Sceptre £8.99 (344pp) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Peter Pan's First XI, By Kevin Telfer
Friday 29 April 2011
If Nigel Molesworth had been more literary-minded, he might have selected the cricket team pictured here, including EV Hornung (of Raffles fame), PG Wodehouse, Arthur Conan Doyle and AEW Mason (of The Four Feathers).
The unlikely captain of the Allahakbarries was JM Barrie, described as "a weedy fellow a little over five feet tall". Yet what he lacked in stature, Barrie made up in cricketing spirit.
According to the genial Telfer, he revelled in the "playful nature of the enterprise", not surprised to discover that a new team member did not know which side of the bat was used to hit the ball.
But the lacksadaisical squad was more formidable than might appear. Conan Doyle skittled WG Grace, while literary merit did not keep JK Jerome in the team.
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
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