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Thread: "Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens," by J.M. Barrie

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    turkeymonkey's Avatar
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    Default "Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens," by J.M. Barrie

    "Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens," by J.M. Barrie

    For the record, I'm not plugging this book just because I've jumped on the "Finding Neverland" bandwagon. It's actually the Arthur Rackham illustrations for the original edition of the book, not Barrie's text, that has my antannea twitching.

    The book, published in 1906, is a prequel to the much better known 1911 novel "Peter and Wendy" (later referred to as just "Peter Pan"). The story takes place before Neverland has entered into the picture, back when Peter was a baby living "a wild and secret life with birds and fairies in the middle of London." This 1999 edition was published by Oxford University Press (yeah! Go university presses!), is heavily annotated, and at $8 is a bargain.

    I should add that I haven't yet gotten a copy for the simple reason that my wife will freak out if she sees any more packages arrive in the mail from Amazon. Our spare bookshelf space has already been completely filled with TT-related reading. For the time being, I'm just going off versions of the text and illustrations that I've found online.

    Now I'll explain why on earth I'm drawn to the book. Very simple: Do you see a resemblence between any Rackham's illustrations and our favorite brain-bending treasure hunt book?

    "The Serpentine is a lovely lake, and there is a drowned forest at the bottom of it. If you peer over the edge you can see the trees all growing upside down, and they say at night there are also drowned stars in it."

    "They will certainly mischief you."

    "The Kensington Gardens are in London, where the King lives."

    "A band of workmen, who were sawing down a toadstool, rushed away, leaving their tools behind them."

    "Fairies are all more or less in hiding until dusk."

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    blkjag01 is offline Junior Twelever Copper blkjag01 is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Wow, I sure do!

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    ellekaydee is offline Needs to say Hello! ellekaydee is an unknown quantity at this point
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    That is spooky-great work!!

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    destructo is offline Banned Aquamarine destructo is an unknown quantity at this point
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    [html:ef5b19e048][img]B0007CNXUK.01._SCMZZZZZZZ_.jpg[/img]Finding Neverland - DVD[/html:ef5b19e048]

    I'm a movie buff and having a Y chromosome means that chick flicks are like garlic to vampires... but I can say that this was one of the most endearing movies I saw this year. It's not a chick-flick like most of the ads portrayed it, it's a fun and well acted period piece with a bit of whimsy.

    Like "Peter Pan," its message is one of never growing up (well, never growing old) set against the prudish Victorian sensibilities -- so it's not as blatant nor as immature and simplistic as the Disney kids movie (great in its own right). Ironically, Depp is mature as J.M. Barrie, and I enjoyed him in the role even though I don't usually like his snotty brat style. The kids in the movie were the real treat... I'm sure we'll see some of them again in the future.

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    eimhin's Avatar
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    Default Gotta love Rackham

    Rackham's rather unconventional illustrations (for the time), while clearly influencing TT's (and Brian Froud, and Charles Vess, and....), I don't suspect have too much hidden amidst their squiggles and washes. But wonder if they link up at all to TT. Probably not. *shrug*

    You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts... and in much of your talking, thinking is half-murdered..." - Kahlil Gibran

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