Peter and Wendy (also published as Peter Pan and Wendy and as Peter Pan) is a children's fantasy novel of seventeen chapters by the Scottish author J.M. Barrie. It was first published in 1911. Barrie adapted the story from his own stage plays Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, which was first performed in 1904, and When Wendy Grew Up - An Afterthought, which was first performed in 1908.
The novel's two title characters are Peter Pan and Wendy Darling. Wendy Darling is the oldest of three children from a middle-class English family. She and her two younger brothers, John and Michael, first become aware of Peter Pan in their dreams. Peter Pan is the only boy in the world who has the ability to stay young forever. He can fly and he lives on the island of Neverland. Wendy begins to suspect that Peter Pan sometimes enters the bedroom that she shares with John and Michael while she is asleep. This proves to be true. When Peter Pan accidentally wakes Wendy up one evening, he tells her that he comes to her house to hear the stories that her mother tells her and her brothers. Peter then tells those stories to the six other boys, known as the Lost Boys, who live with him in Neverland. When Wendy says that she knows lots of stories, Peter asks her to come back to Neverland with him. Wendy agrees, on the condition that John and Michael can go with her. She then acts as mother to all the boys on the island. Neverland is also home to fairies, mermaids, a Native American tribe and a band of pirates led by the fearsome Captain Hook. In spite of its dangers, Wendy and her brothers live happily in Neverland for a long time. They then become worried that their parents may have forgotten about them and want to return home.
Some readers are likely to be offended by the manner in which Native Americans are depicted in Peter and Wendy. The Native American characters are said to belong to a tribe called the Piccaninny tribe. They are referred to as "Redskins" throughout the novel and are occasionally called "savages".
There have been numerous adaptations of Peter and Wendy and Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up to other media. These adaptations include comic books and graphic novels, stage musicals, traditional British pantomimes, video games and radio dramas. Other authors have written novels which serve as sequels and prequels to Peter and Wendy, both authorized and unauthorized. The first film adaptation of the Peter Pan story, an American silent movie, was released in 1924. Several live-action and animated film and television adaptations of the story have been produced since then, in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, Australia and Japan. The best-known movie adaptations of the story are the 1953 Walt Disney animated film Peter Pan, Steven Spielberg's 1991 film Hook (starring Robin Williams as an adult Peter Pan and Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook), the 2003 American-British-Australian film Peter Pan (starring Jeremy Sumpter as Peter Pan and Jason Isaacs as Captain Hook) and the 2015 prequel Pan (starring Levi Miller as Peter, Garrett Hedlund as Hook and Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard the pirate).
George Darling and his wife live in London with their three children, Wendy, John and Michael. Mr. Darling considers himself to be a financial expert and tries to be frugal. At the same time, however, he tries to keep up with his neighbors. For that reason, the Darlings have a nanny. In order to save money, the nanny is a Newfoundland dog named Nana, a former stray who used to show a keen interest in children when she lived in Kensington Gardens.
Mrs. Darling becomes aware that all of her children are dreaming about a boy named Peter. When she asks Wendy who this Peter is, Wendy replies that he is Peter Pan. Mrs. Darling remembers that when she was a girl she heard some strange stories about a boy named Peter Pan who lived with the fairies. She believed those stories when she was a child but does not now. She comments that, if Peter Pan was a boy when she was a girl, he would now be grown up. Wendy replies that Peter Pan has not grown up and that he is just like her in his height and in his mind.
Shortly afterwards, Mrs. Darling finds leaves on the floor of the children's bedroom. Wendy says that she thinks that Peter Pan left them behind. She explains that she thinks that Peter Pan sometimes comes into the room which she shares with John and Michael while they are asleep. Mrs. Darling points out that it would be impossible for anybody to climb up to the children's bedroom window. When she looks at the leaves, however, she is certain that they do not come from any tree that grows in England.
