J. M. Barrie's classic work Peter Pan (1904) tells the story of the Darling children's journey to the magical islands of Neverland with Peter Pan, an adventurous young boy who refuses to grow up. The omniscient narratorwho addresses the audience in the first personintroduces the Darling family, which includes Mr. and Mrs. Darling; their three children, Wendy, John, and Michael; and a dog named Nana. The family resides in London, where the children share a nursery. In the present, Wendy tells Mrs. Darling about a boy named Peter Pan, who visits her dreams from a place called Neverland.After the children go to sleep, Peter Pan unexpectedly enters through their bedroom window, startling Mrs. Darling. When Mr. and Mrs. Darling leave the house to attend a nearby dinner party, Peter returns with his fairy, Tinker Bell. Wendy awakes and helps Peter attach his shadow to his body. Peter tells Wendy that he has no parents and that he refuses to ever become an adult; he lives in Neverland with a group of abandoned children who refer to themselves as "the lost boys." Intrigued with Neverland, Wendy asks him about fairies, which reminds Peter that he accidentally trapped Tinker Bell inside a closed drawer.The play Peter Pan; or, The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up was first produced in December 1904, with Gerald du MaurierSylvia's brother and the father of writer Daphne du Maurierplaying both Mr. Darling, the father of the children spirited away by Peter Pan, and Captain Hook, the villainous pirate whom Peter defeats. That play added a new character to the mythology of the English-speaking world in the figure of Peter Pan, the eternal boy. Though the popular conception of the character is that of a charmingly impish figure, bent more on adventure and escaping the tedium of adulthood than anything truly sinister, the Peter of the play and books is anarchical, selfish, and murderous. For example, he kills his compatriots "the Lost Boys" when they show signs of maturing. Notes by Barrie indicate that Peter was in fact intended to be the true villain of the story. The scene in the play introducing Captain Hook was included only as a means of filling the time needed for a set change. The iconic buccaneer was retained in the 1911 novelization of the play, Peter and Wendy.Most of Barrie's stage triumphs have been dismissed by critics as marred by ephemeral whimsicalities, but at least six of his playsQuality Street (1901), The Admirable Crichton (1902), What Every Woman Knows (1908), The Twelve-Pound Look (1910), The Will (1913), and Dear Brutus (1917)are of indisputably high quality. Barrie idealized childhood and desexualized femininity but took a disenchanted view of adult life, as reflected in the gentle melancholy of those works. Sometimes he expressed his disenchantment humorously, as in The Admirable Crichton, in which a butler becomes the king of a desert island, with his former employers as serfs; sometimes satirically, as in The Twelve-Pound Look; and sometimes tragically, as in Dear Brutus, in which nine men and women whose lives have come to grief are given a magical second chance, only to wreck themselves again on the reefs of their own temperaments. The elaborate stage directions in Barrie's plays are sometimes more rewarding than their dialogue itself. Barrie proved himself a master of stage effects and of the delineation of character, but the sentimental and whimsical elements in his work have discouraged frequent revivals.Barrie was created a baronet in 1913 and was awarded the Order of Merit in 1922. He became president of the Society of Authors in 1928 and chancellor of the University of Edinburgh in 1930.