Peter Pan and Cricket by David Rayvern Allen - review by Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel

He was Never a Boy

Peter Pan and Cricket

By

Constable 181pp £12.95 order from our bookshop
 

A contributor to this journal recently spoke ill of adults who profess affection for Peter Pan; indeed, he said that if he had his way he would murder them. There may be many people who feel like this, so perhaps the title of this collection of J M Barrie 's cricket writings is not the best thing about it. But time has added savour to the whimsicalities of the Scottish gnome. Today he might be accused of mocking ethnic minorities by calling his team the Allahakbarries; and he would certainly be reviled for his admiring account of a ladies match, where both teams 'played like white men'.

The publishing history of these writings is as curious as their content. Barrie had pamphlets printed privately for his team of wandering litérateurs, but by the time Alfred D Taylor was working on his Catalogue of Cricket Literature in 1906, the playwright had lost them or given them away; it

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter