The Wind in the Willows

related topics
{son, year, death}
{film, series, show}
{car, race, vehicle}
{specie, animal, plant}
{water, park, boat}
{build, building, house}
{god, call, give}
{work, book, publish}
{day, year, event}
{black, white, people}
{album, band, music}
{land, century, early}

The Wind in the Willows is a classic of children's literature by Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908. Alternately slow moving and fast paced, it focuses on four anthropomorphised animal characters in a pastoral version of England. The novel is notable for its mixture of mysticism, adventure, morality, and camaraderie.

The Wind in the Willows was in its thirty-first printing when then-famous playwright, A. A. Milne, who loved it, adapted a part of it for stage as Toad of Toad Hall in 1929. In 1908 Grahame retired from his position as secretary of the Bank of England. He moved to the country, where he spent his time by the River Thames doing much as the animal characters in his book do; namely, as one of the most famous phrases from the book says, "simply messing about in boats".

Contents

Plot summary

At the start of the book, it is spring time, the weather is fine, and good-natured Mole loses patience with his spring cleaning and dares to leave his underground home, heading up to take in the air. He ends up at the river, which he has never seen before. Here he meets Ratty (a water rat), who spends all his days in and around the river. Rat takes Mole for a ride in his rowing boat. They get along well and the two of them spend many more days on the river, with Rat teaching Mole the ways of the river.

Some time later, one summer day, Rat and Mole find themselves near Toad Hall and pay a visit to Toad. Toad is rich, jovial and friendly, but conceited, and tends to become obsessed about things, only to dismiss them later. Having given up boating, Toad's current craze is his horse-drawn caravan. In fact, he is about to go on a trip, and persuades the reluctant Rat and willing Mole to join him. A few days later, a passing motor car scares their horse, causing the caravan to crash. This marks the end of Toad's craze for caravan travel, to be replaced with an obsession for motor cars.

Mole wants to meet Badger, who lives in the Wild Wood, but Rat knows that Badger does not appreciate visits, and so refuses to take him, suggesting that if Mole will wait, Badger himself will pay a visit. Nevertheless, on a winter's day, Mole goes to the Wild Wood to explore, hoping to meet Badger. He gets lost in the woods, succumbs to fright and panic and hides among the roots of a sheltering tree. Rat goes looking for Mole, and finds him, but it starts to snow and even Rat no longer knows the way home. By chance they arrive at Badger's home. Badger welcomes Rat and Mole to his large and very cosy home, and gives them food and dry clothes. Badger learns from Rat and Mole that Toad has crashed six cars and has been hospitalised three times, and has had to spend a fortune on fines. Though nothing can be done at the moment (it being winter), they decide that once spring arrives they should do something to protect Toad from himself, since they are, after all, his friends.

Full article ▸

related documents
The Six Wives of Henry VIII (TV series)
The Barretts of Wimpole Street
Sister Carrie
Berkeley Square (TV series)
George Farquhar
Colette
Federico García Lorca
Citizen of the Galaxy
Pierre de Marivaux
Camille Claudel
E. M. Forster
Zonker Harris
Jerome K. Jerome
Boris Vian
The English Patient
America, America
Thornton Wilder
Robert Emmet
Karen Blixen
Graham Greene
Hubert Selby, Jr.
Owen Tudor
Piers Gaveston, 1st Earl of Cornwall
Miguel Hernández
Earl of Chesterfield
Donald III of Scotland
Marcus Annaeus Lucanus
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
Magnus III of Sweden
Nancy Mitford