The Wind in the Willows

Description

Description

The Wind in the Willows is a children’s novel by Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908. Alternately slow moving and fast-paced, it focuses on four anthropomorphised animals in a pastoral version of Edwardian England. The novel is notable for its mixture of mysticism, adventure, morality and camaraderie, and celebrated for its evocation of the nature of the Thames Valley.

In 1908, Grahame retired from his position as secretary of the Bank of England. He moved back to Berkshire, where he had lived as a child, and spent his time by the River Thames doing much as the animal characters in his book do – as the book says, “simply messing about in boats” – and expanding the bedtime stories he had earlier told his son Alastair into a manuscript for the book…
Kenneth Grahame was born on 8 March 1859 in Edinburgh. When he was 5, his mother died from puerperal fever, and his father, who had a drinking problem, gave the care of his four children over to their grandmother, who lived in Cookham Dean in Berkshire. There they lived in a spacious but dilapidated home, “The Mount”, in extensive grounds by the River Thames, and were introduced to the riverside and boating by their uncle, David Ingles, curate at Cookham Dean church.[2] At Christmas 1865 the chimney of the house collapsed and the children moved to Fern Hill Cottage in Cranbourne, Berkshire. In 1866, their father tried to overcome his drinking problem and took the children back to live with him in Argyll, Scotland, but after a year they returned to their grandmother’s house in Cranbourne, where Kenneth lived until he entered St Edward’s School, Oxford in 1868.[3] During his early years at St. Edwards the boys had freedom to explore the old city with its quaint shops, historic buildings, and cobbled streets, St Giles’ Fair, the idyllic upper reaches of the River Thames, and the nearby countryside.
“[Mole] thought his happiness was complete when, as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a full-fed river. Never in his life had he seen a river before–this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again.” Such is the cautious, agreeable Mole’s first introduction to the river and the Life Adventurous. Emerging from his home at Mole End one spring, his whole world changes when he hooks up with the good-natured, boat-loving Water Rat, the boastful Toad of Toad Hall, the society- hating Badger who lives in the frightening Wild Wood, and countless other mostly well-meaning creatures. Michael Hague’s exquisitely detailed, breathtaking color illustrations on almost every generous spread–along with Kenneth Grahame’s elegant, delightfully old-fashioned characterizations of the animals–make this book a wonderful read-aloud. Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows has enchanted readers for four generations, and this lavishly illustrated gift edition is perhaps the finest around. (All ages, or 9 to 12)

This reviews refers to ISBN 0805002138.
The Wind in the Willows is a children’s novel by Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908. Alternately slow moving and fast-paced, it focuses on four anthropomorphised animals in a pastoral version of Edwardian England. The novel is notable for its mixture of mysticism, adventure, morality and camaraderie, and celebrated for its evocation of the nature of the Thames Valley.

In 1908, Grahame retired from his position as secretary of the Bank of England. He moved back to Berkshire, where he had lived as a child, and spent his time by the River Thames doing much as the animal characters in his book do – as the book says, “simply messing about in boats” – and expanding the bedtime stories he had earlier told his son Alastair into a manuscript for the book…
Kenneth Grahame was born on 8 March 1859 in Edinburgh. When he was 5, his mother died from puerperal fever, and his father, who had a drinking problem, gave the care of his four children over to their grandmother, who lived in Cookham Dean in Berkshire. There they lived in a spacious but dilapidated home, “The Mount”, in extensive grounds by the River Thames, and were introduced to the riverside and boating by their uncle, David Ingles, curate at Cookham Dean church.[2] At Christmas 1865 the chimney of the house collapsed and the children moved to Fern Hill Cottage in Cranbourne, Berkshire. In 1866, their father tried to overcome his drinking problem and took the children back to live with him in Argyll, Scotland, but after a year they returned to their grandmother’s house in Cranbourne, where Kenneth lived until he entered St Edward’s School, Oxford in 1868.[3] During his early years at St. Edwards the boys had freedom to explore the old city with its quaint shops, historic buildings, and cobbled streets, St Giles’ Fair, the idyllic upper reaches of the River Thames, and the nearby countryside.