A FEW OTHER EVENTS FOR
- Happy birthday Gloria Whelan (Homeless Bird).
- Happy birthday Marc Simont (Stray Dog).
- Itâ€™s the birth date of Boris Karloff (1887â€“1969), known for his monster portrayal in the movie Frankenstein, and narrator of recorded versions of The Three Little Pigs and Just So Stories.
- Writing about freedom of speech and expression, John Milton publishes Aeropagitica, decrying censorship, in 1644. Read Nothing But the Truth by Avi.
- The first jukebox makes its debut in San Franciscoâ€™s Palais Royale Saloon in 1889. Read The Jukebox Man by Jacqueline Ogburn.
- Itâ€™s Eat a Cranberry Day, perhaps to practice for Thanksgiving. Read Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin.
On November 23, 1903, an already popular writer and playwright began the first draft of a play entitled â€śANONâ€ť and set in the night nursery of the Darling family. A few years later, in 1911, he extended the script ideas of that play, Peter Pan, into a longer novel for children, Wendy and Peter. In reality no definitive edition of Peter Pan exists, for J. M. Barrie constantly changed it for the stage and various print formats. In The Annotated Peter Pan Maria Tatar deftly describes all the versions of the work before examining Wendy and Peter in detail.
From creating Nana, the best nursemaid possible, to recounting Peter Panâ€™s adventures on a remote island with Captain Hook, James Barrie told a story that has become part of our collective conscience. Since the beginning of the Almanac, I have been hunting for a version of Peter Pan to recommend but I found everything I looked at wanting. Hence I am absolutely delighted that The Annotated Peter Pan has been published.Â So much valuable material has been brought together in this volume that it is worth havingâ€”or giving as a giftâ€”for any fan of Peter Pan.
Tatar masterfully re-creates Barrieâ€™s life. With an even hand, she explores Barrieâ€™s marriage and his relationships with the five sons of Arthur and Sylvia Llewlyn Davies, who provided both the inspiration for Peter Pan and an audience for early renditions. Certainly Barrieâ€™s psyche, which produced a saga about the boy who never grew up, provides a great deal of material for any writer. Rather than aiming for the sensational, or even the speculative, Tatar uses impeccable scholarship to ground the book in what can be learned from primary documents found at the Beinecke Library at Yale.
She rounds out her analysis with fascinating photos and materials such as a reproduction of Arthur Rackhamâ€™s artwork for Peter Pan in Kensington Garden. Barrieâ€™s early rendition of the story, The Boys Castaway of Black Lake Island, created for the Llewlyn Davies boys, has been included in its entirety. Pictures from the Walt Disney animated movie and even shots of Johnny Depp, portraying Barrie in the film Finding Neverland, round out the book. Rarely has such an extensive body of archival materials been pulled together to celebrate a cultural icon.
Thank you, Marie Tatar, for making Christmas shopping easy for me this year! Although I have grown up since I first encountered this story as a child, part of me remains forever with Peter, Wendy, Nana, and the Lost Boys. In this volume I can relive that fantasy once again.
Hereâ€™s a page from The Annotated Peter Pan:
Originally posted November 23, 2011. Updated for .