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The Character of Peter Pan first came to life in the stories J.M. Barrie told to five brothers – three of whom were named Peter, John and Michael.
Peter Pan is considered as one of the greatest children’s stories of all time and continues to charm readers one hundred years after its first appearance as a play in 1904.
Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM was a Scottish author and dramatist, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan.
The son of a weaver, Barrie studied at the University of Edinburgh. He took up journalism, worked for a Nottingham newspaper, and contributed to various London journals before moving to London in 1885. His early works, Auld Licht Idylls (1889) and A Window in Thrums (1889), contain fictional sketches of Scottish life and are commonly seen as representative of the Kailyard school. The publication of The Little Minister (1891) established his reputation as a novelist. During the next 10 years Barrie continued writing novels, but gradually his interest turned toward the theatre.
In London he met the Llewelyn Davies boys who inspired him in writing about a baby boy who has magical adventures in Kensington Gardens (included in The Little White Bird), then to write Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, a "fairy play" about this ageless boy and an ordinary girl named Wendy who have adventures in the fantasy setting of Neverland. This play quickly overshadowed his previous work and although he continued to write successfully, it became his best-known work, credited with popularising the name Wendy, which was very uncommon previously.
Barrie unofficially adopted the Davies boys following the deaths of their parents. Before his death, he gave the rights to the Peter Pan works to Great Ormond Street Hospital, which continues to benefit from them.