Peter Pan Begins: Discover the Origins of the Legend

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Peter: The Untold True Story, a new novel by author Christopher Mechling, tells of a Wild Boy named Peter who would not grow up- a boy whose historic life is mirrored in the fairy tale of Peter Pan. More than 100 years before James Barrie penned his classic, Peter the Wild Boy roamed Kensington Gardens and was the talk of London.

Christopher Mechling- Author- Peter Pan's True Story
All Children Grow Up, All But One

Peter Pan is one of the most beloved characters in fiction, known to children all over the world. With the release of Peter: The Untold True Story, we now have an unprecedented look into the life of the real Wild Boy who inspired the legend.

The legend of Peter Pan has been retold many times, in books, stageplays, comics, movies and television shows, sometime more faithfully than others. Most recently, ABC has recast the boy hero as a villain in their show Once Upon a Time. Peter: The Untold True Story is not a reimagining of the fairy tale of Peter Pan, it is a tale drawn from true events, revealing the origin and adventures of a real boy who would not grow up. The epic story of Peter's life, spanning more than seventy years, navigates a tumultuous and thoughtful period in English history.

Breathing life into 18th century events, author Christopher Mechling takes readers on a journey of discovery, from the Enchanted Forest of Hamelin, to the grim House of Corrections at Celle, to the beauty of Herrenhausen Palace, to the banks of the Thames River, to the Royal Palaces in London, and beyond, with a cast including the British Royal Family and many of the brightest minds of the era. Peter the Wild Boy captivated the public imagination in his lifetime, and is still remembered in England today.

A feral child, Peter grew up alone in the German wilderness. He was discovered, and spent a short period in confinement, before word of his unusual character spread amongst the populace and drew the attention of King George of England, who was visiting Hanover at the time. Welcoming Peter to Herrenhausen Palace, the King was charmed by the boy's spirit, and decided to take him to England.

In England, Peter charmed the Royal Family as he had the King. Caroline of Ansbach, the King's daughter-in-law and future Queen of England, was touched by Peter's innocence, and took the boy into her care. It was her hope, and 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. A number of the brightest minds of the era were put to the task of educating Peter, including Doctor John Arbuthnot.

While residing at the Royal Palaces in London and roaming Kensington Gardens, Peter became a public sensation. All of society was talking about him, to the extent that Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels, wrote, "...there is scarcely talk of anything else." Though he mocked the public's fascination with the Wild Boy, Swift himself found Peter a subject of interest and inspiration in his writing. Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe also wrote about Peter.

Peter learned many things, but never grew up- he remained a wild youth, and was ultimately celebrated for this, becoming a legendary figure in his own lifetime, and is still remembered in England today. Author Christopher Mechling believes it was Peter’s life and times that provided much of the basis for James Barrie’s classic fairy tale. Indeed, among the many links between the myth and the real boy, are the fairies themselves. James Barrie himself acknowledged that his fairies were born out of the epic 18th century poem Kensington Gardens by Thomas Tickell. This poem was written only two years prior to the arrival of Peter the Wild Boy at Kensington.

Christopher Mechling's imaginative dramatization captures the poignant experiences of Peter and the people who interacted with him. Peter: The Untold True Story is available in hardcover from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and at the author’s website. It is also available as an e-book through the Apple iBookstore and Amazon Kindle .

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