Another interesting tidbit? “Peter Pan and Wendy,” although now more than 100 years-old, has circumvented the normal rules of copyright. Most works, when copyrighted, are awarded 50 years of protection before entering public domain, allowing free access for individuals to press copies, create spinoffs and so on. However, when Barrie died, he had it written into his will that all proceeds from the sale of “Peter Pan and Wendy” were to go to Great Ormond Street Hospital, located in London, England. England has since provided certain exceptions to the public domain access of the book, allowing the hospital to continue to benefit from Barrie’s request.
The last chapter of “Peter Pan and Wendy” is where the best content of the story lies, and sadly is the most commonly omitted part of the tale. This isn’t without reason — it is an emotional roller coaster of an epilogue that may not fair well with children. Focusing on the aging of Wendy, these last few pages describe the terror in Peter’s face when confronting his long-lost friend. It is heart wrenching. However, it gives what would otherwise be a simple fairy tale real emotion. Barrie wraps up the ending nicely, which won’t be spoiled here, but rest assured Peter’s pain isn’t the note the story ends on.
One last interesting fact: Barrie crafted the story of Peter Pan around a neighborhood friend’s children, telling them the stories of Neverland and incorporating characters based off of their characteristics. Imagine being able to say a character as brilliant as Peter Pan was crafted after yourself. When the children’s parents tragically past away, Barrie adopted the siblings and brought them into his family. A sad story, yes, but a warm ending indeed.
Dean Goranites publishes weekly video book reviews at unleashthis.tumblr.com, and can be reached through Twitter at unleash_this.
• WHAT: "Peter Pan and Wendy"
• BY: J.M. Barrie
• GRADE: B