The roots of the character Peter Pan lie with the tragic death of author J. M. Barrie's brother David at the age of only 14; the boys' mother consoled herself with the thought that David would remain a boy forever, and would never grow old. Although Barrie loved children he never had any of his own; this void in his life was filled when his friends Arthur and Sylvia Llewellyn Davies died and he was appointed legal guardian to their five sons, from whom Peter Pan had been made, in Barrie's words, by 'rubbing the five of you violently together, as savages with two sticks produce a flame.' Peter Pan was first performed on 27 December 1904 at the Duke of York Theatre in London and was a huge success. In 1929 the author donated all the rights to the play and the novel to Great Ormond Street Hospital, with which he had enjoyed a long association.
The classic tale of the boy who would not grow up has retained its popularity since Barrie's death in 1937. Now, to celebrate the centenary of the first public performance of Peter Pan, this wonderful story is brought to life in a magnificent new edition, produced in collaboration with Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital. Beautifully illustrated by award-winning Australian artist Robert Ingpen, this centenary edition breathes new life into the most famous modern fairy tale of all, and readers will be captivated once more by the adventures of Peter Pan and Wendy in the Neverland, together with the Lost Boys, the mischievous fairy Tinker Bell and the notorious Captain Hook.
Joanna Lumley launches bid to turn 'birthplace' of Peter Pan into children's literature centre
Robert Ingpen and the Children's Classics series
Read our profile of award-winning artist Robert Ingpen
View Robert Ingpen's works for sale at Melaleuca Galleries
Read a feature on Robert Ingpen at theage.com.au