I tried, I really tried but I was unable to finish this book. It is extremely dry making it somewhat boring to read. However, it is an excellent reference guide. Throughout the book are quotes from first person sources making it invaluable if writing a research paper or doing other sorts of research. However, don’t expect much on the early life of J.M. Barrie as the book pretty much starts with him as an adult and focuses on his interactions with the Davies family. It does show bits of family life introducing Mr. Barrie’s wife and dogs but they don’t really come to life. There are also plenty of references to Disney’s adaptation of Peter Pan and the screenplay of Peter Pan. As someone who has seen both, I was able to follow most of the references but if you haven’t they will not make sense. Instead of a book for entertainment, I felt this was more of a thesis. But, if you want information on the creator of Peter Pan, the influences for it or even daily life during that time period, this is the book for you. It is detailed and as I said there are many quotes from dairies, papers and first hand accounts. Don’t expect the magic of Peter Pan though. It’s not there.
The world has long been captivated by the story of Peter Pan and the countless movies, plays, musicals, and books that retell the story of Peter, Wendy, and the Lost Boys. Now, in this revealing behind-the-scenes book, author Piers Dudgeon examines the fascinating and complex relationships among Peter Pan's creator, J.M. Barrie, and the family of boys who inspired his work.
After meeting the Llewelyn Davies family in London's Kensington Garden, Barrie struck up an intense friendship with the children and their parents. The innocence of Michael, the fourth of five brothers, went on to influence the creation of Barrie's most famous character, Peter Pan. Barrie was so close to the Llewelyn Davies family that he became trustee and guardian to the boys following the deaths of their parents. Although the relationship between the boys and Barrie (and particularly between Barrie and Michael) was enduring, it was punctuated by the fiercest of tragedies. Throughout the heart-rending saga of Barrie's involvement with the Llewelyn Davies brothers, it is the figure of Michael, the most original and inspirational of their number, and yet also the one whose fate is most pitiable, that stands out.
The Real Peter Pan is a captivating true story of childhood, friendship, war, love, and regret.