Classic Black and White Photography: The Real Peter Pan

Everyone has heard the story of Peter Pan, the lead character in the stage play “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”, written by the Scottish novelist and playwright J.M. Barrie. If you’re like me, however, maybe your first introduction to the skinny boy in green was through Walt Disney. I never really looked into how the story came about – I’ve always just enjoyed the story, or watched the play or movie. I never thought there might actually be some ‘Lost Boys’ – 5 in fact. The 5 brothers of a family friend of the author’s. He became friends with the parents in 1897 when he first met them at London’s Kensington Gardens. The parents were a lawyer Arthur Llewelyn Davies, and his wife Sylvia.

The classic black and white photos that helped chronical the stories the children would act out and inspired the stories of Peter Pan, is now on sale. You can read the story below, as well as some of the 150 classic black and white photography that is expected to fetch $18,000:

There are few fairy stories better loved or more often retold than J. M. Barrie’s classic about the boy who never grew up.

Now a long-lost photo album featuring images of the holiday adventures of the five young brothers – the ‘Lost Boys’ – that inspired the famous story of Peter Pan has surfaced at an auction for the first time.

The remarkable collection of 150 black and white photos – which is expected to fetch £18,000 – represents the only known record of the early years of the Llewelyn Davies boys Peter, George, Jack, Michael and Nico behind Barrie’s most famous creation.

It was compiled in secret by Margaret Ruthven, wife of Peter, and one of the famed society Ruthven twins of the 1920s who married Peter, a publisher, in 1932.

Peter Pan

Michael Llewelyn Davies pictured at Black Lake Cottage in Surrey dressed as Peter Pan. He is wearing what looks like a short-sleeved tunic, and looks much like the Peter Pan later portrayed in the Disney films

Michael and JM Barrie

An adorable picture of young Michael and ‘Uncle Jim’ (Barrie) pictured sitting cross legged on the grass in 1901

Read more of Meet the real Peter Pan: Long lost photo album shows snaps of author JM Barrie and the boys who inspired his classic novel.

These photos remind me a lot of our own boys – although they are a bit older now.  Some of my favorite memories are from our boys playing out their own stories. Just this last weekend we had several of Nirvan’s friends over for a sleep-over, and most of the time was spent with them acting out stories that they had read, watched on TV or heard about. It was great to see that imaginative play is still alive and well – even with all the electronic distractions.

Here’s a blast from the past that I found on YouTube: Peter Pan Magic Mirror read-along record. Did you have this vinyl when you were a kid?