The following night, Mrs. Darling stays in the children's bedroom when they fall asleep. She is awakened by a small light that comes in through the window. The light is accompanied by a boy dressed in leaves. Mrs. Darling knows at once that the boy is Peter Pan. When he sees Mrs. Darling, he angrily gnashes his teeth at her because she is a grown up. Nana rushes into the room. She chases Peter out of the window and promptly shuts it behind him. Mrs. Darling is afraid that Peter has fallen to his death. When she goes outside, however, she can see no sign of his body. When Mrs. Darling comes back to the children's room, she finds that Peter has left his shadow behind. Knowing that Peter will come back for his shadow, Nana wants to hang it outside the bedroom window. Mrs. Darling, however, feels that will make the house look untidy. She rolls up the shadow and puts it in a drawer. She does not show the shadow to her husband until the following Friday, while they are both getting ready to go to a party. Mr. Darling says that the shadow looks like it belongs to a scoundrel.
The Darlings' three children have been put to bed. Michael does not want to take his medicine. Mr. Darling says that he also has to take some medicine which tastes much nastier than Michael's. It is decided that Michael and Mr. Darling should both take their medicine at the same time. Michael takes his. Mr. Darling, however, hides his behind his back. He then decides that it would be a good joke to get Nana to drink the medicine, which looks like milk. He pours it into Nana's bowl. Nana soon realizes that the medicine is not milk and stops drinking it. Mr. darling decides that he does not like the dog's attitude. As a punishment, he banishes Nana from the children's bedroom and chains her up in the yard. When Mr. and Mrs. Darling leave for the party, their children are left completely unsupervised.
The fairy Tinker Bell, whose voice sounds like the tinkling of bells and who looks like a bright light from a distance, enters the children's bedroom. She searches for Peter's shadow and finds it in a drawer. Peter enters the room soon afterwards. He recovers his shadow but finds that he cannot attach it to his body again. He begins to cry. His cries wake up Wendy. She sews the shadow onto his feet.
Peter and Wendy introduce themselves to each other. Peter also presents Wendy to Tinker Bell. It is obvious that the fairy is jealous of Wendy from the start. Wendy asks Peter if he would like her to give him a kiss. Peter holds out his hand expectantly. So as not to disappoint him, Wendy gives Peter a thimble. He then asks her if he can give her a kiss. He gives her an acorn button which she puts on a chain around her neck.
Peter Pan says that he does not know how old he is. He ran away on the day that he was born. He heard his parents talking about what he would do when he grew up. Peter decided that he never wanted to grow up and wanted to be a little boy and have fun forever. For a long time, he lived among the fairies in Kensington Gardens. Now, he chiefly lives in Neverland with the Lost Boys. The Lost Boys are children who fell out of their baby carriages. They are sent to Neverland if nobody claims them after seven days. They are all boys because girls are much too clever to fall out of their baby carriages.
Peter explains that the reason why he came to Wendy's bedroom was to hear stories that her mother told her. He adds that he does not know any stories and that none of the Lost Boys do either. He says that he has been listening to Mrs. Darling tell the story of "Cinderella". He is keen to find out how the story ends and then tell the Lost Boys. Wendy says that she knows how "Cinderella' ends and could tell Peter and the Lost Boys lots of other stories too. Peter asks Wendy if she wants to come back to Neverland with him. He says that, in addition to telling stories, she could tuck the Lost Boys in at night and sew for them. He further tries to tempt Wendy by saying there are mermaids in Neverland. Wendy says that she cannot fly. Peter says that he can teach her. Wendy asks Peter if he will teach John and Michael to fly too. Peter indifferently responds that he will.
Wendy wakes up her brothers. After Peter Pan has told them to think happy thoughts and blown fairy dust onto them, the children are able to fly. After they have flown around the bedroom a few times, John suggests that they go outside. When Peter Pan says that he can take John to a place where there are pirates, John puts on his top hat in eager preparation to leave at once.
Knowing that the children are in danger, Nana breaks her chains and runs into the nearby house where Mr. and Mrs. Darling are attending the party. Understanding what Nana is trying to tell them, the Darlings run home at once. They arrive in their children's bedroom just after their children have flown out of the window.
