The Little White Bird – James M. Barrie
Where did Peter Pan come from? There is a very general conception that he stepped from Mr. Barrie’s day-dreams straight upon the boards. But those who remember that delicate piece of sentiment, „The Little White Bird, or Adventures in Kensington Gardens“ will find him already grown to his eternal youth there. In the story that the lonely old bachelor tells the boy David, Peter Pan is the same lad, whose „age is a week“ and who „escaped from being human when he was seven days old; he escaped by the window and flew back to the Kensington Gardens,“ where, like all children, he had been a bird before he was born; and he lives in Kensington Gardens, which is the Never Never Land of „The Little White Bird.“
The Little White Bird.
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Plot summary of The Little White Bird (from Wikipedia):
The story is set in several locations; the earlier chapters are set in the town of London, contemporaneous to the time of Barrie’s writing, and involving some time travel of a few years, and other fantasy elements, while remaining within the London setting. The middle chapters that later became Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens are set in London’s famous Kensington Gardens, introduced by the statement that „All perambulators lead to Kensington Gardens“. The Kensington Gardens chapters include detailed descriptions of the features of the Gardens, along with fantasy names given to the locations by the story’s characters, especially after „Lock-Out Time“, described by Barrie as the time at the end of the day when the park gates are closed to the public, and the fairies and other magical inhabitants of the park can move about more freely than during the daylight, when they must hide from ordinary people. The third section of the book, following the Kensington Gardens chapters, are again set generally in London, though there are some short returns to the Gardens that are not part of the Peter Pan stories. In a two-page diversion in chapter 24, Barrie brings the story to Patagonia, and a journey by ship returning to England at the „white cliffs of Albion“.
(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)
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