Peter Pan is a fictional character most likely created early in the last century by J.M. Barrie. He first appears in 1902’s “The Little White Bird,” though how long Barrie was working on this novel and when he introduced the character during the writing process call into question when exactly the character originated. But we can be certain it was 1902 before anything with him in it was published. Ironically, “The Little White Bird” was meant for adults and Peter Pan only appeared in a section of the novel rather than being the main character. “Peter and Wendy” (later shortened to simply “Peter Pan”), perhaps the novel most folks associate with the character the most, wasn’t published until 1911. But it was based on Barrie’s 1904 play “Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.” However, Barrie had written and published other Peter Pan novels for this. 1906 saw “Peter Pan in Kensington Garden, which features the story of how Peter Pan as an infant came to live in Kensington Garden. Actually, this is the chapters from “The Little White Bird” which introduced Peter Pan to the world turned into their own book.
Barrie only produced four major literary works to feature Peter Pan. “The Little White Bird,” “Peter Pan in Kensington Garden,” and “Peter and Wendy” are three of these. The fourth is 1908’s “When Wendy Grew Up – An Afterthought.” Yet Barrie never allowed Peter Pan to actually grow up, though he did allow him to age. Peter first appears as an infant of just seven days of age, but he’s later said to still have all his baby teeth. And when he meets Wendy he’s clearly a child. At age 6 Michael Llewelyn Davies, later one of Barrie’s foster children, was whom Barrie pictured as Peter Pan. So we know that Peter Pan at Least aged to be six years of age in Barrie’s stories.
It is only outside of Barrie’s works that Peter Pan ever grew up. This was never supposed to happen because Peter Pan was also partially based on Barrie’s older brother. Or more accurately his mother’s memories of him. David Barrie died just a couple of days before his fourteenth birthday, and according to his own biography of his mother she was apparently comforted by the fact that her son would never grow up and leave her. He’d remain a “boy who wouldn’t grow up.” We can see that Barrie never intended for Peter Pan to grow up like his brother as he shows Wendy growing up and having a daughter, Jane, who then travels to Neverland with him and she makes the same choice as her mother. Then when book ends Barrie introduces us to Jane’s daughter Margaret, saying that she and her daughter, her granddaughter, great granddaughter, etc. will all journey to Neverland with Peter Pan and make the same decision for as long as children believe in faries.