After a long flight, which lasts several months, the children arrive at the island of Neverland at sunset. Peter Pan says that he can see a sleeping pirate below and that they could go down, wake him up and kill him. John asks who the pirate captain currently is. Peter replies that it is James Hook. John and Michael are frightened because they know Hook by reputation. John asks if Hook is big. Peter replies that Hook is not as big as he used to be because he cut off his right hand. Captain Hook now has a metal hook in place of his missing hand. It is later revealed that Peter Pan fed the hand to a passing crocodile. The crocodile liked the taste of the hand so much that it is eager to eat the rest of Hook. It has followed him ever since. Fortunately for Hook, the crocodile also swallowed a clock. Hook can hear the loud ticking clock from inside the crocodile and is able to escape from it in time. He knows that the clock will eventually run down and it will be more difficult to evade the silent crocodile.
The pirates can see Tinker Bell's light and aim their cannon Long Tom at it. To hide the light, Tinker Bell is put inside John's top hat which is carried by Wendy. Although Tinker Bell's light is hidden, the pirates aim their cannon at the children anyway. None of them are hurt by the blast of the cannon, although the wind that it causes separates them. Tinker Bell, who is entirely consumed by jealousy for Wendy decides to lead her to her doom.
On the ground, the six Lost Boys, Tootles, Nibs, Slightly, Curly and the twins, are looking for Peter Pan. The Lost Boys are being pursued by the pirates. The pirate crew is made up of the Italian Cecco, a huge black man who has gone by many names, Bill Jukes (who is entirely covered in tattoos), Gentleman Starkey, Morgan Skylights, the Irishman Smee, Noodler (whose hands are on backwards), Robert Mullins and Alf Moon. Hook is in the center of them in a chariot which some other pirates are pulling. Morgan Skylights gets too close to Hook and ruffles his lace collar. As punishment, Hook kills Morgan Skylights by cutting his throat with his hook. The pirates are being pursued by the Redskins. They are carrying the scalps of the pirates and Lost Boys they have killed. At the rear, the most dangerous position, is the brave Princess Tiger Lilly. The Redskins are being pursued by wild animals, including the ticking crocodile.
The Lost Boys come to the place where their underground home is located. They hear the sound of the pirates singing. The Lost Boys descend to the safety of their home by each going through a hole in one of seven hollow trees. Starkey wants to shoot at one of the Lost Boys he can see. Hook tells him not to do so because the Redskins would hear the shot. Hook also wants to get all six Lost Boys and Peter Pan, not just one boy. Hook sits down on an enormous mushroom. He feels that it is hot. He lifts the mushroom out of the ground and smoke comes out of the hole. Hook can hear the Lost Boys speaking underground. He realizes that the mushroom is hiding the chimney of the Lost Boys' home. He also realizes that the seven hollow trees are entrances to the Lost Boys' home. The fact that the boys do not realize that they do not each need a separate entrance to their home leads Hook to conclude that they do not have a mother. He comes up with a plan to kill the Lost Boys. He will have a rich cake made and leave it by the Mermaid Lagoon, where the boys like to swim with the mermaids. Not having a mother, the boys do not know that it is dangerous to eat too much rich damp cake. They will eat it all and die.
The Lost Boys see Tinker Bell in the sky with what they think is a large white bird that makes a sound like, "Poor Wendy! Poor Wendy!" They hear Tinker Bell tell them that Peter Pan wants them to shoot the Wendy bird. Tootles fire an arrow. Wendy falls to the ground with an arrow in her chest. The Lost Boys realize that what Tootles has hit is not a bird. They decide that Wendy is a lady and that Peter Pan must have brought her to look after them. Peter Pan arrives soon afterwards. He sees the apparently dead Wendy. He pulls out the arrow and asks whose it is. Tootles says that it is his. Peter tries to use the arrow as a dagger to kill Tootles. He finds that something is stopping his hand. Wendy has grabbed hold of his arm. She is not dead. She is simply in shock. The arrow hit the acorn button that Peter Pan gave her which she wore on the chain round her neck.
Curly suggests carrying Wendy into their underground house. Peter Pan says that would not be proper. Tootles says that Wendy will die if they leave her outside. Peter Pan tells the Lost Boys to build a house around Wendy. They do so. John and Michael arrive and join in. John's top hat is used as the little houses's chimney. When the house is finished, the boys knock on its door. When Wendy comes out, they ask her to be their mother. Wendy says that she is just a little girl with no experience of being a mother. Peter Pan says that they just need a nice motherly person. Wendy agrees that she is such a person and accepts the task of being the Lost Boys' mother.
Hook has the cake made and keeps leaving it in places where the Lost Boys will find it. Wendy, however, always tells the not to eat it. In time, the cake goes stale and loses its appeal.
Wendy, John and Michael move into the underground home that Peter Pan, the Lost Boys and Tinker Bell share. They stay there for a long time. Wendy enthusiastically takes up the task of being mother to all of the boys. She is keen, however, for John and Michael not to forget their real mother and father. She keeps setting them examination questions about their parents, Nana and their previous life in England. The boys are unable to answer most of the questions and Wendy finds that she is forgetting about her parents too. She is certain, however, that her parents will continue to leave her bedroom window open so that she can fly in through it when she decides to go home.
Wendy, Peter Pan and the other boys enjoy swimming in Mermaid Lagoon, even though the mermaids generally treat them with indifference and sometimes cruelty. Wendy does not allow the boys to swim immediately after they have eaten lunch. She insists that they rest for thirty minutes on an island in the lagoon called Marroner's Rock. The island is so named because evil captains have left sailors on it to drown. It becomes completely submerged at high tide. While the children are sleeping on Marooner's Rock one afternoon, Wendy wakes up when she notices that it is getting dark unusually early. The darkness is caused by the arrival of the pirates. Sensing danger, Peter Pan wakes up also. Having seen the approaching pirates, he orders all of the children to dive into the water.
Peter Pan and Wendy see a small boat approach the rock. In it are the pirates Smee and Starkey and their bound captive Tiger Lily. Tiger Lily had been caught trying to sneak onto the pirate ship, the Jolly Roger, to try to kill Captain Hook. Being left to drown on Marooner's Rock is a double punishment for Tiger Lily because it is the belief of her tribe that people who die in water cannot reach the afterlife. Although Peter Pan does not particularly care for Tiger Lily, he thinks that the situation is unfair because there are two pirates but Tiger Lily is alone. Imitating Hook's voice exactly, Peter Pan orders Smee and Starkey to set Tiger Lily free. They immediately obey.
The real Captain Hook then approaches in another small boat. He tells Smee and Starkey that it will now be more difficult to outwit and defeat the Lost Boys because they have found a mother. The ignorant Smee does not know what a mother is. Hook points out a floating nest which has a bird, called the Never bird, sitting on it. Hook explains that the Never bird is a true mother. Even though her nest has fallen in the water, the bird has not deserted her eggs. Smee suggests kidnapping Wendy and making her the pirates' mother. Hook likes this idea very much. He says that they will capture Wendy along with all the other children and then force the boys to walk the plank.
Hook then asks where Tiger Lily is. Smee and Starkey tell Hook that he ordered them to set her free. Hook says that he gave no such order. Thinking that a ghost may be haunting the lagoon, Hook addresses it. Peter Pan responds in Hook's voice. When Hook asks the voice to identify itself, Peter Pan replies that he is James Hook, captain of the Jolly Roger. When Hook asks, "If you are Hook, come tell me who am I?" Peter Pan tells the captain that he is a codfish. Hook becomes suspicious and tricks the speaker into identifying himself as Peter Pan under the guise of playing a guessing game.
Realizing that the children are in the lagoon, Hook, Smee and Starkey dive into the water. Peter Pan then orders the other boys to attack the pirates. Hook and Peter fight on Marooner's Rock. Peter sees that he has an advantage because he is higher up the rock than Hook. He offers Hook his hand to lift him up. Hook then bites Peter Pan's hand. Although Peter Pan eventually defeats Hook, who goes back to his ship, Peter Pan is deeply shocked by Hook being so unfair as to bite him. This shock leaves Peter Pan unable to swim or fly.
The Lost Boys, John and Michael return home in one of the pirates' small boats. They assume that Peter Pan and Wendy will swim or fly home. Peter Pan and Wendy are left on Marooner's Rock as the tide is rising. Wendy says that she is too tired to swim or fly home. At that moment, Peter Pan's face is brushed by a passing kite that Michael had made. Peter gets Wendy to use the kite to carry her home. He knows that the kite cannot carry both of them and is resigned to the idea that he will drown. Peter Pan is afraid at first. He then becomes brave again and says, "To die will be an awfully great adventure."
