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The Annotated Peter Pan

The Annotated Peter Pan

4.8 5
by J. M. Barrie, Maria Tatar (Editor)

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"Peter Pan is a great and refining and uplifting benefaction to this sordid and money-mad age."—Mark Twain
One hundred years after J. M. Barrie published the novel Peter and Wendy, Maria Tatar revisits a story that, like Alice in Wonderland, bridges the generations, animating both adults and children with its kinetic energy. The adventures of the Darling


"Peter Pan is a great and refining and uplifting benefaction to this sordid and money-mad age."—Mark Twain
One hundred years after J. M. Barrie published the novel Peter and Wendy, Maria Tatar revisits a story that, like Alice in Wonderland, bridges the generations, animating both adults and children with its kinetic energy. The adventures of the Darling children with Peter Pan and Tinkerbell in Neverland are the seminal tale of escape and fantasy. Inspired by Barrie's real-life adventures with the five Llewelyn Davies boys he adopted, the story of Peter Pan has a deep and controversial history of its own that comes alive in Tatar's new edition. This brilliantly designed volume—with period photographs, full-color images by iconic illustrators, commentary on stage and screen versions, and an array of supplementary material, including Barrie's screenplay for a silent film—will draw readers into worlds of incandescent beauty, flooding them with the radiance of childhood wonder and the poignancy of what we lose when we grow up.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
On the centennial anniversary of the publication of Peter and Wendy, editor, translator, and Harvard professor Tatar presents the novel along with a wealth of information and commentary, including an introduction outlining the story's central themes and symbols, the circumstances of Barrie writing the play Peter Pan, and its critical reception. Barrie was a peculiar, but generous man who adopted the five Llewelyn Davies boys when they were orphaned, and bequeathed the copyright for Peter Pan to a London children's hospital. Tatar has included illustrations from Peter and Wendy by F.D. Bedford, illustrations by Arthur Rackham from Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (published four years earlier), and photographs of the Llewelyn Davies boys taken by the author himself. In a dedication to the boys, Barrie wrote: "I made Peter by rubbing the five of you violently together, as savages with two sticks produce a flame." Readers of all ages will delight in the adventures of Peter and the Darling children, from Peter leaving his shadow behind in the nursery to the epic battle with Hook and his cohorts. As Tatar notes, Barrie invented a genre in which "adults and children could together inhabit a zone where all experience the pleasures of a story."
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Library Journal
Tatar (folklore & mythology, Harvard Univ.; The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen) delivers a beautiful package of introductory and explanatory material along with a newly annotated text of what J.M. Barrie originally published 100 years ago as the novel Peter and Wendy (later made into the play Peter Pan). She provides a grand introduction to the man who created the character of Peter Pan and offers a wealth of insight into the origins of Barrie's invention. With its startling reversals of childhood and adulthood, its exploration of innocence and heartlessness, and its underlying sadness, the story of Peter Pan benefits greatly from Tatar's extensive contextualizing as well as the supplemental material she includes. Of this, much is rare, and it is a treat. In addition to containing the original Peter and Wendy, this handsome oversized volume reproduces the contents of the sole surviving copy of The Boy Castaways of Black Lake Island (the genesis of the Peter Pan idea) and includes Arthur Rackham's illustrations for Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. Barrie's own extensive film treatment for his story, along with an essay on the cinematic appearances of Peter Pan, round out the book. VERDICT Bibliophiles and casual readers alike, and of course all who love Peter Pan or are fascinated by his creator, will want this gem. Recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 4/15/11.]—Audrey Snowden, Orrington P.L., ME

Product Details

Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Annotated Books Series
Edition description:
The Centennial Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.60(d)

Meet the Author

J. M. Barrie (1860-1937) was a Scottish author and dramatist, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan.

Maria Tatar chairs the Program in Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University. She is the author of Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood, Off with Their Heads! Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood and many other books on folklore and fairy stories. She is also the editor and translator of The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, The Annotated Brothers Grimm, The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales, The Annotated Peter Pan, The Classic Fairy Tales: A Norton Critical Edition and The Grimm Reader. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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The Annotated Peter Pan 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
EdwardVayne More than 1 year ago
I never tire of reading this beautifully told classic. It is one that I can read over and over without end. The cover is beautiful and worthy to be put on display. The characters are so real but so impossible. I must say that I am a faithful fan of Captain Hook. His somewhat dim "cabin boy," is also a very loveable character. His stupidity plus Hook's hate crate a duo that is easy to loathe. The only thing that I didn't love about this book is the confusion. All of the notes and images were strategically placed, I'm sure, but it was immensely difficult to navigate through the pages of this beautiful book. Still, I would definately buy this book again. I recomend this book for an adult or collector who wants more than just a good story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
After ¿A Message for Those Who Have Grown Up¿ and other front matter, including a biography of Barrie, we are given Peter and Wendy, the novelized version of the famous play that was first performed on December 27, 1904, starring Nina Boucicault as the famous boy. In case you know the story best from the 2004 film Finding Neverland, you¿ll learn here that there were actually five Llewellyn Davies boys and that both their parents were alive when Barrie first met them in London. As you read about Peter and Wendy, of course, you¿ll immediately recognize all the famous scenes ¿ Wendy sewing Peter¿s shadow to his feet, the children flying around the nursery and out the window, the redskins (Barrie was not politically correct; he names the tribe the Picaninny tribe), Tinker Bell drinking Peter¿s poisoned medicine and being magically revived, the melodramatic battle between the boys and the pirates, and the return of everyone except Peter to the Darling house in London. We learn some new things, too. The fairy is called Tinker Bell because she used to be a tinker, one who repairs pots and pans. There are (perhaps unconscious) references to other works of literature. ¿There never was a simpler happier family¿ may, for example, be an allusion to the first sentence of Tolstoy¿s Anna Karenina: ¿Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way¿ (pg. 18-19). Barrie¿s young hero ¿owes something to the cultural mania about Pan in the Edwardian era,¿ mania that included Kenneth Grahame¿s The Wind in the Willows, Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling¿s Puck of Pook¿s Hill, and Dickon in The Secret Garden (pg. 19). Most surprising? Captain Jas. Hook went to Eton! His cabin on the pirate ship is arranged to look just like a student¿s room at the famous public school. Following this come a picture book Barrie and the Llewellyn Davies boys created; Arthur Rackham¿s illustrations for Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens; Barrie¿s extremely long and complicated proposed scenario for a silent film of Peter Pan (which did not get made); a cinematic survey that includes Disney¿s version, Steven Spielberg¿s Hook, and Finding Neverland; and other miscellania. This splendid book is beautifully illustrated with a multitude of photos of Barrie, the Llewellyn Davies boys, and actresses who have played Peter. What¿s missing? The enchanting Threesixty Entertainment production of Peter Pan (created in about 2010) that is performed in a very large tent and uses electronics to give us 360 degree panorama of London and Never Land. It has Nana as a large puppet and a crocodile built of wooden clothes hangers with two men in white pajamas driving it. Although Barrie¿s Mr. Darling is a timid man and his Hook is an Etonian, the creative director of Threesixty believes that Hook is actually modeled on King William III (¿King Billy,¿ who was a dour Calvinist who spent much of his reign massacring the Irish). There¿s a famous statue of William in Kensington Gardens. It¿s also how Cyril Ritchard dressed in the most famous production of Peter Pan (1960) starring Mary Martin as the boy. Quill says: All of the Annotated Books are excellent, both great fun and eye-opening scholarship. Read the book. Rent the DVD of Mary Martin¿s Peter Pan. Find out if Cathy Rigby¿s new production is touring where you live and go see it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago