"A wonderfully magical book. It makes you look at life in a different way and how you can still be a kid at heart. We are forced to grow old, but we don't have to grow up. There are always aspects in our life that would be easier if we could just be a little more childish and fun." Jillian, Goodreads
"Perfect for rainy day reading! Peter is the delightful story about the real boy who never grew up... Although the story stays firmly planted in its historical context, the allusions and parallels to Peter Pan are unmistakable and fun to keep an eye out for... Unlike other contemporary Peter Pan related stories that are filled with dark and sinister plots and motives, Peter illustrates the enchanting magic of the innocence of youth." RT, Amazon
"If you are a Peter Pan aficionado, then this is the book for you!" Roxie, Goodreads
"I became emotionally attached to Peter throughout the book. I caught myself trying to find out the secrets of peter and about his past. The book will never leave me as it is so magical and recommend people to read it, the book will still be in your mind long after you've finished it!" Hollie, Goodreads
“A Wonderful Book, that had me from the first page.” Sarah, Goodreads
“After many failed attempts to get this book free… I purchased this book. It was a small price to pay for a great tale. I could not put it down. A boy forever spreading the joy of youth. Peter's ability to bring the characters childlike imagination out of everyone made this a great story.” Sandra, Amazon
“Beautifully written with a story that would touch even the coldest of hearts. This story was brilliant and entertaining throughout, and, as my first historical fiction read I think it did the genre justice and I will definitely look out for Christopher Mechlings work in the future. I loved every page of it. “ Amelia, Goodreads
"I am already in love with the story and the characters from Peter Pan and this book makes them even more real. I loved every second of it. It was a quick read and I loved Peter's innocence and unconditional love. Very cute book, 'easy-to-read' writing style, great characters, and a fabulous plot line. I really enjoyed it." Miranda, Goodreads
The Legend of Peter Pan
Peter: The Untold True Story, a new novel by author Christopher Mechling, tells of a boy named Peter who would not grow up- a boy whose historic life is mirrored in the fairy tale of Peter Pan.
Peter the Wild Boy lived in eighteenth century England, through the reigns of three kings (all named George), and achieved legendary status in his own lifetime. He was not only a popular figure, but also drew intense philosophical and scientific study, and was a subject of interest to literary figures such as Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift. Peter retained a youthful appearance throughout his life, and had a joyful, intuitive spirit that was both challenging and infectious.
Christopher Mechling's imaginative dramatization of the life of Peter captures the joy, innocence and fire of a bright, feral child living in the midst of the Age of Enlightenment. The epic story of his life, spanning approximately seventy years, navigates a tumultuous and thoughtful period in English history, rich with characters.
Peter: The Untold True Story is not a reimagining of the fairy tale of Peter Pan, it is an account of the adventures of Peter the Wild Boy, a real-life feral child from the 18th century who achieved legendary status in Germany and England over a hundred years before James Barrie wrote his classic Peter Pan. It is known that in addition to his own life experiences, James Barrie drew influence for his writing from a variety of literary sources, including his favorite book from childhood, Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe, and an epic poem written by Thomas Tickell titled Kensington Gardens about a human boy who was adopted by fairies. It is Christopher Mechling's belief, that Peter the Wild Boy's life and times also served as an inspiration for James Barrie. Readers familiar with Peter Pan may wish to go back and read it again after reading Peter: The Untold True Story. James Barrie wrote both a play and a novel about Peter Pan, which you can read by following these links:
There is a well-known statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, placed there by James Barrie in 1912.
The legend of Peter Pan has also been adapted for moviescreens many times. Notably, in 1953 Walt Disney made an animated version, and fifty years later, in 2003, a live action-version was produced. In 2004, a wonderful movie starring Johnny Depp called Finding Neverland was released, about the relationship between James Barrie and the Llewelyn Davies family, that led to the creation of the fairy tale of Peter Pan.
