'The Wind in Willows' Book ReviewI f the Edwardian age is not remembered as a decade of social discontent and growing international tension when the cracks in the British empire began to show, but as an idyllic last summer bathed in golden sunshine, the reason is largely to be found in children's literature. Most of what became the canon of English writing for children appeared in a mere nine years. The Tale of Peter Rabbit, the first of the stories that Beatrix Potter modestly referred to as her "little books", came out in and was rapidly followed by six more. Peter Pan was first staged in , E Nesbit's The Railway Children was published two years later, and then, in , came Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, soon to become one of the best loved of them all. The riverbank adventures of Mole, Ratty and Badger have now taken their place among the earliest memories of four generations and seem timeless, while the impossible, irrepressible Mr Toad got his own stage show, written by AA Milne, as early as and is still going strong.
'Wild waters are upon us'
April 29, in book review. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame p. The Wind in the Willows has always been the first thing that comes to mind when I try to think of a quintessentially English book. Set in the Thames Valley where Grahame ironically a Scotsman grew up in the 19th century, The Wind in the Willows follows a cast of anthropomorphised animals through the pastoral idylls and turning seasons of the iconic English countryside. There are still beautiful places in England, but few views which will not be marred by some Ballardian interloper like a motorway or a Tesco superstore. From a modern viewpoint, though, there are a few jarringly dated moments.
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Rat, Mole, Badger, and the preposterous Mr. Milne, and became a perennial Christmas favourite, as Toad of Toad Hall. It continues to enchant and. Above all perhaps, inspire great affection. To the moderately well-read person Kenneth Grahame is known as the author of two books written in the s: The Golden Age and Dream Days.
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Famous, it certainly is. It is currently available in well over 50 editions in English: there are versions in verse, graded readers for learning English as a foreign language, audio and video adaptations, plays notably by A. Milne and Alan Bennett , films, picture books with or without stickers , pop-up books, knitting patterns, graphic novels and scholarly annotated editions. Mole and his Mates. If so, then these are animals who drink and smoke, own houses, drive and steal cars, row boats, escape from jail, yearn for gastronomic nights in Italy, eat ham and eggs for breakfast and write poetry—while Toad combs his hair, and the Mole has a black velvet smoking-jacket. Of course, very occasionally they behave like animals. Mole, in the midst of thoroughly human spring-cleaning, briefly turns into a mole, scrabbling and scrooging his way to the surface; the aristocratic Otter, languidly enjoying a riverbank picnic which includes cold tongue, pickled gherkins and lemonade suddenly turns into an otter and swallows a passing mayfly.