These are some of the questions this book attempts to answer. Shifting attention away from J. M. Barrie, the originator of Peter Pan, it asks instead what is the nature of our own desire or investment in this phenomenon of our culture. In the course of her investigation, Jacqueline Rose identifies behind Peter Pan a fantasy of childhood which she traces back through the history of children's fiction, forward to modern critical commentaries on children's writing, and into some of the most contemporary writers of books for children today.
Originally published in 1984, The Case of Peter Pan is now widely available in the United States for the first time. Peter Pan, Rose contends, forces us to question what it is we are doing in the endless production and dissemination of children's fiction. In a new introductory essay written especially for this edition, Rose considers some of Peter Pan's new guises and their implications. From Spielberg's Hook, to the lesbian production of the play at the London Drill Hall in 1991, to debates in the English House of Lords, to a newly claimed status as the icon of a transvestite culture, Peter Pan continues to demonstrate its bizarre renewability as a cultural fetishof our times.