Peter Pan’s creator would be 156 years old today.

Peter Pan J.M. Barrie wrote Peter Pan 112 years ago and yet the book lives on in the mind and heart of every child who has read the story. What might be less known is the family tragedy that inspired Barrie to write the story of Peter Pan, the story of a boy that stayed a boy forever.

His 13-year-old brother cracked his skull in an ice-skating accident and died. Their mother was devastated. In an attempt to console her, James Barrie, six years old, went into her room where she lay grieving. In the dark she asked: “Is that you?” Although he couldn’t see her, he knew she was holding out her arms for the dead boy.

Jealously, young James did everything he could to become his brother, even dressing up in his clothes. He would never grow more than 5ft tall. Somewhere deep down he became convinced that leaving childhood was life’s greatest catastrophe. So he invented a story about a boy who stayed a boy for ever. He called him Peter Pan.

In honor of his birthday, here are a few wonderful quotes that extend his legacy.

When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.


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