The Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens led me on a quite remarkable story. Do you detect a common theme here in the London postings? Like many children, I grew up hearing the story of Peter Pan, albeit the US version which focused heavily on the fact that Mary Martin, mother of Larry Hagman, portrayed Peter on Broadway. Peter may have been the boy who never grew up, but I certainly never heard the original story of Peter Pan until…wait for it….now.
Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens was a tale of Peter’s visit to Kensington Gardens, penned by author J. M. Barrie. Barrie’s 1902 book The Little White Bird, a novel for adults, introduced the story of Peter in chapters 13-18. The story mostly occurs after the gardens are closed each day, when the fairies and animals come out to play. The statue depicts those inhabitants as Peter plays the panpipes at fairy dances. Barrie continued to write stories of Peter Pan, and screen plays about his life. Although he might not have “grown up”, he did clearly develop from an infant. More about Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens a bit later on!