Peter: The Untold True Story Reveals Surprising Historical Adventure
Peter: The Untold True Story invites readers to discover the epic life of Peter the Wild Boy. Peter was a real historical figure of the 18th century whose amazing adventures may have provided the basis for the legend of Peter Pan, immortalized in fiction more than century later by James Barrie. Author Christopher Mechling believes the historical Peter and fictional Peter are two sides of the same coin, and a review of the facts suggests he may be right.
Mysteriously, in the introduction to his published work, James Barrie suggested that he could not recall writing Peter Pan, his most famous character. Perhaps that is because before Peter became a fictional character, he was a real-life Wild Boy, who lived more than a century before Barrie wrote his fairy tale.
Barrie wrote in the story of Peter Pan that before going to Neverland, Peter resided at Kensington Gardens amongst the fairies. The history of the fairies at Kensington Gardens traces back to an 18th century poem by Thomas Tickell called "Kensington Gardens." The epic poem featured an infant boy who was adopted and raised by fairies. Interestingly this poem was written in 1722, only a few years before Peter the Wild Boy came to London. As a guest of the Royal Family, Peter occasionally roamed Kensington Gardens' hundreds of acres. Peter the Wild Boy was a charming, intuitive feral child discovered living alone in the German forest of Hamelin. Peter's innocent spirit won King George's interest and appreciation. The King and his family hoped to educate the Wild Boy, helping him to grow up and become a proper English gentleman.
Another reported source of Inspiration for Barrie's Peter Pan was the writing of Daniel Defoe. The story of Robinson Crusoe had a major impact on the imagination a young James Barrie. It is interesting to note that Daniel Defoe lived in London at the same time as Peter, and Defoe published a pamplet about the Wild Boy, titled "Mere Nature Delineated."