Mr. Peter Pan himself, J.M. Barrie, started up a cricket team with his buddies A.A. Milne, Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Jerome K. Jerome, G.K. Chesterton, P.G. Wodehouse, and a bunch of other folks who were no literary slouches themselves. This sounds like the beginning of a very witty literary joke, but it actually happened.
They were terrible at cricket. They called themselves the Allahakbarries, which they thought meant “God help us” (they were terrible at Arabic, too). Along with Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, Sherlock Holmes, and Bertie Wooster, these gentlemen were also responsible for the following delightful stories:
1) J.M. Barrie wrote a book about the cricket team and dedicated it ′To Our Dear Enemy Mary de Navarro′ — an American actress who had bowled him out.
2) A.A. Milne based Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga, and Roo on his son’s real stuffed toys. He made up Rabbit and Owl.3) Arthur Conan Doyle was the only one on the team who played cricket at all well. He was also quite skilled at football and golf. His last words were “You are wonderful.” He was speaking to his wife.
4) H.G. Wells had an open marriage. Among his mistresses were feminists Margaret Sanger and Rebecca West.5) Jerome K. Jerome’s adventures in Three Men in a Boat were based in part on a real boat trip down the Thames — but it wasn’t a trip Jerome took with childhood friends George and Harris. It was his honeymoon.
6) G.K. Chesterton was a gigantic guy and walked around in a cape carrying a swordstick. P.G. Wodehouse once described a huge crashing noise as “a sound like Chesterton falling onto a sheet of tin.”
7) P.G. Wodehouse knew how to take criticism gracefully. Upon the release of his novel Summer Lightning, he wrote:
A certain critic—for such men, I regret to say, do exist—made the nasty remark about my last novel that it contained ‘all the old Wodehouse characters under different names’. He has probably by now been eaten by bears, like the children who made mock of the prophet Elijah.