Historical Context in Peter Pan
J.M Barrie was a Scottish novelist and playwright. Upon moving to London, Barrie met the Llewyn Davies brothers, five brothers who had tragically lost both of their parents. Barrie became the boys’s official guardian. Barrie played many games of make-believe, such as Pirates and “Indians,” with the brothers. A number of Barrie’s works, including Peter Pan, were inspired by these boys. In fact, each boy’s name was incorporated into the names of characters in the story; George, John, Peter, Nicholas and Michael. Tragically, like their parents, most of the brothers met untimely deaths; George was killed in combat in WWI, Michael drowned during his university years at Oxford, and Peter, who was supposedly haunted by his lifelong identification as the real-life Peter Pan, committed suicide in 1960. While Barrie wrote a number of different texts in his lifetime, Peter Pan is inarguably his most famous, and is credited with the creation of the name Wendy.