The Never bird guides her nest towards Marooner's Rock. She wants Peter to get into the nest and use it as a boat. Peter Pan does not realize this, however, because he and the Never bird do not speak the same language. Peter Pan eventually understands when the bird flies out of the nest. He puts the Never bird's two eggs into a hat, which Starkey the pirate left behind on Marooner's Rock. The Never bird sits on the eggs in the hat and sails away on it. Peter Pan steers the nest towards the shore and arrives home at about the same time as Wendy.
As a result of his having saved Tiger Lily's life, the Redskins become the friends and allies of Peter Pan. They constantly guard his underground home to protect it from the pirates.
One evening, Wendy tells a story which she has told many times before. All of the boys love the story, apart from Peter Pan who hates it. Peter Pan usually does not listen to it. That night, however, he does. The story is about Mr. and Mrs. Darling who have three children who fly away to Neverland. Mr. and Mrs. Darling are very sad when they find out their children have gone. They keep the children's bedroom window open, however, so that the children can fly home again. In the future, the children return and their parents happily welcome them back. Peter Pan then says something that he has never said before. He says that he used to believe that his mother would keep his bedroom window open for him. After he had been away from home for a long time, he flew back. He found that the window had been barred and saw another little boy sleeping in his bed.
Suddenly frightened that their parents might have given them up for dead, Wendy, John and Michael decide to return home at once. Peter Pan says that he will not stop them from leaving, although he will not guide them home himself. He says that he can arrange for the Redskins to lead them through the forest and that Tinker Bell can then lead them in their flight across the ocean. The Lost Boys, anxious not to lose their mother, try to prevent Wendy from leaving. She tells them that she is certain that her parents will adopt all of them if they come home with her. Wendy's invitation extends to Peter, although he is not interested. The Lost Boys, however, are eager to leave and Peter does not try to stop them. Peter Pan says a brief goodbye to Wendy. She makes him promise to continue taking the medicine she gives him, which is really only water.
At the moment that Wendy, John, Michael and the Lost Boys are about to leave, the pirates launch a surprise attack on the Redskins above the children's underground home. The battle is over very quickly. Most of the Redskins are killed. Being beneath the ground, however, Peter Pan and the other children do not know which side has won. Peter says that if the Redskins have won, they will play the tom-tom afterwards as they always do. Hook orders the pirate Smee to play the tom-tom.
Having been tricked into thinking that it is safe to go above ground, Wendy, Michael, John and the Lost Boys do so. As the children emerge, they are captured one by one by the pirates. They are all bound with ropes, apart from Wendy. The pirates put all the children into the little house which the Lost Boys built for Wendy and carry it away.
Hook stays behind. He finds that one of the hollow trees that the Lost Boys use to enter their home is wide enough for him. He goes down to Peter Pan's home. Peter Pan has fallen asleep. Before going to sleep, he tried to do as many things as he could that he knew Wendy would not like. That included not taking his medicine. Hook sees the cup that contains Peter Pan's medicine. He immediately guesses what it is and adds some poison to it. As Hook goes back to his ship, he boasts to himself about what he has done.
Shortly after Hook leaves, Tinker Bell returns. She tells Peter Pan about the capture of the other children. Before setting out to save them, Peter decides to do something that he knows Wendy would like. He decides to take his medicine. Tinker Bell had passed Hook and had heard him boasting about poisoning Peter Pan's medicine. Peter does not believe her and proceeds to take the medicine anyway. Tinker Bell flies between Peter Pan's lips and the cup. She prevents him from taking the poisoned medicine by drinking it herself. She then starts to die. She tells Peter Pan that she can recover if children believe in fairies. Peter appeals to all children around the world who are dreaming of Neverland to clap if they believe in fairies. Many children clap and Tinker Bell is saved. Peter Pan arms himself and leaves his house. He vows that either he or Hook will die this time.
Hook returns to his ship. He asks to see the boys, who are all chained up so that they cannot fly away. He says that two of them can avoid walking the plank if they agree to become his cabin boys. John admits to having fantasized about becoming a pirate. Both he and Michael are briefly interested in becoming cabin boys. John asks if he could still be a loyal British subject after he became a pirate. Hook replies that, as a pirate, John would have to say, "Down with the King." Both John and Michael decide that they would rather die than do that. Wendy is brought out and is told that she will see all of her sons walk the plank. She says that she hopes that they will die like English gentlemen. This infuriates Hook. He orders Smee to tie Wendy to the mast.
A loud ticking is then heard. Believing that the crocodile is going to board the ship to try to eat him, Hook orders the other pirates to hide him. The other pirates surround Hook. The pirates' backs are turned to the children because they have no desire to see the crocodile. The boys go to the side of the ship to watch the approaching beast. Instead of the crocodile, they see Peter Pan, who has been making the ticking sound. He carries on ticking and signals to the boys not to give him away.
Peter Pan kills one pirate, who has just come on deck from another part of the ship, without Hook or any of the other pirates noticing. Peter then goes to the cabin. It is pointed out to Hook that the ticking has stopped. The pirates believe that the crocodile has gone and turn around to face the children again. Hook decides that the boys will be whipped with the cat o' nine tails before they walk the plank. He tells Bill Jukes to go to the cabin to fetch the whip.
The sound of Bill Jukes screaming is heard, followed by the sound of Peter Pan crowing in victory. The pirates do not know what made the crowing sound. The Italian pirate Cecco goes to investigate. He quickly returns. He says that the cabin is in darkness and that Bill Jukes is dead. Hook tells Cecco to go back and bring out the thing that made the crowing sound. The sound of Cecco screaming is followed by the crowing sound again. Hook orders Starkey to investigate. Starkey refuses. Hook then accuses Starkey of mutiny and advances towards him menacingly. Faced with a choice of being killed either by Hook or by the thing in the cabin, Starkey chooses to jump into the sea. It is later revealed that Starkey does not drown. When he reaches the shore, he is captured by the Redskins and is forced to become a nursemaid to their children.
Hook takes a lantern and goes into the cabin himself. He comes out soon afterwards without his lantern. He says that Cecco is dead too and that the candle in his lantern was blown out by something in the cabin. The superstitious pirates believe that the ship is cursed and that the Devil is on board it. Hook decides to send John, Michael and the Lost Boys into the cabin to fight the thing inside it. The pirates are afraid to look and all turn their backs to the cabin door. Having found the key to unlock their chains, Peter Pan frees the other boys. They take up weapons and hide around the ship. Peter Pan then unties Wendy. He puts on Wendy's cloak and takes her place at the mast.
Hook says that the reason why the ship is cursed is because they have brought a woman on board. He orders that Wendy be thrown into the sea. Peter Pan then reveals himself. The pirates realize that he was the one who was killing their shipmates. The other boys then emerge and begin fighting the pirates. It is later revealed that Smee somehow escapes the carnage and goes on to make a living by claiming to have been the only man of whom Captain Hook was afraid. All of the other members of Hook's crew aboard the Jolly Roger, however, are killed. Eventually, Hook is the only one left alive. Peter Pan orders the other boys to stop fighting and leave Hook to him.
After a long fight, Hook is fatally wounded. Knowing that he is about to die, Hook tries to blow up the ship with gunpowder. Peter Pan prevents this. Hook goes to the side of the ship. With a gesture, he invites Peter to kick him rather than stab him. Peter Pan kicks Hook and he falls into the water. Hook was educated at Eton College and values "good form" above all else. He is delighted that Peter Pan, who has previously shown nothing but "good form", has finally shown some "bad form" by kicking him instead of stabbing him. He goes to his death with some degree of satisfaction. Hook does not know that the crocodile is in the water. The crocodile no longer ticks and is silent because the clock it swallowed has finally run down. Hook is eaten by the crocodile.
The children take over the pirate ship and wear the pirates' old clothes. Peter Pan wears clothes that once belonged to Hook, which have been modified by Wendy. They sail the pirate ship as far as the Azores and then fly the rest of the way to England.
