Peter Pan's Shadows in the Literary Imagination

By Kirsten Stirling

© 2012 – Routledge

172 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781138849693
pub: 2014-11-10
US Dollars$48.95
Hardback: 9780415888646
pub: 2011-12-21
US Dollars$145.00

About the Book

This book is a literary analysis of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan in all its different versions -- key rewritings, dramatisations, prequels, and sequels -- and includes a synthesis of the main critical interpretations of the text over its history. A comprehensive and intelligent study of the Peter Pan phenomenon, this study discusses the book’s complicated textual history, exploring its origins in the Harlequinade theatrical tradition and British pantomime in the nineteenth century. Stirling investigates potential textual and extra-textual sources for Peter Pan, the critical tendency to seek sources in Barrie’s own biography, and the proliferation of prequels and sequels aiming to explain, contextualize, or close off, Barrie’s exploration of the imagination. The sources considered include Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s Starcatchers trilogy, Régis Loisel’s six-part Peter Pan graphic novel in French (1990-2004), Andrew Birkin’s The Lost Boys series, the films Hook (1991), Peter Pan (2003) and Finding Neverland (2004), and Geraldine McCaughrean’s "official sequel" Peter Pan in Scarlet (2006), among others.


"Her analysis is compelling… [An] interesting and highly readable text." - Kayla McKinney Wiggins, Mythlore

"Stirling's bibliography is a model of thorough research and her analysis offers fresh ideas for Peter Pan Studies." - Children's Literature Assocation Quarterly.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Abbreviations and References Introduction: The Shadow of Peter Pan 1. Origins and Storytelling 2. Peter and Pantomime 3. Wendy and Peter 4. Before Peter Pan: Loisel 5. Imagining Barrie 6. Ending Peter Pan 7. Sequels Bibliography Index

About the Author

Kirsten Stirling teaches in the English department of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. She is the author of Bella Caledonia: Woman, Nation, Text (2008) and has published articles on Scottish literature and the poetry of John Donne.

About the Series

Children's Literature and Culture

Founded by Jack Zipes in 1994, Children's Literature and Culture is the longest-running series devoted to the study of children’s literature and culture from a national and international perspective. Dedicated to promoting original research in children’s literature and children’s culture, in 2011 the series expanded its focus to include childhood studies, and it seeks to explore the legal, historical, and philosophical conditions of different childhoods. An advocate for scholarship from around the globe, the series recognizes innovation and encourages interdisciplinarity. Children's Literature and Culture offers cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections considering topics such as gender, race, picturebooks, childhood, nation, religion, technology, and many others. Titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Science Fiction & Fantasy
LITERARY CRITICISM / Children's Literature