Peter and Wendy
London: Hodder & Stoughton, .
London: Hodder & Stoughton, . First edition. First impression of the expanded adaptation into novel form of the story first made popular in the 1904 stage play: Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. Copies in dust jacket are uncommon.
Octavo. Original green cloth, spine and front cover lettered and decorated in gilt with devices including Captain Hook and Peter Pan. With dust jacket. Frontispiece, pictorial title page, and 11 plates, all by F. D. Bedford. Extremities slightly bumped, some loss of colour to cloth, browning to endpapers, foxing throughout, spine of dust jacket faded, extremities worn with closed tears, torn flap to front joint (repaired on verso with archival tape); a Near Fine book in a Very Good + dust jacket.
The origins of Peter Pan as a literary character are somewhat protracted. Barrie had found fame as a writer of prose, initially with Scottish story-collections such as Auld Licht Idylls and A Window in Thrums, and then a sequence of novels that established him as a leading novelist of the 1890s. The character of Peter Pan first appeared as a book-within-a-book in his London story-collection The Little White Bird (1902), by which time Barrie was increasingly turning away from prose to concentrate on drama. His two plays of that year, Quality Street and The Admirable Crichton, were both successful but eclipsed by the enormous success of Peter Pan, which opened on 27 December 1904 and broke all previous theatrical records.
In 1906 Barrie sanctioned the publication of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, with the text extracted from The Little White Bird in which Peter is a seven-day-old infant, and illustrated by Arthur Rackham. Barrie reserved for himself the task of turning his theatrical success into a novel: Peter and Wendy. It tells the familiar story of the stage version, with Peter as an older child flying off with Wendy and the other Darling children to battle Captain Hook and his pirates, but Barrie added a final chapter to the book in which Peter returns for Wendy years later, when she is grown with a child of her own. The text of the stage play itself was not published until 1928.
Grolier Club, One Hundred Books Famous in Children’s Literature, 63. Near Fine in Very Good + dust jacket. (Item #5330)