Kenneth Grahames exuberant yet whimsical The Wind in the Willows belongs to the golden age of childrens classic novels. These charming, exciting and humorous tales of the riverbank and its life featuring the wonderfully imagined Ratty, Mole, Badger and the irrepressible but conceited Toad of Toad Hall — whose passion for motor cars (The only way to travel! Here today — in next week tomorrow) lands him in many scrapes — still continue exert their charm over adults as well as children.
Kenneth Grahame was born in Edinburgh in 1859. He was educated at St Edwards School, Oxford but because of family circumstances he was unable to enter Oxford University. He joined the Bank of England as a gentleman clerk in 1879, rising to become Secretary to the Bank in 1898. He wrote a series of short stories published in such collections as The Golden Age (1895) and Dream Days (1898). These featured a fictional family of five children. In 1899 he married Elspeth Thomson and their only child, Alistair, was born a year later. He left the Bank in 1908 on health grounds. The same year, The Wind in the Willows was published. The book was not an immediate success, and he never attempted to write fiction again. However, the popularity of the novel grew steadily and by the time of Grahames death in 1932 it was recognized as a childrens classic.
One of the true classics of English literature, here are the adventures of Mole, Water Rat, Badger, and Toad. Grahames idyllic world is as fresh now as when they first discovered his enchanting tales—of Ratty sculling his boat on the River, Badger grumpily entertaining his friends in his comfortable underground home, and the exasperating Toad being driven into one tangle after another by his obsession with motor cars.