The first unknown sentence (Chapter 5):

Feeling that Peter was on his way back, the Neverland had again woke into life. We ought to use the pluperfect and say wakened, but woke is better and was always used by Peter.

According to Wikipedia, the pluperfect is the "past in the past" tense, and originates from the Latin plusquamperfect, meaning. Please pardon my ignorance of English grammar (even though I have been a native speaker for 30 years), but I don't understand why Peter ought to have used the pluperfect, and why "had again wakened" would count as the pluperfect and "had again woke" does not (and what tense is "had again woke", if it is correct English)?

Later on in Chapter 5:

In manner, something of the grand seigneur still clung to him, so that he even ripped you up with an air, and I have been told that he was a raconteur of repute.

Seigneur apparently comes from French heraldry, but its intention and meaning here is lost to me. However, wiktionary does provide a clear definition of raconteur, so that word's meaning is transparent.

  • This question has received a close vote (not mine), I think because it contains two questions. Some people on this site prefer each question to have only one question. You could appease them by editing this question so that it asks just one, and posting another question to ask the other. Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 11:20
  • As it stands this question is possibly more suited to the English Language and Usage site or the English Learners site. The question could be slanted more towards literature if you also ask what purpose Barrie may have had in having Peter use sloppy grammar and casting the bloodthirsty Hook as an elegant gentleman.
    – Spagirl
    Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 11:50

1 Answer 1


"The Neverland had woken into life again" (or had wakened, if Barrie insists) is the pluperfect tense, now called 'past perfect'. Had woke is not any tense that exists in English, but Peter hadn't been to school!

Seigneur is not particularly to do with heraldry; it's a French term for a man of high rank (grand meaning great). The person described (Captain Hook?) had something of an aristocratic air.

  • With your first paragraph you have done little more than paraphrase the quoted text in reiterating that ‘woke’ is wrong. Can you explain further for the OP why woke is wrong.
    – Spagirl
    Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 11:44

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