Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barrie
Download Peter and Wendy ebook. Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up or Peter and Wendy is J. M. Barrie’s most famous work, in the form of a 1904 play and a 1911 novel. Both versions tell the story of Peter Pan, a mischievous yet innocent little boy who can fly, and has many adventures on the island of Neverland that is inhabited by mermaids, fairies, Native Americans and pirates. Peter has many stories involving Wendy Darling and her two brothers, his fairy Tinker Bell, the Lost Boys, and the pirate Captain Hook. The play and novel were inspired by Barrie’s friendship with the Llewelyn Davies family. Barrie continued to revise the play for years after its debut until publication of the play script in 1928.
The play debuted in London on 27 December 1904 with Nina Boucicault, daughter of playwright Dion Boucicault, in the title role. A Broadway production was mounted in 1905 starring Maude Adams. It was later revived with such actresses as Marilyn Miller and Eva Le Gallienne. The play has since been adapted as a pantomime, stage musical, a television special, and several films, including a 1924 silent film, Disney’s 1953 animated full-length feature film, and a 2003 live action production. The play is now rarely performed in its original form on stage in the United Kingdom, whereas pantomime adaptations are frequently staged around Christmas. In the U.S., the original version has also been supplanted in popularity by the 1954 musical version, which became popular on television.
The novel was first published in 1911 by Hodder & Stoughton in the United Kingdom and Charles Scribner’s Sons in the United States. The original book contains a frontispiece and 11 half-tone plates by artist F. D. Bedford (whose illustrations are still under copyright in the EU). The novel was first abridged by May Byron in 1915, with Barrie’s permission, and published under the title Peter Pan and Wendy, the first time this form was used. This version was later illustrated by Mabel Lucie Attwell in 1921. In 1929, Barrie gave the copyright of the Peter Pan works to Great Ormond Street Hospital, a children’s hospital in London.
I just finished reading this book to my kindergartner and 3rd grader. They both loved it, especially my 3rd grade son. They were confused at first by the differences between the Disney version and this one, and by the illustrations that are so different from Disney. But what a great way for them to learn that the characters don’t need to look like Disney OR the book, it’s all about their own imaginations!
I admit that the beginning was slow and at times the narrative rambled, but I hope my children will grow to recognize the differences between stories written 100 years ago and modern stories…and learn to celebrate the differences in pace and vocabulary. (Some of this could be easily paraphrased if you want to read ahead a little before bedtime and prepare ahead of time!)
As for Tink’s repeated use of the phrase, “you silly @ss”, my kids thought it was funny…it’s not like they haven’t heard the word before, and they aren’t going to walk around saying it now just because they heard it in a book. Again, this is something you can easily change on the fly while reading out loud. The only thing I did skip entirely was the one sentence about the faeries having an orgy! It was unnecessary in the context of the book and I certainly didn’t need my kids asking me what that word meant…
My kids marveled at how different the book was from the movie (i.e., how evil and self-centered Peter was) and they loved the ending which was not presented in the movie. The adventures were great and kept them wanting more. Many nights we stayed up past bedtime to read “just one more” page.
This book should be part of every child’s collection, we adored it!
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Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM (/ˈbæri/; 9 May 1860 – 19 June 1937) was a Scottish novelist and playwright, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan. He was born and educated in Scotland but moved to London, where he wrote a number of successful novels and plays. There he met the Llewelyn Davies boys, who inspired him to write about a baby boy who has magical adventures in Kensington Gardens (included in The Little White Bird), then to write Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, a “fairy play” about an ageless boy and an ordinary girl named Wendy who have adventures in the fantasy setting of Neverland.
Although he continued to write successfully, Peter Pan overshadowed his other work, and is credited with popularising the name Wendy. Barrie unofficially adopted the Davies boys following the deaths of their parents. Barrie was made a baronet by George V on 14 June 1913, and a member of the Order of Merit in the 1922 New Year Honours. Before his death, he gave the rights to the Peter Pan works to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, which continues to benefit from them.
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