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“All children, except one, grow up.”
1866 – James Matthew Barrie, age 6, loses his older brother in an ice-skating accident. His devastated mother takes comfort in the idea that her lost son would never grow up, remaining a boy forever.
Related to this event or not, J.M. Barrie will never grow past 5 ft 3 1⁄2 (1.52 m).
1874 – J.M Barrie is sent to Dumfries Academy under the supervision of his older siblings and teachers, Alexander & MaryAnn.
A voracious reader, he will sometimes play pirates with friends in the garden of the Moe Brat townhouse.
1902 – J.M Barrie publishes the adult novel ‘The Little White Bird’ featuring a character named Peter Pan, then a baby possessing the ability to fly.
The novel is mostly based around J.M Barrie relationship with Arthur Llewelyn Davies‘ family, a neighbour living near Kensington Gardens, where Barrie lived at the time, in a house situated in front of the garden.
Inventing stories for Arthur’s children, he told a tale about their younger brother Peter, then a few months old , having the ability to fly, to explain the bars in the nursery window.
1904 – Barrie writes the play ‘Peter Pan; or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up’. The play features a young boy called Peter Pan flying between his Neverland world and London, where he likes to hear the bedtime stories of Mrs. Darling. Spotted and trying to escape, he loses his shadow in the process and wake up the oldest Darling daughter, Wendy.
After she helps him find his shadow, he invites Wendy and her brothers to join him in Neverland and be a mother figure to the Lost Boys, children who were once lost in the Kensington Gardens.
Production of the play begins in December 1904, quickly followed by a Broadway adaptation in 1905.
1906 – Barrie writes the novel ‘Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens’ featuring a powerless Peter stranded in Kensington Gardens, illustrated by Arthur Rackham.
1911 – The ‘Peter Pan; or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up’. play becomes the novel ‘Peter and Wendy’, published by Hodder & Stoughton in the UK and Charles Scribner’s Sons in the United States.
1914 – J.M. Barrie creates the Allahakbarries amateur cricket team. The team, meeting at Stanway House, Gloucestershire, counts Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, A.A. Milne and P. G. Wodehouse among its members.
1929 – Barrie grant Peter Pans’ rights to the Great Ormond Street Hospital, a children’s hospital in Bloomsbury, London.
1953 – Disney releases an animated ‘Peter Pan’ with great success, followed by a sequel and direct-to-video spin-offs in the 2000s.
The character becomes very popular and the subject of several adaptations, from musicals to comic books, live-action feature films to television series.
2006 – Peter and The Starcatchers, an unauthorized series of novels is published by Disney. A critically-acclaimed play will follow and a feature film developed.
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