15 May 2008

I do believe in fairies, I do, I do!

I can't decide which Peter Pan statue I like better-- the one in Kensington Gardens or the one in Liverpool. There are very subtle differences between the two. The Kensington Gardens statue will always have a special place in my heart, since I've been there. Also, there's the story about how J.M. Barrie had the statue constructed off-premises and then brought to the gardens in the middle of the night, so that the neighborhood children would think it had appeared by magic. This announcement appeared in The Times on April 31, 1912:
"There is a surprise in store for the children who go to Kensington Gardens to feed the ducks in the Serpentine this morning. Down by the little bay on the south-western side of the tail of the Serpentine they will find a May-day gift by Mr J.M. Barrie, a figure of Peter Pan blowing his pipe on the stump of a tree, with fairies and mice and squirrels all around. It is the work of Sir George Frampton, and the bronze figure of the boy who would never grow up is delightfully conceived."
But then there's this picture I found of children frolicing around the Liverpool statue in Sefton Park...I'm torn!
I also love finding connections between favorites-- and it turns out that J.M. Barrie was one of Thomas Hardy's closest confidantes and was actually a pallbearer at his funeral.
Finally, some not-so-happy facts about the Llewelyn Davies brothers, who were the inspiration for the Peter Pan stories and later his foster sons. George, the eldest brother, was killed in action in World War I. The eponymous Peter resented his public identification as "the original Peter Pan" and, after a prolonged battle with alcoholism, committed suicide by throwing himself under a train at the Sloane Street tube station. Michael, the fourth child and the model for the Kensington Garden statue, drowned at Oxford at age 21 in what is now thought to be a suicide pact with his presumed homosexual lover. It's so sad...Finding Neverland is one of my favorite movies, and it's just heartbreaking to know that the original bliss ended in tragedy!


Peter Von Brown said...

Seems like you're really into Peter Pan! Glad to see it. Please forgive the tooting of my own horn, but you know very well that Pan would do that. I have a new Peter Pan novel coming soon to online retailers. While the other prequels and sequels contradict Barrie's original stories, my book does not. I based it on Barrie's idea to continue Pan's adventue.
My announcement page is:

Stay young! ;)

Frankly, Scarlett said...

I LOVE finding neverland. And yes, its sad to know about the tragedies. What a cute post!