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Writers & Poets

J.M Barrie

Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, Illustrated by Arthur Rackham

Period:
20th Century
Description:

An early edition of Sir J M Barrie's novel "Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens", first published in 1906. This childrens illustrated story book includes 24 coloured plates to illuminate the tale, plus a map line drawing on each of the inside boards.  It is bound with green cloth, and has gilt lettering and an illustration of a baby on the front.

 

J M Barrie's publisher extracted the Peter Pan chapters from his novel "The Little White Bird" and published them along with these illustrations by the famed book illustrator, Arthur Rackman, as a story for children.

 

Pictured illustration: 'Away he flew, right over the houses to the Gardens'.

 

 

 

The themes of Peter Pan developed gradually in Barrie's writing; privately in his notebooks, as a way of understanding himself, then in "The Boy Castaways", which was written and printed specially for the boys of the Llewelyn Davies family in 1901.

 

In "The Little White Bird", a novel for adult readers published in 1902, Peter Pan arrives in a publically available work for the first time. It tells of how Captain W -, a confirmed bachelor, befriends a small boy in London's Kensington Gardens and describes the imaginary world they construct together. "Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens" was published in 1906.

 

In the meantime Barrie had written "Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up", as a stage play, full of theatrical spectacle and intended for an audience of children.  On 27 December 1904, the first production of Peter Pan was staged in London. The play was produced year on year following its initial success and Barrie constantly revised the script.  It was not until 1928 that it was finally published.

 

The demand for a children's story book based on the play led to Barrie giving his blessing to "The Peter Pan Picture Book" which was published with 28 inspired illustrations by Alice Woodward, and a text adapted from the play by Daniel O'Connor, in 1907. Barrie then took up this challenge himself and in 1911 he published "Peter and Wendy", a much more sophisticated version of the story than O'Connor's simple abridgement.

Materials/Media:
paper, textile (boards)
Dimensions:
width 155mm, height 205mm
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:2001.23.3
Digital Number:
DMBK018a; DMBK018b
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council


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