Peter Pan's First XI: The Extraordinary Story of J. M. Barrie's Cricket Team

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9780340919453: Peter Pan's First XI: The Extraordinary Story of J. M. Barrie's Cricket Team

The creator of Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie, was a hugely enthusiastic cricketer of very little talent. That didn't stop him from leading perhaps the most extraordinary amateur cricket team ever to have taken the field. Some of the twentieth century’s most famous writers including A. A. Milne, P. G. Wodehouse, and Jerome K. Jerome, regularly turned out for Barrie’s team between 1890 and 1913. This very Edwardian vision of village cricket, what Barrie called "green fields dotted with white figures on reasonable terms," was only brought to an end by the First World War. In Peter Pan’s First XI, Kevin Telfer weaves cricket, literature, history, humor, and biography to create an entertaining account of this little-known band of cricketing Peter Pans—and the age in which they lived.

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About the Author:

Kevin Telfer is the author of The Remarkable Story of Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Review:

'Telfer's book is a fine exposition of a little-known subject, one that manages to be more than just a cricketing chronicle, and that uses Barrie's haphazard team as a prism through which to view the wider pre-war period.' -- Andrew Holgate, Sunday Times 'Telfer combines a mordant humour with an imaginative ambition to find in this celebration of cricket an allusive metaphor for a golden twilight of prelapsarian Edwardian England and the fall of a graceful innocence, when stumps were pulled for the last time, into the trenches and the immortality of Neverland' -- The Times 'We have an increasing need for Edwardian idylls in the 21st century, and Barrie's idyll, which involved the creation of a cricket team who tried very hard indeed never to grow up, is lovingly recorded in Peter Pan's First XI, by Kevin Telfer. The tragedy is that we all have to grow up, but at least we have cricket to keep the process at bay.' -- Simon Barnes, The Times 'Cricket is a literary game and there was no more literary team than the playwright J.M. Barrie's team' -- Peter Lewis, The Daily Mail 'Entertaining' -- The Times Literary Supplement 'In this delightful book, Kevin Telfer tells the story of this lifelong love affair and its implications for Barrie and his charmed circle. The book attempts to capture an age and its attitudes and can be enjoyed by even those who do not have a penchant for England's summer game.' -- The Telegraph, Calcutta 'This is a wonderful book, written with great elegance and affection, scrupulously researched and packed full of terrific stories.' -- Spectator 'Evocative and often very funny'. -- Sunday Telegraph

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