Mr. and Mrs. Darling have continued to keep the children's bedroom window open. Believing that the children left as a direct result of his banishing Nana the dog to the yard, Mr. Darling decides to punish himself by staying in Nana's doghouse at all times until his children come home. This means that he carries the doghouse with him when he goes to work and other times when he goes outside. This results in him becoming an object of ridicule at first. When the reason why he stays in a doghouse at all time becomes known, however, Mr. Darling becomes something of a celebrity and is greeted with cheers whenever he appears in public.
On the night when the Darling children are to return home, Mr. and Mrs. Darling are both in their children's bedroom. Mrs. Darling goes into a neighboring room to play the piano. Mr. Darling goes to sleep in the doghouse. Peter Pan and Tinker Bell fly in through the window. Peter orders Tinker Bell to shut and bar the window so that Wendy will think that her mother has forgotten her and will go back to Neverland with him. He sees Mrs. Darling and eventually feels sorry for her. He opens the window again and flies away. Wendy, John and Michael then fly into their bedroom. They are surprised to see their father asleep in a doghouse, although they think that he might have always slept in a doghouse and that they have forgotten that.
The three children are disappointed that their mother is not there. They then hear her playing the piano. John suggests going into the other room and surprising her by putting their hands over her eyes. Wendy thinks that the news of their return needs to be broken to their mother in a more gentle way. She recommends that they just get into their beds. When Mrs. Darling goes into the room, she is not surprised to see her children because she thinks that she is only dreaming. It is only when she reaches out to touch them that she realizes that her children have really come back. Both Mr. and Mrs. Darling are overjoyed. The Lost Boys come up the stairs, still wearing their pirate clothes. They humbly ask if Mr. and Mrs. Darling will adopt them. The couple agree to do so.
Peter Pan appears at the window to say goodbye to Wendy. Mrs. Darling tells Peter that she will happily adopt him too. Peter asks if that means that he will be sent to school and then have to grow up and become a man. Mrs. Darling replies that it does. Peter Pan then refuses to stay. He says that he is going to go back to Neverland. He is going to move the little house that was built for Wendy to the top of a tree and live there with the fairies. Wendy finds this idea delightful and wants to go back to Neverland with Peter. Mrs. Darling refuses to let her go. When Wendy insists that Peter Pan needs a mother, Mrs. Darling allows her to visit Neverland the following spring to help Peter with spring cleaning.
The Lost Boys are sent to school. They forget how to fly and stop believing that they ever lived in Neverland. They grow up and get respectable jobs.
Peter Pan returns in the spring to take Wendy back to Neverland. Wendy is surprised to find that Peter has forgotten all about Captain Hook. He says, "I forget them after I kill them." He has also forgotten all about Tinker Bell, who is probably dead too.
The following spring, Peter Pan does not return for Wendy. He does come the year afterwards, however. He does not realize that he has missed a year and Wendy does not point that out to him. Wendy does not see Peter Pan again for many years.
Wendy grows up and marries. She and her husband live in the same house in which Wendy lived when she was a child. They have a daughter named Jane. Jane loves hearing her mother's stories about Neverland and Peter Pan.
One spring evening, Wendy is sitting on the floor of Jane's bedroom, the same room in which she and her brothers used to sleep. Jane is sleeping. Peter Pan suddenly flies in through the window. He is still a little boy and he thinks that only a year has passed since he last saw Wendy. It takes some time for Wendy to convince him that she is now a grown woman and that the sleeping child in the bed is her daughter. When Peter finally accepts the truth of what Wendy is saying, he begins to cry. Not knowing how to comfort him, Wendy leaves the room. Peter Pan's cries wake up Jane. When Wendy comes back in the room, she sees Jane flying around it. Jane announces that she is now Peter Pan's mother. Wendy agrees to let Jane go to Neverland to help Peter with spring cleaning.
Jane grows up and has a daughter named Margaret. Margaret then goes to Neverland some years to help Peter Pan with spring cleaning. She will grow up and have a daughter who will go to Neverland with Peter too.
As a novel that was first published over a hundred years ago (in 1911) and which was written by an author who died over seventy years ago (in 1937), Peter and Wendy is now in the public domain in most countries and territories around the world. In the United Kingdom, however, it remains under a form of perpetual copyright.
