as “Peter Pan in Kensington Garden”(1906) it was in Barrie’s 1904 play Peter Pan, Or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up that the character and story fully took place.
The play premiered in London and was such a big hit, that a year later it opened in New York as well.
Barrie continually tinkered with the text of the play, the character of Peter and the overall story over the years, subsequently publishing the novel version of Peter and Wendy, now generally just known as Peter Pan, in 1911.
The script of the play was eventually published in 1928.
In this module, we will be looking at the original Barrie text of the play and novel and will explore various interpretations of this story and character and consider how this story, like Alice in Wonderland, became a staple of children’s literature and popular culture.
Where did you first encounter Peter Pan? What do you remember about the story? Comment below!