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Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens : Peter and Wendy (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
If you're more interested in Barrie's modus operandi, his development of the Peter Pan mythos from his relationship with Llewelyn Davies family and their boys, "The Little White Bird" is an essential source. "Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens" is Peter Pan with much of the autobiographical sentimentality scissored out. While this eliminates some maudlin overtones, it also removes interesting details such as Pilkington, the prototype of Captain Hook, whose "shadow was all over the gardens."
The only edition I have for comparison's sake is the Weathervane facsimile, published in 1975. Dover's edition is big improvement as far as readability is concerned. All the color plates have page references, and are inserted in close proximity to the related text. Overall reproduction of the plates is a trifle smaller and a bit darker than the Weathervane edition, but usually richer in color values and with a bit more clarity. One plate, "Butter is got from the roots of old trees," has come off a little too dark and obscured, but overall, Dover has done a fine job.
For the reader who wants to read more about Peter Pan from the hand of his creator, or who wants to give a child an introduction to the character sans all the commercial and sometimes revisionist ballast that's been added since Barrie's day, this edition is highly recommended.
J.M. Barrie uses his story to attack certain English pretensions and inane formalities at the beginning of the twentieth century, life by rote being one, but "Peter Pan" is primarily about the mind and world of a child. The adults in the story are childhood concepts, as are the animals, water, earth, weather and sky. Childhood has no chronological border even though concentrated at the beginning of our lives, for it is perfectly capable of coming back now and again. Mine does. I hope yours does too, for if childhood never comes back the result might be insanity. And if it never leaves that too might bring madness.
I think that the most important lesson of "Peter Pan" is the final description of Captain Hook near the end of the story, not of his physicality, but of his character. It might very well be a reading child's first realization that we are good and we are bad, at the same time, every damn one of us, and that our sharing of such disparate qualities is cause for love and compassion.
"James Hook, thou not wholly unheroic figure, farewell."
That night Peter cries in his sleep.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although it's a classic it was a little bit too violent for my 5 year old.Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Just got acquainted with the original text of this classic -- much better than a Disney movie! Rich layers of meaning -- fun for both kids and adults (though one does have to make... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Bill Clark
...two is the the beginning of the end. Great read for young and old.Published 10 days ago by norbertj
I really like Peter Pan. But I got it for my young grandson age 3, and this book is a bit too wordy. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Peggy H Wagmer