Kenneth Grahame was born in Edinburgh on 8 March 1859. He was brought up by his grandmother and spent much of his time exploring the woods and wildlife near his home, but was also a gifted scholar and captain of the school rugby team. He was sent to work in a bank, which he disliked, but it was while he was working there that he began writing, and soon became a successful author.
The Wind in the Willows is based on letters and bedtime stories that Graham thought up for his son, Alistair, who was nicknamed 'Mouse'. A neighbour convinced Kenneth that he should turn the stories into a book, but when he did, it was rejected by all publishers except one. It wasn't until the then President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, said how much he loved the book that readers began to take notice. After that, The Wind in the Willows became a bestseller, and was even turned into a play with the help of A.A. Milne, the author of the Winnie the Pooh stories. Kenneth Grahame retired from the bank in the year The Wind in the Willows was published, and he died in 1932.
"Ho! ho! I am the Toad, the motor-car snatcher, the prison-breaker, the Toad who always escapes!"
Tired of spring cleaning, Mole ventures above ground into the warm sunshine, and happens upon his friend Ratty. Together they picnic on the sparkling, burbling river, brave the sinister Wild Wood in wintertime to visit the bad-tempered Badger, and take to the open road in a caravan with dear, silly old Toad. But when Toad's attention turns to motor cars, his reckless behaviour goes from bad to worse. Badger, Rat and Mole must save their friend from ruin, and Toad Hall from the clutches of the rascally Stoats and Weasels.
BACKSTORY: Get outdoors and explore the natural world, and test your knowledge of The Wind in the Willows.
|TheWind in the Willows
Kenneth Grahame was born in Edinburgh on 8 March 1859. He was brought up by his grandmother in Cookham Dene in Berkshire and went to school in Oxford before starting work at the Bank of England. He was unable to go to university because of his family's lack of money.
His stories and essays were initially published in periodicals such as the Yellow Book and then collected together as Pagan Papers (1893). This was followed by The Golden Age (1895) and Dream Days (1898).
The Wind in the Willows (1908) is based on letters and stories that Graham made for his only child, Alistair. The novel's popularity grew slowly over the years and A.A. Milne's dramatisation of the novel as Toad of Toad Hall brought it greater success. Kenneth Grahame died on 6 July 1932.