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Kenneth Grahame Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Pagan Papers (1893)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Golden Age (1895)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Headswoman (1898)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dream Days (1898)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Wind in the Willows (1908)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fun o' the Fair (1929)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Reluctant Dragon (1938)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bertie's Escapade (1945)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of The Wind in the Willows Books

Wayfarers All (1980)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mole's Christmas Welcome (1989)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mr. Toad Comes Home (1990)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Return of the Hero (1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Wild Wood (With: Rene Cloke) (1994)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Toad of Toad Hall (1996)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mr. Toad in Trouble (1996)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Wild Wood Adventure (1996)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Welcome to the Willows (1996)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Home Sweet Home (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Restless Rat (2010)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sneaky Toad (2010)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Steam in the Willows (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Picture Books

Duck Song (1998)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

The River Bank (1908)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Anthologies

Dreams and Wonders(2010)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Kenneth Grahame was a children’s fiction author from Scotland that was best known for his most popular work “The Wind in the Willows” that he published in 1908. When he was a toddler, his father who was a failed lawyer was appointed a sheriff’s deputy in Argyllshire. Kenneth was happy living by the sea in the small town but things changed when his mother died of scarlet fever when he was five. His father who had become an alcoholic gave up Kenneth and his siblings to his mother whom the children called Granny Ingle. Their grandmother had a dilapidated but spacious home in idyllic surroundings in the country that the children called it ‘The Mount.’ It was here that they would be introduced to boating and the riverside and the curator of Cookham and also their uncle David Ingles. The delightful surroundings especially the River Thames and Quarry Wood are believed to have been the inspiration for “The Wind in the Willows.”
Between 1868 and 1875, Kenneth Grahame went to St. Edward’s School where he excelled in both sports and academics. But his family had financial constraints and did not have the money to pay for his university studies. Between 1875 and 1879, he was working for David Ingles his uncle who ran a parliamentary agents office. In 1879, he got a job with the Bank of England as clerk. By 1898, he was Secretary to the Bank but he still retained an interest in writing. He started writing light nonfiction articles though he never wanted to become a children’s author. He became a contributor to journals such as “The Yellow Book,” “WE Henley’s National Observer” and the “St James Gazette.” Since he still worked for the bank, all of his works were published anonymously. Writing for the National Observer he dealt with a range of subjects from nature, to traveling and smoking pipes. During this time, he also began travel to places outside London, played billiards at Toynbee Hall and also went fishing. By this time he was suffering from several health problems and in 1907, he retired from the bank and went to live in Berkshire in the countryside.

Kenneth Grahame’s early pieces were first published in 1893 in the collection “Pagan Papers.” Critics interpreted the title as Grahame needing to break away from the constraints of time. In 1895, he published his second work in “Golden Age.” The novel was a collection of short stories about Edward, Selina, Charlotte, Harold, and an unnamed narrator that happened to be orphaned Victorian children. Many reviewers believed he had drawn inspiration from his childhood experiences. It was the novel that brought him into the public consciousness. Kaiser Wilhelm II is believed to have had a copy of the bible and the novel on his yacht. Even the American President of the time Franklin D Roosevelt invited the author to the White House. In 1908 Grahame published “The Wind in the Willows,” which would become his most known work to date. The work was later illustrated by Arthur Rackham who was one of the best illustrators during the Golden Age of Illustration. The work has gone on to become one of the most famous children’s novels and over the years has been adapted for radio, screen and the stage.

Kenneth Grahame’s novel “Wind in the Willows” is a beautiful story of the dangers of debauched country house living and class struggle at a time when the country is on the brink of revolution. The story follows four generations of people that include Ratty, Mole, Mr. Toad and Mr. Badger. Ratty is a gentle young man who spends much of his days in boats. Mole is a less experienced and younger man that is very bourgeois even though when push comes to shove, he proves himself very stout hearted. Mr. Toad lives in his country house having inherited a huge estate upon the death of his father. He tends to be irresponsible and engages in foolish hobbies including his stupid motor car. The oldest and perhaps wisest of the bunch is Badger who is often reprimanding the irresponsible young men. Outside the tranquil surroundings in which they live is the Wild Wood that is known to be full of dangerous forces. Mr. Toad is obsessed with his car and when his defenses are down he gets arrested and sent to prison leaving his house to stoats and weasels from the Wild Wood. It is only when Mr. Badger rallies the band of friends that they reestablish social order. But Toad is told he needs to abandon frivolity and idleness if he is to rejoin the band.

“The Reluctant Dragon” by Kenneth Grahame is the story of a mild mannered dragon. Unlike the earnest and active members of his breed that were used to charging around mighty knights until they were killed, he has no interest in that as he loves poetry. While walking around the countryside he had met and made friends with an intelligent shepherd. But the boy is in trouble when the people of his village realize that a dragon has been coming and going in the vicinity and he never thought to tell them. While the dragon has not caused injury to anyone, the villagers are incensed enough and call in Saint George to get rid of the dragon. But once St George arrives at the scene, the dragon lies down and refuses to battle leaving the boy in a conundrum. The Reluctant Dragon is a satirical fantasy brilliantly written to lambast the conventional dragon and knight stories. It has an outstanding protagonist that readers will often find themselves identifying themselves with. It showcases the beauty of friendship between a lowly shepherd boy and a dragon and is enhanced with the intelligent wit, theatrical battle and the appearance of the famous knight.

Kenneth Grahame’s “Golden Age” is a story that evokes the separation of children from their parents due to the Internet and what he refers to as helicopter parenting. The adults are referred to as Olympians which means useless and very remote as compared to the sophisticated pointed and modern childhoods. The book does not have much of a plot but tells of an era bygone when children would enjoy escapades in farmers’ row boats, stolen fruit, hot summer days and childhood innocence and safety. He bemoans the fact that children will no longer be the fun and carefree children of yesteryears.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Kenneth Grahame

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