First Whisper of "The Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame edited, with an introduction, by Elspeth Grahame
Philadelphia : J.B. Lippincott Company, 1945. First Edition. Hardcover. 93 pages ; illustrated ; 19 cm. $1.50 dust jacket. Previous ownership markings on the front free endpaper and bookplate. No other markings within the pages of this book. Binding is firm.
FIRST WHISPER OF "THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS"
By Kenneth Grahame
Edited with an Introduction by Elspeth Grahame
"THE most priceless possession of the human race," Kenneth Grahame once said, "is the wonder of the world." To this priceless possession Kenneth Grahame has made enduring contribution in The Wind in the Willows, the cherished tale of Mole and Rat and Badger and that great and intelligent hero, Mr. Toad, who knew one half as much again as the clever men at Oxford and already "know all there is to be known."
It is a book read first in childhood, whose devotees continue to delight in its charm, wisdom and clarity of style through their grown-up years until their locks are hoary and eyes are dim. The eyes of all who look upon Kenneth Grahame as one of the "rare few" in English literature are bound to brighten when they come upon First Whisper of "The Wind in the Willows." For here is the story of how that book of matchless magic came into being.
The adventures of the little animals were first set down in letters written to Grahame's son, Mouse, when he was on a visit to the seaside. The letters, telling of Toad's driving passion for automobiles, his theft of one and later repinings in prison, his escape and subsequent mishaps as a washerwoman, his return and the great and glorious battle for Toad Hall, are the seeds from which the book grew. In addition to the letters there is Bertie s Escapade, a story of Pig and Moley not before published in book form and a long chapter of intimate reminiscences by Mrs. Grahame of her husband, his life with his family, his love for animals and the English countryside and his ardors in seeking and finding the perfect words from which he fashioned his fine prose.
Not only is this slim volume a flavor-some and nostalgic record of Kenneth Grahame, man and writer; it is rich entertainment for all who value literature for its own sake. Here is an indispensable companion piece to put on your shelf next to Dream Days, The Golden Age and The Wind in the Willows.
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