Here is a brief summary of the legend of Peter Pan:
Discover the Origins of a Legend
When he was little, Peter Pan heard his parents talking about his future- about what he would do, when he became a man. Peter did not want to grow up, he wanted to remain a boy forever. And so Peter ran away to Kensington Gardens, to live among the fairies there. The fairies taught him many secrets, including how to fly. Eventually, Peter found his way to an island called Neverland. There were many wonderful things about Neverland, but the most wonderful of all was that as long as you lived in Neverland, you would never grew old.
In time, Peter Pan became a leader of lost children- mostly boys, because girls were usually too clever to become lost. He led them to Neverland, where they could live happily ever after. Peter’s constant companion was Tinkerbell, a young lady fairy who enjoyed Peter’s carefree spirit. Together, Peter, Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys had many adventures in the wilderness of Neverland. Peter Pan and his company were not the only inhabitants of Neverland. Pirates, Indians and Mermaids also made the island their home, as well as many wild beasts. There was a great Crocodile that patrolled the waters, and also a large bird called the Neverbird. All of these characters and creatures kept Peter’s days full of adventure.
Peter Pan’s life changed when he met Wendy Darling, a girl living in London. One night, he overheard her telling her brothers wonderful stories, and he stopped to listen to her voice. When she finished for the night, he returned to Neverland and told the story to the Lost Boys, but he did not know how the story ended, so he had to return to listen to Wendy again the next night. This led to Peter returning to listen at the windowsill of the Darling household night after night, until one night, Peter was discovered.
Wendy Darling was not frightened by Peter Pan, but rather intrigued. Peter was very charming. He introduced Wendy to Tinkerbell and told her about Neverland, inviting her to go there with him. Wendy liked Peter very much, and wanted to give him a kiss, but couldn’t explain this to him, so instead she gave him a thimble, and he gave her an acorn, which she put on a chain around her neck.
Wendy and her brothers decided to go with Peter to Neverland, and a long and wonderful series of adventures followed. But it wasn’t all wonderful, for Peter had enemies- the Pirates. Led by the villainous Captain Hook, who held a bitter grudge against Peter after losing his hand in a duel, the Pirates aimed to kill Peter and his company.
Captain Hook was a clever, well-educated man. His identity was secret, but it was known that he had once been a English gentleman. He saw in Peter Pan’s relationship with Wendy an opportunity to finally trap the immortal youth, because Peter cared for Wendy.
Tinkerbell also saw that Peter cared for Wendy, and this caused Tinkerbell to be jealous and behave badly, so that Peter felt no choice but to send Tinkerbell away. When Hook learned of Peter’s separation from Tinkerbell, he saw his chance to strike.
Ultimately Hook captured Wendy and her brothers, along with all of the Lost Boys, and poisoned the medicine that Wendy had given Peter. When he woke, Peter would have drunk this poisoned medicine, had Tinkerbell not returned and taken it instead, to save Peter.
Peter was grieved to see Tinkerbell dying, knowing she had traded her life for his. It was the first time Peter had ever felt so sad. But by unwavering faith and belief, Peter Pan saved Tinkerbell from death, and then went to confront Hook once and for all. If you want to know how the legend ends you should read James Barrie’s book.
The Life of Peter the Wild Boy
Modern readers may be unfamiliar with the life of Peter the Wild Boy, but in the eighteenth century, he was one of the most well-known figures in England. Peter the Wild Boy captivated the imaginations of King George I, Caroline of Ansbach, and many of England's best contemporary writers and thinkers, including Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift. So popular was Peter when he was first introduced to English society in the spring of 1726 that Jonathan Swift remarked, "...there is scarcely talk of anything else."
Estimated to be about twelve years old, Peter had been discovered living alone in the forest of Hamelin, Germany. You may recognize the name Hamelin, if you are familiar with the story of the Pied Piper who visited that town several centuries earlier.
