Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie - is a fictional character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie. A free-spirited and mischievous young boy who can fly and never grows up, Peter Pan spends his never-ending childhood having adventures on the mythical island of Neverland as the leader of the Lost Boys, interacting with fairies, pirates, mermaids, Native Americans, and occasionally ordinary children from the world outside Neverland.
Peter Pan has become a cultural icon symbolizing youthful innocence and escapism. In addition to two distinct works by Barrie, The Little White Bird (1902, with chapters 13-18 published in Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens in 1906), and the West End stage play Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up (1904, which expanded into the 1911 novel Peter and Wendy), the character has been featured in a variety of media and merchandise, both adapting and expanding on Barrie's works. These include the several films, television series and many other works.
Barrie commissioned a statue of Peter Pan by the sculptor George Frampton, which was erected overnight in Kensington Gardens on 30 April 1912 as a surprise to the children of London. Six other statues have been cast from the original mould and displayed around the world. In 2002, Peter Pan featured on a series of UK postage stamps issued by the Royal Mail on the centenary of Barrie's creation of the character.
Peter Pan first appeared as a character in Barrie's The Little White Bird (1902), a novel for adults. In chapters 13-18, titled "Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens", Peter is a seven-day-old baby and has flown from his nursery to Kensington Gardens in London, where the fairies and birds taught him to fly. He is described as "betwixt-and-between" a boy and a bird. Barrie returned to the character of Peter Pan, putting him at the centre of his stage play titled Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, which premiered on 27 December 1904 at the Duke of York's Theatre in London.
Following the success of the 1904 play, Barrie's publishers, Hodder and Stoughton, extracted the Peter Pan chapters of The Little White Bird and published them in 1906 under the title Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, with the addition of illustrations by Arthur Rackham. Barrie later adapted and expanded the 1904 play's storyline as a novel, which was published in 1911 as Peter and Wendy.
J. M. Barrie may have based the character of Peter Pan on his older brother, David, who died in an ice-skating accident the day before his 14th birthday. His mother and brother thought of him as forever a boy.