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Writers & Poets

J.M Barrie

The Story of Peter Pan, retold from Sir J M Barrie's Fairy Play by Daniel O'Connor and Illustrated in colour and black and white by Alice B Woodward (1)

20th Century

An economy version of  "The Peter Pan Picture Book".  It is a first edition.


This illustrated story book includes 16 black and white versions of coloured prints and 4 colour prints by Alice B Woodward.  It is bound with blue cloth, and has an oval Peter Pan motif on the front cover.  There are also two pages of the publishers advertisements at the back.


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.  This novel 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. Barrie's publisher extracted the Peter Pan chapters from this book and published them along with illustrations by the famed book illustrator, Arthur Rackham, as "Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens" 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 storybook 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.

paper, cloth (boards)
width 140mm, height 240mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
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Dumfries & Galloway Council