Book Announcement: Peter Pan and the Mind of J. M. Barrie: An Exploration of Cognition and Consciousness (Paperback)

Paperback edition of Peter Pan and the Mind of J. M. Barrie: An Exploration of Cognition and Consciousness now available from Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Paperback, pp205, £34.99 / $59.95

Cambridge Scholars Publishing is pleased to announce the paperback release of Peter Pan and the Mind of J. M. Barrie: An Exploration of Cognition and Consciousness by Rosalind Ridley.

What is Peter Pan all about? Many of us realise that there is a bit more to the stories than a simple fantasy about flying away to a wonderful place in which to play, and that there is something psychologically rather dark about the events in the stories. But J. M. Barrie’s work has not previously been considered from the perspective of either the science of his time, or the insights of modern cognitive psychology. This book explores the texts of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (1906) and Peter and Wendy (1911), and argues that Barrie describes the limited mental abilities of infants and animals in order to illuminate the structure of human adult cognition. Barrie had a well-informed, post-Darwinian perspective on the biological origins of human behaviour. The idea that human consciousness, cognition, culture and sense of moral responsibility could have origins in animal behaviour was deeply shocking to the nineteenth century intelligentsia, and remains controversial in some sections of academia even today. Barrie’s work contains many insights into what is now referred to as mental representation and theory of mind, areas of cognitive psychology that have been examined scientifically only in the last few decades. Barrie also reflects on the nature of consciousness in a way that parallels modern interests. As books with a complex scientific undercurrent, Barrie’s Peter Pan stories rank alongside Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass, which engage with complex issues of mathematics and logic, and Charles Kingsley’s The Water-Babies, which explores the implications of evolution for human society.

To read a full summary of the book and to read a 30-page sample extract, which includes the table of contents, please visit the following link:

All Cambridge Scholars authors and contributors are entitled to a 40% discount on this title, to claim this simply enter the author discount code on the My Order page after adding the book to your basket from the link above. For further information about the author discount, please contact

Peter Pan and the Mind of J. M. Barrie: An Exploration of Cognition and Consciousness can be purchased directly from Cambridge Scholars, through Amazon and other online retailers, or through our global network of distributors. Our partners include Bertram, Gardners, Baker & Taylor, Ingram, YBP, Inspirees and MHM Limited. An e-book version will be available for purchase through the Google Play store in due course.

For further information on placing an order for this title, please contact

About the Author

Rosalind Ridley, MA, ScD, is a neuroscientist who spent many years working for the Medical Research Council in London and Cambridge. She is also a retired Fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge. Her work was concerned with understanding the relationship between brain activity and cognition, and its primary purpose was to develop medical treatments for psychological and neurological illnesses, which, in itself, required consideration of the relationship between brain, experience and behaviour, the nature and purpose of consciousness and a broad understanding of biology and evolution. These themes can be found embedded in the works of J. M. Barrie and are explored extensively in this book about Peter Pan.


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