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Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens

J. M. Barrie

Book Overview: 

Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens is one of four major literary works by Barrie featuring the widely known literary character he originated, Peter Pan.

Peter is a seven-day-old infant who, "like all infants", used to be part bird. Peter has complete faith in his flying abilities, so, upon hearing a discussion of his adult life, he is able to escape out of the window of his London home and return to Kensington Gardens. Upon returning to the Gardens, Peter is shocked to learn from the crow Solomon Caw that he is not still a bird, but more like a human- Solomon says he is crossed between them as a "Betwixt-and-Between".

Unfortunately, Peter now knows he cannot fly, so he is stranded in Kensington Gardens. At first, Peter can only get around on foot, but he commissions the building of a child-sized thrush's nest that he can use as a boat to navigate the Gardens by way of the Serpentine, the large lake that divides Kensington Gardens from Hyde Park.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The saddest part of it was that the poor little chaffinch fluttered about the bushes, looking so reproachfully at us that we knew she thought we had done it; and though David tried to explain to her, it was so long since he had spoken the bird language that I fear she did not understand. He and I left the Gardens that day with our knuckles in our eyes.





II PETER PAN

If you ask your mother whether she knew about Peter Pan when she was a little girl, she will say, 'Why, of course I did, child'; and if you ask her whether he rode on a goat in those days, she will say, 'What a foolish question to ask; certainly he did.' Then if you ask your grandmother whether she knew about Peter Pan when she was a girl, she also says, 'Why, of course I did, child,' but if you ask her whether he rode on a goat in those days, she says she never heard of his having a goat. Perhaps she has forgotten, just as she s. . . Read More