The Basis for Barrie’s Peter Pan – The Real Peter Pan {Review}

Posted August 18, 2016 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

The Basis for Barrie’s Peter Pan – The Real Peter Pan {Review}The Real Peter Pan by Piers Dudgeon
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (2016)
Hardcover (416 pages)
Via: Publisher
Reading Challenges: Read 2016


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.

Find the book: Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository

My Review

When The Real Peter Pan was offered to me for review, I had to say yes. I have always really liked Peter Pan by J M Barrie and so I did not want to pass up the opportunity to read up on the historical basis for this wonderful children’s novel.

Let me say that this book covers a lot of historical details. We see Barrie’s life and his interactions with the Llewelyn Davies brothers, especially Michael. Michael was Barrie’s inspiration for the character of Peter Pan and the fantastical world of Neverland.

There were so many details in this book that really shed light on some of Barrie’s motivations and inspirations in the novel Peter Pan. The novel wasn’t really this happy-go-lucky story that Disney made it out to be in their adaptation. Rather, the story is darker, a lot darker than could be easily guessed.

In all, this book gave me a much deeper insight into Barrie’s work and I know that I will never read Peter Pan the same way again. If you are interested in the story behind the story Barrie wrote, I would recommend this book.


I received this book for free from the publisher for review consideration.
This in no way affects my opinion of the title nor the content of this review.

Would you read a non-fiction about the historical basis of a classic novel?

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