Peter Pan's First XI : The Extraordinary Story of J. M. Barrie's Cricket Team Paperback
by Kevin Telfer
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 was only brought to an end by the First World War. Those years of golden summers were recounted in Barrie's letters and journals, many revealed here for the first time.
Cricket lovers will identify with Barrie's attempts to assemble a team of competent players. In PETER PAN'S FIRST XI, Kevin Telfer weaves together cricket, literature, history, humour and biography to create an entertaining account of this little-known band of cricketing Peter Pans - and the age in which they lived.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 368 pages, Colour and B & W throughout
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
- Publication Date: 01/04/2011
- Category: Literary studies: general
- ISBN: 9780340919460
- EPUB from £5.99
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Review by MiaCulpa
A well written history of J.M. Barrie's cricketing team the Allahakbarries (he mistakenly believed Allahakbarries to mean "God help us" rather than "God is Great" in Arabic).Barrie's literary highlights need know introduction but many may have been surprised to read of his close connection to cricket. Being a very proper British gentleman, Barrie was a cricketer, even if his enthusiasm far outshone his ability, and the team he founded comprised friends, who just happened to be some of Britain's greatest literary stars of all time. So we get appearances by HG Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle (who was actually a decent cricketer), PG Wodehouse and AA Milne, amongst others. Barrie makes great mileage in his descriptions of how bad the Allahakbarries are and how much he had to coach them to become merely terrible, and these are the most enjoyable passages of the book. More moving though is his reactions to the deaths of the Llewelyn Davies boys. In the end "Peter Pan's First XI" ebbs away like a Test heading for a draw, rather than the last over of a T20 but, as aficionados know, a draw can still be a good result.