Peter Pan's First XI
I wrote the book Peter Pan’s First XI, all about J. M. Barrie’s amateur cricket team, full of literary celebrities, that played between 1887 and 1913.
It had many great reviews and was picked by three Sunday newspapers: The Sunday Times, the Observer and the Sunday Telegraph as one of their best books of 2010.
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.
‘This is a wonderful book, written with great elegance and affection, scrupulously researched and packed full of terrific stories.’ (The Spectator)
‘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, The Sunday Times )