What is the meaning of Peter Pan - not for J.M. Barrie, but for the thousands who have continued to purchase for children version after version of the story, and who have faithfully attended the productions of the play. What does Peter Pan have to say about modern conceptions of childhood, about how people understand the child's and our own relationship to language, sexuality and death? What can Peter Pan tell people about the theatrical, literary and educational institutions of which it is a part? These are some of the questions this book attempts to answer. Shifting attention away from Barrie, the originator of Peter Pan, it asks instead what is the nature of people's own desire or investment in this phenomenon of our culture. Jacqueline Rose identifies behind Peter Pan a fantasy of childhood which she traces back through the history of children's fiction, forward to modern critical commentaries on children's writing and into some of the most contemporary writers of books for children today. Peter Pan, Rose contends, forces people to question what it is they are doing in the endless production and dissemination of children's fiction. In a new preface written especially for this edition, Rose accounts for some of the new developments since the book's first publication in 1984. She discusses some of Peter Pan's new guises and their implications. From Spielberg's "Hook", to the lesbian production of the play at the London Drill Hall in 1991, to debates in the British House of Lords, to a newly claimed status as the icon of a transvestite culture, Peter Pan continues to demonstrate its bizarre renewability as a cultural fetish of modern times. Other works by Jacqueline Rose include "Sexuality in the Field of Vision" and "The Haunting of Sylvia Plath".