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Little White Bird: Or, Adventures in Kensington Gardens Hardcover – 31 Dec 1991
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About the Author
J.M. Barrie was born in 1860, the ninth of ten children of hard-working parents in Scotland's jute-weaving industry. Fascinated by stories of her own life told him by his mother, he was determined to write, finding work on the Nottingham Journal after graduating from Edinburgh University. In 1885, he moved to London as a freelance writer and successfully sold the Auld Licht Idylls, a volume based on his mother's tales. By the time Peter Pan opened on the London stage in 1904, Barrie had written more than thirty novels and plays, many autobiographical and several of them major hits such as The Little Minister, Quality Street and The Admirable Crichton. Knighted and awarded the Order of Merit he continued writing into old age. He died in 1937. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Paperback.
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Also, for those that say this is not about Peter Pan, he is in this book, for several chapters, as a story being shared with the little boy David. He lives in Kensington Gardens, an important part of this book, too.
It is a very strange story. It starts out with a fellow doting on his son but refusing to go to the boy's mother's birthday party. The fellow admits he has never spoken to the mother and has no intention to do so. She is not his type - too young, he finds mature women of fifty plus much more interesting. I will not explain more as it is part of the joy of this story finding out the back story of this man and his son.
For the most part, the action takes place in Kensington Gardens in London, England. This fellow enjoys the pretend antics of the boy and his friends. This partly where Peter Pan comes from. Peter Pan is an infant who does not want to grow up, and since he was once a bird turned into a baby boy, he turns and flies out the window back to the island in Kensington Garden where the birds congregate. There he is welcomed by the fairies and birds, but warned that if he stays he will be forever 'betwixt and between,' neither boy nor bird.
The story takes a turn describing the adventures of Peter Pan and what all he does once he decides to stay on the island. It is as if a bunch of little seven or eight year old boys let their imaginations run wild, but you know it is the old man telling the stories and developing some of the plots with them. It is all great fun and the boys play at being Peter Pan or doing exciting things with him.
But then, as it happens, the little boy grows up and is to go away to school, so the fun has to stop for the father. It has been a great deal of fun and joy, and now, at this culmination, the graduation to school, the boy convinces the man to have tea or something with his Mother. This is a trial for the man, but he does it and, lo and behold,...., so he will be happier. The strange story ends with a twist you never expected!
There is a glaring logical fallacy in the story of Peter Pan: he is an infant, not a week old, when he returns to the island, later on he talks, devises and has built a boat, figures out how to pay for the boat, etc. What he does later on, though he is to not grow up, is what a child of five or six might do, not an infant of less than a week old. But the fun of the story would be lost if you let logic interfere with it, and so, as little boys will do, we just let it go and enjoy the story.
The book was originally written for adults, but the story of Peter Pan enchanted so many children that it became a favorite of both adults and children alike. The Peter Pan story is set in Kensington Gardens where a little girl gets locked in due to a trick the fairies played in preparation for a ball they were having that night. That's when the little girl meets and befriends Peter Pan.
It's a timeless fairy tale that, like its main character, never grows old. It's still as full of wonder and enchantment as it was when I read it as a child. Now that I'm older I've grown to appreciate the rest of the book as well. Barrie clearly poured his soul into this work when he wrote it and produced an immortal masterpiece.
I highly recommend this book. It really takes you into another world, one that's full of enchantment and where you meet the most memorable characters. You can feel your troubles drift away as you read it. This book is a load of fun and also a fine literary masterwork. It's a must-read.