It seems Peter left his parents when he was very young and learned to survive on his own, perhaps with the help of some forest animals. An instant public sensation, Peter was the talk of London for several years.
The Royal Family took a personal interest in Peter. Caroline of Ansbach, wife of George II and future Queen of England, was touched by Peter's innocence, and took the boy into her care. It was the hope of the Royal Family, not only to provide for Peter's future, but to help him grow up to be an ideal English gentleman.
Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, and John Arbuthnot, among others all wrote about Peter. Defoe's work was titled Mere Nature Delineated. Swift wrote It Cannot Rain But It Pours; or London Strewed With Rarities. Arbuthnot's pamplet, had the fabulous title, The Most Wonderful Wonder that ever appeared to the Wonder of the British Nation. Many aimed to use their writings about Peter to poke fun at elements of English society.
Peter learned many things, but never grew up- he remained a wild youth, and was ultimately celebrated for this. Even after he retired to a comfortable life in the country, Peter was a legendary figure in England, and attracted visitors to his home for decades.
Throughout his life, even into his seventies, Peter maintained a youthful appearance and energy. Evolutionary theorist Lord Monboddo, who visited Peter in 1782, said of the Wild Boy, "He is of low stature, not exceeding five feet three inches; and though he must be now about 70 years of age, [he] has a fresh, healthy look. His face is not at all ugly or disagreeable, and he has a look that may be called sensible and sagacious, for a savage. [He] had always that gentleness of nature, which I hold to be characteristical of our nature, at least until we become carnivorous, and then hunters or warriors. He is said to have sometimes run seventy or eighty miles a day. His strength always appeared to be so much superior that the strongest young men were afraid to contend with him, and this strength continued almost unimpaired till about a year and a half ago."
Readers around the world are falling in love with Peter: The Untold True Story.
“I really liked this rendition or retelling of Peter Pan. I have always loved the story of Peter as it made me realize how wonderful it is to be a kid in a big world full of hard questions and hard decisions. I really liked how the author slowly starting piecing the story of Peter Pan that we all know together, with the feather in his hat and the defeated pirate. I love retellings of my favourite stories so this was a great treat for me.” Dana, Goodreads
“This was a very interesting read and take on Peter Pan's story. Granted, it wasn't what I was expecting but in the end I'm happy it wasn't. The book follows Peter, the 'Wild Boy,' being taken away from the forest where he had spent many years of his childhood and then integrating back into civilization. Overall, the book was easy to follow and finish, giving the reader a fresh perspective of Peter's tale.” Anna, Goodreads
“I thought this story was a breath of fresh air. In the theme of youth this was the cleanest story I have read in a very long time. Peter is a baby when this story starts riding in a carriage with his parents. The carriage comes to a stop in the middle of the enchanted forest and Peter disappears not to be seen again till age 11. Naked and grown up in the wild. Margaret a young girl sings and Peter stops to listen. Margaret spots the wild boy. Her family takes him in and everyone who comes to know Peter is enchanted by him. This story includes all the adventures you knew and loved with a different twist. I will be reading this story to my boys. This story moved me to tears. Peter who reflect innocence and true genuine kindness unaffected by the world around him and the problems that come with age. Sometimes the fountain of youth is not always a blessing. I enjoyed this adventure and even pictured it coming to life in a movie someday.” Fallon, Goodreads
"Very uplifting and definitely a feel-good read." Natalie, Goodreads
"Peter's joy, innocence and fire are qualities that we all embody as children and so I found this poignant account rather nostalgic. Memories of my childhood and youth were brought to the fore as I delved into this dazzling novel, containing colourful characters and thoughtful reflections and impacting resonance. Peter is a magical, poignant tale full of love, humor and outstanding courage in the face of hardship and trials. Above all this wonderful book makes you dream and remember how dreams really can come true!" Lucinda, Amazon
"Well-suited to reminding a reader of any age that a youthful outlook is a valuable thing." Jake, Amazon