In 1929, J.M. Barrie gave the copyright to the play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up and the novel Peter and Wendy to Great Ormond Street Hospital, Britain's leading children's hospital. Barrie also made it clear in his will that he wanted the hospital to continue holding the copyright to his works about Peter Pan. A condition of Barrie's gift was that Great Ormond Street Hospital not reveal how much money it earned from it.
Peter and Wendy initially passed into the public domain in the United Kingdom on December 31, 1987, at the end of the fiftieth year after Barrie's death. In 1996, British copyright law was changed to bring it in line with the rest of the European Union. Under the new law, works passed into the public domain at the end of the seventieth year after their authors' deaths. As a result, Peter and Wendy came under full copyright again and remained so until December 31, 2007.
In 1988, former Prime Minister James Callaghan sponsored a Parliamentary Bill granting an extension of some of Great Ormond Street Hospital's rights to the play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, the novel Peter and Wendy and adaptations of both works in the United Kingdom. This was in effect between 1988 and 1996 and has been in effect since 2007. As a result, Great Ormond Street Hospital continues to receive royalties from sales of Peter and Wendy in the United Kingdom as well as to receive royalties from income generated by other versions of the Peter Pan story in that country. Great Ormond Street Hospital does not hold a true perpetual copyright, however, because it no longer has creative control over Barrie's works about Peter Pan. Previously, anybody who wished to adapt Peter and Wendy had to write to Great Ormond Street Hospital requesting permission to do so. That permission could be denied. This has not been the case since the end of 2007.
Although representatives of Great Ormond Street Hospital have acknowledged that the novel Peter and Wendy is in the public domain in the United States, they have claimed that the 1904 play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up is not yet in the public domain under American copyright law because its script was not published until 1928. Consequently, Great Ormond Street Hospital has claimed ownership of the general concept of Peter Pan in the United States. In 2004, the author J.E. Somma sued Great Ormond Street Hospital when it tried to prevent the publication of her novel After the Rain, A New Adventure for Peter Pan in the United States. The case was ultimately settled out of court. Also in 2004, The Walt Disney Company, a long time holder of the animation rights to Peter Pan which had collaborated with Great Ormond Street Hospital for many years, published the novel Peter Pan and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson in the United States without asking permission from Great Ormond Street Hospital or paying the hospital any royalties.
- Sound files of audiobook of Peter and Wendy from LibriVox: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15, Chapter 16, Chapter 17
- In the novel Peter and Wendy, the island is called "Neverland". It is called "Peter's Never Never Never Land" in the earliest drafts of the play Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. When the play was first performed in 1904, the name "Never Never Land" was used. This is also how the island is referred to in the publishing script of When Wendy Grew Up - An Afterthought. The island's name was shortened to "Never Land" when the script of Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up was published in 1928.
- A British pantomimes is a kind of musical comedy stage performance that is usually performed at Christmastime and the start of the New Year. Performances usually include songs, dance, slapstick comedy, topical humor and a lot of audience participation. Most pantomimes are loose adaptations of well-known stories that are familiar to children, such as the fairy tales of Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen,tales from One Thousand and One Nights, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz or Robinson Crusoe.
- It is not explicitly stated in Peter and Wendy that Hook was educated at Eton. According to Chapter 14, he attended a "famous public school". There are, however, several references in Chapter 14 and Chapter 15 to Hook remembering traditions and institutions that are unique to Eton. In the 1904 play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, Hook's last words are "Floreat Etona" (Latin for "Let Eton flourish").Barrie later wrote a short account of Hook's schooldays that he delivered as a speech at Eton College on July 7, 1927. It was published in the London newspaper The Times the following day under the title "Captain Hook at Eton".
- According to the 1908 play When Wendy Grew Up - An Afterthought, Wendy marries one of the Lost Boys. This is not stated in the novel Peter and Wendy.
- Between 1998 and 2019, most works published before 1923 were in the public domain in the United States. Under current United States copyright law, works fall into the public domain ninety-five years after publication. The majority of works published less than ninety-five years ago are still under copyright in the United States, regardless of how long their authors have been dead.