Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kenneth Grahame

Kenneth Grahame &
"The Wind in the Willows."
Kenneth Grahame born in 1859 and famous author of “The Wind in the Willows”, was raised by his grand parents at “The Mount” Cookham Dean from the age of five. The Mount a beautiful rambling house with a 300-year-old oak in the garden marking the edge of the former Windsor Forest. Nearby are Quarry Woods and meadows sweeping down to the river Thames. Two years later they moved to Cranbourne on the edge of Windsor Great Park, and then to Scotland.

Grahame returned to Cookham Dean with his family in 1907. The house, “ low and rambling, thatched and meadow bordered, was an idyll of elms and buttercups and old red brick”. His son, Mouse was more than half blind, but delighted in the stories of Mole, Water Rat and Badger told by his father. His father in turn was delighted when his six year old corrected his errors and omissions. Eventually tired of his long daily commute up the Bank in London, and the loads of incomers with their Toad-like talk of motor cars and steam launches, left Cookham Dean and retired to Blewbury.

Mouse was a very sad child; he suffered bullying at Rugby School and also he left Eton as well after a very short time, and completed his education under a tutor at home. He died tragically, aged twenty, when he left his Oxford College one evening and walked under a train.

Kenneth Grahame died in 1932.

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