J. M. Barrie: Peter Pan (Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens 1906, Peter and Wendy 1911)
The story of Peter Pan is known to everybody included those who have not read the book. Scottish novelist and playwright James Matthew Barrie staged the play in 1904, which formed the basis of the novels later. Since then, more than 300 different adaptations of the play have been made in the English-speaking world alone, including television and film versions, musicals, and perhaps the most well-known Disney cartoons. The well-known story is actually based on two novels: Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens and Peter and Wendy. The first Disney cartoon follows the plot of Peter and Wendy and the second film also fits to the end of the original story.
It’s worth reading the novels as they paint a much more nuanced yet serious picture of the story. The characters embody the types of people we all know, the toddler who doesn’t want to grow up, the caring mother, and the worried adults. The appeal of Peter Pan and the classics in general lies in the fact that they depict a timeless story and no matter how many times we read it, we always receive something new.
The original editions were illustrated by Arthur Rackham (Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens) and F. D. Bedford (Peter and Wendy).